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Undergraduate Program

Program Description

A highly successful program since its inception in 1946, the architectural engineering department was first created within the School of Engineering. After becoming a more professional program for educating architects and structural engineers in 1950, the program became a department in the newly founded School of Architecture and Environmental Design in 1968. The architectural engineering department has maintained continuous accreditation since 1974, and has been recognized as being one of the foremost programs in the country specializing in structural engineering, and in particular, seismic design. It now resides in a multi-disciplinary College of Architecture and Environmental Design along with the departments of Architecture, City and Regional Planning, Construction Management, and Landscape Architecture.

The importance and success of the Architectural Engineering program over the past fifty-eight years is best understood within the context of the special demands made upon both the architectural and structural engineering professions within California. California has been a rapid growth state in a very seismically active region. It has required an increasing number of structural engineers who understand the special problems and responsibilities in the design of buildings subject to earthquakes. The inter-relationship of structural engineering and architectural objectives within California's seismic zones thus becomes particularly critical along with the educational goal of bringing about understanding, communication and collaboration between the building professions.

The mission of the architectural engineering program at Cal Poly is to educate students to enter and be successful in the practice of structural engineering. The program focuses primarily on the California practice of structural engineering, which emphasizes seismic design. As an architectural engineering program the curriculum goes beyond the traditional structural engineering program to give students an interdisciplinary understanding of architecture and construction management as it relates a total project design and implementation.

The educational objectives for the architectural engineering undergraduate program are to:

  1. Deliver a quality professional education to students so that they can be successful in engineering practice by creating an academic environment that promotes faculty, staff, and student development and excellence.
  2. Produce graduates who are "industry ready" to undertake engineering projects and make significant contributions from day one on the job.
  3. Prepare students to pursue graduate studies in related academic programs should they choose that path.
  4. Encourage research and experimental studies as an integral part of student learning.
  5. Increase collaborative and interdisciplinary relationships with the other Departments in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
  6. Contribute to and serve the greater University community.

Program Objectives

What we expect our graduates to be able to do 3 to 5 years after graduation.

  • Able to determine and advance in a career path primarily in structural engineering or a building industry field.
  • Able to attain a graduate degree.
  • Engage in lifelong learning.
  • Able to communicate effectively to meet increasing professional demands.

Program Outcomes  

What we expect our graduates to be able to do at the time of graduation.

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering to building structures.
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  • An ability to design a building system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as regulatory, economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, constructability, and sustainability.
  • An ability to function in interdisciplinary teams for the design and construction of buildings.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve structural engineering problems.
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.
  • A recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
  • A knowledge of how the built environment relates to contemporary issues.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills and tools necessary for structural engineering practice.
  • A basic proficiency in construction and constructability issues in buildings.

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