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Jill Hummels
School of Engineering
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Architectural engineering degree switches to four-year program

Fri, 12/20/2013

LAWRENCE — The Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Kansas will change its Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering (BS ARCE) degree program from a five-year curriculum to a four-year program, beginning summer 2014.

The streamlined, ABET-accredited degree program will require students to complete a curriculum with 128 credit hours. Previously, students had to complete a 165 credit hour curriculum. Under the new plan, students will be able to graduate and enter the job market sooner, or more quickly complete several master’s degree programs, including an NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture from KU.

“This change will allow our students expanded flexibility and allow them to earn credit at the graduate level for the advanced courses they have been taking in the five-year program,” said Professor David Darwin, Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor and chair of the department. Changes in the profession, as well as economic and other factors, have convinced the faculty that curricula leading to both undergraduate and graduate degrees will better serve students and their future employers.

“A hallmark of KU’s undergraduate architectural engineering degree has been the broad training received by our students. That will not change,” Darwin said. “Architectural engineering students will continue to take courses in all of the specialties in architectural engineering — structures, HVAC, illumination, electrical systems and construction management — and also continue to take several courses and design studios side-by-side with KU architecture students.  The big change will be their expanded ability to specialize as they pursue graduate study in what would have formerly been their fifth year of undergraduate work.” 

Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering Brian Rock, a graduate of KU’s five-year program, said students will now be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering and a Master of Architecture degree in six years. Students will also have the option to earn an undergraduate degree in architectural engineering and a more specialized master’s degree in architectural engineering or civil engineering in five years.

Rock pointed out that the option to pursue the combined BS ARCE and the Master of Architecture is important because it allows students to efficiently complete the formal education needed to become both a licensed Professional Engineer and a Registered Architect. The new BS ARCE program also leads into KU’s Master of Construction Management program.

KU’s architectural engineering program was founded in 1912 as a four-year program in the School of Engineering, but it was changed to five years in the 1950s.  In the decades since then, architectural engineering students have been, and will continue to be, exceptionally well-prepared for careers in building systems design.

Undergraduate students currently enrolled in the architectural engineering program will have the opportunity to switch to the four-year program as well as work with a faculty adviser to determine the best path forward for them.

More information about the changes to the architectural engineering program, including the curriculum, admission requirements and scholarships, appears on websites hosted by the School of Engineering and the department. ABET and NAAB are the respective accreditation bodies for engineering and architecture programs in the United States.



Happy Kansas Day, Kansans! We caught sunflowers standing tall at the Grinter Family Farms just outside Lawrence last fall. You may wonder how the sunflower came to be the State flower in 1903 and we found an excerpt from Kansas legislation: Whereas, Kansas has a native wild flower common throughout her borders, hardy and conspicuous, of definite, unvarying and striking shape, easily sketched, moulded, and carved, having armorial capacities, ideally adapted for artistic reproduction, with its strong, distinct disk and its golden circle of clear glowing rays -- a flower that a child can draw on a slate, a woman can work in silk, or a man can carve on stone or fashion in clay; and Whereas, This flower has to all Kansans a historic symbolism which speaks of frontier days, winding trails, pathless prairies, and is full of the life and glory of the past, the pride of the present, and richly emblematic of the majesty of a golden future, and is a flower which has given Kansas the world-wide name, "the sunflower state"... Be it enacted ... that the helianthus or wild native sunflower is ... designated ... the state flower and floral emblem of the state of Kansas.

We caught sunflowers standing tall at Grinter Family Farms outside of Lawrence last fall. Happy Kansas Day, Kansans! http://t.co/8V3JMMMfhb
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times