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Bachelor of Science in Architectural and Construction Engineering

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What is Architectural and Construction Engineering (ARCE)?

Architectural engineering and construction engineering are specializations within the broader discipline of civil engineering. Architectural engineers design buildings intended for human occupancy or habitation, e.g., office buildings, apartment buildings, condominiums, schools, hospitals, arenas, stadiums, etc. Construction engineers design and manage construction processes. UALR’s program focuses on:

  • Building Mechanical Systems: Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, fire protection, vertical transportation (elevators and escalators), and acoustics.
  • Building Electrical Systems: Electrical power generation and distribution, lighting, building automation, and control systems.
  • Building Structural Systems: Steel, reinforced concrete, timber, and masonry structures.
  • Construction Engineering and Management: Construction drawings, materials, methods, and equipment, estimating, bidding, contract administration, building information modeling (BIM), planning, scheduling, and safety.

How does Architecture Differ from Architectural Engineering?

Architects design buildings’ form and function, i.e., what buildings will look like and how people will use them. For example, architects design the interior floor plan for a building and decide how to integrate the building into its exterior setting. In contrast, architectural engineers design the structural systems, the mechanical systems, and the electrical systems that make it possible to fulfill the architects’ vision. The professions of architecture and architectural engineering have completely different educational programs, accreditation, and licensure requirements. UALR does not offer a program in architecture.

Admission Policy

Interested students should meet with an advisor in the department of architectural and construction engineering (ARCE) to declara a major. Full admission to the ARCE major requires readiness to take MATH 1451 Calculus I, CHEM 1406 Engineering Chemistry, and RHET 1311 Composition I. However, students who are not prepared to take these courses will be admitted to the ARCE major as pre-engineering students.   Students should request the ARCE major as early in their academic career as possible, so that they can receive proper advising.


Dr. Nickolas S. Jovanovic is the advisor for all architectural and construction engineering (ARCE) majors and pre-engineering majors. Advising for spring semester is usually done in November, and advising for summer and fall is usually done in April. Dr. Jovanovic can be found in ETAS 202F or contacted at nsjovanovic@ualr.edu. The department office can be contacted at (501) 569-8133.

Transferring from Another Institution

Students planning to transfer to UALR from other institutions are encouraged to contact Dr. Jovanovic to discuss the courses that will apply toward the architectural and construction engineering degree at UALR. In general, courses from other accredited institutions will transfer to UALR if the earned grade was a C or higher. Engineering courses from programs accredited by EAC/ABET will generally apply toward the major, if they are similar to the courses required at UALR.

Most community colleges do not offer all of the necessary freshman and sophomore level courses in math, science, and engineering. Most students transferring from community colleges will require four years to complete the architectural and construction engineering major. An engineering major generally requires at least four years starting from the semester in which the calculus sequence is started.

Potential transfer students from community colleges should also be aware that the architecural and construction engineering program requires specific general education (core, basics, etc.) courses. Taking other general education courses at the community college will delay entry into, and completion of, the architectural and construction engineering program. The architectural and construction engineering program requires the following 24 hours of general education courses:

  • RHET 1311 and 1312 English Composition I and II (6 hours)
  • POLS 1310 American National Government (3 hours)
  • HIST 1311 or 1312 History of Civilization I or II (3 hours)
  • CNMG 1385 Infrastructure, Environment, and Society (3 hours)
  • ECON 2301 or 2322 Survey of Economics or Microeconomics (3 hours)
  • PHIL 2321 or 2320 Ethics and Society  (3 hours)
  • ARHA 2306 Introduction to Architecture (3 hours)

In order to transfer into architectural and construction engineering as a 2nd year student, the following courses (or equivalents) generally must have been completed elsewhere:

  • Calculus I and II (differential and integral calculus)
  • General Chemistry I with Lab (the introductory chemistry course for chemistry majors)
  • University Physics I with Lab (calculus-based physics)

In order to transfer into architectural and construction engineering as a 3rd year student, the following additional courses (or equivalents) generally must have been completed elsewhere:

  • Calculus III (vector calculus)
  • Civil Engineering Materials (steel, aggregates, concrete, asphalt)
  • Engineering Statics (mechanics of rigid bodies)
  • Mechanics of Materials (mechanics of deformable bodies)

Work Experience Requirement

All ARCE students are required to complete a minimum of 800 contact hours of practical work experience in an approved construction-related activity. This stipulation provides the graduate with valuable industry experience and insights.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Architectural and Construction Engineering

The architectural and construction engineering program combines courses in several engineering disciplines to prepare graduates to practice engineering within the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.

Basic courses in engineering science prepare students for the required passage of the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination, the first step toward licensure as an Engineer Intern (EI) or Professional Engineer (PE). Construction engineering and management courses prepare students for the required passage of the Construction Fundamentals (CF) examination, the first step toward becoming an Associate Constructor (AC) or Certified Professional Constructor (CPC).

Students seeking a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architectural and Construction Engineering must pass each required CNMG course with a grade of C or higher. The degree requires at least 48 credit hours of engineering courses, and at least 32 credit hours of mathematics and laboratory science courses. For graduation, a grade point average of 2.00 or above is required in these engineering, mathematics, and science courses, and a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or above is required for all work completed at UALR.

A minor is not required for the architectural and construction engineering degree.

Student Activities

UALR architectural and construction engineering students have the opportunity to become involved with several engineering organizations, including the Construction Institute (CI) and the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and Engineers Without Borders (EWB).


New engineering programs are not eligible to apply for accreditation until at least one student has graduated from the program. When the architectural and construction engineering program becomes eligible, it plans to apply for accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Enrollment and Graduation Data

No students graduated from the architectural and construction engineering program during the 2015-16 academic year.

At the beginning of the 2015-16 academic year, 13 students were enrolled in the architectural and construction engineering program.

The architectural and construction engineering program was approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in August 2012, and no students have graduated from the program yet.