BSCE Building Science


The Viterbi School of Engineering and the School of Architecture offer an interdisciplinary four-year program in Building Science leading to a B.S. in Civil Engineering — Building Science. This program, which combines architecture and structural engineering, was developed in response to the demand for professionals trained in both disciplines.

Building Science involves all stages of designing a building, from formulating the original conceptualization to creating drawings for construction. Many factors are to be considered, such as the basic structural integrity in relation to the qualities of the environment it will create, social ramifications, cost efficiency, environmental impact, special safety problems, availability of materials, energy conservation, earthquake stability soil structure, etc.

The introduction of new materials, fresh approaches to building design, digital computer techniques, earthquake loadings, new construction methods and management techniques, improved noise control and need for thermal comfort and conservation of energy all serve to escalate the demand. In response, this program prepares graduates to fulfill the needs of this industry—one of the largest in the nation.

For more information and for student views on the program, click here.

This amalgam of engineering and architectural skills is achieved by a curriculum that combines courses selected from both schools. This degree program covers the general area known as architectural engineering with an emphasis in the following technical areas:

    • Graphic construction and communication
    • Architecture history and theory
    • Environment and society
    • Architectural design studio
    • Architectural design of buildings
    • Computer-aided building design
    • Site preparation and foundation design
    • Soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering
    • Structural mechanics and structural analysis
    • Structural design of steel buildings
    • Structural design of reinforced concrete buildings
    • Timber and masonry design
    • Earthquake engineering and design for dynamic loads
    • Construction technology and management

Program Requirements

During the first two years, students take a core curriculum involving basic courses that are necessary to deal with the architectural and engineering aspects of building technology.

In their junior and senior years, students specialize and take electives which are appropriate building technology related courses.

The architectural portion of the program is taught in a standard studio type environment and emphasizes graphic communication, rendering and design through models.

The civil engineering part of the program is taught in a normal lecture style with an emphasis on the development of basic physical principles and design procedures based on these principles.

For detailed course information, please see the Course Catalogue. For a course schedule, please see the Schedule of Classes.

Pre-Major Requirements:

Chemistry Requirement
CHEM 105aL: General Chemistry or CHEM 115aL: Advanced General Chemistry

Math Requirement
MATH 126: Calculus II
MATH 226: Calculus III
MATH 245: Mathematics of Physics and Engineering I

Physics Requirement
PHYS 151L: Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics and Thermodynamics
PHYS 152L: Fundamentals of Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism

Other Requirements
*GEOL 305Lx: Introduction to Engineering Geology
*Students who complete MATH 125 before MATH 126 will be excused from completing this course. 

Major Requirements:

ENGR 102: Engineering Freshman Academy

Civil Engineering
CE 106: Introduction to Civil Engineering
CE 108: Introduction to Computer Methods in Civil Engineering
CE 119: Probability Concepts and Civil Engineering
CE 215: Statics and Dynamics
CE 225: Mechanics of Deformable Bodies
CE 309: Fluid Mechanics
CE 334L: Mechanical Behavior of Materials
CE 358L: Elementary Theory of Structures I
CE 408: Risk and Decision Analysis in Civil Engineering
CE 456: Structural Design I
CE 457: Structural Design II
CE 458: Computational Structural Analysis
CE 460: Construction Engineering
CE 467L: Geotechnical Engineering

Architecture Courses
ARCH 114: Architecture: Culture and Community
ARCH 214b: History of Architecture
ARCH 205abL: Building Science I
ARCH 305abL: Building Science II
ARCH 405abL: Building Science III

Below are examples of student projects from ARCH 205 and ARCH 305.

ARCH 205: Artist's Retreat

ARCH 205: Museum Annex Butterfly Pavillion

ARCH 205: Phenomenological Garden - Motion

ARCH 205: Museum Annex Butterfly Pavillion

ARCH 305a: The Piano House by Soh, Moffett, Delgadillo, Alvarez, Prof. Ayrapetyan

ARCH 305b: ZEN Healthy Living Center by Breshears, Brascia, Gu, Prof. Ayrapetyan

ARCH 305b: Tesla Dealership by Christian, Davis, Huang, Yoon, Prof. Ayrapetyan

ARCH 305b: Mariscos Cuzcos Peruvian restaurant and lounge by Collins, Maass, Cherner, Duff, Prof. Ayrapetyan

Published on February 13th, 2017

Last updated on December 1st, 2020