Graduate Degrees in Architectural Engineering


The CEAE Graduate Program offers a master’s degree option in Architectural Engineering

Master of Science Degree in Architectural Engineering (MSARCE)

Students pursuing the Master of Science (MS) degree in architectural engineering can specialize in any of the following areas of architectural engineering:

  • Building power systems
  • Building mechanical systems
  • Building illumination and lighting systems
  • Building energy efficiency and energy management
  • Building acoustical systems
  • Construction management

Students who wish to specialize in structural engineering generally pursue the MS degree in civil engineering rather than architectural engineering. The MS degree program in architectural engineering is open to full-time and part-time graduate students.  Students may start their graduate studies in the fall, spring or summer semester.   A bachelor’s degree in a field of engineering is required for admission to the MS degree program in architectural engineering. 

A minimum of 3.0 GPA is required for admission into the architectural engineering graduate degree program.

Students in the MS in architectural engineering degree program have 3 options. Option A requires 30 credit-hours including 6 hours for preparing a thesis (via ARCE 899) and a final oral examination including defense of the thesis. Option B requires 30 hours including a 3-hour special problem investigation in the student's area of specialization (via ARCE 895) and a final oral examination. Option B requires a project report instead of a thesis. Additionally, a design option is also available with an emphasis in design to be completed in one academic year. Option C requires 30 credit hours of coursework. It does not require a thesis, special problem investigation, or final oral examination.

The MS degree in architectural engineering is intentionally flexible in its course requirements because graduate study in architectural engineering requires specialization in one of many areas of professional practice. Each student works with his or her committee to select appropriate graduate courses that support the research project and the student's career goals. Students can pursue specializations in, for example, building mechanical, energy, electrical, lighting, or structural systems, or construction engineering. Emerging or hybrid specializations such as sustainability, acoustics, or fire safety are also encouraged.

Courses to be applied toward the M.S. degree must be listed on a Plan of Study form approved by the student’s major professor and examining committee and the departmental graduate advisor. All graduate students must have an approved Plan of Study on file by the beginning of their second semester of study. Graduate courses offered by the CEAE department are identified by the prefixes CE, ARCE and CMGT and are numbered 600 and above.  No more than 9 hours of courses from other departments or more than 6 hours of courses numbered below 600 (of which only 3 hours may be within the department) may be applied toward the degree without approval of the department’s graduate advisor.  No more than 4 hours of special-problem credit may be applied toward the degree without approval of the department’s graduate advisor.

A student who wishes to enroll in a special-problem or directed reading course must submit a written request to the director of Graduate Studies with a detailed syllabus provided by the instructor. The director of Graduate Studies, along with at least one more faculty member, will review the request to either approve or deny the request. No more than 4 hours of special-problem credit may be applied toward the degree without approval of the department’s graduate advisor.

(Approved by CEAE faculty on 10/6/2023)

The MS Design Option provides the opportunity for you to complete as master’s degree in architectural engineering, with a design emphasis, in one academic year. The degree requires 30 credit-hours of graduate work, and the overall requirements are identical to those offered under the MS Option B. The Design Option requires 27 credit-hours of graduate coursework, a three credit-hour design project resulting in a written report, and a final presentation.

Students in the MS Design Option can take five courses in their first (fall or spring) semester, and four more courses plus ARCE 895 – Master’s Project for three credit-hours in their second semester. If desired, students may take one of the courses and/or the ARCE 895– Master’s Project in the summer.

Students in the MS ARCE Design Option are advised by a professor in an area of mutual technical interest. The topic of the design project in ARCE 895 is agreed upon by the student and the academic advisor. The final presentation is made to the student’s committee, composed of the advisor and two other faculty members

Admission – How to Apply

The CEAE Department does NOT offer application fee waivers.  

A minimum of 3.0 GPA is required for admission into any of the graduate degree programs in the CEAE department. 

Complete the online application: APPLY 

Application Fees are: 

Degree-Seeking, Domestic: $65 
Degree-Seeking, International: $85 
Certificate-Seeking: $30 
Non-degree seeking: $30 
Permit to Re-enroll: $20  

Undergraduate Preparation 

An ABET-accredited BS degree in engineering, or the equivalent from abroad, is required for admission to our graduate degree and certificate programs in civil engineering, environmental engineering and architectural engineering. 


Before you can be admitted, we must receive an official transcript from each university or college you have attended. The official transcript must be sent directly from the university or college to the KU Graduate Application Processing Center at this address: 

Graduate Application Processing Center 
313 Strong Hall 
1450 Jayhawk Blvd. 
Lawrence, KS 66045 


Alternatively, an official electronic transcript can be sent directly from the college or university to the Graduate Program Coordinator. 

When you submit the online application, a copy of official transcripts may be uploaded to your application. However, we must receive official transcripts by the end of your 1st semester

GRE Exam Scores  - NOTICE:  GRE score requirement is waived until spring 2023. 

Applicants for the MS graduate program are required to take all three sections of the General GRE (Analytical, Quantitative and Verbal).  While our Department does not have a minimum required score for the GRE, most admitted applicants have at least a 155 on the Quantitative Section of the exam.  However, decisions to admit are based on a prospective student’s entire application package.  Admitted students with highly competitive application packages will be considered for GRA/GTA responsibilities. 

Applicants for full-time graduate study must submit GRE scores.  The GRE subject exam in engineering is not required. 

When you request a GRE score report from ETS, specify the University of Kansas as the institution (institution code 6871) and "engineering, civil" as the department (department code 1102) for all degree programs in the CEAE Department. 


In the online application, enter the names and e-mail addresses of three persons who will provide recommendations for you. The online application system will send those persons an e-mail with a link to an online recommendation form. 

Resume and Statement of Purpose 

Upload your resume and statement of purpose to the online application site. The statement of purpose is a brief explanation of your academic and career interests and goals and your desired area of specialization. A statement of purpose is not required for admission to the graduate certificate programs. 

International Applicants 

International applicants who are non-native English speakers must meet KU’s English proficiency requirements. 

For admission to any of the CEAE Department’s graduate degree programs, international applicants must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores that meet the following requirements: 

TOEFL – Reading, listening and writing part scores all 20 or higher. 

IELTS – Overall score 6.0 or higher, with reading, listening and writing part scores all 5.5 or higher 

International applicants who wish to be considered for financial aid must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores that meet the following requirements: 

TOEFL – Reading, listening and writing part scores all 23 or higher 

IELTS – Overall score 6.5 or higher, with reading, listening and writing part scores all 6.0 or higher 

TOEFL or IELTS scores are not required for applicants with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited English-medium U.S. college or university or a college or university in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, English-speaking province of Canada, or an English-speaking Caribbean country, with instruction conducted in English. Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency. 

All applicants must submit an official TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo score report (not student’s copy), with scores achieved not more than two years prior to the requested start date for graduate study. Submit TOEFL or IELTS scores to: 

Office of Graduate Studies 
213 Strong Hall 
1450 Jayhawk Blvd. 
Lawrence KS 66045-7535 

When ordering TOEFL scores, specify institution code 6871 and program code 65. 

Applicants from institutions that use consolidated mark sheets (as in India and Pakistan) must also provide official copies of individual mark sheets. Applicants from institutions that use diploma award certificates (as in P.R. China) must provide an official copy of this certificate. 

KU International Student Services provides helpful information and assistance to international applicants. 


Deadlines for submission of all required application documents are as follows. 

Deadline/ReviewFall/Summer SemesterSpring Semester
Priority Deadlines (MS and PhD)December 1September 1
Rolling Reviews (all CEAE grad programsTwo business days before start of classesTwo business days before start of classes

Applications are processed immediately upon receipt of all required documents. 

MS applicants who wish to be fully considered for all types of financial aid should submit all application documents before the priority date.  Applicants admitted after the priority date are considered for any remaining financial aid. 

Review of Applications 

When we have received all of your required application documents, the Graduate Admissions Committee will review your application. The Director of Graduate Studies will inform you of the committee’s decision by e-mail. You will receive an official notice of the decision from the University a few days later. 

You can check your application status online. If you have any questions or issues regarding your application or admission, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator. 

We are happy to visit with you individually and assist you in planning your graduate studies. Contact us to arrange a visit and tour. 

CEAE Graduate Director 

Jian Li, Ph.D.

CEAE Graduate Program Coordinator 

Many full-time MS students in architectural engineering receive financial support from research assistantships, teaching assistantships, fellowships and scholarships. There is no separate application for financial aid.  If you are admitted, we will consider you for financial aid.  The professors in your desired area of specialization will be informed of your admission and asked to consider you for a graduate research or teaching assistantship.  Graduate research assistantships are awarded by individual professors with funded research projects.  Graduate teaching assistantships are awarded by the professors in charge of specific courses.  Some assistantships are awarded to incoming students; others are awarded to continuing students who have excelled in their studies. Graduate research and teaching assistants are typically employed 50%-time (20 hours per week) and receive payment of tuition and fees in addition to a salary. Many graduate research assistants and teaching assistants also receive a supplemental scholarship or fellowship.

The CEAE Department, the School of Engineering and KU Graduate Studies award a variety of scholarships and fellowships to new graduate students.  If you wish to be considered for a specific award, please inform the Professor Dennis Lane, Director of Graduate Studies, well in advance of the deadline for the award.