Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences

Nancy Diniz, Assistant Professor
Program Director

Program Overview

[Please click here for brochure for printing (pdf: 12.9MB)]

The study of Building Science focuses on phenomena that inform the design of next-generation buildings. As the complexity of building systems, design and analysis tools increase to match ever-expanding performance expectations in a sustainability-minded world, a foundational understanding of first-principles is increasingly vital to diverse sectors of the design and construction industry. Using a holistic approach, students in the Building Sciences program develop an understanding of buildings as a set of interconnected systems that can be built, modified, and adapted to meet requirements for functionality, energy optimization and human comfort.

In addition to establishing a solid grounding in fundamentals relating to materials, structure, energy, heat transfer, enclosure and management, students also gain an awareness and critical perspective of the design process before selecting an area of concentration such as construction management, structural engineering, sustainability, lighting or architectural acoustics. Individualized concentrations may also be crafted with approval of the Building Science program director.

Rensselaer’s four-year Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences degree provides an exceptional preparation for direct entry into one of the building industry’s many sectors ranging from real estate development to construction management, specialty consulting in environmental systems, sustainability, façade design, building performance consulting, architectural acoustics or lighting, to working with manufacturers and suppliers in the development and delivery of new products and systems. It also serves as an excellent foundation for advanced degrees in architecture, engineering, construction management or business, to name just a few. High-performing students may also choose from several dual degree or co-terminal (5-year Bachelor and Masters of Science) options while at Rensselaer.

As a polytechnic with a long and substantial history of ‘applying science to the purposes of life’ the Rensselaer education and research setting is uniquely situated for a progressive Building Science Degree program. Some of those assets that are drawn upon include:

  • Rensselaer’s status as a top-tier research university – engaged in myriad areas of research that are well-suited for technology transfer to the building industry.
  • Highly ranked Schools of Architecture and Engineering
  • Exceptional programs in Material and Computer Science
  • Two internationally acclaimed Lighting Research Centers
  • A world renowned Architectural Acoustics Program
  • The award-winning Center for Architecture Science and Ecology [CASE]

Rensselaer’s focus on the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge in the Building Science program prepares students for leadership in response to existing and emerging global challenges in the design and construction of the built environment.

Contact: Nancy Diniz

Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences Curriculum Template:

The four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Building Sciences prepares students for the broad range of roles and opportunities presented by the building industry. The building sciences focus on the design and construction of building systems such as structures, enclosures, environmental systems, lighting, and acoustics as well as their management, performance, and building diagnostics. The degree consists of 129 credits.

Students in the Building Sciences program declare a concentration, prepare and submit a plan of study at the end of the second semester. The plan of study must be approved and filed with the Building Sciences program director. The plan of study must be reviewed annually with the program director.


The Building Sciences program concentration requires four four-credit-hour courses (or equivalent) that are approved by the director of the Building Sciences program. The purpose of the concentration is to develop specialized knowledge in an area of relevance to the construction of the built environment. Concentrations will be determined and approved by the Director.

First Year

Second Year



Third Year



Fourth Year



How to Apply

Additional Comments

The degree requires 129 credit hours.



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Evan Douglis, Professor


School of Architecture
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street - Greene Bldg.
Troy, NY 12180 - USA

Main Phones

Front Desk: (+1) 518-276-6466
Dean's Office: (+1) 518-276-6460
Undergrad Admissions: (+1) 518-276-8478
Graduate Admissions: (+1) 518-276-6877