Bachelor of Science in Structural Design and Construction Engineering Technology

Bachelor of Science in Structural Design and Construction Engineering Technology

The program in Structural Design and Construction Engineering Technology (SDCET) provides the basic education required for the structural engineer and construction profession. Students learn the basic general engineering concepts needed for this major with emphasis on the fundamentals, structural design principles, and construction techniques through required course work.

Students are given the opportunity to focus in a discipline of construction management or structural design through a selected option or choose a broad general option. Courses in communication skills, arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and other engineering related areas broaden the program. Students gain experience in working as members of a team and in using interdisciplinary approaches to solve problems. These experiences, as well as those related to design and construction principles, are taught through exercises in the classroom, laboratory, and field. The program culminates with a capstone project course in which the students' knowledge and skills are applied to specific problems.

Career Opportunities

Penn State Harrisburg’s SDCET program is designed to prepare students for a career in the highly specialized construction industry. The program requirements allow for flexible scheduling, enabling students to focus their specialization in either construction or design. Study through these options could lead to opportunities as structural designers for bridges, buildings, or other projects or as project managers for commercial construction projects. Career options may also be available in government for state and federal highway projects and with construction firms in the specialty areas of scheduling, estimating, and cost control. Finally, opportunities may exist for graduates to pursue opportunities as designers, owners, or contractor representatives.

Job Titles

Prospective job titles include: Construction Manager, Construction Engineer, Designer, Estimator, Geotechnical Engineer, Project Engineer, Project Manager, Scheduler, Structural Engineer, Superintendent, and Transportation Engineer.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects excellent employment opportunities in the construction industry for the coming years. Penn State Harrisburg graduates in Structural Design and Construction Engineering Technology have had impressive job placements in the last eight years.

Accreditation and Licensure

This program is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET,

SDCET graduates who wish to continue their professional development are qualified to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination in Pennsylvania. Graduates are also qualified to take the first level Professional Constructor Certificate Examination (APC).

Student Organizations

Penn State Professional Engineers and Contractors (PSPEC) is the student organization for SDCET majors. It is the umbrella program for three student chapters affiliated with their national organizations: Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). PSPEC stimulates professional growth and facilitates networking opportunities for students who frequently interact with professionals through guest speakers on a variety of topics, field trips to construction sites and offices, and participation at professional, regional, and national conferences. PSPEC is also involved in service activities serving the College and nearby communities.

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is an organization established in 1950 to encourage and support the advancement of women in the engineering field. SWE offers many networking opportunities, scholarships, and awards for recognizing women for their contributions as professional engineers.

Scholarship and Award Opportunities

In addition to the traditional types of financial aid offered by Penn State, outstanding undergraduate SDCET students may qualify for scholarships, including: 

Selection of Major in Engineering or Engineering Technology

Excellent guidance for students, parents, friends, and others regarding the similarities and differences between engineering and engineering technology is provided at

Professional Organizations

Students are encouraged to join professional organizations to further advance their knowledge in the field and for networking opportunities. Most organizations provide great offers to college students.

  • American Concrete Institute (ACI)
  • American Institute of Constructors (AIC)
  • American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)