The Department of Architecture (Architectural Engineering), is among the three oldest – most departments of the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt. It is also among (if not) the oldest departments of Architecture in Egypt and the Region (the Arab World, the Middle East and Africa). It‘s foundation and early stages of development date back to the Nineteenth Century. Architectural Engineering was one of the principal specializations of the School of Engineering ―Mohandesskhana‖; founded by Mohamed Aly Pasha, the ruler of Egypt, in 1816. Architecture remained since; among the key (few) specializations of the Engineering School throughout its development and at the various locations it occupied during the nineteenth century and till its settlement at the present site in 1905; under the name of the Royal School of Engineering.
The Engineering School joined the Egyptian University in 1935 and its name was changed to (and remained since); the Faculty of Engineering. Throughout the said initiation and development phases, the course structure and the program duration at the Department of Architecture; the preparatory or common year (for all School/Faculty fresh students) as well as the specialization 4-years were closely linked to the Royal School and then to the Faculty of Engineering program and tuition frameworks, internal regulations and statutes. The 1st Egyptian head of the Department of Architecture; Mr. Mustapha Fahmy, architect, was appointed as the acting head for the Department of Architecture; together with two assistants; architects Aly Gabr and Mohamed Raafat, back in 1924. The department was chaired since, by 20 heads/ chair – persons, and it‘s 1st chair-woman was appointed in 1994. The Department of Architecture occupies four of the eight stories of the Architecture Building; located in the main campus of the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University – with a total area of about 8400 square meters; accommodating: design studios, lecture theatres, tutorial spaces, class-rooms, faculty and faculty- assistants offices, faculty & student facilities.
The total undergraduate (B.Sc. in Architectural Engineering) student population generally followed the said pace in the yearly graduates; the total figures were of the order of: 38 students in (1941), 176 (1950), 210 (1960), 270 (1970), 690 (1980), 378 (1990) and 850 students in 2000. The current total of the B. Sc. Students, the academic year 2013 – 2014 is of the order of 667 students.
The first female architect graduated from the Department back in 1957, in a class totaled 59 (01.6%). The current total number of female students is of the order of 50% of the gross student population; the said percentage was reached in the Nineteen Nineties and remained since.
The current 4th year architecture (the 5th year of the B.Sc. in Architectural Eng. Program) totals 185 students. The number of female students at the fourth year Architecture (expected 2014 graduates) is 124 students (67 % of the class total).