College Catalog

Accredited by PAHRA. Endorsed by ACCA. Approved NORA Bronze Certificate training site.

Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Design Technology (BHD)

(Effective Fall 2011)

The HVAC Design Technology baccalaureate major addresses industry needs for educated technicians with business management, supervision, and design skills. In addition to the hands-on equipment training developed during the associate-degree program, students in this major study the process and procedures of HVACR system design, advanced automation control, and energy/project management. Students also learn skills vital to HVACR business operations in the areas of estimating, scheduling, material and equipment management, contractor/subcontractor relations, and quality control. Upon completion of this major, students are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to design an array of HVAC mechanical and refrigeration systems, describe these systems’ functions, and communicate the operations and specifications of the system designs.

Career Opportunities

Graduates will be prepared to seek entry into the HVAC industry at two distinct points. Graduates may seek employment as residential or commercial field technicians, as repairpersons or installers of HVAC equipment and systems. Graduates will also be qualified to apply for positions with larger companies as field or shop supervisors, design assistants, project managers or superintendents, or other mid-level management jobs. Some graduates will begin their careers as self-employed business persons in sales, service, installation or HVAC contracting.

Recommended High School Subjects

Two years of algebra, one year of physics or chemistry, four years of oral and written communications courses. Students should be encouraged to take occupational courses in HVAC, basic electrical or plumbing when scheduling allows.

Special Equipment Needs

See the Tool List on the Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Design Technology major web page.

Remediation Strategies

SAT or ACT tests, math placement level 2 or higher, and no reading deficiencies. Students not meeting these requirements may be conditionally admitted or enrolled in the HV/HP major.

Transfer Procedures

Students transferring from associate-degree majors at Penn College or other colleges and universities will be evaluated individually by the Office of Admissions, the Construction and Design Technologies department head, the dean or faculty member, as appropriate. No course for which the student has received less than a 'C' grade will be accepted for transfer into major. Courses taken more than 10 years ago must be evaluated for equivalency to current course requirements. Specific transfer guides for related associate degree majors at Penn College are available.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:

  • demonstrate cooperative and responsible attitude toward work.
  • supervise subordinates to achieve productivity goals.
  • interpret federal, state, and local HVAC building codes, regulations, and environmental laws.
  • utilize computer to perform cost estimates, work schedules, and technical calculations necessary to size and design HVAC systems.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the HVAC contracting process.
  • read and interpret HVAC blueprints and specifications.
  • perform technical operations associated with the installation, maintenance, and repair of various cooling and refrigeration equipment and systems.
  • identify and demonstrate ability to correctly use tools of the HVAC trade.
  • apply knowledge of the dynamics of airflow, ventilation, and energy use in the installation, repair, and design of HVAC systems.
  • install, service, and repair various heating systems and equipment to include hydronic, forced air, radiant, and heat pump systems.
  • use standardized HVAC equipment and systems.
  • apply customer relations and sales techniques in providing service to the public.
  • apply business techniques and practices as they apply to the operation of an HVAC service or contracting business.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the HVAC industry market.


First SemesterCredits
FYE101First Year Experience 1 
ACR111Introduction to Refrigeration 5 
PLH112Mechanical Systems I 5 
ELT250HVAC/R Electricity 5 
ENL111English Composition I 3 
Second SemesterCredits
ACR236Air Conditioning Systems I 3 
ACR238Air Conditioning Systems I (Load Calculation and Design) 2 
ACR118Print Reading and Interpretation 1 
ELT252HVAC Controls I-Residential 4 
PLH236Basic Heating Systems (Installation) 3 
PLH238Basic Heating Systems (Heat Loss Calculation and System Design) 2 
MTH180College Algebra and Trigonometry I 3 
Third SemesterCredits
ACR249Advanced HVAC System Service 3 
ACR251Warm-Air Heating and Duct Design 3 
ELT253HVAC Controls II-Commercial 4 
PLH244Hydronic Heating Systems 4 
MTH182College Algebra and Trigonometry II 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
Fourth SemesterCredits
ACRCommercial Refrigeration Elective 8 
CMECommercial Mechanical Elective 8 
ACR119HVAC Automated Design 1 
CSC124Information, Technology, and Society 3 
PHS103Physics Survey 3 
ENL201Technical and Professional Communication 3 
Fifth SemesterCredits
BHV311Fundamentals of Engineered Systems Design 3 
BHV316Heating and Cooling System Configurations 3 
HUMHumanities Elective 3 
SSESocial Science Elective 3 
ARTArt Elective 3 
FORForeign Language Elective 3 
AAEApplied Arts Elective 3 
IFEInternational Field Experience Elective 3 
SCLScience Elective with lab 4 
SPC201Interpersonal Communication 3 
Sixth SemesterCredits
BHV320Advanced Cooling System Design 3 
BHV325Advanced Heating Design 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
HUMHumanities Elective 3 
MGT115Principles of Management 3 
PHL210Ethics 3 
Seventh SemesterCredits
BHV365Advanced HVAC/R Control Systems 3 
BHV400Commercial Refrigeration Systems Design 3 
ARTArt Elective 3 
OEAOpen Elective / Associate 3 
OEAOpen Elective / Associate 3 
SSESocial Science Elective 3 
Eighth SemesterCredits
BHV431Environmental Impacts of the HVAC Industry 3 Writing Enriched Requirement &
Science, Technology and Society Requirement
BHV432Mechanical System Design 3 
BHV495Senior Project 3 
BPTCultural Diversity Elective: Humanities/Social Science/Art/Foreign Language/Applied Arts/Int'l Field Exp 3 
MGT249Small Business Management 3 
MGT330Managerial Decision Making 3 

Additional Information

Endorsed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). Approved National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) Bronze Certification training site.


Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).

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Williamsport, PA 17701


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