University courses in the areas of building performance and building failures can take a variety of successful formats. This paper describes a course in building failures and forensic techniques offered primarily to architectural and civil engineers at Penn State University. The course incorporates a broad architectural / engineering definition of failures concentrating on topics ranging from water penetration resulting from roofing defects and poorly installed building envelope flashing, to a review of both major and lesser known historic structural collapses. A discussion of the use of industry partnerships and various forms of student centered learning techniques used to enhance the educational experience is included. The paper also describes the incorporation of case history class examples as they relate to teaching failures topics in an educational setting. Copyright ASCE 2006.