If you are looking for a unique way to combine your artistic talent and technical mind into a lucrative career, researching online architecture degrees may be able to help you reach your future goals.
Through innovative online programs, students are now able to work towards their undergraduate or graduate degree in architecture from the comfort of their own homes.
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Whether you are interested in designing landscapes or vast commercial layouts, there are a number of exciting ways to turn your architectural skills into a fast-paced, professional career.
Online Architecture Degrees
With advancements in technology, many top accredited architectural universities are now offering different types of online architecture degrees, such as bachelor’s and master’s degrees online.
This allows working you to log on to your classes on a schedule that fits into your busy lives. These innovative online degrees also offer the opportunity to accelerate a degree program and get on the fast track to graduation.
Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:
Exploring your options may help you determine which academic path is right for you.
Online Bachelors in Architecture Degrees
Online bachelor’s degrees in architecture are the first level of education required for students to begin working in a professional environment. To successfully complete your bachelor’s degree in architecture, you will be required to take a minimum of 150 credit hours in core courses and architecture-specific classes.
A few of the specialized courses that you may take throughout your online degree program include:
- Site design and mapping
- 3D digital modeling
- Housing and comprehensive design
- Building information modeling
- Sustainable strategies
- Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems
After completion of your online bachelor’s degree in architecture, you will be ready to prepare for professional licensure.
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Once you have met the education and training requirements for your state, you will be ready to take the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). Passing this comprehensive exam is required by all U.S. jurisdictions before you can call yourself an architect and provide architectural services.
Online Masters in Architecture Programs
Earning a master’s degree in architecture from an accredited program allows you to apply for the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) certification as a registered architect and pursue high-level professional employment. There are a select number of graduate online master’s degrees in architecture available online, and it is imperative that you enroll in a program that is professionally accredited.
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The majority of your coursework throughout your master’s degree program can be completed online. However, most schools do require some campus-based instruction or limited residencies in order to meet the requirements for graduation of with a masters in architecture online.
The classes that you will take throughout your online Master of Architecture program will focus on advanced-level development in the following areas:
- Architecture comprehension
- Communication and technology skills
- Critical thinking and analysis
- Management and leadership
- Specialized knowledge in a variety of architectural concentrations
As with any of the types of architecture degrees, it is essential that you look into your specific state regulations before enrolling in a graduate degree program to ensure your school meets the requirements for professional licensure.
Types of Architects
Architecture is a diverse field that offers many career paths, so you can develop expertise in the area that most interests you. Here are a few popular types of architects:
- Building Architects: These experts help maintain, protect, and increase the value of buildings like apartment complexes and condos. Typical responsibilities of building architects include creating capital improvement plans, maintaining infrastructure, and reviewing proposed changes to individual units.
- Conservation Architects: These architects preserve and restore buildings with historical value. They focus on designing renovations that honor the building’s original architecture and purpose and have a deep understanding of regulations governing historical structures.
- Interior Architects: These specialists maximize the potential of interior spaces, such as apartments, hotels, houses, restaurants, and retail buildings. They can adapt areas for new uses, select design elements like furniture and lighting, and ensure that interior renovations comply with building regulations.
- Landscape Architects: These professionals design functional and stylish public spaces, including college campuses, gardens, golf courses, playgrounds, and parks. When creating architectural designs, landscape architects often consider environmental factors like natural features, water runoff, and weather.
- Naval Architects: These specialists design and build ocean structures that withstand extreme weather, high pressure, and saltwater corrosion. For example, naval architects may produce oil rigs, ships, and shipyards for the navy or private corporations.
You can prepare for a specialized architect position by enrolling in an online program that offers a relevant concentration or extracurricular opportunities like internships.
Careers & Salaries in Architecture
If you are interested in architecture, there are several careers in architecture after graduation due to the many specializations within the field. It’s helpful to have some information regarding architecture career outlook and salary information when entering the workforce.
Below, we have put together a short list of possible job opportunities you may be interested in pursuing after graduation along with the median annual salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Urban and Regional Planners||$78,500|
|Construction and Building Inspectors||$61,640|
|Drafters, All Others||$54,240|
Overall, architecture is a well-paying field that offers substantial opportunities for growth. As you can see from the information above, those with an architecture degree can utilize their unique skill set in a variety of different ways.
Are architects in demand? The answer is yes. In the next 10 years, the BLS projects that general architects will experience a 3% employment growth. When it comes to average salaries, it is reported that architects and landscape architects can expect to make approximately $80,180 and $67,950 respectively each year.
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Depending on the employer, you may need additional education or work experience to qualify for some of these jobs. View our list of the top 40 Architecture careers to compare jobs and salaries in this field.
Architecture Curriculum & Courses
All architecture schools online offer unique curricula based on degree requirements, faculty areas of expertise, and other factors. Here are some typical courses that you may have the opportunity to take:
- Anatomy of Buildings: You’ll learn how to integrate design and technology by studying building codes, digital fabrication, heavy construction materials, sustainability, and other topics.
- Architectural Studio 1: In this experiential learning course, you’ll learn about graphic and visual theories of architectural design and construction.
- Concepts and Theories of Architectural Design: This class introduces you to foundational architectural theories and examines the evolving roles of architects and designers over time.
- Design of Cities: You’ll learn about the evolution of urban landscapes throughout history and explore how economic, political, and social factors impact urban design.
- Environment, Architecture, and Global Health: This course explores how the built environment impacts the health and well-being of individuals, institutions, social groups, and organizations.
- Environments and Landscapes: You’ll study approaches to environmental design and common issues in landscape architecture, such as post-industrial wastelands and watersheds.
- Introduction to Architecture: This foundational course covers key architecture terms, design concepts, and historical movements.
- Introduction to Structures: This course examines the basic principles of building structures, such as the laws of statics and mechanics of materials.
- Modern and Contemporary Global Architecture: You’ll learn about global architectural trends and the history of world architecture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
- Professional Practices: You’ll explore business practices, laws, and norms in architectural practice and learn about alternative business models.
Many online programs also require you to take prerequisite courses in English, math, physics, and other relevant subjects.
Choosing an Architecture Program Online
Finding the best online schools for architecture can be challenging, but there are a few criteria that you can use to narrow down your options.
- Cost: An online degree can be an expensive investment, so it can be beneficial to research the program’s cost and potential scholarship opportunities before applying.
- Graduation and Placement Rates: A program with excellent graduation and placement rates may offer better support for students than other schools.
- Practical Experience: Many online programs offer experiential learning opportunities that enable you to develop professional networks and skills outside of the classroom. For example, you may have the chance to participate in an interior design or landscaping internship.
- Program Length: A bachelor’s degree in architecture generally takes four to five years to complete, but each school has its own degree requirements.
- Reputation: Employers often prefer to hire graduates from well-known architecture programs with a reputation for providing an excellent education. You can learn about a school’s reputation by checking its national ranking and researching the career paths of alumni.
- Specialties: Many architectural programs allow you to develop knowledge and skills in particular areas of expertise, such as interior architecture or sustainable design. Choosing a program that aligns closely with your professional interests can prepare you for your preferred career path.
- Student to Faculty Ratio: Ask your prospective colleges about their student to faculty ratio. For some students, it’s helpful to have smaller classes as they will receive more one on one instruction from their professors.
- Academic Advising and Student Services: Check to see what each college offers in terms of academic advising and other student services like career planning. It can be helpful to use these resources to get the most out of your college experience and get started in the right direction.
These factors can help you compare online programs and find the most suitable school.
How to Become an Architect
There is no one set path to becoming an architect, but professionals in this field typically complete these steps:
- Acquire a bachelors in architecture degree (B. Arch) or a masters in architecture degree (M.Arch) from an accredited program
- Complete an internship at an architecture firm to gain hands-on experience
- Obtain an entry-level job at an architecture company to develop more experience under the supervision of full architects
- Take and pass the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE), which grants you licensure to practice architecture in your region
- Start working as a full architect for an architecture firm, construction company, or another relevant organization
- Complete continuing education courses to maintain licensure
Some architects open their own architecture companies, while others prefer to work for an organization throughout their careers.
Online Architecture Schools Admissions Requirements
Every architect degree program has unique requirements for applications. Here are some common application materials required by many accredited colleges:
- Digital Portfolio: Some schools require you to submit a digital student portfolio showcasing skills related to architectural studies, such as drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, and video.
- Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation from your educators or employers can attest to your readiness for the program.
- SAT or ACT Scores: Only some schools require these standardized tests.
It’s beneficial to research each school’s admission requirements and deadlines before applying.
Architecture Programs Online Accreditation
Selecting an accredited online architecture program ensures that you’ll receive a quality education. Accredited institutions have met rigorous requirements set by an external accrediting agency.
The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the only organization that offers regional accreditation for professional architecture programs. Attending an accredited institution has many advantages. For instance, the federal government limits financial aid to students enrolled in accredited programs, and many schools only accept transfer credits from accredited universities.
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You can visit the U.S. Department of Education website to verify your prospective architecture online schools’ accreditation status.
Architecture Licensure and Certifications
Architecture licenses and certifications vary by state, but here are a few credentials you can earn:
- Certificate in Product Design: Offered by the New School of Architecture and Design, this 15-credit certificate covers human-centered product design approaches and tools and uses project-based learning methods.
- National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Certificate: Earning this national certificate allows you to apply for reciprocal licensure in every U.S. jurisdiction.
- Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate: You must pass a 180-question exam to earn this prestigious certificate.
A certificate or license can help you expand your architectural knowledge and may make your resume more competitive.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Degrees from architecture online programs may open the door to new career paths, but an online program can be an expensive investment. You can explore financial aid opportunities that may help you decrease your costs.
You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine if you qualify for grants, student loans, or work-study programs funded by the federal government. Many colleges and universities also offer financial assistance for eligible students.
Additionally, you can apply for scholarships from community organizations, professional groups, and other institutions. Finally, your current employer may offer an employee education or tuition assistance program.
Is an Online Degree in Architecture Right for Me?
Whether you need flexible scheduling to continue working a full-time job or you enjoy the independent learning atmosphere of online schooling, there are several advantages to earning your architecture degree online.
A few of the benefits of enrolling in an online architecture program include:
- Flexible class scheduling and residency options
- Ability to complete licensure training requirements while earning your degree
- Access to advanced technological tools to further your skills
- Engaging online platforms that allow you to connect with architectural experts across the country
- Potential for lower tuition costs
It is important to note that due to the nature of an architecture degree program, you will likely be required to attend in-person training throughout the course of your degree. Make sure that you check into the specific requirements of your school to ensure that you will be able to meet these obligations to obtain professional licensure in the future.
Is Architecture a Good Career?
Yes, architecture is a good career for many professionals. According to the BLS, architects earn a median salary of $80,180, and the top 10% earn over $129,980 annually. With an architecture degree, you can choose to become an architect, drafter, construction manager, or even a urban planner.
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Many architects also enjoy the creative freedom offered by this field. You can continually hone your design skills as you create aesthetically appealing and practical structures, and every project will have unique challenges and opportunities. Finally, you can enjoy seeing your designs come to life.
What Can You Do With a Degree in Architecture?
An architecture bachelor degree can prepare you for many rewarding careers, including:
- Architectural manager
- Building inspector
- Construction manager
- Historic buildings inspector
- Industrial designer
- Landscape architect
- Restoration architect
- Urban and regional planner
People with architecture degrees may obtain positions in various industries and organizations. Many architects work for private architecture firms, where they may have opportunities to advance to positions like architect director and executive architect.
Other architect degree holders work for construction companies, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations. You can also start your own architecture firm.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor Degree in Architecture Online?
The length of time that it takes you to earn an online bachelor degree in architecture will depend on several factors, including degree requirements and enrollment status. Typically, most bachelors of architecture programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board take five years to complete if you enroll full-time and follow a traditional 16-week semester.
You can also enroll in a four-year bachelors program without NAAB accreditation, but you won’t be able to obtain an architecture license. Completing a senior thesis, enrolling part-time, or participating in internships can extend the program’s length.
What Skills Do You Need to Be an Architect?
As an architecture major, you can develop many valuable skills that may help you succeed. Here are a few essential abilities that can benefit any architect:
- Attention to detail
- Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD)
- Critical thinking
- Design skills
- Mathematics skills
- Project management
Honing these skills can boost your resume and prepare you for a range of satisfying architecture careers. You can gain these capabilities through coursework, hands-on learning opportunities, internships, research projects, and other experiences.
How Much Do Architects Make?
According to the BLS, architects earn a median annual wage of $80,180. The BLS reports that architects employed by the government make an average of $99,330 yearly, while individuals who work in architectural, engineering, and related services earn $79,980.
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Other related occupations can also offer high salaries. For example, the BLS states that architectural and engineering managers earn a median salary of $152,350, and construction managers earn $98,890. Your career opportunities and potential salary can vary depending on your employer, experience, location, and other factors.
Is an Online Architecture Degree Worth it?
Yes, an online architecture degree is worth it for many students. A career in architecture can provide financial security and personal fulfillment.
The BLS anticipates that demand for architects will increase by 3% in the next decade resulting in at least 9,100 openings for architects each year. An architecture program allows you to nourish your creative side. You can develop many artistic skills, including design thinking, drawing, and graphic design. You’ll also learn how to create structures that enhance the lives of individuals and communities.
Universities Offering Online Architecture Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
The Academy of Art University has offered online programs for over 20 years. Students can earn a Bachelor’s or Master’s in Architecture online. Courses are fully online. Some are asynchronous, while others require virtual class meetings. Students are required to complete a culminating project to graduate. Many classes are taught by practicing architects.
Academy of Art University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Arizona State University offers an online program for a Master’s in Architecture. The program requires 12 classes for a total of 48 credits. Each class is 7.5 weeks long. Courses are entirely online. Students who already hold an architecture degree can potentially finish in just 2 years, while those with another bachelor’s degree typically require at least 3 years.
ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Students at Boston Architectural College can earn a BS in Architecture online if they have already completed 2 years in a qualifying related program. The program can typically be completed in 6 semesters. Students may also be able to earn a Master of Architecture in just 2 years. The program is offered fully online or can be blended with on-campus classes.
Boston Architectural College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
California State Polytechnic University—Pomona offers an online program for a Master’s in Interior Architecture that is designed for students who already have bachelor’s degrees. The program requires the completion of 42 credits and can potentially be completed in 1 year when taking classes full-time. Courses are offered four times per year in fall, winter, spring, and summer in 10 week sessions.
CPP is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Chatham University offers an MS in Interior Architecture program exclusively to students in its Bachelor’s in Interior Architecture program. It’s part of an integrated program. Students may complete courses on-campus, online, or in a hybrid of the two. Students must complete 30 credits and a thesis to graduate. Potential courses include Issues in Interior Design.
Chatham University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Students with an associate in design or a related degree can apply to earn a Bachelor of Architecture from Dunwoody College of Technology.
The program is fully online and can typically be completed in 3 years. Potential courses include Global History of Architecture. Students who don’t have an associate degree may apply to earn one online through Dunwoody. Each student at Dunwoody receives a touch-screen laptop with relevant software.
Dunwoody College of Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Lawrence Technological University offers an online program for a Master of Architecture. It is fully online with synchronous and asynchronous courses and can potentially be finished in just 15 months. LTU offers three different tracks based on the type of bachelor’s degree students have. Students who already have a bachelor’s in architecture need fewer classes for completion.
LTU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Newsweek ranked Ohio University the top college in the state for online learning. Students can earn a BFA in Interior Architecture online. The program is offered entirely online. Courses are asynchronous to allow for flexibility in students’ schedules. Classes start in the fall, spring, and summer. Potential courses include Building Systems of Interior Environments.
Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Students at Rochester Institute of Technology can earn a Master of Architecture degree through the school’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. The program is offered entirely online. The school offers two tracks, one for students with a bachelor’s in an architectural field and one for students with a bachelor’s in another field.
Rochester Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Southern Illinois University offers an online program for a Master of Architecture. The program is mostly online but does require two weekend studio experiences. Students complete the program with a cohort and can potentially finish in just 15 months. Courses start three times a year and follow a traditional semester schedule.
SIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Bachelor of Architecture Degree Online
Earning an online bachelors in architecture degree can prepare you for a range of satisfying positions. You’ll gain a deep understanding of architectural design principles, the history of architecture, and emerging trends in the field.
Many online programs also allow you to specialize in areas like industrial design, landscape architecture, or naval architecture. These concentrations enable you to pursue a rewarding career related to your passions.
Are you ready to take the next step toward becoming an architect? You can start researching accredited architecture colleges today to find the program and specialization that best suits your interests and goals.