Online Architecture Courses and Schools

Options are limited, but you can earn a degree in architecture or take specialized courses online. If you're not already licensed, you'll often need to supplement distance learning programs with additional education or experience to qualify for state licensing exams. Keep reading for more information about how you can participate in online courses and degree programs. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Online programs in architecture are limited in availability, but they do exist. At some levels, they are only available partially online, and at others, they are geared toward professionals already working in the field.

Courses Landscape design, architectural preservation, construction law, project management
Online Fully online individual courses available; hybrid bachelor's and master's degrees available but limited; fully online master's degrees for working professionals rare
Median Salary (2014) $74,520

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Is an Online Architecture Program Right for Me?

To become an architect, you'll usually need to complete a degree program in architecture and pass the Architect Registration Examination to qualify for state licensure. If you're considering an online architecture degree program but aren't yet an architect, you should make sure that you choose a professional program: one that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board and prepares you for the licensing exam. If you consider an internship or hands-on training to be crucial elements of a degree program, distance learning may not be the right fit. Online programs generally don't include actual experience as part of the program.

Though distance learning can be convenient and save you time, you might want to examine your disposition before enrolling; online programs and courses require you to be self-directed and self-motivated. It can be easy to fall behind on your work without the structure of an on-campus class.

What Programs and Courses Are Available Online?

Online continuing education courses in architecture are more common than full degree programs. These are aimed at the working professional in architecture careers, such as landscaping, design and construction. Available online courses can vary from landscape design and architectural preservation to construction law and project management.

Online professional master's degrees are rare and require you to have previous education or experience in architecture. You might be able to use your employment as credit toward the degree or earn a Master of Business Administration simultaneously. Schools could limit coursework or program concentrations for the online option of the Master of Architecture degree, and you might have to participate in some brief on-campus activities.

You can find a limited number of non-professional bachelor's and master's degree programs in architecture at least partially online. However, the few states whose licensure regulations admit those with only non-professional degrees usually require that you compensate for the deficit in professional studies with additional, targeted education and several years of experience. Some schools offering these online degree programs include architect licensure and at least one year of experience in the admissions requirements. Depending on your status as a full-time or part-time student, it's possible to earn your degree in as little as two years. A few examples of available online non-professional programs include:

  • Certificate in Landscape Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Architecture
  • Master of Science in Architecture
  • Master of Design Studies in Sustainable Architecture
  • Master of Science in Human Environmental Sciences

How Do Online Classes and Programs Work?

Some programs are only partially online, so you'll have to occasionally visit the campus for intensive classroom learning. Typically, you can take classes whenever you have time and study at your own pace. However, most schools strive to create a community, despite the distance, so expect to interact with your professors and fellow classmates at least through discussion boards and e-mail. You'll probably have deadlines for homework assignments and exams.

What Technology Will I Need?

You might have technology requirements beyond a computer with Internet access. For example, to support the technology used for online courses, you could need to use specific and updated Internet browsers. Similarly, you should research the minimum operating system requirements and whether the course or program uses specific software you're expected to provide. In a few cases, you might find programs that include video or teleconferencing with instructors or classmates that require a webcam, microphone and speakers.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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