Online Architecture Degree Programs

Read about online Master of Architecture programs, which may be offered online or on-campus. You can also explore the typical curriculum, and get info on licensure and certification for architects, along with the employment outlook and salary potential in this field. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Online Architecture Degrees Are Available?

The most common distance learning architecture degree program is the Master of Architecture. While many such programs can be completed entirely online, some online Master of Architecture programs are hybrids - meaning they also require some on-campus instruction. Master of Architecture online degree programs can usually be completed in two years, and they should be accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board.

Program FormatOnline, hybrid or on-campus
Online ComponentsClassroom software, discussion forums
Admissions RequirementsBachelor's degree in architecture or a related field
Common CoursesConstruction methods, building site and design, architectural history, architectural graphics
Licensure and CertificationLicensure required by all states; Voluntary certification available by passing the exam offered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
Median Salary (2018)$79,380 (for architects, except landscape and naval)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)4% growth (for all architects, except landscape and naval)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do Online Programs Work?

To participate in online classes, you'll use a virtual classroom software program that can usually be downloaded from the Web at no charge. You'll interact with your professor and fellow classmates using e-mail and online discussion forums. Up-to-date computer equipment with a current Web browser and high-speed Internet connectivity is required for all classes. Some classes may also require you to download other specific software programs.

Are There Any Enrollment Prerequisites?

Prior to enrolling in an online architecture master's degree program, you must have a bachelor's degree. Not all programs require that your bachelor's degree be in architecture or a related field, but some do. If you have an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field, you may wish to contact your school of choice to see if they require you to take any courses - higher math classes, for example - prior to beginning the master's degree program. Some schools also request a portfolio of studio work and statement of purpose along with two or three letters of recommendation.

What Courses Will I Take?

When embarking upon a Master of Architecture degree program, you can expect to hone your drawing, drafting and design skills. Some topics of study you'll encounter are:

  • Building and site design
  • Architectural history
  • 2-D media and design
  • Construction methods
  • Spatial compositions
  • Construction materials
  • Architectural graphics

If you've previously earned a bachelor's degree in architecture or a related field, you may have credits that will transfer to this program. You may wish to consult with an advisor from your school of choice for further information.

Do I Need an Architecture License or Certification?

All states currently require you to be licensed to provide architectural services. According to the American Institute of Architects, you must be registered in a specific state or territory. These jurisdictions determine their own registration requirements, so check with your jurisdiction for licensing information.

Once licensed, you may become a certified architect by taking the Architect Registration Examination given by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Prior to earning this certification, you must gain work experience under NCARB's Intern Development Program, as well as complete other requirements. NCARB certification demonstrates that an architect meets the highest professional standards, and it often makes it much easier for one to work in multiple jurisdictions.

What is the Employment Outlook for Architects?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of architects should grow some 4% during the 2016-2026 decade, which is slower than average for all jobs ( The BLS advises demand will be greatest for architects knowledgeable in environmentally friendly building practices. The BLS also reports a median annual wage of $79,380 for architects as of May 2018, and that architects in New York, Massachusetts and District of Columbia were paid the highest salaries last year.

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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