What Will You Learn in an Online Bachelor's Architecture Program?
Students earning an architecture bachelor's degree online prepare to design, draft, and build structures in a variety of landscapes and environments. Learners gain practical knowledge and experience in spatial design, environmental impact, and construction.
Specific course offerings and titles vary by program. However, the courses below are common to many architecture bachelor's programs. Coursework helps students develop necessary skills and gain familiarity with architecture technology.
Common Classes and Coursework
This course explores the balance between economic demand and environmental concerns. Students engage with emerging architecture technology and learn about sustainable and affordable building practices, innovative designs, and green building materials. This course prepares aspiring architects to design economically viable structures while minimizing environmental impact.
Students learn the fundamentals of architecture and design through hands-on experiences and studio time. This course emphasizes design projects that help students learn to conceptualize and communicate spatially. Learners develop essential skills they can apply to advanced design courses.
This course covers the process of designing, drafting, and building structures. Students create schematics of buildings, gather materials, and build physical structures to match their designs. This course incorporates the practical application of skills necessary for architecture jobs.
Students develop competencies in the technical aspects of architecture, including the integration of building, structure, and envelope design. This class synthesizes design and building knowledge from previous courses. Learners use industry-standard architecture technology during projects.
Many architecture programs require a capstone project during which students apply learned skills. Learners choose a building project and research potential environmental, physical, and programmatic obstacles. They then design a structure that fits the space, addresses building concerns, and minimizes environmental impact.
Skills You Will Gain
Architecture jobs require a specific skill set. Programs in the field help learners develop skills in design, analytical thinking, communication, and decision-making.
The study of architecture requires creativity, and many classes involve sketching structures and landscapes, drafting buildings, and thinking spatially. Professionals apply design skills to work in the urban, landscape, and navel industries.
Architecture students must understand the complex relationship between the design, the customer's needs, and the limitations of the environment. Analytical skills help professionals find creative solutions to diverse problems, while avoiding setbacks.
Turning an architect's vision into reality is a team effort. Architects interface with clients, other architects, city officials, engineers, and construction crews. Strong communication skills help professionals solve problems, advocate for their vision, and keep all parties on schedule.
Design, drafting, and construction require decisive and clear decision-making. Architects choose which elements to include in their designs, and they determine what to change when problems arise.
Average Degree Length
Most students earn their bachelor's degree in architecture in four to five years. Programs typically require about 120 credits.
Students can pursue an architecture bachelor's degree online or on campus. Online programs generally offer more scheduling flexibility, and many provide lower tuition rates than on-campus options.
Several factors can impact a learner's degree completion time, including enrollment status.
Part-time students take a reduced course load, increasing degree completion time. Part-time learning is ideal for busy students with personal or professional responsibilities.
Full-time students typically earn their bachelor's degree in four years. However, full-time learning may not be conducive to the schedule of a working professional.
Students who pursue accelerated options typically graduate faster. However, accelerated programs require a significant commitment of time and energy and are not ideal for busy students.
Career Opportunities With a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture
The BLS projects an 8% growth in job opportunities for architects from 2018 to 2028, a rate faster than the national average for all occupations.
For professionals in architecture, salary depends on factors including job title, location, and degree level. While no degree guarantees a particular salary, earning an architecture bachelor's degree online generally improves earning potential and job prospects.
Potential Careers and Salaries
Professionals with a bachelor's in architecture often work in residential and nonresidential architectural design, insurance, landscape architecture, construction, and land subdivision. Most architects work in office settings, though certain projects may require them to work on construction sites.
Architects across most industries work directly with clients. Architects collaborate with engineers, construction workers, and city officials to guide projects from the initial design phase to completion. Some careers require licensure or additional education. Students should research potential careers to determine the necessary qualifications.
- Architectural Designer
Architectural designers work independently or as part of a firm to create architectural features such as buildings and parks. This profession requires a bachelor's degree and completion of the architect registration exam.
Median Annual Salary: $52,681
Architects design urban landscapes. These professionals coordinate with clients and collaborate with other architects, engineers, city officials, and construction crews to turn their vision into reality.
Median Annual Salary: $79,380
- Architectural and Engineering Manager
These managers can work in architectural and engineering firms, research laboratories, and construction sites. They plan and coordinate the efforts of the architects and engineers working on construction projects.
Median Annual Salary: $140,760
- Landscape Architect
Landscape architects split their time between office settings and job sites. These professionals must hold a state license and must pass the landscape architect registration examination.
Median Annual Salary: $68,230
Surveyors work primarily outdoors, measuring property boundaries for individuals, businesses, and the government. These professionals need a license to certify legal documents denoting property boundaries.
Median Annual Salary: $62,580
5 Architecture Scholarships to Apply For
Students pursuing an architecture bachelor's degree online should consider various options to fund their education. Scholarships are an ideal form of financing, since they do not require repayment. The scholarships below are available to architecture students and are not specific to any school.
- Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports undergraduate minority students enrolled in programs with accreditation from the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB). Recipients can renew this scholarship annually for up to five years.
- Amount: $20,000 total
- Who Can Apply: Applicants must be women pursuing an undergraduate architecture degree from a NAAB-accredited program. Applicants must be in their third and fourth year. The program pairs each winner with a senior mentor.
- Amount: $10,000
- Who Can Apply: Two fourth-year architecture students in NAAB-accredited programs win this scholarship each year. Applicants should have a minimum 3.0 GPA and an interest in architectural practice and risk management.
- Amount: $5,000
- Who Can Apply: The American Institute of Architects awards two scholarships to disadvantaged and minority students. Applicants must qualify for financial aid and be enrolled in a NAAB-accredited program.
- Amount: $3,000 to $4,000
- Who Can Apply: This fellowship supports the international academic travel of undergraduate seniors. Winners also receive mentorship opportunities. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and attend an NAAB-accredited university.
- Amount: $7,500
Educational Advancement in Architecture
Many graduates of architecture bachelor's programs continue their education. Learners can pursue a specialized master's degree, and some earn a doctorate in the field.
The following sections detail academic paths available to bachelor's degree-holders. Students should research architecture job requirements and consult with an academic advisor to determine the best route to reach their goals.
Should You Transfer to a Four-Year Degree Program?
Students can kickstart their education by pursuing a four-year degree program. Learners should begin planning early to ensure that they meet all the necessary requirements.
Academic advisors understand transfer policies and can help students navigate the transfer process. Students should research each school's credit policies.
What Degree Paths Should You Consider?
Some architecture jobs require education beyond the bachelor's level. Graduates of bachelor's programs can pursue a master's degree in architecture or a related field. Many earn a Ph.D. in architecture. A graduate degree can lead to more advanced positions, increased responsibilities, and higher earning potential.
- Master of Architecture
A master of architecture builds on skills and competencies that students gain while earning an architecture bachelor's degree online. Master's students prepare to obtain architecture licensure and pass certification exams.
- Master of Landscape Architecture
This degree typically requires 2-3 years of study. Coursework covers landscape theory, design, and development. Many programs include classes in sustainable development, ecological impact, and architecture technology.
- Doctorate in Architecture
After earning a Ph.D. in architecture, most graduates become professors at higher education institutions. Doctoral programs focus on theory, teaching strategies, and architecture technology and methodology.
Professional Organizations and Resources
Professional organizations provide opportunities for career growth, continuing education, and networking. The following organizations accept student and professional members, and many offer career resources and information about emerging architecture technology.
- ADDA supports design drafting professionals by offering continuing education, certification, and an employment center. The organization provides membership to students and professionals across industries.
- Founded in 1857, AIA advocates for architects and architecture. This organization sets high ethical standards for members and offers continuing education, career resources, and funding opportunities.
- This membership organization promotes leadership among architecture students. The AIAS facilitates educational excellence and collaboration among students. Members have access to career advancement services.
- ASLA supports architects who analyze, design, or plan landscapes. Members can attend conferences on advocacy and diversity. The organization offers sustainable practice resources, licensure information, and continuing education opportunities.
- This international network of organizations connects members from around the world. Along with architecture professionals, AAO collaborates with universities and colleges, historic architectural trusts, advocacy and planning groups, and museums.
- The UIA is a nongovernmental federation of national architecture groups. The union sponsors design competitions, commissions, forums, and collaborative efforts. The UIA also offers work programs and online resources.
- The NAAB provides accreditation for architecture programs. The organization offers online student resources including training modules, a database of accredited programs, and career guides.
- This nonprofit organization offers continuing education resources, career advancement tools, white papers, and architecture technology news. NCARB also helps students and professionals study for the architect registration exam.
- NOMA supports architects who are part of underrepresented and minority communities. This organization fights discrimination, fosters communication among minority professionals, champions the work of members, and promotes youth education in architecture.
- SARA is a national organization focused on peer networking at the local and national levels. This organization provides mentorship programs for students and young professionals. SARA also hosts conferences and confers awards for emerging architects.