Online Architecture Degrees 2021

October 7, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Architecture Degrees 2021

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While earning an architecture degree, students explore the design process that lies at the heart of the profession. Coursework typically covers architectural theory, building design, drafting, and construction methods. Most architecture programs also examine the latest technology, tools, and techniques in the field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that architects earn a median salary of $80,750 per year, which is higher than the median salary of $39,810 for all occupations. Although the BLS projects employment for architects to grow only 1% from 2019-2029, architecture degree-holders can also qualify for positions with higher projected growth, such as urban planner and construction manager.

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Concerns People Have About Architecture Programs

Q. Do architects make good money?

According to the BLS, architects earn a median annual salary of $80,750, which is much higher than the median annual salary of $39,810 for all occupations.

Q. What can I do with a degree in architecture?

In addition to architect roles, an online architecture degree can qualify graduates for positions as urban designers, commercial and residential surveyors, conservation specialists, and construction managers.

Q. How long does it take to become an architect?

Architecture programs with accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) typically take five years to complete. Students can often finish a program without NAAB accreditation in four years. However, graduates of unaccredited programs cannot qualify for licensure.

Q. What is the difference between an architect and a landscape architect?

Architects design structures such as houses, commercial buildings, and specialized edifices such as airports. Landscape architects design the outdoor areas surrounding buildings, such as parks and public gardens.

Why Get a Degree in Architecture?

Many students earn their architecture degree online, often through degree-completion programs. Most online architecture programs feature hybrid classes that include virtual classroom instruction and in-person practice hours. Architecture degree-seekers often complete an internship, during which they apply architectural principles to real-world projects.

Both online and on-campus architecture students can qualify for scholarships and fellowships. Learners in any field of study can pursue financial aid opportunities to reduce out-of-pocket costs.

How Much Does an Architecture Degree Cost?

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, attending a public four-year school and living on campus cost an average $24,900 for the 2018-2019 academic year. Private nonprofit institutions cost an average $51,900 for students who lived on campus.

NAAB-accredited architecture programs typically require five years to complete, compared to four years for most undergraduate programs. However, learners can reduce the cost of their education by pursuing an online architecture degree. Distance learners usually save money on housing and transportation. Also, many schools charge all online students in-state tuition rates, regardless of residency, which can save out-of-state learners thousands of dollars.


Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Students can use the calculation tool below to compare the cost of attending various colleges and universities. Most school websites feature information about tuition and fees. However, learners may need to contact their prospective institution for details about scholarship opportunities, the cost of books, and current fees for studio courses.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Architecture Majors Make?

According to BLS data, the greatest number of architects work in architectural and engineering services. However, architects in the scientific and technical services industry earn the highest average salary, $121,520 per year. Architects in the land subdivision industry earn the next-highest average salaries.

The states with the highest employment levels for architects include California, New York, and Texas. However, architecture professionals in the District of Columbia, New York, and Minnesota earn the highest average annual salaries: $109,540, $101,650, and $100,650, respectively.

Professionals can often increase their career prospects and salary potential by earning industry certifications or a graduate degree in architecture.

Courses in Architecture

Architecture curricula typically include coursework across science, technology, math, design, and art degrees. Combining artistry with technology, the architecture field features career opportunities in areas including industrial design, historical preservation, and city planning.

Some architecture programs offer specializations in areas such as residential planning, sustainable design, and commercial construction. Program requirements often include internships, hands-on training, and design-lab exercises. During experiential learning components, students hone the technical and design skills necessary to succeed in various work settings.

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Students in this course explore elements of architecture including form and order, scale composition, and proportion. Degree-seekers study the history of contemporary architecture to inform their practice and design preferences. Learners examine the design process, and they apply architectural concepts and principles to projects.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Structural Design"]

This course covers topics such as parametric modelling, long-span structures, static and dynamic mechanical designs, and construction and load-bearing systems. Students learn to use various digital tools, such as AutoCAD and Dynamo. Degree-seekers explore various aspects of traditional and modern design approaches. Course requirements typically include several design exercises.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Construction Technology"]

Learners in this class explore topics including foundations and support structures, various materials' strength, and remodeling and finishing. Coursework introduces students to emerging technologies in the field, such as autonomous heavy equipment, augmented and virtual reality, and building information modeling software. Degree-seekers typically complete supervised training in the use of modern construction technologies.

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Certifications and Licensure for Architecture

According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, architects in all 50 states must hold licensure to practice. While specific licensure requirements vary by state, candidates typically need a degree in architecture, supervised experience in the field, and a passing score on the Architect Registration Exam. Licensed professionals can obtain voluntary certifications to demonstrate expertise in specialized areas.

The U.S. Green Building Council administers this credential in partnership with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Candidates must pass a two-hour exam that tests their knowledge of green building principles and practice. To maintain the credential, professionals must complete at least 15 continuing education units within two years of initial certification. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards administers this nationally recognized certification. Applicants must hold a degree from an NAAB-accredited program, complete the council's Architectural Experience Program, and pass the Architect Registration Exam. The organization offers an alternative certification pathway for licensed architects without a degree from an NAAB-accredited program. The Project Management Institute offers this credential for individuals who have a bachelor's degree, 36 months of project lead experience, and at least 35 credits of project management education. Candidates with an associate degree, 60 months of project lead experience, and 35 credits of project management education can also apply.

Scholarships for Architecture

Architecture students can contact their school's financial aid office for information about available scholarships. Learners can also apply for awards from private nonprofits and professional organizations. The list below features two scholarship options for students pursuing a degree in architecture or a related field.

John J. Nelson Sr. Legacy Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Undergraduate African American students enrolled in a U.S. NAAB-accredited architecture program may apply for this scholarship. Candidates submit a 3-5 minute video that highlights how design has impacted their life.

Amount: Up to $10,000

Roula Alakiotou Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This award from the Chicago Women in Architecture supports female architecture students in Illinois. Candidates must be in the final year of their bachelor's or master's studies and need a minimum 3.5 GPA. Applicants submit a portfolio, two reference letters, and a recommendation letter from the dean of their architecture department.

Amount: $5,000

Online Bachelor's in Architecture Programs 2021


Emma Yenko

With an undergraduate degree in communications and a master's in education, Emma finds writing for the education vertical to be the perfect niche.

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