Online Architect Courses: Course Curriculum for an Online Architect Degree Program

Published Sep 01, 2009

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Those considering enrolling in an online degree program in architecture will unfortunately have few options from which to choose. Such programs are nearly, if not entirely, unavailable at the associate's degree level and only a small number of colleges offer distance learning bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture. Nevertheless, some programs are available, and this article explains what students might expect to see from such a program.

Majoring in Architecture

Before even discussing programs that are available specifically online, a brief outline of the educational path to becoming an architect might need to be discussed. The main educational requirement a student needs to look for is a program that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). According to NAAB, the vast majority of states require architects to attend a professional degree program accredited by the agency as one of the steps toward licensure ( Professional programs accredited by the agency are usually master's degrees, though many students begin with a pre-professional bachelor's degree program accredited by another agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Both types of programs can be found online from a select number of schools.

Course Curriculum for Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Architecture

Online baccalaureate degrees in architecture are awarded as Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degrees. These pre-professional degree programs include coursework on architectural theory, design and construction. All architecture programs have a studio component, so students will most likely need fairly advanced drafting software installed on their own computers. Courses use e-mail or online conferencing applications. One should check the requirements of each program thoroughly before enrolling, since some programs require an in-person commitment, such as a practicum or an internship, in the area near the school.

Course Curriculum for Online Master's Degree Programs in Architecture

A NAAB-accredited professional degree program in architecture are primarily meant for those who have already completed an architecture degree program and worked an internship or a paid position with a professional architect. These programs yield Master of Architecture (M. Arch) degrees and take around two years to complete. Some programs offer concentration areas, such as interior architecture, sustainable architecture and urban design. Curricula consist of 30-36 credit hours and include studio work and elective courses. As a with bachelor's degree programs, professional-level online master's degree programs may require some attendance on campus or participation in a field trip.

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