Introduction to an Online Architecture Education

by Beau Johnson
Introduction to an Online Architecture Education

May 31, 2006

Architecture is a rigorous field, involving a multitude of elements such as a keen eye for design, tenacity to overcome challenges through efficient space planning, and a thorough knowledge of architectural codes for safety and legality. While it is appealing to think that a student could master architectural principles with the flexibility of an online program of study, there are unfortunately no complete architectural degree programs currently available online. However, there are some partial programs and associate's degree programs where you could get a great start.

Architectural Programs and Classes Offered

According to the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), there are no complete online courses to produce a degree in Architecture, but there are some partial programs.

Before entering into any program our coursework, a student hoping to attain an approved architecture degree should check for any specific licensing nuances in the state(s) where they intend to practice, as each state has laws governing professional registration.

Why Online Programs Aren't Practical in Architecture

Many architecture classes are studio design classes, where students may build scale models of buildings or practice a variety of other applicable, hands-on arts. Such skills are indispensable and go along with more technical applications, such as computer programs (AutoCAD, SketchUp) and architectural presentation drawings.

"Architecture requires rigorous, intense education and training; a deep base of knowledge and information comes only from a resident-type academic situation," said Liebing.

Also, the architectural field is highly regulated by accrediting agencies, so any programs have to conform to those standards to produce qualified architects.

"The reality is that if the student's goal is to become a fully registered architect, capable and permitted by law to design any type of building, then they must attain a degree from an accredited school," said Liebing.


While aspiring architects don't currently have a fully-developed online option, it is not difficult to imagine one or more becoming available in the next few years through advances in technology. Students should make sure to understand whether any online courses they take will contribute to a degree down the road, and be wary of approval and certification claims in advertisements. Those who are curious, but still uncertain, about an architecture career may find online courses in the field influential.

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