Architecture may never be the most popular field of study, but it is the perfect fit for many creative people. In fact, nearly 10,000 students graduated with a bachelor's degree in architecture during the 2012-2013 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
At the undergraduate level, there are two categories of architectural degrees: pre-professional and professional. Pre-professional degrees are usually either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Art in majors such as architecture, architectural studies, or environmental design. These degrees can lead to a number of jobs, but typically do not make someone eligible to become an architect.
Those who want to be licensed as an architect will need a professional degree, known as a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch). Professional degrees must be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, which currently approves 154 programs nationwide. Of these, 58 result in a bachelor's degree. The others are for graduate degrees in the field.
Since these programs are only available at a select number of schools, students may find studying online is a better option than relocating to a campus that offers one. In addition, online college can give busy adults the opportunity to continue working their normal hours while they finish their education.
Why Get a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture?
The obvious answer to this question is to become an architect. Earning a professional bachelor's degree in architecture is the only way to work in this occupation.
However, even those who don't want to become an architect can benefit from a pre-professional bachelor's in architecture. There are several careers in the field open to those with an associate or bachelor's degree, but those with a four-year degree typically make more money and have greater employment options.
The chart below compares architectural careers requiring an associate degree or less education to those that call for a bachelor's degree:
|Occupation||Entry-Level Education||Median Income (2015)||Expected Job Growth (2014-2024)|
|Surveying and Mapping Technicians||High School Diploma||$42,010||-8%|
|Civil Engineering Technicians||Associate Degree||$49,260||5%|
|Architectural Engineers||Bachelor's Degree||$75,090||4%|
|Naval Architects||Bachelor's Degree||$93,110||9%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Do You Enroll in an Online Bachelor's Degree Program?
The application process for an online program is typically the same as what you'd expect for an on-campus program.
Most schools require an application form and a fee that can range between $25-$100. In addition, applicants need to submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores, if required. Some professional degree programs may review an art portfolio as part of the admissions process, but those without one can usually still apply.
For schools with a defined enrollment period, it is best to apply early, although that may mean it will be several months before you know whether you've been accepted. Institutions with rolling admissions may respond to your application request within 4-6 weeks or less.
Filling Out a Request Form
To learn more about earning a bachelor's degree in architecture online, click the "Search Schools" button on the right. After entering some basic information, you will be matched to a school that can help you get started.
What's the Difference Between Online and Campus-Based Degrees?
The format is the main difference between online and on-campus programs. Many schools strive to ensure the content and curriculum offered to online learners is the same quality as that provided on campus.
While traditional degrees require students to meet in a classroom at specific times each week, online students can often work from anywhere at whatever time is convenient for them. Video lectures and online discussions substitute for campus-based instruction. Design work may be critiqued by guest reviewers or school faculty through live video conferencing, which gives the opportunity for discussion and feedback in real-time.
Since online students work independently, distance learning degrees are best for those who are self-disciplined and highly motivated.
Why Is Online College Good for Bachelor's Degrees in Architecture?
Accessibility is a major reason students choose to enroll in architecture bachelor's degree programs online. Since these degrees are not available at many colleges and universities, people may not live near a school offering the program. Rather than relocate to another city, students might find it more convenient to study online. That way, they don't need to worry about disrupting their career or family life in order to complete their education.
Does Location Matter for an Online Bachelor's Degree in Architecture?
That depends on whether you are pursuing a professional or a pre-professional degree. Pre-professional degrees are often offered fully online, meaning there are no on-campus requirements. However, a professional degree program may require online students to travel to campus occasionally to participate in workshops or seminars. Prospective students should check for these requirements before enrolling.
If you're interested in pursuing an online degree in architecture, the next step is to request information from various schools and find one that is the best fit for you. You can find a list of institutions below that offer bachelor's degrees in architecture or a related major. If you have questions or concerns, the admissions staff at these schools will be happy to assist you.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
- Colleges that Charge Students the Most to Apply, Susannah Snider, U.S. News and World Report, December 1, 2015, http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/the-short-list-college/articles/2015/12/01/colleges-that-charge-students-the-most-to-apply
- Online Architecture Degree Programs, Academy of Art Institute, http://www.academyart.edu/academics/architecture/online-degrees
- Architecture Programs, National Architectural Accrediting Board, http://www.naab.org/architecture_programs/home
- Architecture Programs, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, http://www.acsa-arch.org/resources/student-resources/overview/architecture-programs
- Degrees in Architecture and Related Services Conferred Through Postsecondary Institutions, National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d14/tables/dt14_325.15.asp