Online Architecture Landscape Design Degree Programs

From the times of ancient culture, architects and designers have planned the buildings and grounds for the long line of civilizations that grew to present day. Ancient Persian, Greek, Roman, and Native American civilizations developed the formal creation of drawings to guide construction of palaces, temples, urban gardens, fortresses, roads, bridges, aqueducts, schools, and churches. Designers have invented columns, arches, walls, and fortifications upon which rose the wonders of the world as well as the religious and secular buildings we admire today.

In 20th century America, architecture entered the Modernism era under designers like I.M. Pei and Frank Lloyd Wright, and post-Modernism by Philip Johnson, R. Buckminster Fuller and Frank Gehry. Today, architecture, landscape, and design professions can be broken out into the following fields of study:

  • Architects: residential, commercial, and industrial
  • Landscape Architect or Designer: residential, commercial, and industrial
  • Urban Planners: local or regional communities and infrastructure
  • Drafters: artists and technicians
  • Surveyors and Cartographers
  • Construction Project Managers

Online Courses and Degree Programs in Architecture and Landscape Design

Formal architecture career training ranges from four and five-year bachelor's degree programs to two-year master's degree programs. Online courses are also available in landscape design, civil engineering, drafting, architectural theory, 2D and 3D design software, construction technology, applied mathematics, construction laws and uniform building codes, and practical laboratory studies. Typically, graduates of online architecture and landscape design programs develop an extensive portfolio of layouts and drawings for use in seeking their first jobs.

Online degree programs leading to degrees in landscape architecture typically lead to a four-year bachelor's degree, although there are master's degree programs in the field for those who already hold a bachelor's degree. Online courses in the major can include studies in history of landscape design, plant and soil science, urban planning, geology, and computer-assisted design programs.

All states require certification and licensing of architects. Most prepare for the exam while working in internships under the supervision of a licensed architect. All but one state require formal licensing for landscape architects, including successful passage of the Landscape Architect Registration Examination.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for architects in 2008 was $70,320, with top-tier earnings at $119,220. The median 2008 annual wage for landscape architects was $58,960, with top earnings at $97,370.

Urban Planning Design Careers

Most urban planners work for state, regional, and city governmental organizations. Under supervision of government administrators, they evaluate land-use and construction proposals to ensure that new buildings and landscape designs meet state and local zoning and building requirements governing land use, pollution control, water or air quality, and population density.

Urban and Regional Planners$73,06034,81012.8%
Architectural and Civil Drafters$54,29096,8108.1%
Drafters, All Other$54,41015,5307.9%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$84,3002,499,0507.4%
Source: 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Online colleges and universities offer undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in urban planning, with many schools adjusting curriculum to meet new "green" environmental planning and construction trends. The median 2008 annual wage for urban planners was $59,810, with top-tier earnings of $91,520.

America is changing to fit herself to "green" realities. Will you lead the way?


To be included in these rankings, all schools must meet the following initial criteria for the specific subject being ranked.

  1. Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor’s) in that subject.
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in the most recent year of IPEDS data available.

Based on those criteria, we ranked all 2-year and 4-year schools in IPEDS that reported data for all of the following points. Ratings are calculated on a 10-point scale, using the weights specified.

  1. In-state undergraduate tuition & fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  3. Accessibility, based on admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  4. Institutional spending, based on two equally weighted factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
    • Instructional and academic support expenses per full-time enrolled student
    • Instructional and academic support spending as a percentage of all expenses
  5. Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  6. Flexibility, based on the following factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
    • Percent of students enrolled fully or partly in distance education
    • Whether the school offers programs that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
    • Whether the school offers academic and career counseling
    • Whether the school offers job placement services for students who complete their programs
    • Whether the school offers any alternative tuition plans, such as a payment plan or guaranteed rate
  7. Size of program, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  8. Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
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