Online Architecture Landscape Design Degree Programs

Article Sources
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2015-16, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
  • School pages, accessed March 8, 2018: Architecture, University of Oregon, http://uocatalog.uoregon.edu/aaa/architecture/#undergraduatestudiestext; Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Texas Tech University, http://www.depts.ttu.edu/elearning/bachelors/architecture/; Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Boston Architectural College, https://the-bac.edu/academics/school-of-architecture/bachelor-of-science-in-architecture; Bachelor of Architecture, Boston Architectural College, https://the-bac.edu/academics/school-of-architecture/bachelor-of-architecture; Architecture, North Dakota State University, https://www.ndsu.edu/ala/architecture/architecturehome.php; Architecture, Kansas State University, http://apdesign.k-state.edu/arch/academics/; Degrees Overview, Department of Architecture, California State Polytechnic University, https://env.cpp.edu/arc/degrees-overview-arc; The School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, Auburn University, http://cadc.auburn.edu/architecture/architecture-degrees-programs; Architecture, University of Idaho, https://www.uidaho.edu/caa/programs/architecture; Landscape Architecture, University of Idaho, https://www.uidaho.edu/caa/programs/landscape-architecture; College of Architecture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, https://architecture.unl.edu/degree-programs/architecture; Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, https://architecture.unl.edu/degree-programs/landscape-architecture/bachelor-landscape-architecture; Undergraduate Program, School of Architecture, Montana State University, http://arch.montana.edu/programs/undergraduate/index.html; Graduate Program, School of Architecture, Montana State University, http://arch.montana.edu/programs/graduate/index.html;
  • Pass the ARE, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, accessed March 8, 2018, https://www.ncarb.org/pass-the-are;
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed March 9, 2018: Architects, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/architects.htm; Surveyors, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/surveyors.htm; Landscape Architects, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Architecture-and-Engineering/Landscape-architects.htm;
  • Professional organization pages, accessed March 9, 2018: Member Benefits Guide, The American Institute of Architects, http://aiad8.prod.acquia-sites.com/sites/default/files/2017-04/AIA-member-benefits-guide-4-17.pdf; Become a Member, Society of American Registered Architects, http://www.sara-national.org/membership.html; Benefits, American Society of Landscape Architects, https://asla.org/benefits.aspx;
  • Scholarships, Association for Women in Architecture Foundation, accessed March 9, 2018, http://awaplusd.org/scholarships/
  • College and Graduate Student Scholarship Opportunities, The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, accessed March 9, 2018, https://www.tfec.org/college-and-graduate-student-scholarship-opportunities/
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The architectural profession sits at the intersection of engineering and the visual arts, giving students and professionals alike a unique set of challenges that bridges multiple disciplines and often requires you to think outside the box. Earning a degree in architecture can give you the tools you need to succeed in the field's competitive career environment.

Undergraduate degrees in architecture typically come in two forms: academic degrees that prepare you for graduate study and professional degrees that aim to give you all the knowledge you need to become a licensed architect without a master's degree. Coursework in both types of program typically includes architectural drawing, structural principles, environmental impacts and more.

Fully or partially online degrees for architecture students can help you manage your course schedule in a way that plays well with your existing responsibilities. If you've been finding it difficult to fit your continued education into your lifestyle, don't overlook online architecture degrees.

Best Colleges for Architecture Degree Programs

We gathered data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on around 200 U.S. architecture schools and analyzed it to find out which ones would take the top spots. Tap the button below if you want to learn more about how we calculated the scores and rankings, and read on for our list of the ten best colleges for architecture programs.

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Methodology
1University of Oregon+
ADMISSION RATE
78%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$65
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
1

Our No. 1 best college for architecture earned its place at the top of the list by turning in strong finishes in numerous categories of our analysis. The University of Oregon had the second-highest graduation rate among schools that made our top ten, and just one other school committed a larger portion of its budget to instructional expenses like course development and classroom technology.

The bachelor's degree program in architecture at the University of Oregon leads to a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree and takes five years to complete. An accelerated option may be available as well, particularly for students who transfer in some courses from a different architecture program accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Additional Info
2Texas Tech University+
ADMISSION RATE
63%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$75
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
57

This Lubbock, Texas, school charged a lower average amount for tuition and fees than all but three other schools on our list, but flexibility was the main reason it landed in the No. 2 spot overall. Not only did Texas Tech University report more than 41 percent online enrollment in 2015 -- meaning partially online architecture degrees may be available -- but campus-based students have access to certain weekend/evening degree programs.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in architecture program at Texas Tech is a pre-professional program for students who have earned up to 66 transfer credits in architecture at another institution. Texas Tech partners with El Paso Community College to assist first-year students in getting the lower division credits they need to enroll.

Additional Info
3Boston Architectural College+
ADMISSION RATE
Open
TEST REQUIREMENTS
N/A
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

Boston Architectural College is the smallest institution on our list by far, awarding just 201 degrees in total in 2015, but it's also got the largest proportion of architecture majors in its student body. Nearly 80 percent of those graduates from this Eastern Seaboard school -- 159 out of 201 -- left the school with degrees in architecture.

Undergraduates have two options at the BAC. The B.S. in architecture degree is a four-year pre-professional program that leads into the school's two-year accelerated Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program. The B.Arch. degree follows a full professional degree plan that prepares students to sit for the various divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) and work toward becoming licensed architects.

Additional Info
4North Dakota State University - Main Campus+
ADMISSION RATE
93%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$35
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
11

The Fargo campus of North Dakota State University ranked No. 5 among best schools for architecture on our list, for the affordability of its average cost of tuition and fees and tied for the second-best student faculty ratio in our top ten. It also had the second-highest rate of distance education enrollment in 2015 and offers select degree plans that can be completed exclusively with weekend and evening classes.

Professional architectural education at NDSU takes the form of a five-year blended undergraduate and graduate path, starting out as a B.S. in architecture program that gradually transitions into an M.Arch. beginning in the senior year of the undergraduate plan. The fifth year of the program focuses on intensive classroom and studio work and culminates in a design thesis project.

Additional Info
5Kansas State University+
ADMISSION RATE
94%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Recommended
APPLICATION FEE
$30
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
45

Kansas State University scored high marks for flexibility, offering alternative tuition payment plans, placement services for alumni and weekend/evening degree programs for on-campus students. The Manhattan, Kansas, school also posted a higher graduation rate than all but four of the other schools that made our top ten.

Architecture degree programs at K-State cover a wide array of subjects in the discipline, including structure, sustainability, environmental systems, construction, accessibility, computer design and regulatory issues like zoning and code compliance. No undergraduate degree in architecture is available here, but graduate students can choose between a Master of Science (M.S.) in architecture program, designed for working architects with a B.Arch. degree, and an M.Arch. for students with bachelor's degrees in other disciplines.

Additional Info
6California State Polytechnic University-Pomona+
ADMISSION RATE
59%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$55
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

The second-lowest tuition and fees average of any school that made our top ten can be found at California State Polytechnic University's Pomona campus, where students paid a mean figure of just over $7,000 for the full year's enrollment expenses in 2015. The prestigious institution also posted our list's fourth-best graduation rate and reported that more than 26 percent of students took at least some of their classes online.

There's just one undergraduate architecture degree available at Cal Poly Pomona: a five-year B.Arch. program that culminates in a senior project that spans two academic quarters. Graduate students can choose between a conventional M.Arch. program and a Master of Interior Architecture (M.Int.Arch) program that's accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

Additional Info
7Auburn University+
ADMISSION RATE
81%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
26

The numbers suggest that student success is a high priority at this Alabama institution. Not only did Auburn University post the highest graduation rate among our top ten schools, but it earmarked fully half of its 2015 budget for instructional and academic support expenses like student advising, career counseling and classroom tech.

First offered more than 110 years ago, the architecture program at Auburn is one of the oldest in the country. Undergraduates have four architecture degree programs to choose from -- architecture, interior architecture, environmental design and pre-landscape architecture -- of which the first two are earned simultaneously in one five-year program if, as a second-year student, you decide to opt into the interior design study track.

Additional Info
8University of Idaho+
ADMISSION RATE
76%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$60
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
13

University of Idaho students likely have access to personalized time with professors and advisors when they need it, thanks to a student-faculty ratio that ranked No. 2 among best architecture schools on our list. The Moscow, Idaho, school also just narrowly lost out on the No. 2 spot in our affordability category, posting a third-lowest tuition and fees average of $7,020 in 2015.

B.S. degree plans in both architecture and landscape architecture are available here, as well as a NAAB-accredited M.Arch. degree, an M.S. in integrated architecture and design and a Master of Landscape Architecture program. What's more, architecture graduate students at the University of Idaho have access to an Urban Design Center (UDC) and an Integrated Design Lab (IDL) in nearby Boise to help deepen their study.

Additional Info
9University of Nebraska-Lincoln+
ADMISSION RATE
75%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$45
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
16

Just two other schools on our list posted higher graduation rates than the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the flagship campus of the Cornhusker State's university system. The Midwestern institution also posted the third-highest percentage of students enrolled at least partially in distance education courses, which suggests that partially online degrees for architecture students may be available.

The 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Design (B.S.D.) in architecture at UNL leads directly into the school's M.Arch. program, which emphasizes design and research and prepares students to address real-world challenges in the field. A four-year undergraduate program for aspiring landscape architects focuses on interdisciplinary work, aiming to synthesize the study of architecture, interior design and planning into a well-rounded plan of instruction.

Additional Info
10Montana State University+
ADMISSION RATE
83%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$30
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
10

Coming in at No. 10 of best colleges for architecture is Montana State University, where students paid the lowest average cost for basic enrollment expenses of any school that made our list. The average bill for tuition and fees at Montana State University came in at $6,849 in 2015, which is about $2,800 more affordable than the mean average cost among our top ten schools.

A four-year Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program awaits architecture undergraduates at MSU, who can also witness various applications of the principles of architecture and design to real-world problems at the school's Community Design Center (CDC). All bachelor's students in architecture here are required to apply to the school's environmental design program, which requires a 3.0 GPA and accepts 91 students each year.

Additional Info

Architecture Degree Programs and Common Career Paths

Architecture degree programs can prepare you for a few distinct careers in the fields of architecture and design. If you know which direction you'd like to go with your career after graduation, make sure to sit down with your undergraduate advisor and set up your schedule of courses and extracurricular activities to match your goals.

Bachelor's degree in Architecture
Architecture programs for undergraduates typically blend traditional and digital design training with insight into the freedoms and limitations of the built environment as a creative medium. Most study plans also include instruction on critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, information literacy and the complex interplay between building systems and environmental systems.
Architects
plan and design residential, commercial, industrial and public structures according to applicable building codes and regulatory statutes, working to meet clients' needs and best suit the site
Surveyors
make precise measurements to determine property boundaries, calculate exact locations and collect data for engineering, mapmaking and construction projects
Landscape architects
design outdoor spaces for private homes, public recreational facilities, colleges and universities, corporate campuses, city parks and more, often with an eye toward sustainability

Career Outlook for Architecture Majors

The employment climate for various architectural careers is changing, and staying on top of its expected movements can help you navigate your plunge into working world after graduation with as few unpleasant surprises as possible. Take a look at these employment projections for jobs typically available to graduates of architecture schools.

JOB TITLE
AVERAGE SALARY($)
EMPLOYMENT
PROJECTED JOB GROWTH(%)
Urban and Regional Planners$74,35035,31012.8%
Architectural and Civil Drafters$55,11095,9608.1%
Drafters, All Other$53,99015,3007.9%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$86,1902,516,7807.4%
Source: 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.
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Financial Aid and Scholarships in Architecture

Along with the federal government and individual university departments, charitable organizations like the Foundation for Enhancing Communities and the Association for Women in Architecture Foundation offer architecture scholarships and other financial aid to applicants who qualify. Here's a short list of aid programs for eligible students pursuing architecture degrees.

SOM Travel Fellowship for Architecture, Design and Urban Design
Applicant must submit a portfolio and travel plan and be recommended by school. Applicant must be graduating with a bachelor degree; award is for post-graduation travel and study. More

AWARD AMOUNT

$50,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

July 17

 

 

Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development
Applicant must be an undergraduate student in an engineering, architecture, building/construction management, or chemistry field. Applicant must submit a paper that outlines contributions to sustainability. More

AWARD AMOUNT

$45,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

May 31

 

 

Arnold W. Brunner Grant
Applicant must be a U.S. citizen engaged in the profession of architecture or a related field and have a professional background more advanced than five years of architectural training or its equivalent. More

AWARD AMOUNT

$30,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

October 24

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Recipient must reapply for renewal.

Olivia James Traveling Fellowship
Applicant must be a U.S. citizen. Preference is given to projects of at least a half year's duration and to students of the archaeology, architecture, classics, history, and sculpture. Award is for travel and study in the Aegean Islands, Asia Minor, Greece, Mesopotamia, Sicily, or southern Italy and is not intended to support field excavation projects. More

AWARD AMOUNT

$25,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

November 1

 

 

Professional Organizations

AIA membership includes discounts on tutorials and other preparatory materials for ARE exams, as well as business intelligence resources for architectural entrepreneurs
SARA features multiple levels of membership -- including a student option with $25 annual dues -- and notifies members of nationwide job opportunities
Members of ASLA get a subscription to Landscape Architecture magazine and can link up with practitioner networks in their chosen practice emphasis
Article Sources
Methodology

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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