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Featured Online Master’s Degrees in Architecture

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology offers an on-campus master of architecture degree providing a well-balanced education to the students, integrating technology, research, and design with sustainability, thus preparing them for a modern architectural world. Notably, 2U, Inc. (a leader in education technology) announced on October 7, 2019, that it will partner with Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability to offer students an online version of this master of architecture (MArch) degree.

Admission requirements for this program include a complete graduate application, a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, official transcripts, a personal statement, GRE scores (can be waived), two letters of recommendation, an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for international students.

Made up of 105 credit-hours, this program involves courses such as architectural representation, architectural history, architectural design, the fundamentals of building systems, sustainable building metrics, integrated building systems, and urban and regional planning, among others.

This master of architecture program is offered in two tracks: the first one for students who have prior experience and an undergraduate degree in architecture, while the second track is for students with no prior experience or background in architecture. Upon graduation, students can take up roles such as architectural designers, sustainability consultants, research scientists, start-up entrepreneurs, planning engineers, and more.

  • Location: Rochester, New York State
  • Accreditation: National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 48 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $50,136 total

Lawrence Technological University

The Lawrence Technological University offers an online master of architecture (MArch) program, helping students advance their skills and career. This program is almost fully online and offers the same curriculum as that of the on-campus program. The same leading professors that teach the on-campus classes, deliver the online version too. This program involves the following two tracks:

MArch Track II - Consisting of 36 credit-hours, this track is for students with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Lawrence Technological University or another accredited institution. Students receive instruction in the critical practice studio, research methods, ecological issues, design theory, professional practice, construction management, and project management.

MArch Track III - This track is for students who hold undergraduate degrees in a field other than architecture. Comprising 90 or fewer credits, courses in this track include construction systems, advanced structures, arch foundational studio, critical practice studio, comprehensive design studio, basic structures, and HVAC and water systems.

Application requirements for this program include official transcripts, a completed graduate application, a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0, three letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a 1,000-word essay.

  • Location: Southfield, Michigan
  • Accreditation: National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
  • Expected Time to Completion: MArch II program (24 months); MArch III program (36 months)
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,250 per credit-hour

Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University offers an online master of architecture program for architecture professionals. The program meets the educational requirements for licensure in Illinois and other states, as well as National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certification requirements.

For admission into the program, students need a bachelor of science in architectural studies or its equivalent, a minimum grade point average of 2.7, a portfolio of work, a statement of intent, two letters of recommendation, and TOEFL scores for international students. The GRE is not required for admission.

The program comprises 42 credit-hours. The curriculum includes courses such as research methods and programming, environmental behavior studies in architecture, the global traditions in architecture, architectural systems and the environment, architectural visualization, architectural professional practice, special readings in architecture, and more.

Through the program, students will gain a better understanding of architecture, as well as strengthen their communication and collaboration skills.

  • Location: Carbondale, Illinois
  • Accreditation: National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 15 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $460.40 per credit-hour

Boston Architectural College

Boston Architectural College offers an online master of architecture program for students with a background in architecture. This low-residency program allows students to work full-time while they earn their degree. The Boston Architectural College also offers an online bachelor of science in architecture, leading to the master's degree in architecture.

To apply for this online master of architecture program, students must have a bachelor's degree (in architecture is strongly recommended but not required), a completed online application, portfolio, official college transcripts, a current resume, essay, one letter of recommendation, and proof of your English proficiency. For the bachelor’s, students need to provide official high school transcript or GED scores, and the same application requirements mentioned above.

The master’s program is made up of 36 credit-hours. The coursework explores topics such as sustainable systems, practice management, building systems, project management, and architecture thesis research strategies, among others. The bachelor's program consists of 132 credit-hours. Some of the courses included are spatial thinking, social and political theory, contemporary architecture, modern and contemporary art, and advanced research strategies, among others.

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Accreditation: National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB); New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Master of architecture (24 to 30 months); BS in architecture (30 months)
  • Estimated Tuition: Master of architecture ($1,050 per credit); bachelor’s ($882 per credit)

University of Missouri

The University of Missouri offers a 100 percent online master of arts (MA) or master of science (MS) degree in architectural studies with an emphasis in environment and behavior studies. This fully online program does not require any campus visits. This program is ideal for students wanting a career in applied research, consulting or teaching in architecture, interior design, and other environmental design disciplines.

To apply for admission, students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, transcripts of all previous college or university education, three letters of recommendation, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for students whose native language is not English. GRE scores are not required for admission.

The program consists of 30 credit-hours. It includes courses such as sustainable technologies and systems, energy-efficient building design, readings in environmental design, problems in environmental design, philosophy of environmental design research, theories in architectural and interior design, and information visualization and visual analytics, among others.

On successful completion of the program, graduates can pursue opportunities such as researching and teaching positions in universities, interior designing or architecture consulting, and also take up environmental design initiatives.

  • Location: Columbia, Missouri
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $20,295.90

Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University offers several online undergraduate and graduate architecture degree programs, taught by practicing architects and experienced professionals. These online programs are designed to introduce students to the creative aspects of designing and making. They will have the opportunity to learn about various aspects of architecture through the university’s online system.

The online programs offered are as follows:

Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Design (BA-ARH-D) Degree - This program consists of 132 credit-hours. Students delve into topics such as sketching for communication, college math, conceptual design studio, spatial ordering and form, projective drawing and perspective, 3D digital modeling, site design and mapping, and assembly building and context, among others.

Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) Degree - Consisting of 162 credit-hours, this program includes almost all courses from the above program, with the addition of language, culture and humanities, professional practices for architects, mixed-use urbanism and research, and from theory to practice, among others.

Master of Architecture (MArch) Degree (Track 1) - Made up of 63 credit-hours this program involves courses such as graduate design technology structures, intermediate design studio, digitally generated morphology, architectural theory, digitally generated fabrication, construction documents and building codes, and master of architecture thesis, among others.

Master of Architecture (MArch) Degree (Track 2) - This track comprises 87 credit-hours, and includes courses such as design process and 2D media, architectural tectonics, design process and 3D media, architectural history: modernism and its global impact, material and methods of construction: building detailing, and architectural professional practices, among others.

Undergraduate admission requirements include proof of high school completion, official transcripts, completed online application, and a nonrefundable application fee. Graduate students need to submit a completed online application, provide proof of undergraduate degree by submitting official transcripts, a one-page statement of intent, a personal resume, and a portfolio/demo reel.

Students in these programs learn how to solve creative problems; professionally communicate their ideas; use principles of design and art to make aesthetic, technical, and conceptual decisions; and learn professional behaviors and skills necessary to compete in a global marketplace for art and design.

  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Accreditation: The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
  • Expected Time to Completion: BA (eight semesters); BArch (ten semesters); MArch (six semesters); MArch (two to eight semesters)
  • Estimated Tuition: Undergraduate tuition (domestic students): $1,011 per unit and undergraduate tuition (international students): $1,059 per unit; graduate & art teaching credential (domestic students): $1,137 per unit and graduate & art teaching credential (international students): $1,191 per unit

Chatham University

Chatham University offers an online master of science in interior architecture (MSIA) program. This program can be completed entirely on campus or online, or students can opt for the hybrid option. The program is designed for expanding the experience and education of professionals with an undergraduate degree in interior architecture, interior design, or architecture.

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture or interior design from an accredited university or college, with an undergraduate GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 or higher, a completed online application, a statement of purpose, a current resume, letters of recommendation, a portfolio, and official transcripts from all universities and colleges attended.

Made up of 30 credit-hours, the program consists of courses such as graduate research methods, theory of interior architecture, design and behavior, 2D visual communications, building codes, architecture studio, interior architecture studio, interior materials, construction methods, and 20th and 21st century architecture, among others.

Through the program, students get an opportunity to take up research in architecture, develop analytical and writing skills, and learn how to think critically.

  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: Varies
  • Estimated Tuition: $987 per credit-hour

Professors of Architecture to Know

Julius J. Chiavaroli, MBA Rochester Institute of Technology

Julius J. Chiavaroli is a professor in the Department of Architecture at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He teaches numerous classes in the master of architecture program, including integrated building systems, independent study, co-op architecture, and architectural studio. His current research focuses on sustainability, community engagement, publishing, and urbanism.

Professor Chiavaroli has received many honors such as the Julia Fries Award, and the Dean’s Scholastic Award. He completed his BArch from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Karen Nelson, MArch Boston Architectural College

Karen Nelson is a professor and dean of the Boston Architectural College’s School of Architecture. She started her career at The Boston Architectural College teaching design studios, and later graduated to faculty development courses and theory seminars. She has published in prominent journals such as Landscape Journal: Eco Revelatory Landscapes, and The Electronic Journal of Architecture.

The NCARB has provided her with a grant to explore Collaborative Global Practice, while she has also won other awards such as the Edmund C. Toomey Award for Student Advocacy. She completed her master of architecture from Columbia University and her bachelor of science in art and design from MIT.

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