Architecture Continuing Education Programs and Courses

Architecture is constantly evolving, and many architects choose to complete post-baccalaureate certificates. Two such examples are the Certificate in Sustainable Design and the Certificate in Preservation Studies.

Essential Information

In the sustainable design certificate program, students can learn sustainability planning strategies, policy development and business aspects. On the other hand, the preservation studies certificate program provides study in building and environmental conservation and architectural history. Studies in both programs typically combine class work with lab exercises and can be completed in a relatively short period of time. Completion of either certificate enhances the specialization credentials of working architects, thereby increasing employability and possibility for salary increase opportunities.

Both programs require a bachelor's degree and statement of purpose, and some professional work experience is preferred.

Certificate in Sustainable Design

Due to the growing number of corporations and homeowners interested in the benefits of building eco-friendly houses and structures, this field has grown over recent years. Students will learn about the planning, design and building of green structures. The curriculum addresses sustainable building materials, code and zoning ordinances, value engineering and safety. Classes focus on all aspects of building sustainable design structures. Possible courses may include:

  • Community design
  • Elements of sustainable design
  • The business of sustainable design
  • Green design policy
  • Sustainable design for furniture
  • Sustainability planning

Certificate in Preservation Studies

This program is designed for architects who wish to enter into the field of building preservation. Many historic buildings and structures in the U.S. need restoring and the preservation studies certificate equips professional architects with the skills and knowledge needed to undertake these projects. Many programs include a studio or laboratory component where students can practice preservation techniques and methods. Some programs may require an internship or the completion of a research project.

The curriculum may vary according to the location of the school that is offering the preservation studies certificate. For example, a school in the Illinois, Wisconsin or Minnesota may feature courses on historic preservation of homes and structures that are typically associated with the Midwest. However, common coursework students may encounter include:

  • Preservation studies
  • The technology of preservation
  • Environmental conservation studio or laboratory
  • Building preservation studio or laboratory
  • Building technology history
  • Preservation special topics

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, the employment of architects is expected to increase by 7% for the period between 2014 and 2024, which is about average for all occupations. The BLS reports that, as of May 2015, the annual mean salary of an architect is $82,850.

Architects who wish to keep up with the ever-changing field may wish to pursue a post- baccalaureate certificate in either Sustainable Design or Preservation Studies. This can help individuals seeking either career advancement or salary increase.

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