Online Architecture Course Descriptions with Schooling Options

Individuals pursuing careers as architects must earn professional degrees. Most degrees in architecture are only available on campus, though a few public and private architecture schools do offer online courses and degree programs. Non-credit courses in architecture are more commonly offered by various schools through programs like OpenCourseWare.

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Online Courses in Architecture

Below are descriptions of a few commonly offered online architecture courses.

  • Online Spatial Composition Course: This graduate-level course addresses the relationship of structural, organizational and spatial systems in architecture. Students complete a series of projects having to do with space and patterns in structures.
  • Online Design Research Methods Course: This course introduces students to the concept of research in architecture, including the methods used and ongoing research in behavioral sciences and contemporary design. At the end of the course, students should be able to evaluate design research, disseminate results and apply design research methods to a topic of their own interest.
  • Online Introduction to Architecture Course: Students learn about the art of architecture, its history and the technology used. They also apply their learning through solving design problems in several areas, which go into an online portfolio.
  • Online Architectural Construction and Computation Course: Exploring the use of computers in architectural design, this course is freely available online. Students are not expected to complete assignments and examinations because this course is meant for individual practice or to supplement a concurrent degree program. Lectures for this online architecture course are pre-recorded, and informative presentations are supplied along with questions from prior students.
  • Online Nature and the Built Environment Course: Teaching students about the relationship between buildings and the environment, this course focuses on a range of issues in design, ecology and construction. It also examines the historical development of cities, neighborhoods and villages.
  • Online Roman Architecture Course: This course introduces students to the buildings and engineering feats of the Roman Empire. Students view online lectures along with more than 1,500 slides from the professor's personal collection. There is also an interactive e-book that goes along with the course.
  • Online Introduction to Design Computing Course: Students learn to use software to draft and model 2- and 3-dimensional digital renderings of their designs. The course features all aspects of computer-aided design, and students are expected to utilize all features in their coursework.
  • Online Sustainable Design Course: An online course in sustainable design covers the fundamentals of environmentally friendly architecture. Green architecture attempts to find new ways of designing and constructing buildings which will minimize their impact on the environment. Sustainable materials, resource usage, and low-impact site selection will be some of the focuses of the course.
  • Online Territory and Power Course: Focusing on the relationship between territory and power, this online course asks questions about the way that territory and politics relate to each other and architecture. Coursework explores the creation of territories, conflicts over territory, and how these concepts create identity and division.

Program Information

Due to the hands-on nature of this field, most architecture degree programs are offered only as on-campus programs. However, a few schools offer online architecture minors or undergraduate degrees, as well as fully online programs leading to the Master of Architecture (M. Arch.) and various design certificates. Students in these programs participate in design studio critiques virtually and communicate with professors and fellow students via online chat, email and other methods.

Online courses in architecture cover a diverse range of topics in the field. Courses can vary from fundamental architecture classes and architectural history classes to courses utilizing modern design and computer techniques, as well as critical courses identifying the political role of architecture.

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