Most of the course material is delivered through recorded lectures that students can revisit if they need to, then the students and the instructor interact through a discussion forum and the instructor offers individual support to the students, making sure their education and knowledge is sound and well-rounded. Some teachers will make sure to use social media tools like Skype so they can visually critique a student’s design and then offer visual advice and improvement if they need to. This allows the students the flexibility to work at their own pace from wherever they so choose while still getting that studio experience that is essential in any architect’s education.
Choosing An Online Architecture Course
The most important thing to research before choosing the online architecture degree program that fits best for you is to ensure that the programs you consider have a strong history in building successful online courses and have experience or background in building and teaching online architecture classes.
Architecture is a complex and incredibly detailed subject, and there are plenty of diploma mill programs that offer an online architecture degree but don’t have the infrastructure or the standards in place to ensure that the students aren’t just getting a degree, they are getting the design training and education along with it.
A good way to start looking for the aforementioned programs – like with any online program – is to find out which of your favorite programs are accredited. The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is an excellent resource for this venture as it has a directory where you can easily type in the name of your school and find out whether that school is accredited, a candidate for accreditation, and more.
Another integral resource is the National Architecture Accrediting Board. Some states won’t even allow you to practice in the field unless you earned your degree at one of the 114 schools accredited by the board, so it is worth your time to look over their directory as well. Utilize their website to find out all about architecture education in general and a guide to architecture schools both online and traditional.
Once you have narrowed down the list of candidates you should start trying to learn about the schools, the classes, and the instructors from people with firsthand knowledge of how it all works. The good news is that, compared to many other artistically inclined subjects, architecture is a smaller, more selective, and close-knit community, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find professionals, students, instructors, and online architecture degree program officials who can speak to the program and its pros and cons firsthand. Get information from as many different people in as many different places as you can, because knowledge is power, and the more diverse your knowledge is, the better understanding you will have of which schools work for you and which don’t.
Online Architecture Course Types
The good news is that if you want to become a qualified architect there is a very simple path that you need to follow to get there. The bad news is that while the path may be simple, that doesn’t mean it is easy. Most online architecture degree programs will offer three types of degrees and they are the associate’s degree, the bachelor’s degree, and the master’s degree. The most common are the bachelor’s and the master’s degree, because they are the levels of education that allow students to actually become architects.
An associate’s degree can certainly help open doors for your architecture career, but the degree itself doesn’t qualify you to become an architect. If you only want to pursue an online associate’s degree in architecture, you should consider future professions like architect assistant or technician. Some students do choose to enter the working world after two years and an associate’s degree, but many use the associate’s degree to weigh whether or not they like the subject enough to earn a bachelor’s degree which will take five years to complete because of studio requirements and apprenticeship or hands-on experience requirements. This is the minimum requirement to becoming an architect and you will be exposed to not only studio training but also architecture theory and intensive math and psychical sciences classes.
The final degree type is the master’s degree path which, in architecture, is slightly more complicated than it is with other subjects. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in architecture, then you will likely take part in a two-year master’s degree program. If you majored in something else and suddenly decided you wanted to try your hand at architecture, then you would likely end up in a similar program that would take a year or two longer to complete.
This is the degree you want to go after if you are interested in teaching or research, and online architecture degree programs are an especially appealing choice for this route because online architecture classes are flexible and so students already working can continue to work full-time while also working to further their career in architecture.