8 Best Online Master’s of Architecture Graduate Schools

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Updated: April 25, 2024, Reading time: 18 minutes

Best Online Master's Architecture - featured image of architect working on a project blueprint

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Obtaining an online Master’s of Architecture degree can be a highly rewarding experience. Imagine passing by one of your works of art! Designing that high-rise hotel in the next town, the restaurant around the corner, or even your own home, a career in architecture can take you anywhere in the world!

One of the most ancient fields of study, the school of architecture is multi-faceted and as vital for today’s world as it was for the ancient Egyptians. From planning and designing buildings, roads, and airports to channeling our water supply and wastewater, architects have left their mark on every area of our day-to-day existence.

Online master’s degree programs in the field of Architecture provide a plethora of career opportunities for those interested in design. This type of program focuses on the inception, building, and presentation of the construction of buildings, either residential or commercial properties. Architecture programs are ideal for those who are looking for a promising career choice that allows them to express their creativity.

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master's of architecture
Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

The Study of Architecture

The study of architecture combines natural beauty with conceptual analysis bringing mathematics and artistry together to create spaces for humans to thrive. For those students who are interested in beautiful aesthetics, conceptual plans, and mathematical calculations, the study of architecture is a perfect fit.

Employment opportunities for graduates with degrees in architecture are as diverse as the study of architecture. Jobs in environmental sustainability, commercial infrastructure, and recreational facilities as well as restoration, urban planning, furniture or textile design, landscape architecture, or even political architecture are available to accommodate the diverse interests and qualifications of architecture graduates.

Online architecture degree programs are currently expanding in availability. Although not as commonly available online as many other disciplines, the schools below offer the flexibility and diversity for achieving an online Master’s of Architecture Degree. Because of the hands-on nature of achieving a Master’s of Architecture degree, many schools offer hybrid programs of study for architecture students.

online master's of architecture


An Online Master’s of Architecture degree program can be expected to be exhaustive, but not all schools excel as much as the cream of the crop do! Our list of the online universities offering this program puts together the highly reputable academic institutions that produce the best professionals in the field fit for executive or management-level careers.

What factors make a top-rated Online Master of Architecture degree program and school? Our picks of the Best Online Master’s of Architecture Graduate Schools all share these impressive features:

8 Best Online Master’s of Architecture Graduate Schools

Boston Architectural College

Boston, MA

online master's of architecture

Online Master’s of Architecture

Founded in 1889, the Boston Architectural College started as a professional club by established and young professional architects. The BAC became the 1st accredited architecture program with a professional network in the US. The school takes pride in its top-of-the-line theatres, schools, libraries, churches, and hospitals.

Standout Features:

Since Boston Architectural College is a member of IPAL or the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure program, students can shorten the process to their professional licensure by accomplishing their M.Arch studies and profession simultaneously.

In 2015, the school was one of the initially chosen groups of institutions accepted by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards into the IPAL program. 

BAC’s Online Master’s of Architecture program is the first online architecture graduate program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

Of all IPAL programs around the US, a total of eight IPAL graduates have obtained their architecture licenses immediately after graduation. Today, Boston Architectural College is the only school in Massachusetts to have advocated for IPAL graduates to get licensure in architecture. 

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO

online master's of architecture

Online Master of Arts/Master of Science in Architectural Studies

The University of Missouri is the first public university located west of the Mississippi River. Mizzou is a flagship, land-grant institution that is home to the world’s 1st journalism school. It is one out of 65 universities across Canada and the US to be part of American Universities.

Standout Features:

Mizzou’s Online Master of Arts/Master of Science in Architectural Studies is the only program of its kind in Missouri. That said, students interested in pursuing a fulfilling career in architecture can enroll in Missouri’s sole graduate program in architecture.

With a diverse range of funding resources, students can easily apply for grants, federal student aid, fellowships, and assistantships.

48% of graduates at the University of Missouri completed their degrees with no debt. The university spent $168M on grants and scholarships for the academic year 2018 to 2019. In the same year, Mizzou also spent $58M on student employment.

Southern Illinois University

Carbondale IL

online master's of architecture

Online Master of Architecture

Southern Illinois University was established in 1869 and began as Carbondale’s second teachers’ college. Today, SIU Carbondale is the flagship site of the Southern Illinois University System. It is a comprehensive, research-intensive, and student-centered university that received the 2015 community engagement status from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Standout Features:

SIU’s Online Master of Architecture program has received full accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board as a 1st professional degree in architecture.

The program meets the academic credentials to become a state-licensed and NCARB-certified architect in the provinces of Canada and the territories and states in the US.

Diversity has been a crucial part of SIU’s legacy ever since its 1st inaugural class of 143 students which included African-American students. Now, minority students consist of 29% of SIU’s total enrollment, and the university consistently ranks among the US’s top schools in the number of degrees granted to ethnic and racial minority students.

Lawrence Technological University

Southfield, MI

online master's of architecture

Online Master’s of Architecture

Headquartered in Michigan, Lawrence Technological University was founded in 1932 and has established a reputation for excellence over the years by preparing graduates in their specific areas of study. LTU is a member of the North Central Association and has garnered accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Standout Features:

LTU’s Online Master of Architecture program is one of the elite programs in the US since it is one out of only four NAAB-accredited online architecture programs. Aside from that, it’s one of the cheapest NAAB-accredited architecture programs offered through online learning.

LTU’s Master of Architecture program is suitable for both students with non-architecture or architecture-related bachelor’s degrees.

The quality and reputation of degree programs have earned LTU several recognitions and awards, including a Top 30% ranking of schools nationwide by Bloomberg Businessweek, and Princeton Review’s “Best in the Midwest.” For over 20 years, the university has been recognized by the US News & World Report.

The university is also a consistent school in many prestigious listings, including Business Insider, Forbes, and PayScale, and is considered a military-friendly university by G.I. Jobs.

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, CA

online master's of architecture

Online Master of Architecture

One of the prestigious art and design schools in the country is the Academy of Art University. It is home to numerous designers and artists since its founding in 1929. The university is the 1st and foremost professional institution specializing in a practical, no-nonsense program taught by some of the industry’s finest and most creative instructors.

Standout Features:

The National Architectural Accrediting Board accredits both Online Master of Architecture Track 1 and Track 2 programs. The curriculum will help develop each student’s proficiencies through personal design vision, rigorous study, and critical thinking.

A Creative Director for Sunset Magazine and fine art painter, Richard S. Stephens founded the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. He was assisted by his spouse, Clara Stephens, to open the school in a rented loft located at 215 Kearny St. to educate students in advertising art. Now, the Academy of Art University is the biggest private institution of art and design in the US.

online master's of architecture

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

online master's of architecture

Online Master of Science in Architectural Studies – Sustainable Design

The University of Florida offers 300+ undergraduate and graduate programs in arts, including agricultural and life sciences, dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, and design, construction & planning. The university has a 2,000-acre campus and 900+ buildings, including Florida’s 1st Platinum-certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building.

Standout Features:

UF’s Online Master of Science in Architectural Studies offers a concentration in Sustainable Design considered one of its kind in Florida. The program offers students the interdisciplinary knowledge, confidence, and skills to be a frontrunner in the Sustainability Revolution.

It is taught by core faculty from the College’s five major programs, namely urban & regional planning, landscape architecture, interior design, building construction, and architecture.

The University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction, and Planning is the only college in the country that headquarters design, construction, and planning under one department. However, the College requires more support from its alumni community to compete with the country’s top institutions in design and construction. 

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

online master's of architecture

Online Master of Infrastructure Planning & Management

The University of Washington was built in 1861 and is one of the country’s most prestigious institutions. Today, UW is home to over 60,000 students annually and continues to thrive as a center for innovative research in a diverse range of studies, including business, aeronautics, public affairs, education, and medicine. 

Standout Features:

The Online Master of Infrastructure Planning & Management program is offered through the  Department of Urban Design & Planning, the school’s leading planning program in the country and the top planning institution in the Pacific Northwest.

It is suitable for early and mid-career professionals pursuing advanced studies in infrastructure planning and management. Considered a popular degree among veterans, the MIPM is one of the top 10 UW graduate programs for student veterans.

UW is one of the best universities worldwide. It has several prestigious awards and recognitions, including a #8 spot in the global universities list and #2 among public universities in the country by the US News & World Report.

Besides that, UW is recognized as one of the most innovative public universities globally by Reuters. As a major research university, UW attracts more money from federal research grants than other public universities in the US.

Chatham University

Pittsburgh, PA

online master's of architecture

Online Master of Science in Interior Architecture

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chatham University has been consistently recognized as one of the “Best Colleges” and College of Distinction by the US News & World Report. It has an enrollment of more than 2,200 students across 60+ undergraduate and graduate programs in different areas of excellence, including arts & sciences, business & communications, and sustainability and health.

Standout Features:

The MSIA program at Chatham adheres to the standards and principles of Universal Design, a concept that features an environment’s composition and design that is widely accessed, understood, and utilized to the greatest scope by all individuals.

Through the program, students have the opportunity to enjoy state-of-the-art LEED Silver facilities at Chatham Eastside.

Due to federal rules and law, all universities that have distance learning programs and practicum experiences in other states outside of the school’s location must have authorization or become a SARA-approved facility. Chatham University has received approval from the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Career Outlook and Salary

If you’re pursuing a profession in the field of architecture, it may be dependent upon the economy. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment job growth outlook for architects between 2022 to 2032 is 5%, which is faster than average, with the latest median salary of $82,840 per year. In 2022, the US had 123,700 jobs in the architecture field.

Depending on the company and location, architects can earn a lucrative income. The highest for this occupation is within the government sector with earnings of $136,400, followed by construction at $80,480, and architectural, engineering, and related services at $82,170 median annual wage. However, the highest 10% earned upwards of $157,000 annually with experience.

Is it possible to earn an Online Master's of Architecture degree?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to earn a Master of Architecture degree online?

Many schools in the US have already started offering an Online Master of Architecture program as part of their degree offerings. Besides that, some colleges and universities offer an online program in architecture with limited on-campus participation and short residencies that provide them with a practical learning experience.

Graduates wanting to pursue a Master of Architecture degree while employed in a full-time career may find online programs advantageous. That said, an online graduate program in architecture provides students with the benefit of greater flexibility and time management compared to traditional on-campus programs.

Although most online graduate programs in this discipline often focus on architecture, some online schools include specialized concentrations, such as interior design, urban planning, architecture management, and sustainability.

Like most online graduate programs, virtual discussions are essential components of an Online Master of Architecture program. In some programs, distance learners have 24/7 access to asynchronous learning resources, such as digital documents, slideshows, videos, books, and recorded discussions.

Once they have completed their assignments/projects, they upload their work to a central repository or a specific Learning Management System to share with their professors and colleagues.

What accreditation should I look for when enrolling in an online Master of Architecture program?

When choosing an online Master of Architecture degree program, search for a college or university with accreditation from agencies authorized by the US Department of Education. Another crucial aspect is that the online Master of Architecture program is accredited by NAAB or the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

If the program is NAAB-accredited, students are guaranteed to have an online graduate program that meets high-quality standards in education.

Like medicine and law, architecture has state-level regulations. Completing a National Architectural Accrediting Board-accredited online Master of Architecture degree doesn’t guarantee licensure. However, graduating from an NAAB-accredited program is one of the basic requirements for pursuing licensure and qualifying to take the Architect Registration Examination.

What are the standard admission requirements for enrolling in an online Master’s degree program in Architecture?

The majority of online programs in Master of Architecture accept students who already have a bachelor’s degree in architecture or any related discipline. However, some schools provide non-architecture undergraduate students with the option to pursue a separate track to fulfill prerequisites before enrolling in the core architecture program.

Aside from undergraduate studies, students interested in enrolling in an online graduate architecture program often submit the following common requirements:

How long will it take to complete an online Master of Architecture program?

Like most online programs at the graduate level, the length of completion time will depend significantly upon students’ academic and professional backgrounds. Besides that, completing the online program, whether on a part-time or a full-time basis, also affects completion time.

Non-architecture baccalaureate students often complete their Master of Architecture degree within three years. On the contrary, students with a professional architecture bachelor’s degree can earn their graduate architecture degree in 24 months or less.

After graduating with a Master of Architecture program, most graduates pursue internships at an architecture or design firm if they haven’t completed it yet. All states require a specific number of years of internship program under the supervision of an experienced architect before new graduates can sit for the Architecture Registration Exam.

After completing the internship hours and passing the ARE, architects can pursue entry-level positions in engineering, architecture, and other related industries.

Master's of Architecture

Key Takeaways

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