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Online MArch Programs

Online MArch ProgramsThere are many subjects that you can study online at postgraduate level and a Masters in Architecture (MArch) is one of them. However, online MArch programs are really only suitable for those students who are already working for an architect as these programs require a considerable amount of relevant work experience. So if you are trying to move your career into architecture, you should probably consider an on-campus course instead.

What is a MArch program?

A Masters in Architecture is the second part of the education required to become a qualified architect in most countries. Most MArch courses are conducted on-campus and students will have had to successfully complete an undergraduate degree in Architecture in order to gain a place. The few online courses available tend not to be particularly flexible with the entrance qualifications and will need work experience as well, but they also offer online courses to build up to a place on a MArch course.


Universities offering online MArch programs

The only universities that offer online MArch programs are currently based in the United States, the Boston Architectural College is one of the few as is the course at Lawrence Technological University. This course is aimed at students who are already working, want to become qualified architects in the US and have an undergraduate degree in Architecture or a subject that is very closely related such as some degrees in Design. MSc programs in subjects like Architectural Technology are more common and Leeds Becket University has a great distance learning program. These will not result in you becoming a fully qualified architect, but will lead to the other careers that a MArch would, such as property development.

Countries that offer online MArch programs

Mostly these courses have an element of professional qualification, for example in relation to organisations like the American National Architectural Accrediting Board or the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards – this means it is best to study in the country you want to practice in. Many countries, like the US and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, have organisations representing institutions offering architectural educational courses. The majority of online MArch courses are in the US, but some online courses in related subject areas are appearing in the UK.

Duration of online architecture courses

Here is a selection of online MArch and related postgraduate programs that are currently available and details of their duration and location.

Online MArch Programs

Costs of online MArch programs

For the online MArch programs in the US, the tuition fees are around $43,200 for the MArch course at Lawrence Technological University, by comparison the tuition fees at Leeds Becket University in the UK for the MSc in Architectural Technology are £833.40 per 20 credit module.

Course content

Different online MArch programs will offer different modules. The MArch program at the Academy of Art University in the US has modules including Conceptual Design Thinking, Tectonic Understanding, Architectural Exploration, and Independent Investigations. Available modules at the Lawrence Technological University in the US include Ecological Issues and HVAC and Water Systems.

Will there be any on-campus modules?

Some MArch courses are fully online, for example, the Southern Illinois University’s program is designed to be completed entirely by distance learning. Other courses, such as the Boston Architectural College’s March program, have an intensive weeklong session on campus. If a stint on campus is required the accommodation cost is included in the tuition fees for the course, but the travel won't be. Make sure you understand what you are paying for when you sign up for the course so you have enough money to cover your costs.

How it compares to studying on campus

Online MArch programs are less interactive than their on-campus equivalents. Networking during an your MArch studies is an important part of the course as it is those contacts that will help you get the vital work experience and that job at the end of your studies. But networking is still possible as an online student if you put in some effort – so make sure you attend any optional webinars or Zoom events, and actively participate in your university’s social media.


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