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2023 Most Affordable Online Master's Programs in Architecture

By the OnlineU team | Updated 1/11/2023
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An online master’s in architecture is designed for those interested in planning, designing, and overseeing the creation and development of buildings — both inside and out. Online master's programs help both full-time students and established professionals develop the skills and gain the knowledge necessary to pursue leadership roles in architecture. Many colleges with an online master’s in architecture have programs that explore topics like the history of architecture, architectural technology, and interior materials. Graduates in architecture may pursue a range of careers, such as landscape architects, lighting designers, and production designers, to name a few. 

View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for more inspiration.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Southern Illinois University - Carbondale Carbondale (IL) $6,446
# 2 #2 Arizona State University Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) $10,497
# 3 #3 University of Missouri Columbia (MO) $12,438
# 4 #4 Chatham University Pittsburgh (PA) $15,705
# 5 #5 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln (NE) $17,478
# 6 #6 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester (NY) $19,290
# 7 #7 Academy of Art University San Francisco (CA) $25,578
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $6,446
Annual Tuition: $6,446
Annual Tuition: $6,446

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale (SIU) is a public institution that offers an online Master of Architecture totaling 42 credit hours. This full-time program can take 16 months to complete, and it has a cohort-based approach. This means that a group of students are in one unit from the start of classes until graduation.

SIU facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning via the learning management system (LMS) D2L Brightspace. The program’s online curriculum focuses on regional architecture. Sample courses include Global Traditions, Energy and Systems, and Comprehensive Studio. The program’s students attend two in-person weekend studio sessions each semester, and a thesis is required for graduation. Potential career options include building surveyors, interior designers, and town planners.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1250
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,534
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 552
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#2
#2

Arizona State University

Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
Annual Tuition: $10,497
Annual Tuition: $10,497
Annual Tuition: $10,497

Arizona State University (ASU) is a public institution offering an online Master of Architecture that requires 48 credit hours. This master's program can last between 2-3 years, and it offers two tracks: (1) a two-year track for students with a bachelor’s in architecture and (2) a three-year track for students with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline.

ASU facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning via Canvas, a popular LMS. The graduate program in architecture at ASU aims to develop students’ professional talents and increase their social awareness. The program’s courses explore architectural technology, iterative design processes, and the history of architecture. Graduates may pursue careers like architects, regional planners, and energy modelers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Average SATs: 1091 -1301
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 33,410
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 10,843
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#3
#3

University of Missouri

Columbia (MO)
Annual Tuition: $12,438
Annual Tuition: $12,438
Annual Tuition: $12,438

At the University of Missouri, a public institution, prospective students can pursue an online Master of Arts/Master of Science in Architectural Studies. Requiring 30 credit hours, it can take full-time students one year to complete this program. In addition, this online graduate program offers a concentration in Design Research.

Missouri Online facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning via the LMS Canvas. The architectural studies program is designed for students who are interested in working across the various disciplines of architecture, with courses such as Energy-Efficient Building Design, Philosophy of Environmental Design, and Information Visualization and Visual Analytics. Additionally, a completed thesis project is required for graduation. Potential career opportunities include project architects, architectural designers, and engineering technicians.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Average SATs: 1120 -1340
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 835
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,423
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#4
#4

Chatham University

Pittsburgh (PA)
Annual Tuition: $15,705
Annual Tuition: $15,705
Annual Tuition: $15,705

Chatham University is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Master of Science in Interior Architecture that requires 30 credit hours. Future students can expect to spend at least one year finishing the program. Overall, the curriculum is designed for Chatham students who are also pursuing a Bachelor of Interior Architecture, as part of the university’s integrated degree program.

At Chatham, online students complete coursework asynchronously and synchronously on D2L Brightspace. A master’s in architecture from Chatham can help students advance their careers in various architecture specialties. Some of the program’s courses include Issues in Interior Materials, 2D Visual Communications, and Building Codes. Supervised teaching and a thesis are also required to graduate. Graduates may pursue careers like mechanical designers, BIM modelers, and urban planners.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 117
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 264
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $17,478
Annual Tuition: $17,478
Annual Tuition: $17,478

The University of Nebraska - Lincoln (UNL) is a public institution that offers an online Master of Science in Architecture - Interior Design, which totals 36 credit hours. Future students can expect to complete the program within a year. The program offers thesis and non-thesis options that students can choose from.

UNL's online students complete coursework in asynchronous and synchronous formats on Canvas. The architecture graduate program helps students develop the necessary research and problem-solving skills for careers in architecture. Sample courses are The Changing Workplace, Branding, and History of Interiors and Designed Objects. Thesis students must spend 6-10 credit hours working on their projects and research. Prospective careers for alumni include residential architects, architectural drafters, and specification managers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Average SATs: 1120 -1360
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 228
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,400
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

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