Best Online Engineering and Architecture Degree Programs

It’s hard to imagine a world without highways, mobile phones or electricity; nor is it easy to imagine a world without skyscrapers, factories or houses. Engineers and architects are the driving forces behind so many things we take for granted.

If you have an innovative, creative mind and are not afraid of mathematics, an online degree in engineering or architecture may be for you. Online programs particularly suit individuals who can’t put their jobs on hold but want to earn a college degree in engineering or architecture. The flexible, self-paced learning options can allow you to balance work, life and other commitments, while still studying toward your degree completion. 

Engineers are needed across the country. As the country starts updating obsolete infrastructure and constructing new projects to sustain the growing population, civil engineers, in particular, are expected to be in good demand, constituting about 23 percent of new jobs in engineering, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2018). The significant demand for engineers has led to various initiatives by the federal and state governments to encourage students to enter STEM fields in partnership with private institutions and companies. For example, in New Jersey, the Governor’s STEM Scholars Program creates enrichment opportunities for STEM students right up to doctoral levels while Washington’s multisector STEM Education Innovation Alliance aligns workforce needs with education and career training systems.

While the job growth for architects is 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average, the demand is expected to be stronger for green architects as more construction projects move toward sustainable design with modular and prefabricated buildings, wind and solar projects presenting greater opportunities for architects, according to Brightwing, a global recruiting and staffing firm. Initiatives like the Architecture 2030 Challenge, calls on architects across the country to meet the goal of designing carbon-neutral buildings by 2030. Several architecture and design schools are including curricula tied to participatory design encouraging students to connect with communities and other stakeholders to make a positive social impact through architectural design.   

Trends in Engineering and Architecture: Sustainability and green construction are the buzzwords these days with engineering and construction projects looking to ensure that resources are used sustainably with minimal environmental effects. Architects, too, are moving to more sustainable design in their projects using energy-efficient placement of windows to reduce electricity, for example. Modular and prefabricated buildings are also becoming more visible due to the amount of time and money they can save. Engineering projects are moving toward sustainability, as well, with wind and solar projects in big demand, particularly in states like Texas, according to Brightwing.

Whether you are a recent high school graduate, a career changer or simply looking to advance your education, explore this page for online degree program options in engineering and architecture.

Online colleges for engineering, architecture or construction can allow you to take theoretical courses via distance education. On-campus attendance may be needed to participate in the practical components of the program. Some programs may require short residencies that cover practical courses. You can explore the range of online degree programs and college options by taking the following steps:

Step One: Click on the buttons below to explore the variety of online degree program options in engineering and architecture. 

Step Two: Consider your college options by taking a look at the top online colleges for architecture and engineering. We’ve crafted these rankings using factors that are especially important to online students. 

Online Construction and Architecture Degree Programs

Employment trends for construction and civil engineering occupations are on the rise, according to a 2018 BLS report. IbisWorld predicts job openings for architects are likely to increase in the coming years due to institutional and commercial development.

Click on the tabs below to learn more about architecture and civil engineering degree programs at different degree levels complete with data-driven information that can help you decide on a career path that is right for you:

Online Degree Programs in Engineering

Online learning is set to become one of the next big trends in engineering education delivering personalized learning through blended courses where most of the coursework is online with campus based hands-on experiential learning according to a report by MIT titled “The global state of the art in engineering education.” Case studies from the same report show that online colleges for engineering are able to deliver “student centered curricula at scale”

Click on the tabs below to see what different online engineering degree programs have to offer. You’ll find details on the salary you can expect, job growth rates and the type of jobs you may be eligible for.

We’ve ranked the top ten accredited colleges based on criteria that are important to online students such as the number of online degrees awarded, career support and financial aid services. Details of the methodology we used and all the factors we have considered can be found at the bottom of this page. As an online student, this list of top online colleges by degree level, can present you with some of the best online colleges for you to consider.

Top Colleges for Online Associate Degrees in Engineering and Architecture

Online associate construction and architecture programs can help you break into the workforce with the practical skills needed for entry-level jobs assisting urban planners, licensed architects, and construction engineers. Associate degrees in engineering can result in competitive wages with aerospace engineering and operations technicians earning a median salary that was almost double the average for all occupations in 2017, according to the BLS. Students studying full-time can typically earn their associate degrees within two years.

Top Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering and Architecture

A bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement to work as an engineer or an architect, according to the BLS. About 47 percent of all bachelors’ engineering degrees awarded in 2017 were in mechanical engineering, computer science and electrical engineering, according to Dr. Brian Yoder, Ph.D., NACE. Graduates of engineering programs are among the top-paid graduates at the bachelor’s degree level. Students studying full-time can typically earn their bachelors’ degrees in four to five years depending on the program.

Top Colleges for Online Master’s Degrees in Engineering and Architecture

According to Burning Glass Technologies, engineering is “arguably a pioneering hybrid job” combining technical and business skills. Engineering programs at the master’s level may allow you to cultivate these in-demand hybrid skills and help increase employability. Master’s degree programs can take full-time students between one to five years depending on your undergraduate qualifications and the scope of the degree program.

The BLS reports that the employment of engineering and architecture is expected to grow seven percent from 2016 to 2026. The highest growth is expected to be in engineering occupations. Additionally, the demand for architects with experience in sustainable design is expected to continue.

We’ve listed the top occupations in the fields of engineering and architecture using data from the BLS based on projected job openings, employment numbers and average wages so you know how to make the most of your degree program.

Job Openings
Median Salary
Typical Entry Level Education
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologists and Technicians1,10066,020Associate's degree
Aerospace Engineers4,500116,500Bachelor's degree
Agricultural Engineers20080,720Bachelor's degree
Agricultural Inspectors2,70045,490Bachelor's degree
Architects, Except Landscape and Naval11,80080,750Bachelor's degree
Architectural and Civil Drafters10,70056,340Associate's degree
Astronomers200114,590Doctoral or professional degree
Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers1,50091,410Bachelor's degree
Calibration Technologists and Technicians and Engineering Technologists and Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other8,80062,990Associate's degree
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists1,10065,470Bachelor's degree
Chemical Engineers2,400108,770Bachelor's degree
Chemical Technicians7,20049,260Associate's degree
Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians7,70053,410Associate's degree
Civil Engineers28,30087,060Bachelor's degree
Computer Hardware Engineers5,200117,220Bachelor's degree
Construction Managers40,20095,260Bachelor's degree
Drafters, All Other1,70052,830Associate's degree
Electrical Engineers13,90098,530Bachelor's degree
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and Technicians12,70065,260Associate's degree
Electrical and Electronics Drafters2,80061,530Associate's degree
Electro-Mechanical and Mechatronics Technologists and Technicians1,40058,350Associate's degree
Electronics Engineers, Except Computer9,000105,570Bachelor's degree
Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary4,700101,010Doctoral or professional degree
Engineers, All Other11,70099,040Bachelor's degree
Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians2,00050,620Associate's degree
Environmental Engineers4,60088,860Bachelor's degree
Geological and Hydrologic Technicians1,80051,130Associate's degree
Health and Safety Engineers, Except Mining Safety Engineers and Inspectors2,00091,410Bachelor's degree
Industrial Engineering Technologists and Technicians6,60056,550Associate's degree
Industrial Engineers22,60088,020Bachelor's degree
Industrial Production Managers13,800105,480Bachelor's degree
Marine Engineers and Naval Architects80092,400Bachelor's degree
Materials Engineers1,70093,360Bachelor's degree
Materials Scientists80096,810Bachelor's degree
Mechanical Drafters5,40057,060Associate's degree
Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians4,30056,980Associate's degree
Mechanical Engineers22,90088,430Bachelor's degree
Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers50091,160Bachelor's degree
Nuclear Engineers1,100113,460Bachelor's degree
Nuclear Technicians90082,080Associate's degree
Petroleum Engineers2,500137,720Bachelor's degree
Semiconductor Processing Technicians2,80038,060Associate's degree
Survey Researchers1,50059,170Master's degree
Surveyors4,00063,420Bachelor's degree

Methodologies and Sources

To be included in our rankings for the top colleges for online degrees in engineering and architecture by degree level all colleges had to meet the following 4 requirements:

  • Offer a degree or certificate program in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
  • Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
  • Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16
  • Have reported data for all 19 ranking variables for associate/bachelor’s and 11 ranking variables for master’s (listed below)

We then ranked colleges and universities in the United States that fit our criteria, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified. The final totals were:

  • 32 colleges for online associate degree in engineering and architecture
  • 49 colleges for online bachelor’s degree in engineering and architecture
  • 131 colleges for online master’s degree in engineering and architecture

We then scored the final list of colleges by degree level on a 100-point scale using these specific data points:


  1. Associate’s/Bachelor’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
  2. Ratio of undergraduate students participating fully or partially in Distance Education to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Retention rate
  5. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  6. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
  7. Student-to-faculty ratio
  8. Variety of Programs, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level
  9. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  10. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Prepaid, Other)
  11. Services (Academic/Career Counseling, Placement for Completers)
  12. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)


    1. Master’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
    2. Ratio of graduate students participating fully or partially in Distance Education to Total Enrollment
    3. Average in-state tuition for graduates
    4. Credit offerings (Life, Military)
    5. Services (Academic/Career Counseling, Placement for Completers)
    6. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Prepaid, Other)
    7. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media

Methodology Sources

        • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics,


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      • As Architecture Education Faces a Shift, How Will Our Communities Fit In, The American Association of Architects, February 2019,
      • CEE Online, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois,, accessed October 2018
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      • Engineering and Four Trends Shaping the Workforce, Research Brief, Burning Glass Technologies, 2018,
      • Engineering by the numbers, American Society for Engineering Education, Washington, DC, USA, 2017,
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      • Online Master of Architecture, Boston Architectural College,, accessed October 2018
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      • The 2030 Challenge, Architecture 2030,, accessed November 2018
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Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Methodologies and Sources