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Online Degrees in Engineering and Architecture

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.

Industrial Production Managers
Job DescriptionIndustrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products.
Mean Annual Salary: $113K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
Construction Managers
Job DescriptionConstruction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.
Mean Annual Salary: $103K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
Civil Engineers
Job DescriptionCivil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain construction projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.
Mean Annual Salary: $94K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
Mechanical Engineers
Job DescriptionMechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.
Mean Annual Salary: $93K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
Industrial Engineers
Job DescriptionIndustrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.
Mean Annual Salary: $92K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree

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 Degree Programs in Construction and Architecture

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.

1
North Dakota State College of Science(Wahpeton, ND)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,188
No. of online programs
13
% of students in distance education
66%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,359
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Lakeshore Technical College(Cleveland, WI)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,966
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
51%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,030
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Central Community College(Grand Island, NE)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,640
No. of online programs
18
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,087
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Kilgore College(Kilgore, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,760
No. of online programs
1
% of students in distance education
21%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,912
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
5
Turtle Mountain Community College(Belcourt, ND)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$1,776
No. of online programs
N/A
% of students in distance education
49%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,093
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
25%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Western Texas College(Snyder, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,850
No. of online programs
15
% of students in distance education
40%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,470
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Central Carolina Technical College(Sumter, SC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,807
No. of online programs
4
% of students in distance education
64%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,661
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
8
Wake Technical Community College(Raleigh, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
29
% of students in distance education
45%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,713
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Allen County Community College(Iola, KS)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$1,920
No. of online programs
81
% of students in distance education
70%
Avg. amount of Aid
$2,944
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
10
NorthWest Arkansas Community College(Bentonville, AR)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,675
No. of online programs
12
% of students in distance education
40%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,246
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
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.

1
Old Dominion University(Norfolk, VA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$6,630
No. of online programs
50
% of students in distance education
48%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,128
Admissions Rate
86%
Graduation Rate
54%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
University of Southern Mississippi(Hattiesburg, MS)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$8,108
No. of online programs
49
% of students in distance education
65%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,969
Admissions Rate
98%
Graduation Rate
47%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities(Minneapolis, MN)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$12,800
No. of online programs
34
% of students in distance education
26%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,867
Admissions Rate
50%
Graduation Rate
80%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Bemidji State University(Bemidji, MN)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$7,630
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,522
Admissions Rate
66%
Graduation Rate
47%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Kennesaw State University(Kennesaw, GA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,341
No. of online programs
44
% of students in distance education
40%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,857
Admissions Rate
61%
Graduation Rate
42%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Fort Hays State University(Hays, KS)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,900
No. of online programs
37
% of students in distance education
81%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,503
Admissions Rate
89%
Graduation Rate
44%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Indiana State University(Terre Haute, IN)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$8,716
No. of online programs
57
% of students in distance education
39%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,689
Admissions Rate
85%
Graduation Rate
39%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Eastern Kentucky University(Richmond, KY)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$8,996
No. of online programs
45
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,779
Admissions Rate
87%
Graduation Rate
44%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Morehead State University(Morehead, KY)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$8,950
No. of online programs
16
% of students in distance education
46%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,163
Admissions Rate
80%
Graduation Rate
42%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Washburn University(Topeka, KS)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$7,868
No. of online programs
27
% of students in distance education
33%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,737
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
39%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
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.

1
North Carolina State University at Raleigh(Raleigh, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$6,535
No. of online programs
37
% of students in distance education
41%
Avg. amount of Aid
$10,109
Admissions Rate
51%
Graduation Rate
79%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
The University of Texas at Tyler(Tyler, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,880
No. of online programs
11
% of students in distance education
63%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,159
Admissions Rate
65%
Graduation Rate
42%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Arizona State University-Tempe(Tempe, AZ)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$10,104
No. of online programs
16
% of students in distance education
46%
Avg. amount of Aid
$11,036
Admissions Rate
84%
Graduation Rate
63%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Missouri University of Science and Technology(Rolla, MO)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$8,460
No. of online programs
40
% of students in distance education
20%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,400
Admissions Rate
84%
Graduation Rate
64%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
University of Florida(Gainesville, FL)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,477
No. of online programs
50
% of students in distance education
58%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,517
Admissions Rate
42%
Graduation Rate
88%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
East Carolina University(Greenville, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,452
No. of online programs
55
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,681
Admissions Rate
79%
Graduation Rate
62%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus(Stillwater, OK)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,190
No. of online programs
42
% of students in distance education
38%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,761
Admissions Rate
74%
Graduation Rate
62%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
University of Michigan-Dearborn(Dearborn, MI)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$11,883
No. of online programs
15
% of students in distance education
27%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,767
Admissions Rate
64%
Graduation Rate
54%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Texas Tech University(Lubbock, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$6,432
No. of online programs
45
% of students in distance education
47%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,868
Admissions Rate
69%
Graduation Rate
59%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Purdue University-Main Campus(West Lafayette, IN)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$9,208
No. of online programs
23
% of students in distance education
18%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,619
Admissions Rate
57%
Graduation Rate
78%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
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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.

Occupations In-Demand for Engineering Architecture
Job Openings (2016-26)
Average Salary (2016)
Typical Entry Level Education
Construction Managers33,400$103,110Bachelor's degree
Civil Engineers25,900$93,720Bachelor's degree
Mechanical Engineers21,200$92,800Bachelor's degree
Industrial Engineers19,700$91,630Bachelor's degree
Electrical Engineers13,900$101,600Bachelor's degree
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians12,000$65,050Associate's degree
Architects, Except Landscape and Naval9,700$88,860Bachelor's degree
Engineers, All Other9,500$99,410Bachelor's degree
Architectural and Civil Drafters9,500$56,700Associate's degree
Electronics Engineers, Except Computer9,200$107,930Bachelor's degree
Source: 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.
/engineering-architecture/
Methodology and Sources
Methodology and Sources

Methodology

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:

Associate/Bachelor’s

  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)

Master’s

    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, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources

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      • Architectural studies: Online doctorate, Mizzou Online, University of Missouri, https://online.missouri.edu/degreeprograms/human-environmental-sciences/architectural-studies/phd/, accessed October 2018
      • Architectural Technology, Associate in Applied Science, Delta College, http://www.delta.edu/programs/current/sciences-and-engineering/architecture/architectural-technology/associate/index.html, accessed October 2018
      • Architecture and Engineering Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/home.htm, accessed October 2018
      • As Architecture Education Faces a Shift, How Will Our Communities Fit In, The American Association of Architects, February 2019, https://www.aia.org/articles/6108507-as-architecture-education-faces-a-shift-ho
      • CEE Online, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois, https://cee.illinois.edu/academics/graduate-programs/cee-online, accessed October 2018
      • Civil Engineers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/civil-engineers.htm, accessed October 2018
      • Current Employment Statistics Highlights, Detailed Industry Employment Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018, https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/ceshighlights.pdf
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      • Electrical Engineering Doctorate Degree, Columbia Engineering, Columbia University in the City of New York, https://cvn.columbia.edu/program/columbia-university-electrical-engineering-doctorate-degree-doctor-engineering, accessed October 2018
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      • General Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology, http://web2.fit.edu/programs/7040/none-general-engineering, accessed October 2018
      • Hubbard, B., Architect Definition: What Does An Architect Do?, https://www.thearchitectsguide.com/blog/architect-definition-what-does-an-architect-do, accessed October 2018
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      • Major: Construction Technology, BigFuture, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/engineering-technologies-construction-technology, accessed October 2018
      • Major: Engineering, General, BigFuture, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/engineering-engineering-general, accessed October 2018
      • Master's of Architecture, New School of Architecture and Design, https://newschoolarch.edu/academics/school-of-architecture/graduate-architecture-programs/master-of-architecture-i/, accessed October 2018
      • Narusch, M., 4 Locations with the Highest Demand for Engineers, Brightwing, 2018, https://www.gobrightwing.com/2018/02/06/highest-demand-for-engineers/#!/
      • Online Construction Management Associate Degree, Ashworth College, https://www.ashworthcollege.edu/associate-degrees/construction-management/, accessed October 2018
      • Online Master of Architecture, Boston Architectural College, https://the-bac.edu/academics/school-of-architecture/master-of-architecture-online, accessed October 2018
      • Online Master of Architecture, School of Architecture, Southern Illinois University, https://architecture.siu.edu/graduate/online-master-of-architecture/, accessed October 2018
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