The University Network

Best Online Architecture Classes And Programs

The median annual wage for architects was $79,380 in 2018, and employment is projected to increase by 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Related to so many different aspects of modern society, such as climate, urban development, and technology, architecture greatly influences our daily lives. 

While the field of architecture is rarely a common or accessible hobby for many people, the study itself and the profession is here to stay for years to come. So, whether you want to learn more about how modern cities or buildings are designed and constructed, or are seriously considering architecture as a future profession, you can find your very first step into the field of architecture in our list of free and affordable online courses in architecture. 

Introductory Courses in General Architecture

1. Making Architecture

Offered by the IE School of Architecture and Design in Segovia, Spain, this course is designed for complete beginners, covering the basic theories and practices of the profession, such as composition, form, space and hierarchy. Also, you will get some insider tips from award-winning professionals and learn how a real architect’s mind thinks and works. 

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only 
  • Price: Free to enroll for the first 7 days and $49 per month after that 
  • Financial aid or scholarships: YES
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: Approximately 18 hours (3 hours per week)
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English 
  • Vendor: Coursera

Note: Prices for all courses listed in this article are true on the date of publishing, but are subject to change.

2. Modern Building Design 

Offered by the University of Bath in the UK, this course explores how climate change, technology, and policy regulation shape and affect modern building design and the whole AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) industry. Before the end of the course, you will learn about new sustainable construction materials and techniques, digital modelling, and how buildings impact the communities’ health and wellbeing in general.  

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Achievement only 
  • Price: Free ($69 for unlimited access to this course and a Certificate of Achievement, or $269 per year for unlimited access to all FutureLearn courses for a year and a Certificate of Achievement)
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 6 hours  
  • Languages: English 
  • Vendor: FutureLearn

3. The Architectural Imagination 

Offered by Harvard University, this course will help you understand both the aesthetic and technical features of architecture. Through lectures and hands-on exercises in drawing and modeling, you will gain not only the theoretical, but also practical understanding of architecture. 

  • College credits: NO — Verified Certificate only
  • Price: FREE, but in order to receive a certificate, you need to pay $99
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 10 weeks (3–5 hours per week)
  • Languages: English 
  • Vendor: edX

Advanced Courses in General Architecture 

4. About Architectural Drawing and Sketching

This course takes you away from the computer and brings you back to pen and paper, teaching you how to draw and sketch as an architect. You will learn how to draw lines, add textures, show contrast, and more. Note that this course requires you to be at least an architecture or design student in schools/colleges in any semester. 

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only 
  • Price: $12.99 on sale ($99.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 6 hours  
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English 
  • Vendor: Udemy  

5. Architecture Post-Production in Photoshop

One of the highest rated courses on Udemy, this course will teach you how to best visualize and present your architectural concepts for both classwork and client projects. Using Adobe Photoshop, this course will teach you step by step how to develop your own workflow. Note that this course requires some previous knowledge of architecture and is recommended for architecture or design students. 

  • College credits: NO – -Certificate of Completion only 
  • Price: $11.99 on sale ($49.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 2.5 hours  
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English 
  • Vendor: Udemy  

6. Sustainability in Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

Offered by the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain, this course offers an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability in architecture. You will learn how to evaluate the sustainability performance of buildings made of different types of materials, assess energy use, and ultimately develop a conceptual neighborhood model adequate for analysis and urban policy assessment. Note that this course is for intermediate level students. 

  • College credits: NO — Verified Certificate only
  • Price: FREE, but in order to receive a certificate, you need to pay $50
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 4 weeks (3-4 hours per week)
  • Languages: English 
  • Vendor: edX

Introductory Courses on Architecture Software 

7. Revit Architecture I Course Complete Beginners Training 

Using Revit Architecture, one of the widely used architecture programs that use BIM technology (Building Information Modeling), this course teaches on the basic procedures and tools of designing a building model. With this course, you will be able to swim through the Revit interface to create projects, add building elements, and generate photorealistic renderings of building projects. Before the end of the course, you will know how to design many different types of buildings, such as residential and commercial buildings and multi-storey towers. Note that there are both intermediate and advanced Revit courses available from the same team of instructors. 

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only 
  • Price: $13.99 on sale ($199.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 22.5 hours 
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English and Italian 
  • Vendor: Udemy  

8. The Complete Beginners Guide to Autodesk Revit Architecture

Without any previous experience of Revit required, this course explains and demonstrates all the main tools and procedures available in the software. You will learn about its interface, key concepts, such as drawing aids and structural grids, 3D building elements and how to edit and modify them, and more. 

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only 
  • Price: $12.99 on sale ($19.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 18 hours 
  • Languages: English 
  • Vendor: Udemy  

9. AutoCAD I The Complete Beginner Course From Autodesk Expert 

Using AutoCAD, another architecture software commonly used throughout the AEC industry, this course teaches on the basic drawing and drafting procedures and tools. Before the end of this course, you will be able to use the software on you own, setting up drawings, using construction and editing tools, managing layers, and adding basic annotation, such as text and dimensions. Note that there is an intermediate AutoCAD course available from the same team of instructors.

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only 
  • Price: $13.99 on sale ($199.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 24 hours 
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English 
  • Vendor: Udemy  

10. The Complete AutoCAD 2018-20 Course

One of the bestselling courses on Udemy, this comprehensive online course teaches how to use AutoCAD’s most recent version from scratch. You will go through not only self-assessment quizzes, but also multiple hands-on projects, where you can apply what you learned and practice drawing floor plans, layouts, and more.   

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only 
  • Price: $12.99 on sale ($29.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 17.5 hours 
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English, Indonesian, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and Thai
  • Vendor: Udemy  

11. ArchiCAD 22: Beginner and Intermediate Level 

Using ArchiCAD, another architecture software using BIM technology, this course will teach not only the basic architecture knowledge and design skills, but also procedures and tools specific to ArchiCAD. This course covers a range of topics, such as terrain modeling, structure modeling, 2D drawing settings (floor plans, sections, facades, etc.), rendering into 3D documents, and more. 

  • College credits: NO — Certificate of Completion only 
  • Price: $12.99 on sale ($29.99 regular price)
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 9.5 hours 
  • Languages: English with subtitles in English 
  • Vendor: Udemy  

Introductory Programs in General Architecture

12. Frank Gehry Teaches Design and Architecture

This course is taught by Frank Gehry, a world-renowned architect whose numerous works, such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, have won him not only the Pritzker Prize, but also the title, “the most important architect of our age,” by Vanity Fair. Before the end of the course, you will learn about Gehry’s own design philosophies, how to generate your own ideas, different types of building materials and elements, and ways to work with a client. 

  • Number of courses: 17 courses 
  • College credits: NO 
  • Price: $90/class OR $15/month billed annually for “All Access” pass
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: Unknown
  • Languages: English 
  • Vendor: Master Class 

Introductory Programs on Architecture Software

13. Revit Architecture: Core Skills

Using Revit Architecture, this program teaches on how to turn an architectural design concept into construction documents ready for use. Although this program spans from beginner to intermediate to advanced, please note prior understanding of general architectural concepts and documents, such as plans, sections and elevations, is highly recommended.  

  • Number of courses: 7 courses 
  • College credits: NO — CEU (Continuing Education Units) Certificate only 
  • Price: Free to enroll for the first 10 days; after that, choose from three different plans: monthly ($29), annual ($199), or premium annual ($349), which includes access to all courses on Pluralsight plus certification practice exams, interactive courses and projects.  
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO 
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: Approximately 20 hours 
  • Languages: English 
  • Vendor: Pluralsight 

14. AutoCAD: Core Skills 

Using AutoCAD, this program spans through three different levels, from beginning to advanced, preparing you with the skills needed to use the software for real-world, professional architectural projects. Before the end of the program, you will learn how to use the various 2D drafting and 3D modeling tools available in the software. Note that previous knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and 3dx Max is recommended, but not required. 

  • Number of courses: 9 courses 
  • College credits: NO — CEU (Continuing Education Units) Certificate only 
  • Price: Free to enroll for the first 10 days; after that, choose from three different plans: monthly ($29), annual ($199), or premium annual ($349), which includes access to all courses on Pluralsight plus certification practice exams, interactive courses and projects.  
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO 
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: Approximately 20 hours 
  • Languages: English 
  • Vendor: Pluralsight 

15. Fundamentals of 3D Architectural Visualization 

As more architects are relying heavily on 3D modeling software to visualize their conceptual spaces, this program offers the basic concepts of architectural visualization. Using Blender, a free and open source computer animation software, this course will explain and demonstrate basic concepts and practices very thoroughly that even complete beginners will be able to follow through immediately. 

  • Number of courses: 2 courses
  • College credits: NO — Professional Certificate only
  • Price: FREE, but in order to receive a certificate, you need to pay $98
  • Financial aid or scholarships: NO
  • Mobile learning: YES
  • Self-paced learning: YES
  • Flexible deadlines: YES
  • Time needed for completion: 4 weeks per course (4–6 hours per week)
  • Languages: English 
  • Vendor: edX