intro to architecture online course

The Infolearners architecture online course provides knowledge and information on the theory of all aspects of architecture. You will cover subjects like the different types of building materials, contemporary style trends and ancient designs. All of this information is covered in a highly accessible and easy to understand manner for you, the student.

learn architecture

learn architecture

What is Architecture?

The term “Architecture” describes the art, design, and engineering processes and principles that shape the physical world. The rich study of architecture and design dates back to the ancient world and can be traced through Ruskin’s 19th-century treatise on Gothic Architecture, and on through today’s modern architecture and contemporary architecture design aesthetics. Filtering into almost every aspect of human life, architecture is chief among the artifacts that civilizations leave behind; lending it great cultural significance as well.

Architecture is also a forward-looking and ever-evolving field with a wide range of applications and theories. In the face of climate change, green architecture or sustainable architecture has emerged as a competitive field centered on developing architectural plans that address and seek to minimize human impact on the natural environment.

In addition, architectural principles can be applied to other areas of business and information technology. The Open Group Architecture Framework (ToGAF), for instance, provides an approach for designing, planning, implementing, and governing information technology systems based on key principles of architecture.

An architecture degree offers the skills needed to pursue a career as an architect, ranging from design architecture to the study of environmental systems. Individuals interested in becoming a professional architect must either complete a Bachelor of Architecture or a Master’s degree in Architecture. A working knowledge of architectural design software is also critical for modern drafting. There is an abundance of online architecture courses and online Architecture degrees available, making a career in architecture more accessible than ever.

Online courses in Architecture

There is a wide range of online courses offered in the field of architecture. Beginners interested in the fundamental principles of architecture might consider Harvard’s Architectural Imagination course, which approaches the subject through a study of history’s important buildings.

Intermediate students may explore the mechanical engineering principles that undergird architectural design through The Mechanics of Deformable Structures course offered by MIT.

And for those interested in history, The University of Notre Dame offers The Meaning of Rome: The Renaissance and The Baroque City, which teaches how the art, architecture, and urban form of Renaissance and Baroque Rome projected the city’s image around the world.

Jobs in Architecture

With a long list of transferable skills including strong analytical, communication, and technical skills, the study of architecture can lead to a career as a Civil Engineer, a Construction Manager, Drafter, a Graphic Designer, an Interior Designer, a Landscape Architect, or an Urban and Regional Planner.

The Job site Indeed lists more than 20,000 open positions for Architects. The average starting salary is close to $100,000 a year. There are an additional 17,000 jobs for Civil Engineers, with 8,000 of these starting at $80,000 or more.

Explore a Career in Architecture

Architecture informs just about every aspect of modern life. Online college courses are a great way to dive into this challenging and rewarding field – or just learn to appreciate the structures all around us. Help design the future by pursuing a career in architecture today!

Free Introductory Architecture Courses

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers online Introductory Architecture courses for free, via its Online Courseware platform. There, you will find course syllabi, in addition to readings, assignments, exams, and other course materials.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

These free online courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are available in lecture, workshop, and lab formats. Students can download course materials in order to access these classes. Some classes include required texts.

Free Online Introductory Architecture Courses At a Glance

Course & SchoolProgram LevelFormatAssignmentsQuizzes & ExamsDownloadable
Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings course from MITUndergraduateTextYesYesYes
Building Technology Laboratory course from MITUndergraduateTextYesNoYes
Introduction to Integrated Design course from MITUndergraduateLecturesYesNoYes
Introduction to Design Computing course from MITUndergraduateLectures, discussions, labsYesNoYes
Introduction to Photography course from MITUndergraduateTextYesNoYes
Introduction to Building Technology course from MITUndergraduateTextYesYesYes
Basic Structural Design course from MITUndergraduateTextYesYesYes
Architectural Construction and Computation course from MITUndergraduateLecturesYesNoYes
Sustainable Design and Technology Research Workshop course from MITUndergraduateCollaborative workshopYesNoYes
The Once and Future City course from MITUndergraduateLecturesYesNoYes
BSAD Foundations in the Visual Arts course from MITUndergraduateLectures/labsYesNoYes
Introduction to Sculpture course from MITUndergraduateLectures/labsYesNoYes
Computational Design I: Theory and Applications course from MITUndergraduateLecturesYesNoYes
Introduction to Photography and Related Media course from MITUndergraduateTextYesNoYes
Introduction to Urban Design and Development course from MITUndergraduateLecturesYesYesYes
Emergent Materials II course from MITUndergraduateLectures/workshopYesNoYes

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Popular Schools

architecture online courses

12 Architecture Online Courses For Students And Architects

Posted At 16:42h In ArchitectureFeatures0 CommentsIn the last decade, there’s been significant growth in online learning. More and more people are choosing to sign up for online courses because they are affordable, flexible and convenient. Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, online learning has become more centric in people’s lives. The pandemic has pushed schools and universities to remote learning hence now more than ever, online learning has grown tremendously. When it comes to the field of architecture and construction, online courses continues to grow. We compiled a list of online architecture courses covering a range of topics and we hope this selection can help you with your next project or give you some insight on certain courses in your various degree programs.

1. The Architectural Imagination

Created By: Harvard University

Language: English


This online architecture course teaches students how to understand architecture as both a cultural expression and technical achievement. You will go through vivid analyses of exemplary buildings and work on hands-on exercises in drawing and modeling that will bring you closer to the work of the architects and historians. In this architecture course, you will learn the fundamental principles of architecture as an academic career or professional career by studying some of the most important buildings in history. You will also uncover ways that innovative technology can enable and promote new aesthetic experiences or disrupt age old traditions. Finally, the online course aims to confront architecture’s complex relationship to its social and historical contexts and its audiences, achievements and aspirations as you learn about the architectural power of representation and how it can produce collective meaning and memory.

2. Zero-Energy Design: An Approach To Make Your Building Sustainable

Created By: DelftX

Language: English


One of the key tasks architects are faced with at the moment is implementing sustainability in their designs.

One way to do this is through reduction of energy consumption. This online architecture course introduces students to zero energy design and teaches you a stepped approach to design a zero energy climate concept for existing buildings such as homes, offices etc. The online course will show you how an integrated approach takes into account both passive measures (such as such shading) and active measures (such as heat pumps) can deliver the best results. You will do this by going through an overview of possible measures and also reviewing various case studies of zero energy buildings and case studies that also include other climates.

3. Ecodesign For Cities And Suburbs

Created By: The University Of British Columbia

Language: English


If you’ve often caught yourself wishing that you could redesign your city or where you live, then this might be the architectural course for you. Ecodesign refers to ‘integrating, planning, urban design and the conservation of natural systems to produce a sustainable built and natural environment’. In this online architecture course, you will see how eco-design has been implemented in different cities and suburbs such as Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm and False Creek North in Vancouver. You will learn the conceptual framework of eco-design and understand the tools, processes and techniques for policy development and implementation.

4. Sustainability In Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

Created By: UPValenciaX

Language: English


As architects, sustainability should always be top of mind. This online architecture course aims to offer an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability in architecture. You will be introduced to the basic elements and trends that currently define Architecture. Through this course, you learn how to develop conceptual models from architectural elements of buildings, how to optimize performance and the basic tools for introducing energy and measuring the potential impact on climate change. There’s a lot more coursework to be covered and as it follows an interdisciplinary approach, there will be performance assessment and urban policies.  

5. Develop Parametric Architecture With Grasshopper

Created By: Stefan Boeykens

Language: English


In this online course, students will learn how to model freeform 3D and turn it into a Parametric Approach. This course is different in that instead of creating one or two design models for a project, you will learn how to develop an interactive adapting model that is controlled by a few chosen design parameters and is capable of generating a wide range of design variants. You will be able to use the clever components to define an efficient and powerful system of interconnected components, creating geometry, and applying geometric and mathematical operations.

6. Home Automation For Beginners: Create Your Own Smart Home

Created By: Gerard ODriscoll

Language: English


There are a lot of benefits of smart home automation can improve your life. For example, You can receive a text and email that alerts you on your smartphone when there’s an intruder in your home or maybe smoke has been detected in your kitchen. Getting your smart home running can often be a confusing and expensive process. This online course aims to walk you through it. You’ll cover the A-Z of Smart Home automation which will help reduce your energy consumption, create a comfortable family environment and hopefully save you from a lot of confusion and ( possibly intruders)

7. Fundamentals Of Structural Analysis

Created By: Dr. Sean Carroll

Language: English


This online architectural course aims to teach students the fundamental concepts and methods in static structural analysis. You will explore the basics such as the forces, moments and how to use the principle of static equilibrium. You’ll cover topics such as joint resolution method and method of sections in detail. The online course has been designed to tackle the key topics that students usually encounter first when studying structural mechanics. It will tackle the areas that students tend to find tricky when starting out. The course also links theory and practice by exploring how the models of structural behavior map out onto the real world.

8. Structural Steel Design: Learn The Principles Of Design

Created By: Adam Brittan

Language: English


In this online course, students will learn and understand the foundations and design a laterally steel element with ease. The online course is aimed at introducing you to the basics of steel design and is ideal if you’re looking for an introduction or refresher on:

  • When to use steel
  • How it fails
  • Different loading conditions
  • Lateral Restraint
  • Stress/Strain and yield strengths
  • Bending, Axial and Shear Resistance (includes an example of each)
  • Combined Axial and Bending Resistance (includes an example)

The online course is in metric units and will often reference the Eurocode

9. Fundamentals Of Bridge Design-Concept Of Design And Modeling

Created By: Ayman Kandeel

Language: English


In this online course, students will cover the fundamental concepts and methods in bridge design. The course explores the basics such as the definition of the bridge, different types and what is the statically system of each type of bridge. Other topics covered are bridge components, different types of design codes and the different types of loads. The course tackles areas that students find quite tricky when starting out. There’s a key emphasis on linking theory and practice.

10. Learn To Read Structural Drawings: With Real Site Videos

Created By: Gokul Saud

Language: English


This online course teaches engineering students what four years in university won’t teach them. The practical knowledge required to work at the site. The course will not only help you read structural drawings but it will also help you understand how reinforcement is actually placed at the site.

Once you are done with this course, you will know how to prepare a bar bending schedule, give cutting length to the workers and prepare running and the final bills.

11. How A Building Is Designed And Built

Created By: Matthew Morris

Language: English


In this online course, students will learn the materials and systems in a building. You learn everything from how to identify the Numerous Components, Materials and Systems in a Commercial Building to Evaluating Key Constraints and Select All of the Appropriate Major Systems and Materials in a Building. The aim is equip you with information that helps you learn the terminology and prepares you for the job.

This course is ideal for anyone interested or is a professional working in building materials and systems. If you are a contractor, specialty contractor, architect, engineer, building owner, construction manager, real estate developer and manager, facility operator and manager or an engineering student etc. This course is ideal.

12. Circular Economy For A Sustainable Built Environment

Created By: TUDelft

Language: English


When it comes to waste production, building construction is one of the highest contributors. This is majorly because the different life cycle stages of buildings from construction to end of life cause a significant environmental impact related to energy consumption, waste generation and direct and indirect green emissions. This online course focuses on the principles of Circular Economy and how it can be applied to the built environment. The Circular Economy model offers guidelines and principles for promoting more sustainable building construction and reducing the impact on the environment.

The online course aims to teach students how to become familiar with circularity as a systemic, multi-disciplinary approach, concerned with the different scale, from material to product, building, city, and region. Additionally, you will also learn how architecture and urban design can be adapted according to the principles of the Circular Economy and ensure that construction is more sustainable. You will also learn from case studies how companies that are already profitably can incorporate this new theory into their design, construction and operation of the built environment.

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