NCARB Streamlines Path to Certification for Architects

Washington, DC—The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has launched the first phase of its revised certification path for architects without a degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The NCARB Certificate facilitates reciprocal licensure among the 54 U.S. jurisdictions and several countries.

Through this alternative, architects licensed in a U.S. jurisdiction who hold an architecture-related degree can satisfy the Certificate’s education requirement by documenting two times the Architectural Experience Program’s™ (AXP™) requirements (7,480 hours). A separate certification option for U.S. architects without an architecture-related degree will launch in spring.

These education alternatives replace a previous option known as the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Program, which cost $5,000 plus transcript review fees. Additionally, these revised paths will lead to a shorter evaluation process, and will be offered at no additional charge to active NCARB Record holders. The changes were adopted by a vote of the NCARB membership in June 2016 at its Annual Business Meeting.

“This revised path recognizes the value of the initial license and practical experience while maintaining a rigorous, yet inclusive, option for architects seeking NCARB certification,” said NCARB President Kristine A. Harding, NCARB, AIA.

U.S. architects interested in earning an NCARB Certificate through this path must meet the following requirements:

  • Have at least three years of continuous licensure in any U.S. jurisdiction without disciplinary action.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in an architecture-related program.

To learn more about the benefits of NCARB certification, visit



The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada.