To lawfully practice architecture in the United States, individuals must hold a license from the corresponding State Registration Board. Each State Board sets and enforces its own requirements for Architectural licensure, satisfied by evidence of education or experience, and examination.
Candidates in California must hold either a Professional Degree in Architecture, accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) or 5 years of Board-certified architectural work experience as an alternate equivalent. The M.Arch.I is AUD’s only NAAB-accredited Professional Degree Program. Foreign degrees must be evaluated for equivalency to NAAB criteria by Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA) in order to qualify.
Beyond the minimum educational requirement, candidates in California must additionally demonstrate three years of Board-certified architectural work experience. A Council Record from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), showing completion of the Intern Development Program (IDP), is recognized by the Board as satisfying this requirement. IDP credit hours may be earned in many ways – the best setting is for work done in an Architect's office, but other contexts may apply as well, such as working abroad or in design-related employment, engineering or construction. As of July 1, 2015, NCARB streamlined IDP by no longer requiring elective hours, although they may still be required in some jurisdictions.
IDP experience credit hours may be recorded prior to completion of the Professional Degree. For some qualifying local events, activities, or online resources at A.UD use the Opportunities and Resources link below.
Upon Board approval of eligibility, Candidates must pass all sections of the Architectural Record Examination (ARE). If eligible, candidates in California may begin to take the ARE prior to completion of IDP. Upon Completion of the ARE, candidates in California must also pass the California Supplemental Examination (CSE), after which a license can be granted by the Board.
License Renewal and Reciprocity
Licenses must be renewed on a schedule set by each State Board. California requires renewal every two years, as well as completion of a minimum number of hours of continuing education.
Architect Licensing Advisor
Architect Licensing Advisors are dedicated specialists in matters of licensing who are available to support students, interns, emerging professionals, and candidates during the path to licensure.
AUD's Architect Licensing Advisor is Todd Lynch, who can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Renewal and Reciprocity Links
Architectural Experience Program
The Intern Development Program was renamed as the Architectural Experience Program in June 2016.
Some IDP credit hours can be earned outside of an employment setting.
Earn hours for study activities on your own schedule:
- Emerging Professionals Companion
- NCARB Monographs and Mini Monographs
- AIA Continuing Education Learning Units
AIA LUs are available online, in publications, or at chapter events or lectures. An AIA member number is required for reporting these hours. For information on free AIA-LA membership for students and recent graduates, visit: http://www.aialosangeles.org/content/student-membership.html#.VYm2JU3bI4A
Collateral Architecture Organizations
- NCARB – National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
- AIA – The American Institute of Architects
- AIAS – The American Institute of Architecture Students
- ACSA – Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
- NAAB – National Architectural Accrediting Board
IDP Candidates may earn up to 40 credit hours for completing Design Competitions under the supervision of a licensed architect mentor. Certain NCARB documents must be filed in advance for hours to count.
Some current competitions / resources:
- AutoDesk Design Competitions
- Bustler Competition Opportunities
- Architecture at Zero
- UCLA Grad Slam
- ACSA Competitions
Volunteer work earns Leadership and Service Core hours. Work does not have to be design-related.
Architect Licensing Advisor
Todd Lynch, the Architect Licensing Advisor for AUD, is glad to help with any questions about the IDP program, exams and licensure, or career situations. Please contact him at email@example.com for any support on navigating these programs or opportunities.