Alternate Paths to Certification


The Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Program and the  Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Program are two distinct NCARB programs created to allow U.S. licensed architects who do not hold a professional architecture degree from a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited program and foreign architects who do not hold a license to practice architecture from one of the state registration boards to apply for NCARB certification.

Many architects apply for an NCARB Certificate to seek reciprocal registration in other jurisdictions. Requirements for reciprocal registration vary between jurisdictions and not all jurisdictions accept an NCARB Certificate issued through completion of the BEA or BEFA programs. It is important for each BEA and BEFA applicant to confirm specific registration requirements, including reciprocity requirements, with the individual jurisdiction in which they would like to be registered.

Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) 

Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) 

Related Publications


Certification Guidelines
Updated July 2015! The Certification Guidelines outlines the requirements for NCARB certification for U.S., Canadian, and foreign architects.

Download (PDF, 207K)


Education Guidelines
Updated July 2014! The Education Guidelines provide a general overview of the education requirement for NCARB certification, and explains how architects who do not hold a professional degree in architecture from a NAAB-accredited program can satisfy this requirement.

Download (PDF, 547K)

Related Content

BEA Process
The BEA Program is a multi-step process. Many factors, including the time you need to prepare and submit your dossier and the time required by NCARB to review your dossier, determine the time needed to complete the program.

BEFA Process Overview
The BEFA Program is a multi-step process. You must be eligibile, have an NCARB Record, assemble an experience dossier, and complete an interview.