Alternate Paths to Certification


The education alternative for certification enables U.S. licensed architects who do not hold a professional architecture degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) to apply for NCARB certification. Similarly, the foreign architect path to certification enables foreign architects who do not hold a U.S. license 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 foreign architect path to certification. It is important for each applicant to confirm specific registration requirements, including reciprocity requirements, with the individual jurisdiction in which they would like to be registered.

Education Alternative for Certification 

Foreign Architect Path to Certification

Related Publications


Certification Guidelines
Updated November 2016! The Certification Guidelines outlines the requirements for NCARB certification for U.S., Canadian, and foreign architects.

Download (PDF, 384K)


Education Guidelines
Updated July 2016! 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, 508K)