Broadly Experienced Architect Program

Broadly Experienced Architect

Please note: In 2017, NCARB will launch a new path to certification for U.S. licensed architects without a NAAB-accredited degree. Through this revised path, these architects can satisfy the education requirement for certification by either documenting experience beyond the Architectural Experience Program’s (AXP®) requirements or submitting an education portfolio for review. Learn more

NCARB certification requires satisfaction of education, training, and examination requirements outlined in the Certification Guidelines:


The BEA Program provides an opportunity for eligible architects to demonstrate that they have gained  experience as a registered architect to meet the requirements of the NCARB Education Standard as an alternative to the education requirement for NCARB certification. BEA Program eligibility requires satisfaction of all certification requirements except the education requirement. All requirements must be satisfied before an NCARB Certificate may be issued.


Architects who do not hold a professional architecture degree from a NAAB-accredited program are eligible to apply for an NCARB Certificate through the BEA Program if they:

  1. Hold current registration from an NCARB Member Board
  2. Have experience as a registered architect over a prescribed number of years: 
      1. Six years if you hold a pre-professional degree in architecture awarded by a U.S. regionally accredited institution or the Canadian equivalent; or 
      2. Eight years if you hold any other baccalaureate or higher degree; or 
      3. Ten years if you do not hold a post-secondary baccalaureate or higher degree.

    Many architects apply for an NCARB Certificate to seek reciprocal registration in other U.S. jurisdictions. Reciprocal registration requirements vary and not all jurisdictions accept an NCARB Certificate issued upon completion of the BEA Program. The NCARB website has links to each jurisdiction’s web site and a summary of registration requirements. Because requirements may change, it is important to confirm requirements, including reciprocity requirements, with the jurisdiction in which you are seeking registration.

    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)

    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.

    BEA Education Dossier
    The BEA education dossier allows the applicant to demonstrate their learning through experience to meet the education requirements of the NCARB Education Standard.

    BEA Fees
    Fees associated with the BEA Program.