NCARB Experience Requirements

Aspiring architects must acquire 3,740 hours to satisfy the Intern Development Program’s (IDP) experience requirement. One hour equals one hour of acceptable experience in an IDP experience setting.

It is an aspiring architect’s responsibility to understand the requirements of any jurisdiction where he/she may seek either initial or reciprocal registration. More information on jurisdictional requirements can be found here: Registration Boards Requirements.

All participants in the IDP must adhere to the rules and regulations defined in the IDP Guidelines.

Categories and Areas

The IDP includes four categories in which aspiring architects must earn experience: Pre-Design, Design, Project Manage¬ment, and Practice Management. The four experience categories include 17 experience areas. To complete the 3,740 required hours, you must satisfy the minimum hours required in each experience area. There are two types of hours you can earn:

Required Hours

Hours documented in each IDP experience area that reflect the competent performance of the tasks defined in that area.

Additional Opportunities for Jurisdictional Experience

Some jurisdictions may require documentation of additional hours to meet their experience requirement. NCARB recommends that you submit all experience until you have satisfied your jurisdiction’s requirement.

The IDP experience categories and areas are:

Experience Areas Required Hours
1. Pre-Design
1A. Programming 80
1B. Site and Building Analysis 80
1C. Project Cost and Feasibility 40
1D. Planning and Zoning Regulations 60


2. Design
2A. Schematic Design 320
2B. Engineering Systems 360
2C. Construction Cost 120
2D. Codes and Regulations 120
2E. Design Development 320
2F. Construction Documents 1,200
2G. Material Selection and Specification 160


3. Project Management
3A. Bidding and Contract Negotiation 120
3B. Construction Administration 240
3C. Construction Phase: Observation 120
3D. General Project Management 240


4. Practice Management
4A. Business Operations 80
4B. Leadership and Service 80
TOTAL HOURS 3,740

Related Publications

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IDP Guidelines
Updated July 2015! The IDP Guidelines is essential reading for aspiring architects, supervisors, and mentors participating in the IDP. The document includes steps to completing the program, reporting procedures, experience requirements, and more!

Download (PDF, 351K)

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