Studying Architecture

The first step in becoming an architect is earning a professional degree from a college or university that has an architecture program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). An accredited, professional degree from one of these programs is the most accepted way (and sometimes the only way) to satisfy U.S. registration boards’ education requirements. The type of degree you earn may also have an impact on whether you can become licensed in multiple jurisdictions.

To learn the other registration requirements, see Architectural Experience Program and Architect Registration Examination.

Overview Of Architectural Education

Overview of Architectural Education
A degree in architecture provides the foundation in architectural knowledge and process.

Meeting NCARB Education Requirements

Education Requirements
A professional degree from a NAAB-accredited program is the primary means of satisfying most U.S. registration boards’ education requirement and the education requirement for NCARB certification.


Accredited and Non-Accredited Programs
NAAB is the only agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture in the United States. Accredited programs have met education standards determined by NAAB with collaboration from other professional organization including NCARB.


The NCARB Award recognizes architecture programs that integrate practice and education; raise awareness of the architect’s responsibilities for the public health, safety, and welfare; and bring non-faculty practitioners into the academy. It supports the creation and implemention of effective new, for-credit curricular approaches that raise awareness about issues central to practice.


Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure
IPAL provides students the opportunity to complete requirements for licensure while earning their degree.


A NAAB or CACB-accredited professional degree is a standard requirement for most U.S. registration boards. If you do not have a degree from an accredited program, you may have your degree evaluated by EESA.

Education Guidelines
NCARB Award: A Practitioner's Perspective
Dorian Moore, RA, a University of Michigan architecture graduate, is the Vice President of Archive Design Studio, Inc., a Detroit architecture and urban design practice. For the last two years, he has been working with students at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) as part of the “Public Interest Design Practices and Research (PIDPR) Workshop” course that was developed as a result of NCARB Award funding the program received in 2011. [more]

Practioner: Dorian Moore
Architecture Basics

Thinking about becoming an architect? Make sure you take the right path toward licensure and certification.

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Start Your Career
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