In May 1919, during an American Institute of Architects (AIA) convention in Nashville, TN, 15 architects from 13 states came together to form an organization that would become NCARB.

As expressed by its founding members, NCARB’s stated goals were:

  • To facilitate the exchange of information on examining, licensing, and regulating architects
  • To foster uniformity in licensing and practice laws to facilitate reciprocal licensing
  • To discuss the merits of various examining methods as well as the scope and content of licensing examinations
  • To strive to improve the general educational standards of the architectural profession in the United States

NCARB has modified these goals slightly throughout the organization’s history. After its founding, NCARB worked to establish the three components of architectural licensure: education, experience, and examination. NCARB produced the first national exam for architects in 1965. In 1976, NCARB introduced the first version of the experience program.

Since 1919, NCARB has been led by many distinguished architects. Learn more about NCARB’s Past Presidents.