Tips for Architecture Students

While you’re working on your degree, your career as an architect can seem a long way away—but it’s closer than you think! NCARB is here to help you move toward your goal of becoming an architect with tools, tips, and resources for emerging professionals. Set yourself up for success and make the most of your summer momentum by following these tips for architecture students. 

Start Your NCARB Record

Did you know you can start reporting experience hours toward the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®) while you’re earning your degree? All you need to get started is an NCARB Record—a detailed, verified account of your education, experience, and examination history that you’ll use throughout your career. To create a Record, go to my.ncarb.org and click “Establish Record.”

Report Summer Experience

Once you’ve created a Record, be sure to report any AXP experience you earned over the summer! To earn full credit toward the AXP, you’ll need to report your experience within eight months. After eight months, you can still earn 50 percent credit toward the AXP requirements for up to five years after the date of the experience. Remember: In most cases, you need to be paid for your work in order for it to qualify for AXP experience.

Find Your Licensing Advisor

Looking for an expert to walk you through the process of becoming a licensed architect? All architecture programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) are required to have an architect licensing advisor who can help explain the ins and outs of your education, experience, and examination requirements, plus most schools have a student who serves as an additional advisor. Find your local licensing advisor or join the advisors community!

Network and Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to expand your professional network, hear about new opportunities, and find mentors who can help you throughout your career. Be sure to connect with your local American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) chapter to learn more about what’s available in your community.

Plus, see if your AIAS chapter has a Freedom by Design™ (FBD) project—through FBD, you can help address issues in your community through accessible design and construction solutions. You’ll also connect with local industry leaders and earn real-world experience that may count toward the AXP!

Academic Internship? It May Qualify for AXP Experience

Many architecture programs encourage students to seek out academic internships at local architecture firms. Several years ago, NCARB updated its rules to allow students to count qualifying experience earned at paid academic internships toward the AXP. If you’re participating in an academic internship and you’re being paid, check the AXP Guidelines to see if your work experience also qualifies for AXP credit.

Look for Other Experience Opportunities

Not all AXP experience has to be earned while working at an architecture firm—design competitions, site visits, American Institute of Architects (AIA) continuing education, and some volunteer initiatives can also count under experience setting O. Learn more about other experience opportunities in the AXP Guidelines.

Check for School Support

Some architecture programs provide support for students working toward earning a license, including helping you pay for your NCARB Record. Check with your school to see what’s available!

Check Your State’s Requirements

Did you know that each U.S. state and territory has its own requirements for becoming an architect? Make sure you know what’s required in your jurisdiction with our Licensing Requirements Tool—and check with your board for tools, resources, and other important information!

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