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NCARB Certificate

What is the NCARB Certificate?

Available to architects, the NCARB Certificate is a professional credential that facilitates licensure across borders, provides access to free continuing education, and more. Explore the benefits of NCARB certification.

What is the difference between applying for licensure as a foreign-educated applicant and applying for certification through the foreign architect path?

As a  foreign-educated applicant, you will likely need to have your education evaluated by the NAAB (note: the NAAB charges a fee for this process) if required by the architectural registration board in the jurisdiction where you seek licensure. If the EESA identifies any deficiencies in your education, you may need to complete additional coursework. You will also need to complete the AXP and the ARE. Once you complete these requirements, you can be licensed in a U.S. jurisdiction that accepts foreign-educated applicants.

As a  foreign architect applying for NCARB certification, you will likely not need an EESA evaluation, and you can complete the AXP without meeting the five-year reporting requirement for AXP experience. You will still need to pass the ARE. Once you are certified, you can use your NCARB Certificate to apply for licensure in a jurisdiction that accepts the foreign architect path. Details about these requirements can be found in the Certification Guidelines.

What are the requirements for NCARB certification?

Architects interested in earning a Certificate will need to meet NCARB’s education, experience, examination, and registration requirements. Details about these requirements can be found in the Certification Guidelines.

How much does the NCARB Certificate cost?

Applying for an NCARB Certificate costs $1,100. The annual renewal fee is $225. Licensure candidates who maintain an active NCARB Record will not have to pay the Certificate application fee and will receive their first year of certification for free, plus half off the second year. Learn more on our  fees page.

How do I use the NCARB credential?

Having an NCARB Certificate shows clients and employers that you meet national standards. Only architects with an active NCARB Certificate number can use the “NCARB” credential. For example: Your Name, NCARB.

Architects without an NCARB Certificate, licensure candidates, firms, and organizations are not permitted to use the NCARB credential. The NCARB logo is reserved solely for use by NCARB.

How do I start the foreign architect path to certification?

To begin the licensure process in the United States as foreign architect, you’ll need the appropriate credentials and transcripts. Before applying, review the requirements and confirm that the U.S. jurisdiction you want to be licensed in accepts this path by checking the Licensing Requirements Tool. Then you’ll need to: 1) Establish an NCARB Record, if you do not already have one. 2) Complete the Transcript Request Form and the Credential Verification Form and have your completed forms and transcript(s) sent directly to NCARB. After NCARB receives and reviews the required documents (Credential Verification Form and Transcripts), you will be notified concerning your eligibility for this path.

How do I report experience as an architect?

If you are an architect documenting experience for credit toward the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®), the process is slightly different than reporting experience as a licensure candidate. Keep in mind, the five-year reporting requirement that is in place for candidates does not apply to you. Follow these steps to report experience. 

How do I renew my NCARB Certificate?

You can easily renew your NCARB Certificate online. Simply select the “Renew Now” option on your Record homepage. Note: to renew your NCARB Certificate, you must have an active registration in one of the 55 U.S. jurisdictions.

How do I apply for licensure in another jurisdiction?

Architects can easily apply for licensure in another jurisdiction through their NCARB Record. Simply select the "New Registration Order” button under the “Registrations” tab and follow the instructions on your screen. Learn more about  applying for a reciprocal license.

How do I apply for an NCARB Certificate?

There are two ways to apply for NCARB certification: 1) If you are new to NCARB, simply select the “Add” button under the “NCARB Record” tab, or 2) If you are renewing an existing NCARB Record, you can apply for an NCARB Certificate when you add a new registration.

Once you have met all of the requirements for certification and NCARB has received supporting documentation, we will evaluate your Record. If you meet the requirements for certification, you will be issued a Certificate number. Learn more about  applying for an NCARB Certificate.