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What is the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL)?

The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) is an option within a NAAB-accredited program that gives students the opportunity to complete the requirements for licensure while earning a degree. Learn more about IPAL.

What is the duration requirement?

Some jurisdictions have a minimum employment duration requirement for initial licensure. For example, if your jurisdiction has a three-year duration requirement, you’ll need to document three years of qualifying experience, with the AXP counting toward this requirement. Find out if your board has a duration requirement through our Licensing Requirements tool.

What is the Direct Registration Program?

Jurisdictions that participate in Direct Registration allow NCARB to manage your eligibilities while you complete the ARE—making us your go-to resource until you’re ready to apply for a license. Find out if your jurisdiction participates in the Direct Registration Program.

What is the Direct Eligibility Program?

For jurisdictions participating in the Direct Eligibility Program, we create initial candidate eligibilities, which are then managed by the jurisdiction. Find out if your jurisdiction participates in the Direct Eligibility Program.

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 need an EESA evaluation of your education (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.

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. 

What is the difference between a My NCARB account and an NCARB Record?

A My NCARB account is a free service that provides access to several NCARB resources, such as the ARE 5.0 demonstration exam. If you would like to establish an NCARB Record, you will first need to sign up for a My NCARB account.

If you are an AXP supervisor or mentor, you only need a free account to access your candidate’s experience reports. Learn more about reviewing experience reports.

What is the AXP Portfolio?

Through the AXP Portfolio, seasoned professionals can submit exhibits of work to fulfill the experience requirement for licensure. To be eligible for the portfolio, you must be able to document applicable experience that is older than five years. To see the full list of requirements, download the AXP Guidelines.

What is the Architectural Experience Program™ (AXP™)?

The AXP provides a framework to guide you through earning and recording your professional experience. The program is accepted by most U.S. jurisdictions and is a key step on the path to earning an architecture license.

What is the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®)?

The ARE is a multi-division exam used to assess your knowledge and skills regarding the practice of architecture. The exam is accepted by all U.S. jurisdictions, plus several Canadian associations, and is a key step on the path to earning a license.

What is the Approved Test Prep Provider Program?

NCARB launched the Approved Test Prep Provider Program to help candidates better prepare for ARE 5.0. Through this initiative, test prep companies can submit study materials to an NCARB committee of volunteer architects for review.