While NCARB works to create national standards and programs for the profession, licenses to practice architecture are issued by the state in which you are practicing.

The 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands each have an architecture board that is responsible for issuing licenses, regulating the practice of architecture within its borders, and protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare. These licensing boards are vital to ensure that the practice of architecture is limited to qualified professionals who can safely meet the needs of their consumers. Together, the 54 jurisdictions make up NCARB’s membership and work with NCARB to develop standards and programs, which serve as a framework that guides each jurisdiction’s individual requirements.

Before practicing architecture in a jurisdiction, you must meet the requirements for licensure established by that jurisdiction. NCARB’s national standards help facilitate licensure between jurisdictions, also called reciprocal licensure, but some licensing boards have different or additional requirements specific to the needs and concerns of their public.

Visit our licensing requirements tool to view and compare the requirements for establishing and maintaining an architecture license across the United States, as well as NCARB’s recommended requirements. For specific questions, contact your jurisdiction’s licensing board.

Each jurisdiction also belongs to an NCARB region. Once a year, the 54 jurisdictions gather for NCARB’s Annual Business Meeting, where representatives vote on resolutions regarding programs, guidelines, and NCARB Model Law. These members also elect NCARB’s officers and directors and serve on the committees that guide the development of the architecture profession.