NCARB Releases New Education Standard

NCARB has released a new version of its Education Standard, which has been updated to remain in alignment with the National Architectural Accrediting Board’s (NAAB) 2020 Conditions for Accreditation. The updated Education Standard will go into effect on January 6, 2021, and is available now as part of NCARB’s Education Guidelines.

Until January 6, 2021, both the current and updated versions of the Education Standard will be available. View the current Education Standard.

Purpose of the Education Standard

The NCARB Education Standard approximates the requirements of a professional degree from a program accredited by the NAAB. It is used to evaluate the educational background of individuals who do not have a degree from a NAAB-accredited program—typically those pursuing licensure or certification as a foreign applicant, or those pursuing NCARB certification through the Education Alternative.

The Education Standard comprises pages 23-39 of the NCARB Education Guidelines.

Changes to the Education Standard

With input from its volunteer experts, members, and Board of Directors, NCARB has implemented changes that align the Education Standard with the NAAB’s Conditions for Accreditation. These include:

  • Three subject categories have been broken out explicitly and added to the Education Standard: English Composition, History and Theory of Urbanism, and Building Performance.
  • Words were updated to utilize more common terminology (for example, “Optional Studies” was renamed “Electives”).
  • Additional means to address education deficiencies through the Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA) process were added in the areas of proficiency in the English language and several of the Building Technology categories.
  • The Design categories have been revised and redefined from four categories to three: Fundamental Design, Investigative Design, and Design and Building Integration.
  • Minor adjustments were made to the credit hour requirements for each subject area.

Changes to the Education Guidelines

In addition, NCARB made clarifying edits throughout the rest of the Education Guidelines to help candidates and architects navigating the education requirement. These changes reflect updated information from both NCARB and the NAAB, including:

  • Clarification regarding NAAB-accredited programs outside of the United States and Canada.
  • Updated contact information and instructions for navigating the EESA process via the NAAB.
  • Guidance regarding pursuing U.S. licensure as a foreign architect vs. a foreign-educated applicant.
  • Clarification regarding the two paths of the NCARB Education Alternative.

Updates to the portion of the Education Guidelines outside of the Education Standard (pages 1-22) are effective immediately.

In the coming months, NCARB will work closely with individuals who are impacted by the updated Education Standard, including those in the process of completing the Certificate Portfolio path of the Education Alternative. For more information, contact us.