NCARB has released a new version of its Education Standard, which has been updated to:

  1. Recognize differences in pre-collegiate education in countries outside the United States and Canada, and
  2. Respond to the cost of and difficulty in locating individual college courses offered outside a major program of study by providing additional means of fulfilling education deficiencies.

The updated Education Standard will go into effect on December 18, 2023, and is available now as part of NCARB’s Education Guidelines.

Until December 18, 2023, 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 National Architectural Accrediting Board (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 Two Times AXP or Certificate Portfolio Education Alternatives.

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 the following changes to the Education Standard:

  1. “For post secondary and graduate degrees awarded outside the United States and Canada, proof of upper secondary coursework completed prior to admission to an architecture program may be accepted as determined by the NAAB.” was added under “Additional means to satisfy deficiencies” for each of the following categories within the Liberal Arts subject area:
    • Communication Skills
    • Humanities and Arts
    • Mathematical Sciences
    • Natural Sciences
    • Social Sciences
  2. “Where pre-approved by the NAAB, continuing education (CE) courses may substitute for traditional instruction. Such courses must, in aggregate, meet the credit-hour requirements for each category. Fifteen contact-hours of CE shall be considered equivalent to one semester credit-hour.” was appended to the end of the subsection under the heading “Satisfying deficiencies in” the following subject areas:
    • History, Theory, and Human Behavior
    • Building Technology
    • Professional Practice

Why These Changes

These changes are recommended with the intent of creating more means for candidates to demonstrate and/or achieve the necessary education expected for licensure and certification in the United States.

The first proposed change acknowledges differences regarding when “liberal arts” subjects are taught outside the United States and thus reduces the need for candidates to complete redundant coursework.

The second proposed change offers additional means to acquire and demonstrate architectural learning in specific subject matter areas without the impediments and costs associated with meeting deficiencies through traditional higher education providers.

For more information, contact us.