2024 Revisions to the 2020 Conditions for Accreditation

In May 2023 NAAB sent out a call for comment on proposed revisions to Condition 4.2 of the 2020 Conditions for Accreditation. We received a number of comments, some of them complex, raising important issues with respect to the proposal that required additional research. NAAB has revised the proposal for which we are seeking further feedback.

Background: May 2023 Call for Comment and Response

In May 2023, NAAB issued a public comment on a proposal to remove language in Condition 4.2, which states: “NAAB-accredited professional degree programs have the exclusive right to use the B.Arch., M.Arch., and/or D.Arch. titles, which are recognized by the public as accredited degrees and therefore may not be used by non-accredited programs.” The proposal to remove this Condition was intended to support those accredited programs that are otherwise compliant with NAAB Conditions and Procedures for Accreditation but may not be able to meet Condition 4.2 due to other requirements that apply to them and regulations relating to degree conventions. At the same time, NAAB proposed strengthening the requirements in Condition 6: Public Information, to ensure that programs clearly distinguish accredited programs from non-accredited programs.
In response to the proposed revisions, our community shared concerns about the possibility that these changes would cause confusion among students, employers, and the public in distinguishing between NAAB-accredited professional degrees that prepare students for licensure and non-accredited architecture degree options.
The NAAB Board of Directors reviewed all feedback from the public comment period during its July 2023 meeting and decided to continue its research of accreditation processes related to distinguishing accredited from non-accredited programs. Based on the results of that research, and recognizing the concerns raised during the earlier public comment period, the NAAB Board of Directors is proposing to maintain the current requirements expressed in Condition 4.2 and require institutions with NAAB-accredited degree programs to use the degree titles of B.Arch., M.Arch., and D.Arch. for accredited programs only.

New Recommendation

The NAAB Board has made a minor revision to the language of Condition 4.2 to improve clarity while affirming the requirement that “…the terms B.Arch., M.Arch., and D.Arch. are reserved for use by the institutional sponsor’s NAAB-accredited architecture degree programs, except in the case where compliance with this requirement would violate state, federal, or national law.” The Condition has also been revised to add a requirement that institutions with NAAB-accredited degree programs that also sponsor non-accredited architecture degree programs place clear statements in all relevant publications and marketing materials that those programs are not NAAB-accredited and may not meet licensure requirements in many US states.
On behalf of prospective and current students, the profession, educational institutions, and employers, these changes will protect the integrity of NAAB accreditation and the recognition it has earned over the last several decades. The Board has adjusted the language in Condition 4.2 to reflect these changes:
  • Click here to view a red-line document outlining the specific changes in the Conditions.
  • Click here to view the “clean” version, with the changes incorporated in the document.

Seeking Input: March 14–April 13, 2024

Please review the changes and provide your feedback by adding your comments to this survey. The survey will remain open from March 14, 2024, through April 13, 2024.