You want to be an architect. That's great!
Architects design the built environment and are responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of the public. But architects also make things, work to improve public health, prepare for natural disasters, and advocate for climate change.
Architects, like doctors and lawyers, must be licensed, or registered, to practice. Every U.S. jurisdiction (50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) requires licensure. And every jurisdiction has three requirements:
- Education. A NAAB-accredited professional degree is accepted by all jurisdictions and required by 35
- Experience. Licensure requires you to document real-world experience through the Architect Experience Program® (AXP®)
- Examination. Your knowledge and skills as a budding architect are assessed by the six-division Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®)
If you’re thinking about studying architecture, there are many resources available for you :
- Your Guide to a Career in Architecture
- NAAB School Search
- NCARB Becoming an Architect
- American Institute of Architecture Students
There are 175 NAAB-accredited programs and 8 candidate programs at 147 institutions from which to choose. As you begin to investigate architecture programs, keep in mind there are three paths to obtaining a NAAB-accredited, professional architecture degree:
- Obtain a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree, which is a five-year, professional undergraduate degree. This is different than a four-year pre-professional degree in architecture, such as a Bachelor of Science in Architecture.
- Obtain a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree:
- If you want to study architecture at a four-year pre-professional degree program, most M.Arch. programs will take two years to complete.
- If you want to study, or have already obtained, a degree in any non-architecture subject, most M.Arch. programs will take three years to complete.
- Certain programs offer a five-year, single-institution M.Arch. degree.
- Obtain a Doctor of Architecture (D.Arch.) degree. Currently the University of Hawai’I at Mānoa offers the only accredited D.Arch.