International Certification

The NAAB Board of Directors established its first international assessment program in 2003, then known as Substantial Equivalency (SE). Between 2003 and 2019, 16 programs achieved the SE designation. In mid-2019, NAAB conducted two surveys of its constituent programs to examine the SE program and, based on the results, decided to change the name from Substantial Equivalency to NAAB International Certification.

NAAB International Certification identifies a program as comparable in educational outcomes in all significant aspects to a U.S.-based program and indicates that it provides an educational experience meeting acceptable standards, even though such program may differ in format or method of delivery. It further indicates that a program has met the Conditions for NAAB International Certification, which are comparable to the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation in all significant aspects. Although NAAB International Certification is not accreditation, it represents that a program of architecture has achieved the highest standard of quality assurance in professional architecture education.

Graduates of architecture programs holding NAAB International Certification (at the point of graduation) must still determine if their education meets the NCARB Education Standard before seeking their architecture license in a U.S. jurisdiction. This is accomplished through the Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA) program offered by NAAB. Graduates of architecture programs holding NAAB International Certification are eligible for an expedited review at a discounted fee. Visit the EESA page for more information.