Architect's Liscencing Process


In most states (jurisdictions), to become licensed, candidates must earn a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Master of Architecture: Accredited degree programs awarding the M. Arch. degree must require a minimum of 168 semester credit hours, of which 30 semester credit hours must be at the graduate level, in academic coursework in professional studies and electives.


The Intern Development Program (IDP) is a comprehensive training program created to ensure that interns in the architecture profession gain the knowledge and skills required for the independent practice of architecture.

Aspiring architects must acquire 3,740 hours to satisfy the IDP experience requirement. One hour equals one hour of acceptable experience in an IDP experience setting. The online reporting system allows interns to document their experience directly.

The IDP application fee is $350 and is valid for three years. 


All 54 U.S. jurisdictions require the completion of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The examination is broken into seven divisions consisting of multiple choice and graphical questions.

a. Programming, Planning & Practice
b. Site Planning & Design
c. Building Design & Consultation Systems
d. Schematic Design
e. Structural Systems
f. Building Systems
g. Construction Documents & Services

The cost of the ARE (seven divisions) is $1,470; or $210 per division.


All jurisdictions require individuals to be licensed (registered) before they may call themselves architects and contract to provide architectural services. Each jurisdiction sets its own requirements for initial registration, examination, and corporate practice.

Eligibility Requirements by State

MISSOURI: Completion of a NAAB-accredited degree program and a portion of the IDP. The application fee is $100. 
NEBRASKA: Completion of a NAAB-accredited degree program and a portion of the IDP. The application fee is $150.
KANSAS: Completion of a NAAB-accredited degree program, IDP and a minimum of 5,600 professional hours. The application fee is $60.


Published on by Matthew LaBreche.