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The Three E's of Architecture

The three components of architecture licensure—Education, Experience, Examination—succinctly state the requirements to become an architect. The AIA and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) also sponsor ARCHcareers.org, a website highlighting the three E's in depth. Considering education and career options? Visit www.acsa-arch.org to find guidance on high school course preparation, how to select a university architecture program, what it's like to be an architecture student, and a list of U.S. architecture programs.

Students

Education

As you consider architecture degree programs, it's important to be aware of the distinct difference between an accredited versus a non-accredited degree program. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the authorized agency to accredit U.S. professional degree programs. This credential can impact your career path options as most states require an accredited degree to become an architect.

Experience

In most states, internship is required experience to become an architect. The Intern Development Program (IDP) is administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and is a tool that aids architecture interns in gaining appropriate experience while working in a firm.

Examination

The final step to become an architect is completion of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), a seven division exam that is required for licensure in all 54 U.S. jurisdictions. The ARE is developed and administered by NCARB. The ARE is a minimum competency exam that assesses candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide the various services required in the practice of architecture.

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