Kelly M.’s Answer
Many state licensure boards require Architects to have what is called a Professional Degree: Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture. These professional degrees require a minimum of 5 years of college, in general.
These programs are monitored by NAAB and NCARB.
Not every state requires the professional degree, some states allow work experience to count towards education.
I started my college education in a 5 year professional program but changed my mind after 4 years. I graduated with a Bachelor of Art, not Architecture.
I spent 15 years working before I decided to apply for a license.
I applied to the Pennsylvania state board and had a special hearing where I demonstrated my education and work experiences. They voted to allow me to sit for the Architect Registration Exams.
I studied for many hours, sat for 5 very long exams and passed each one.
Kelly M. recommends the following next steps:
- Go to NCARB.org, see what state you want to work in requires for Architecture education.
- Check NAAB to make sure the college program you are considering is accredited for Professional Degrees.
- Check for other programs that aren't 5 years, such a Drexel University 7 year long program where you work during the day and go to school at night.