Friday, January 14, 2011

RIBA to the US

I am writing to request some information regarding the route to becoming an architect in the USA. I am currently just finishing my RIBA part 1 in London England and considering the option of continuing my education in California with the intention of becoming AIA registered. Is this an option? Thank you for your time.

First, congratulations on your decision to continue your education in California and to pursue licensure in the U.S.

This route is definitely an option for you and completing your education will help immensely, but please note that unlike in the U.K., the AIA has nothing to do with the licensure of architects in the U.S.  The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a professional organization and provides benefits to its membership.

Instead, each state or jurisdiction awards licensure while the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) oversees the process at the national level. 

Basically, the process is three steps - 1) Education, 2) Experience, and 3) Examination.  For most states, you must gain a professional NAAB accredited degree (; you can pursue the Bachelor of Architecture or the Master of Architecture.  Next, you must complete the Intern Development Program which is working for a licensed architect for about three years ( and the final step is taking an passing the seven part Architect Registration Examination (ARE -

If you still have a desire to still return to U.K., you may wish to consider University of Maryland as they had been RIBA validated; I am not sure if they still are (

I wish you the best and feel free to send more questions.

Dr. Architecture


Alaa said...

Dear Doctor Architecture,

I really appreciate your blog! Just that exists brings me comfort. I am recent graduate from the University of Newcastle in the UK, with a RIBA stage 1 accredited bachelor degree (3years). I have been applying to do my masters in the US and I have applied to numerous universities, casting my net as wide as it is financially feasible. My question is "Is a RIBA Stage 1 Architecture degree equivelent to the American 5 year Barch"? and on the basis of that when I have to choose between professional (3 years usually masters programmes) or Post-professional (usually three semesters) which one am I qualified for?

Thank you so much and I apologise for the lengthy comment/question.


Unknown said...

Hi, I am at the same situation as you, and have the same quesitions as you.

Have you got the answers from Dr Arhitecture, if so, I would love to hear.

Many thanks