Monday, July 22, 2013

EESA Becoming an Architect

Dear Dr. Architecture
First in first: I’ve to say that I’m glad that I found your blog because is quite interesting and exhaustive and when I started to read all your answers I understood that is a matter of heart!. Then, I bought your book and I found a lot of answers, interesting comments and point of view about our profession, about how to do and the best way to do it , about architects with different experience...but my questions are still there without an answer...
I am a foreign italian architect. I have been reading for the last six month everything about the NCARB, the NAAB, the EESA but I have to confess that I’m still confused and I’m not so sure the best path for me to do. Can you help me?.
My credentials are:

- a Bachelor Degree in Architecture (Architettura U.E. – Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”): it is a five year degree with 300 credits (150 US credits)
- a Master II Level Degre (Master P.A.R.E.S. – Master in Architectural Design for the Recovery of Historical Buildings and Public Spaces): it is an one year degree with 60 credits (30 US credits)
- and to conclude, I’m a Licensed Architect (My Proffessional Association: The Order of Roman Architects: Albo dell’ “Ordine degli Architetti Pianificatori Paesaggisti e Conservatori di Roma e Provincia”, member since 2011)
What should I do to start my process of accreditation?  I read that for a Licensed Architect the best thing to do is the BEA/BEFA Program but I don’t have seven years of experience like a Licensed Architect, but just two...and even if I have five plus years of experience, before, I worked while I was studying to present my board test.
While the process of accreditation goes ahead and/or before I present all the documents, can I start to submit the IDP hours?! Is it possible?!

Do you think there is a better way to do?  I am reall confused about all the process and I’m having some problems with the University of Rome due to the certified Academic Course Description so I’ll really apreciate if you can give some advices and how can I proceed to make my path easiest.

Than you, again, for your kindness. Best regards,


Before I answer your questions directly, allow me to provide an overview of the formal process of becoming an architect in the U.S.  To become an architect in the U.S., you need to accomplish three tasks:

1) Education - For most, this is accomplished through obtaining a NAAB accredited professional degree in the U.S.  As this can only be accomplish through a U.S. institution, NCARB ( does allow an individual to have their foreign education evaluated against the NCARB Education Standard; this process is done via EESA - Evaluating Education Services for Architects (

What is the NCARB Educational Standard?

The NCARB Educational Standard is established by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. NCARB determines the minimum number of credits which are required for coursework taken in five major categories and sub-categories within each major category. The five categories are (1) General Education, (2) History, Human Behavior and Environment; (3) Design, (4) Technical Systems and (5) Practice. 

The Education Standard further stipulates that an applicant must have a minimum of 160 semester credits, overall. Please refer to

2) Experience - To satisfy this task, one my fulfill IDP (Intern Development Program -; basically, you must work under the supervision of an architect for a period of time (5600 hours) gaining experience in different training categories.

3) Examination - For the last task, you must take and pass all seven exams of the ARE (Architect Registration Exam - (

With the above stated, your first step is to pursue EESA - having your foreign education evaluated.  I would suggest you read the NCARB Education Standard (see above listing).  It is likely that you will be deficient in an area requiring you to take an additional course or two.

You may wish to contact EESA for more direct answers to your questions.

However, I think that you can start your NCARB Council Record to begin recording your IDP Experience - you will be limited to how much time can be under a foreign architect (again review the materials listed above).

At minimum, if you have more questions contact NCARB or the registration board of the state in which you wish to become licensed.

I wish you the best.


Emanuele said...

Hi everybody,
I am very interested I connecting with other Italian architects willing to start practicing in the US and looking for more info on how to tackle the many required steps.
If interest please shoot me an email a
Daniele Pichi

Anonymous said...

I have just passed my 10th. and i m really interested in interior architecture and design. But i do not want to do this in india. Can someone please tell me which international examinations are required necessarily to apply in abroad universities?
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