Tuesday, July 29, 2008


What are the collaterals?

The following five associations (AIA, AIAS, ACSA, NAAB, and NCARB) are commonly known as the collateral organizations and represent the primary players with the profession – architects, students, educators, the accrediting agency and the state registration boards.

All are sources of information on your path to becoming an architect. Check out their websites.

American Institute of Architects (AIA)
1735 New York Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 626-7300

Comprised of over 58,000 architects in almost 300 local and state chapters, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the largest association for the architectural profession; its mission is to promote and advance the profession and the living standards of people through their built environment.

American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
1735 New York Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 626-7472

The mission of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is to promote excellence in architectural education, training and practice; to foster an appreciation of architecture and related disciplines; to enrich communities in a spirit of collaboration; and to organize architecture students and combine their efforts to advance the art and science of architecture.

Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)
1735 New York Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 785-2324

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is the membership organization that represents the over 100 U.S. and Canadian schools offering accredited first-professional degree programs in architecture; its mission is to advance architectural education through support of member schools, their faculty and students.

The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
1735 New York Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20006-5292
(202) 783-2007

The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture. While graduation from a NAAB-accredited program does not assure registration, the accrediting process is intended to verify that each accredited program substantially meets those standards that, as a whole, comprise an appropriate education for an architect.

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
1801 K St., Ste. 1100K
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 783-6500

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is the organization of the 55 states, territorial and district registration boards that license architects, and the preparer of the Architect Registration Examination and the certification process that facilities reciprocity of individual license between jurisdictions.

Dr. Architecture

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Degree Programs - Accredited

Below are the traditional professional degrees accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).


The bachelor of architecture is an undergraduate five-year degree selected by students coming directly from high school. It is the oldest professional degree offered at the university level in the United States.

At most schools, enrolled students begin intensive architectural studies in the first semester and continue for the duration of the program. If you are highly confident in your choice of architecture as your academic major, pursuing a B.Arch. may be the ideal choice. If, however, you think you may not ultimately choose architecture, the five-year program is not forgiving, meaning that changing majors is difficult.

Recently, a handful of institutions began offering a five-year master of architecture. How are these degrees different than the traditional bachelor of architecture? Contact each institution and ask.


Sometimes known as a 4 + 2, this path to the accredited degree involves first obtaining a pre-professional architecture bachelor of science (B.S.) degree followed by the professional master of architecture (M.Arch.). Pre-professional degrees are four-year degrees that prepare candidates for pursuing a professional degree. The amount of architectural work in the program varies from school to school and determines the length of time required to complete further professional architectural studies, the M. Arch.

Another viable option for this particular route is to begin your studies at a community college. Often, the first two years of a B.S. degree are predominately general education courses that can be taken at a community college. However, it is important to be in touch with the institution at which you plan to continue studies about what courses to take and when to apply. Depending on the institution, it may be worth transferring early rather than receiving an associate’s degree from the community college.

Note that if you graduate with the pre-professional degree, you may not be eligible to become licensed in most states. Therefore, if you desire to be a licensed architect, you should continue your studies in the professional M.Arch. degree program. There are a few states in which you can pursue licensure with a pre-professional undergraduate degree, but you would not be able to obtain the NCARB Certificate necessary for reciprocal licensure.

The professional M.Arch. is a graduate-level degree that typically lasts two years and offers a comprehensive professional education. The combination of the B.S. degree with the M.Arch. offers flexibility, as you may take any number of years off to gain experience between the two degrees. Plus, you may choose to attend a different institution for your graduate studies.


A master of architecture program is available for candidates with an undergraduate degree in a field other than architecture. It offers a comprehensive professional education. Depending on the institution, this accredited M.Arch. will take between three and four years of study to complete. Some institutions require that calculus, physics, and freehand drawing be taken before admission. Depending on your particular educational background, you may need to fulfill these prerequisites.

Some of these programs have the student begin work in the summer before the first semester, while others require full-time study during a later summer semester. Be sure to explore the curricular differences among the programs you are considering.


As a professional degree, the doctor of architecture (D.Arch.) is currently available only at the University of Hawaii. The program is seven years in length and is unique in that it allows the graduate to fulfill the education requirement for taking the licensing exam, whereas the post-professional doctoral degrees do not. As the D.Arch. is an accredited degree, you are encouraged to contact the University of Hawaii if you are interested in this route.

Dr. Architecture