What Educational Requirements Are There for Becoming an Architect?


Quick Answer

Architects must earn a professional degree in architecture from an accredited architecture school to become licensed to practice in most states. The National Architecture Accrediting Board must certify all professional degree programs.

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Full Answer

Professional architectural degree programs take three to six years to complete. There are three typical paths to earning an professional degree in architecture. Undergraduates typically take five-year architectural degree programs, eventually earning a Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture degree.

Some professional architecture degrees require the completion of a four-year pre-professional degree in architecture or environmental design followed by the completion of an intensive, two-year professional degree program.

Graduate programs are another professional architecture degree path and take three years to complete. They are designed for individuals holding bachelor's degrees in any subject matter.

Post-professional degree programs provide advanced study in specialized areas such as urban design, historic preservation and architectural history; these programs typically take one to five years to complete. They are not certified by the National Architecture Accrediting Board and do not require a professional degree to complete.

Non-professional architecture degrees, although not NAAB-accredited, may be beneficial for students seeking entry-level positions in architecture firms and students who plan on obtaining a graduate professional degree.

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