Licensing Process

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) manages licensing of new architects. To become licensed, candidates must:

  1. Graduate with a degree from an accredited architecture program
  2. Fulfill the requirements of the Architectural Experience Program (AXP)
  3. Pass all seven* required Architectural Registration Exams (ARE)
  4. File for a license to practice architecture in your region
  5. In order to use "AIA" after your name, you must become a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)

*ARE 5.0 will officially launch November 1, 2016. For more information about 5.0, please visit

To maintain membership, architect members of the American Institute of Architects are required to fulfill a number of Continuing Education (CES) credits each year.

Architect Registration Examination (ARE) Study Options

We understand that everyone learns and studies in different ways. Here at AIA Philadelphia, we want to make the testing process as easy as possible for you!

The ARE Study Courses offered by AIA Philadelphia are a valuable resource for individuals preparing for the examination. Courses are taught by registered architects and engineers who have carefully planned the course based upon reference materials provided by AIA Philadelphia and other sources. Advanced registration is required, and it is free for members to attend. Click here to view the 2016 schedule. Registration for each study course will be announced on our AIA Philadelphia events calendar.  

Additionally, AIA Philadelphia has a lending library of Kaplan and Power to Pass study materials for all sections of the ARE. Study guides, question and answer books, vignettes and flash cards are available. Please contact Julianne Foley at or call 215-569-3186 ext. 101 for more information.

Unable to attend a study course? Black Spectacles offers an online learning option available through AIA National. Click here for more information.

For additional information about the examination, please visit the NCARB website at Best of luck!

Call for ARE Study Course Instructors!

Recently licensed? Interested in helping your colleagues achieve licensure? Become an ARE Study Course Instructor. Email Julianne Foley at for more information.