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 officially launched 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!

ARE Study Courses offered by AIA Philadelphia are a valuable resource for individuals preparing for the examination. Courses are taught by our Philadelphia Emerging Architects Committee (PEA). Advanced registration is required, and it is free to attend. The 2019-2020 schedule will be released soon!

AIA Philadelphia has a lending library of ARE study materials for all sections. Study guides, question and answer books, vignettes and flash cards are available on a first come, first serve basis. You are welcome to stop by the AIA Philadelphia office, located at 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, at any time during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) to check out materials. We require a credit card number to check out materials. Cards will not be charged unless materials are lost or damaged. Please contact Julianne Foley at [email protected] or call 215-569-3186 ext. 101 for more information. Please return materials within two weeks, as materials are in high demand. 
ARE 5.0 materials are available now!

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!