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!

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 register for individual ARE study sessions. 

Additionally, 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. Please contact Julianne Foley at [email protected] or call 215-569-3186 ext. 101 for more information. ARE 5.0 materials are here!

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!