Destination Architect: Earning a Degree

To become an architect, you’ll need to complete several steps designed to build your skills and ensure you’re ready to competently design buildings that protect the public health, safety, and welfare. One of your first steps is graduating from architecture school!

In most U.S. states and territories, you’ll need to earn a degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). With the help of volunteer architects, the NAAB evaluates and accredits over 150 programs to ensure students graduate with both technical and critical skills.

Most licensure candidates will earn a Bachelor or Master of Architecture, but you can also earn a Doctor of Architecture degree. If you’re looking to fast-track your path to licensure, consider enrolling in an Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) option. Created in 2015, IPAL provides students with a unique opportunity to complete the experience and exam requirements while earning a degree. See the full list of current IPAL programs.

No matter where you earn an architecture degree, you can begin reporting real-world experience toward the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®) while in school—including summer work experience, design competitions, or hands-on construction work.

Need help finding an accredited program? Visit the NAAB’s website to search by location or degree type.


To learn more about earning a degree and more tips to consider on the path to licensure, visit destinationarchitect.org.