NAAB Statements

In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

The Penn State Department of Architecture offers the following two NAAB-accredited degree programs:

B.Arch. (162 undergraduate credits)
The Penn State Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) program is a five-year accredited degree in architecture. The program received an eight year term of re-accreditation in 2023. The next accreditation visit for the B.Arch program will occur in 2031.

M.Arch. (preprofessional degree + 97 graduate credits)
The Penn State Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program is a two- or three-year accredited degree in architecture. Entry into the two-year versus three-year program depends on the student's undergraduate degree and the specific nature of their completed courses. The program received an eight-year term of re-accreditation in 2019. The next accreditation visit for the M.Arch program will occur in 2027.

Resources and Links:

Licensed Architects Must Pass the NAAB Architect Registration Examination

Penn State ARE 5.0 pass rates are above the national average in all test divisions.

  • Construction & Evaluation
  • Practice Management
  • Programming & Analysis
  • Project Development & Documentation
  • Project Management
  • Project Planning & Design
ARCH 132 student architectural perspective rendering of modern concrete and steel building


Architectural Experience Program

The Architectural Experience Program (AXP) is a profession-wide program that guides the training and development of intern architects. Every intern architect must complete 3,740 hours in a specified range of professional activities in addition to passing the Architectural Registration Examination prior to becoming an architect.

Completion of the AXP typically takes three to five years. Students can establish an AXP file with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). All students can start earning credit upon enrollment in an accredited professional degree architectural program. In some cases, students establishing eligibility with the NCARB may be able to earn AXP credit prior to enrollment in a professional degree program. So get started as soon as you can!

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)

Follow the links below to get an overview of the NCARB AXP program and process, including establishing your Record File and get started with AXP: