A Question for NY-Licensed Architect



To preface, NY state requires 12 "units" before you are eligible for licensure. 9 units you get from NAAB accredited B. Arch or M. Arch degree, and next 3 units, you get from each year of experience. So it usually works out to a degree + 3 years of experience + ARE for licensure (from what I read on NYSED website).

My question is: a Master's degree related to architecture (after B.Arch) can count as 1 unit. I have a "Master of Science, Advanced Architectural Design" from Columbia. I am wondering if that will count as 1 unit, therefore allowing me to apply for licensure now rather than next year. I, of course, have emailed NYSED multiple times to ask whether my Master's may count as 1 unit, but of course they have not answered.

I am wondering if anyone here have first/second-hand experience on this, where their extra Master's on architecture (other than M.Arch) counted as 1 unit.


Mar 20, 23 9:35 pm


I am a B.Arch from India and a Master's of Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia. There is a thing called 'foreign architect path' that's something I have gone ahead with. You can do this path separately with NCARB or NY state. If you want to get licensed in NY and NY only, then it's always worth it getting a license with NYSED. However, if you are open to getting your license elsewhere, that would mean NCARB is a better and faster option. 

Mar 20, 23 10:25 pm  · 
1  · 

Did you get your education evaluated with ESSA to see if it’s qualified?

Apr 4, 23 12:31 am  · 

Also i heard that as The Foreign Architect Path to Certification requires all applicants to have a license to practice architecture in their country and to maintain their foreign license until they become registered as an architect in the United States within one year of gaining NCARB certification. NCARB needs to verify that your architecture license is active and in good standing at the beginning and also at the completion of the certification program, which will require a Credential Verification Form. If the Council of Architecture in India revokes your architecture license based on their current registration requirements and are unable to provide an updated form indicating that your license is active and in good standing at the completion of this program, you will no longer qualify for the Foreign Architect Path to Certification due to an inactive license in your country.
Is this the case with you?

Apr 4, 23 12:44 am  · 
1  · 

I have heard that COA is notorious in revoking the current license when applying for a foreign license. I am wondering too if you have got your NCARB license through the COA license or instead through ESSA evaluating your Bachelors degree?

Apr 4, 23 2:38 am  · 

You can reach out directly to the NY licensing board/department. I had to do it prior to submitting everything. They do respond. 

Mar 21, 23 10:45 am  · 
1  · 

Email them directly. You want something in writing that you can reference.

Either way, one year / one unit is probably pretty minor in the grand scheme of things... worst thing is just keep doing the licensure process and apply for it next year? Have you actually finished your exams?

Mar 28, 23 9:27 am  · 
1  · 

I am extrememly vain. And I am only half joking.

Mar 30, 23 1:22 pm  · 

Since this was three years ago how did this turn out for you?

Mar 30, 23 2:18 pm  · 

It was this week ...

Mar 30, 23 3:37 pm  · 
1  · 

Damn low blood sugar. Transposed the day and year. Thanks for caching that Bench.

Time for me to eat something . . .

Mar 30, 23 4:02 pm  · 
2  · 

Call the ARCH board! They will assist with deciding a path.

Or email if you prefer not to call...they are not too fast in responding email tho (wait for a couple of days or a week maybe?)

Apr 3, 23 4:09 pm  · 

I've recently come across the same question. Can I ask you how this turns out?

May 17, 23 10:30 am  · 


I'm planning to start my initial license registration in NY as well. I have similar conditions that I'm not sure I could meet 12 credits requirements. 

I guess my question is - if considered short of the 12 credits, is there online courses available or extra working experiences can count? Does my employer have to be licensed in NY, or licensed in other states could suffice? 

Feb 26, 24 12:26 pm  · 

Don't forget... the 3 years needs to be completed in at an approved type of entity... PC, PLLC, LLP, Sole Proprietership, DPC. If you work for a regular Corporation or an LLC, your experience WILL NOT count... 

Feb 27, 24 8:42 pm  · 

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