B.S.Arch -> IDP -> M.A. -> Licensed Architect?


hi everyone, I'm new here. i would like to clarify somethings about other paths in order to be a licensed architect here in U.S.

I just got my degree in Bachelor of Science in Architecture in other country and right after i got it, my family move to U.S. since I'm new here, i'm trying to research how can i get to be a licensed architect. I already read the info posted on NCARB and NAAB sites and there's a lot of money and time involved for me to be licensed.

  • my plan is to get a job first as an intern/ junior architect  to gather experience while i try to save money for my degree to be evaluated by the EESA ( worth almost 3k USD) and to enter an accredited graduate program (M.A.) then take the ARE.

so i need your help about the lingering questions inside my head:

as a B.S.Archi degree holder, can i already enter IDP? since they require to complete IDP before taking ARE (to be efficient and save time, and balance my financial resources so that when i already got the money to evaluate my degree and enter and finish a graduate degree program i can immediately take the exam)

i would like to here your advice about my problem and is there any better path for me to be a licensed architect? i do really appreciate your help .

thanks in advance, my colleagues. 

Apr 6, 13 10:17 am

I'm sorry that you have to spend so much money to have your credential evaluated.  Can you shop the price?

Check the NCARB site thoroughly and look for comparative initial licensing.  Some states will allow you to start IDP with a BS or BA (4 year), others require a B.Arch./M.Arch., and some, though few, will allow it with a high school diploma.  Also, within all these states, the taking of the test can be very soon, partway through IDP, or IDP must be completed.  No one, it seems, is on the same page.  For example, one of the more typical states now is Florida.  It requires a B.Arch./M.Arch., but I believe they let you test somewhere along the line before all the IDP hours are done, which means you can test, get it out of the way, and then chase down the elusive IDP hours.  EVERY state is different.

Also, once they deem your BS or BA to be equivalent, you need to enroll in an accredited M.Arch. program (probably 2 years) to get licensure opportunity in any state.  While you may license with a BA or BS in some states, you might find that an adjacent state will not grant you a license because they want more education.

Again, check the state by state comparative registration requirements on NCARB's site.

Apr 6, 13 3:45 pm

hi observant, thanks for that informational reply. I've seen that NCARB and NAAB sites are newly updated compared to about 6 months ago when i try to research about being a future architect.. 

The price for EESA accreditation is USD 1,900 however those requirements EESA needs will be coming from another country, thus adding shipment cost and lots of other costs plus a guess work of inflation, So I just estimated it to be somewhat around USD 3,000 maximum (hopefully it doesn't go above this price when i'm ready).

I've read that in California you only need about ~10years of experience for you to take ARE.  even if you don't have any degree at all. and oh by the way, my B.S.Archi degree is a 5 year course; does it have an impact vs those 4 year B.S. Archi courses offered? 

also do you happen to know other state somewhat similar to California's requirements?

and now I've just realized my situation  which is soooo much worst!  compared to those people posting here (who graduated locally and doesn't have to do all this additional stress i'm doing) about them having no jobs (highest unemployment rate). I feel a little low now, and if this all didn't work, ill consider applying to flip burger at our local McDonalds and just give up my dream and trash my education and just try to be living.

thanks again sire, hoping for others too to also throw in their thoughts especially those who have/had this similar problems like me.

Apr 7, 13 2:18 am

many people practice and earn good money without license.

if you really want to have professional accreditation, won't it be an option to

get one from europe? like RIBA or SBA (dutch licence, heard you just have to have one year

experience in netherland after your degree) but I think this is easier if you have

European arch degree, so if its from somewhere else, might be a problem.

Even if you want to practice in US later, I think many places respect RIBA license.

If you really don't want to bother with the evaluation craziness, and still want a us license,

it sounds like good idea to go for an accredited 2yr m.arch and be qualified for ARE (plus you come out with M.arch)

stay cheerful... it won't be too bad.

Apr 7, 13 4:47 am

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