RIBA part 2 in the US


Hi I'm new:)

I'm european and I was wondering if anyone know the correspondent US qualification for a RIBA part 2 Architect (5 years MArch+ 2 of prof. experience). In the UK, where I work now, you can apply as an "Architect" only if you are registered at RIBA after the part 3 exam. A part 2 can only work as a part 2 Architectural Assistant.

Thanks for your help!

Jun 15, 09 2:03 am

What I do know is that (unlike within the EU) there is no reciprocal agreement between the US and UK over architecture qualifications. If an architect was arriving from the US the the UK they would have to be assessed by the ARB to decide whether their qualifications were equivalent.

What's more, the rules in the US seem to vary from State to State (which is fair enough, most states are bigger than a European country!). Generally it seems US architecture students take an architecture degree followed by an MA type qualification. But it is possible to take a non-architecture degree and qualify for architectural practice by taking an architecture Masters. There are certainly more options.

Jun 15, 09 8:16 am

I the US our undergrad BArch is 5 years of study which is equal to the UK Part 1 (3 years) and Part 2 (diploma). We are not required to do a year out, but do work over summers when possible.
A Masters (MArch 1, 3 yrs of Arch study with undergrad degree not in Architecture) is also about equivalent to a Part is considered that way in the States anyway. An March2 which is a further year or two on top of an already recieved BArch doesnt get you a higher standing, just more schooling and the possibility to teach in the future.

After you finish these degrees you are then an intern architect, architectural designer or junior architect...all offices will have different titles, there is no standard. You are at this level until you finish your IDP units (700 units is 5600 hours working in an office) and take your exams (x7) which is the equivalent of a Part 3 in the UK and becoming a licensed or registered architect. We dont do case studies like you do in the UK.

I dont know what a 5 year MArch is, as it doesnt exist in the States so cant comment on the equivalency.

Like lekizz says it is tough to get your degrees recognised by both countries as there is no reciprocity so you will bound by where you degree comes from, how much effort you want to make in converting, doing another round of schooling in the other country or simply accepting the situation and remaining uncliecensed in one of them...

Jun 15, 09 8:33 am

*In the US

Jun 15, 09 8:33 am

Thanks justavisual and lekizz, that's what I wanted to know. It wasn't clear to me which positions I could apply for in the US. (the issue is not really being registered)

Cheers, have a nice week :)


Jun 15, 09 5:08 pm

What would be the natural progression from a RIBA Part 1 in the US? 

In other words, if one were to move from UK to US having only RIBA Part 1 (BA level - 3 years), what programs would one be looking at?

As far as I understand B.Arch = 4 years , so would one be allowed into US M.Arch from UK RIBA Part 1?

Thanks and regards, 

Oct 13, 12 5:05 pm

Yes, it would be considered equivalent to a US BA 4 year award - and you would be allowed to do MArch leading to US professional registration - all universities have different rules and course routes - from ranging from 1 to 3.5 years. So very specific to the Uni -

Also, there are no longer any RIBA Part II validated programes - Maryland used to be but is no longer - so you would need to spend £££ getting your degree validated by Arb if you wanted to be UK Qualified - You might think about attending a school with an semester/year exchange in the US.

All US Uni's have much higher tuition than any UK school even with a £9k home tuition.

Oct 14, 12 10:41 am

Thank you very much - That's all I needed to know



Oct 17, 12 7:20 pm

Just to clarify then a RIBA part 2 would be equivalent to a US undergrad BArch? And for a UK RIBA P2 to work in the US they would need to work under the Intern Dev. Program (IDP)  am I right? Can a fresh riba part 2 grad. enrol in the IDP?

Dec 27, 13 6:38 pm

I would say RIBA Part 2 is equal to MArch/BArch in the US[Min 5 year professional degree]. Part I is equal to BA/BS [4 year - non professional]

NCARB states you need is a high school degree to register for IDP - registering for IDP is independent on getting your degree evaluated for equivalency which is costly and time consuming.  

Dec 28, 13 2:24 am

Hello I am currently a high school senior. intially my plan was to study a b.arch (5years) in the US to become an accredited architect , although compared to the U.K. It is a lot more expensive. So I would like to know if I were to complete RIBA part 1 (3 years) in the U.K. What would that equal to in the US and would I be able to become accredited in the US., if so how many years would that be and is it possible to do? Thankyou so much for responses I am really anxious and I'm trying to look at all the options possible!

Sep 8, 17 1:20 pm

If you don't plan to work / live in the UK, you are best to do the US route.  Look for in state tuition or if your state doesn't have a 5 year, look to move to the state that has a BArch for a year or so to qualify for in state tuition. 

Part 1 is not equivalent to a US Professional degree but you may be able to use it as entry to a 2 year MArch in the states. 

US/UK do not have automatic reciprocity and make you jump through hoops to have the degree qualified to US criteria.  

Sep 9, 17 11:06 am

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