Registered Architect Licensure Requirements Snapshot

Professional Degree

1 Examination

3 Years of Experience

No Continuing Education

$40.00 Initial Fee

$100.00 Renewal Fee

An individual registered by the state licensing board that engages in the profession of architecture. The practice of architecture involves the design and construction of a structure or group of structures which have as their principal purpose human habitation or use, and the utilization of space within and surrounding such structures. Other services include planning, providing preliminary studies, designs, drawings, specifications, and other design documents, construction management and administration of construction contracts.

Degree Requirement: 

Professional Degree - Applicant shall submit evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant holds a professional degree in architecture from an accredited school and has obtained at least three years' practical experience in the employ of or under the direct supervision of a registered architect or as part of the applicant's academic training. 

*In lieu of a professional degree in architecture, the board may accept evidence of at least six years' practical experience obtained in the employ of or under the direct supervision of a registered architect which may include academic training.

Examination Requirement: 

1 Examination - A candidate must successfully pass the the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).


3 Years - If a candidate holds a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited degree, they will be required to complete a minimum of three years of experience through the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and pass all sections of the ARE. 

If a candidate does not hold a NAAB accredited degree, they must apply to the State Board for pre-approval to take the ARE and must have at least 3 years of experience through the AXP completed, plus and additional 6 years of experience before they can become eligible for licensure. 

Continuing Education:

No continuing education requirement for licensure

Initial Licensing Fee: 

$40.00 – For candidates who hold a NAAB accredited degree

$70.00 – For candidates that do not hold a NAAB accredited degree 

Licensure Renewal Fee: 

$100.00 - Biennial renewal of license

Licensure by Reciprocity & Licensure by Act 41:

Act 41 allows for portability of out-of-state professional licensees coming to work in Pennsylvania. Act 41 does this by granting all boards and commissions within the Commonwealth the authority to endorse licensees from other states, territories or jurisdictions (with substantially equivalent licensing requirements) who are active, in good standing and without discipline against their license or criminal conviction. Possession of an NCARB Certificate is sufficient evidence that the individual meets the requirements of the Commonwealth.

In addition, the board may issue a certificate to individuals who have lawfully practiced architecture in another state or country for a period of more than ten years if such individual achieves a satisfactory score on a practical examination.