Any use of the title "Architect" within New York requires licensure in this State. To use that license to practice, you must also be registered in New York.
To be licensed as an architect in New York you must:
- be of good moral character
- be at least 21 years of age.
- meet education requirements.
- meet experience requirements; and
- meet examination requirements.
You must submit an Application for Licensure (Form 1) along with the appropriate fee for licensure and first registration to the Office of the Professions. You must also have any other indicated forms submitted to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.
You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.
The fee depends on which pathway to licensure you select:
|Pathway to Licensure
|Initial License; License via NCARB Certificate; License via Endorsement
|License via Practical Examination - ten years of lawful practice as Principal/Shareholder/Owner of your own architecture firm, without having attempted an NCARB examination
|Limited permit to work on a specific project in New York if you do not have an established business in New York and are not a resident of the State
Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in law when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.
- Do not send cash.
- If you apply for licensure electronically using the online Application for Licensure, you will be required to pay by credit card.
- Other payments must be made by personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. Your cancelled check is your receipt.
- Mail any required forms and fees to the indicated address on the form.
NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.
Individuals who withdraw their licensure application may be entitled to a partial refund. For the procedure to withdraw your application, contact the Architecture Unit by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 250 or by faxing 518-402-5354. The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency. If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure and registration fees and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.
Pathways to Licensure as an Architect in New York
Prior to completing an application for licensure, an applicant must first determine the appropriate pathway to licensure that fits their qualifications. Generally, an applicant will either be seeking their initial license in New York or will be an out of State architect seeking licensure in New York via the NCARB Certificate, Endorsement, or Practical Examination pathways in New York. Foreign architects not seeking licensure via the NCARB Certificate, Endorsement, or Practical Examination pathway who have not passed an NCARB examination (ARE or its predecessors) may be considered initial licensure applicants even if they are licensed as architects in a foreign jurisdiction
- Applicants seeking initial license
- Take the ARE® - NAAB accredited program or US 4-Year Pre-Professional Degree in Architecture
- Take the ARE® - US Degree that is NOT an NAAB accredited program or NOT a US 4-Year Pre-Professional Degree in Architecture
- Take the ARE® - Foreign Degree
- Switching Initial Licensure Jurisdiction to New York from another NCARB Jurisdiction
- Applicants licensed in another jurisdiction
Education Requirements for Initial Licensure or Licensure via the NCARB Certificate
Eligibility for initial licensure or licensure via the NCARB Certificate is based on a combination of education and experience for which units of credit are awarded. The credit awarded for education determines the required number of units (years) of experience, where one unit of experience is equal to one year. An applicant’s combination of education and experience must total at least 12 units, as determined by the State Education Department (the Department). A professional degree from an NAAB-accredited program is NOT required for licensure in New York.
Units assigned to each educational category below are the maximum which the Department may grant. After evaluating the degree or courses successfully completed, the Department may grant fewer units. Except for Category E, credit in the different categories may not be combined; the highest professional education level attained determines the credit. Category E may be combined with educational categories below if determined applicable by the Department.
First professional degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
Maximum credit granted: 9 units
First professional degree from a program not NAAB-accredited
Maximum credit granted: 8 units
Partial completion of an NAAB-accredited program: 2 units of credit for each year completed (up to a maximum of 7 credits)
A four-year pre-professional degree in architecture (note: not all programs qualify; the program must exist within a School of Architecture/Design that has an NAAB-accredited program and must meet certain criteria as determined by the Department) or the foreign equivalent
Maximum credits granted: 7 units
If full curriculum of an NAAB-accredited program was completed but no degree was granted, a maximum of 8 units may be allowed.
Note: In this and following categories, "one year" means the equivalent of one academic year's full-time attendance.
A degree or postsecondary coursework in an architecturally related profession
Maximum credit granted: 5 units
Master's degree in architecturally related studies depending on the category of the first degree
Maximum Credit Granted: 1 unit
A degree or postsecondary coursework in a subject unrelated to architecture
Maximum credit granted: 2 units
A degree or postsecondary coursework in an architecturally related technical program
Maximum credit granted: 2 units
Foreign Education Only
New York performs its own evaluation of foreign-educated candidates through its Bureau of Comparative Education. New York does not require, nor does it accept, an EESA Evaluation or any outside evaluations of foreign education. All foreign-educated candidates are encouraged to begin the process of education review with our Bureau of Comparative Education as soon as possible.
To review an applicant’s foreign education, the candidate must:
- Submit Form 1 - Application for Licensure
- Pay the licensure and first registration fee of $377.00
- Send Form 2 - Certification of Professional Education to your foreign university to complete and send back to the Department with all required documentation. One of our Bureau of Comparative Education evaluators will assign a value for the education.
Applicants with questions regarding the foreign education review process may contact the Bureau of Comparative Education at: COMPED@nysed.gov
Experience Requirements for Initial Licensure or Licensure via the NCARB Certificate
New York has certain experience requirements that differ from NCARB’s requirements. It is your responsibility to read and understand New York's experience requirements.
All experience must be appropriately documented and verified. For applicants seeking initial licensure, documentation of completion of the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®), or its predecessor, the Intern Development Program (IDP), is required. For applicants seeking licensure via the NCARB Certificate, documentation of completion of the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®), or its predecessor, the Intern Development Program (IDP), is required if the applicant was initially licensed on or after September 1, 1999. Applicants must also meet all of New York’s experience requirements.
All experience earned must be at least one month in duration, and one year of architectural work experience is defined as an aggregate total of 12 calendar months of full-time employment. Full-time employment is defined as at least 35 hours of experience earned per week. Any portion of the experience requirement may be completed during periods of time that are not concurrent with full-time attendance at an institution of higher education. The Board may award prorated credit for part-time work, provided it meets New York’s experience requirements.
All experience must be of a scope and nature satisfactory to the State Board for Architecture (State Board), and all experience must be lawful in nature for the experience to count towards New York’s requirements. Generally, if experience was obtained at a company that the State Board deems not to be lawful in nature, the experience will not be awarded any credit towards New York’s licensure requirements, even if NCARB accepts it towards completion of the AXP® requirements. The State Board determines the amount of credit to be awarded. Work experience need not necessarily occur in New York for it to be considered towards the experience requirement.
Please Note: Experience obtained in any work setting as a consultant or contract worker to an architecture firm, or work at your own “design or drafting firm” is generally not given any credit towards the experience requirement for licensure in New York.
New York splits work experience into two categories (Category I or Category J) as noted below:
One unit of credit for each year of diversified experience in appropriate architectural work under the direct supervision of a lawfully practicing architect may be awarded by the State Board.
Maximum credit granted: 12 units
If an applicant’s experience to be considered in Category I was obtained at an architectural firm located in New York or for an out-of-state entity offering architectural services in New York, please be advised that only certain entities that have current filings may lawfully offer architectural services in New York. These include:
- Sole proprietorship, where the sole proprietor is a registered architect in New York
- Professional partnership, where all Partners are registered architects in New York
- Professional Service Corporation (PC)
- Design Professional Service Corporation (DPC)
- Professional Service Limited Liability Company (PLLC)
- Registered Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
- Grandfathered Corporation
With few exceptions, these are the only entities authorized to provide, or offer to provide, architectural services in New York. General Business Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Professional Associations (PA), and Limited Companies (LTD) are not permitted to offer architectural services in New York. Please see this document for more detail on permissible corporate entities.
- For applicants in Category A, a total of at least eight years of education and experience is required in order to obtain 12 units of credit.
- Applicants who are awarded 9 units of educational credit and applicants in Category B must document at least two years of experience in Category I.
- Applicants in Category C must document at least four years of experience in Category I.
- Applicants in Categories D, G, and H must document the majority of their experience in Category I.
One unit of credit for each year of lawful experience in appropriate work related to architecture may be awarded by the State Board.
Maximum credit granted: 0 - 5 units, depending upon the education credit award
This may include work in the following areas:
- a professional engineer’s office
- a government agency related to architectural practice
- a construction manager or contractor's office (or field)
- a related design discipline, such as landscape architecture, interior design
- teaching required courses in an NAAB-accredited architectural program (credit is based on the proportion of a full teaching load). Supplementary documentation is required for teaching.
- conducting or participating in structured research on architectural problems, culminating in a report, subject to Board approval. Supplementary documentation is required for structured research.
In determining credit for experience gained in Category J, the quality and nature of experience must be appropriately related to that gained in an architectural office engaged in diversified practice and any experience gained must be lawful.
Applicants may begin taking the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) if they have:
- completed the 3rd year of an NAAB-accredited Bachelor or Master of Architecture program if the only degree received
- completed the 1st year of an NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture program following receipt of an undergraduate degree
- graduated with a 4-year pre-professional degree in architecture (Education Category C)
- accumulated 7 units of combined education/experience credit
Please note that the documentation supplied to the Department for the purpose of admission to the ARE® may be unofficial or in summary form. The Department will make final determinations related to the granting of an architectural license upon submission of official documentation, including, but not limited to, education, experience, and examination documentation.
NCARB also requires that an applicant has begun a Council Record and goes online to the NCARB website to request to take the ARE® within their Council Record prior to being admitted to the ARE®. To begin a Council Record, request to take the ARE® as a New York candidate, and have New York be your initial jurisdiction of licensure, visit NCARB’s website at www.ncarb.org/.
The Department determines your exam eligibility based on the education and experience guidelines listed above. If eligible, the State Board will open your testing eligibilities in NCARB’s My Examination online system and you should receive an email from NCARB with information to assist with scheduling your divisions of the ARE®. If you are not found eligible to take the ARE®, the State Board will send you an email listing the outstanding requirements.
Please see NCARB’s website at https://www.ncarb.org/pass-the-are to schedule and pay for exam divisions and to see how to receive your score and how to retake a failed ARE® division.
Requesting Examination Accommodations
Applicants requesting exam accommodations for the ARE must complete the appropriate form on the NCARB website, depending upon the type of accommodation requested, and submit it directly to NCARB. If your application for an examination accommodation is denied, or if you have any complaints about accommodations, please contact the New York State Education Department at email@example.com.