NAAB Accreditation

Harry Falconer, AIA, NCARB, Presentation: "The Path Toward Licensure"

In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.


Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.


University of Maryland, School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:


M.Arch (pre-professional degree + 60 graduate credits)

M.Arch (non-pre-professional degree + 109 credits)


Next accreditation visit for both programs: 2017


Additional information about NAAB can be found at:

Career Development Information

The links below provide resources for you to develop an understanding of the larger context for architecture education and the career pathways available to graduates of accredited degree programs:


Webpages, Handbooks, and Articles:

The NCARB Handbook for Interns and Architects

Toward an Evolution of Studio Culture

The Emerging Professional's Companion



The American Institute of Architects

The American Institute of Architecture Students

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

The National Architectural Accrediting Board

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards

The National Organization of Minority Architects



Architect? A Candid Guide to the Profession, Roger K. Lewis, FAIA, (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press)

Becoming an Architect, Lee W. Waldrep, PhD., (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)


Career Services for University of Maryland Students:

The University of Maryland and the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation offer robust career and placement services for its students.


University of Maryland’s Career Center has information on writing resumes, cover letters, and preparing for interviews. The Career Center also offers job fairs throughout the year.  Click here for more information.


Want to explore your opportunities in architecture or a related field?  The  School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Career Services offers extensive services to students.  Contact Kristen Tepper, Director of Career Services to set up an appointment.

Architects Registration Examination Pass Rates

Annually, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards publishes pass rates for each section of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) by institution. This information may be useful to you while planning your higher/post-secondary education.


Link to the annual ARE pass rates.

Accreditation History


The Bachelor of Architecture degree was offered at the University of Maryland from the time of foundation of the School of Architecture in 1967 until the degree's phase-out in 1987. Between 1973 and December 31, 1987 the Bachelor of Architecture degree was accredited by the NAAB.



Currently the University of Maryland offers the Master of Architecture degree as its NAAB-accredited professional degree. This program obtained its initial accreditation on January 1, 1985 and has been granted continuing accreditation since that date.


The University of Maryland offers two tracks for completion of the Master of Architecture degree:

  • M. ARCH (pre-professional degree + 60 graduate credits)
  • M. ARCH (non-pre-professional degree + 109 credits)



At the undergraduate level the University of Maryland offers a pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree track, which when combined with a NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture degree (commonly known as a 4+2 degree track), constitutes the requirements for a professional degree.



The Master of Science in Archtecture degree is a post-professional degree.  Recipients of this degree must hold a professional degree in architecture in order to be considered for admissions.  Applicants to the Master of Science in Architecture program should be aware that this is not a NAAB-accredited degree.

Education, Internship, and Examination: The Path Toward Licensure

The path toward professional registration, or licensure, involves three components -- education, internship, and examination.  Architects are licensed in order to assure that they have have sufficient technical ablitiies and professional knowledge in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.  The path toward licensure ensures that architects gain sufficient skills, knowledge, and practical experience so that they can reliably practice their profession. 


Education: The educational component of architecture provides you with the foundaiton upon which to build your professional skills and knowledge.  The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and The National Architectural Accrediting Board are excellent resources for information about colleges and universities that offer accredited programs in architecture.


Internship: Provides would-be architects with practical experience that ensures a real-world understanding of the practice of architecture.  The Intern Development Program (IDP) can be initiated while students are still enrolled in architecture school.  Interns work under the direction of a licensed architect and receive pay while learning about practice. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is the best source of information on internship and ecamination.  


Examination: Before being permitted to provide architectural services individuals must pass The Architect Registration Examination (ARE), which tests a candidate's knowledge and skills gained in formal education and internship.  Information about the ARE is best obtained from NCARB.


Other Resources: The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is also a great source of information about the profession and preparation for practice.  In the State of Maryland, The AIA Maryland State Licensing Advisor is there to help individuals with questions regarding IDP and the ARE. 


The School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation has two internal resources for questions about IDP.  The American Institute of Architecture Students chapter has its own Leadership + Architect Licensing Advisor.  Contact AIAS Maryland to communicate with that individual.  Professor Garth Rockcastle, FAIA, is the faculty member with the responsibility of  Architect Licensing Advisor - Educator.