In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional 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: Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture, and 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.
The 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: 2025
Additional information about NAAB can be found at: www.naab.org
The Architecture Program Report (APR) is a narrative document that is comprehensive and self-analytical. It is expected to succinctly describe how a program meets each of the conditions for accreditation.
The Visiting Team Report (VTR) conveys the visiting team’s assessment of whether the program meets the conditions for accreditation, as measured by evidence of student learning, the overall capacity of the program to fulfill its obligations to ensure student achievement, and the overall learning environment. It reports the degree to which the program is functioning in the manner described in the APR.
The NAAB Board of Directors review all VTRs at their annual meeting in July. The Board of Directors take into consideration recommendations made by the NAAB visiting team when determining the terms of accreditation. Terms of accreditation are communicated via a formal letter between the Board and the university's president.
Unless specifically noted in the Board’s decision, all terms of accreditation are effective on January 1 of the year in which the visit took place. Conversely, all terms of accreditation expire on January 1 of the year in which a visit is scheduled to take place, unless and until the NAAB approves a motion for a term of accreditation.
The Annual Statistical Report "captures statistical information on the institution in which an architecture program is located and on the accredited degree program.” For the purposes of the report, the definitions are taken from the glossary of terms used by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Much of the information requested in this report corresponds to the Institutional Characteristics, Completion and 12-Month Enrollment Report submitted to IPEDS in the fall by the institution. Data submitted in this section is for the previous fiscal year.
Interim Progress Reports were submitted as Part II or the narrative section of the Annual Statistical Reports through 2013.
NB: IPEDS is the “core postsecondary data collection program for the National Center for Education Statistics. Data are collected from all primary providers of postsecondary education in the [U.S.] in areas including enrollments, program completions, graduation rates, faculty, staff, finances, institutional prices, and student financial aid.” For more information see http://nces.ed.gov/IPEDS/
For a better understanding of the APR, VTR, Annual Statistical Reports, and Interim Progress Reports, consult the NAAB documents that govern the conditions and procedures for accreditation. For additional information, visit the NAAB.
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:
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, Career Services Advisor, to set up an appointment.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards publishes pass rates annually for each section of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) by institution. This information may be useful for planning your higher/post-secondary education.
PAST ACCREDITED DEGREE PROGRAMS:
The Bachelor of Architecture degree was offered at the University of Maryland from the time of the 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.
CURRENT ACCREDITED DEGREE PROGRAMS:
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)
CURRENT PRE-PROFESSIONAL DEGREE PROGRAMS:
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.
CURRENT POST-PROFESSIONAL DEGREE PROGRAMS:
The Master of Science in Architecture 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.
The path toward professional registration, or licensure, involves three components—education, internship, and examination. Architects are licensed in order to assure that they have sufficient technical ablitiies and professional knowledge to protect 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 foundation 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: An internship provides would-be architects with practical experience that ensures a real-world understanding of the practice of architecture. The Architectural Experience Program (AXP) 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 examination.
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 can 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 school’s faculty member with the responsibility of Architect Licensing Advisor - Educator.