Becoming a Licensed Architect
California’s examination and licensure requirements to become an architect are more flexible than most other jurisdictions. Although each candidate’s path to licensure may differ, all will complete the process with the necessary knowledge, skills, and ability to be a licensed architect who practices in a way that protects the health, safety, and welfare of Californians.
No single aspect can accurately measure whether an individual is qualified to be licensed to practice architecture in California. The Board considers three separate aspects of an individual’s architectural development—education, experience, and examination—when assessing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to competently perform the services required of an architect.
A candidate who provides evidence of having completed the following requirements is eligible to receive a license to practice architecture:
- Be at least 18 years of age or the equivalent of a graduate from high school
- Five years of architectural educational experience or the equivalent as specified in the Board’s regulations1
- Architectural Experience Program (AXP) or the Canadian Provincial Internship in Architecture Program (IAP)1, 2
- All divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE)
- California Supplemental Examination (CSE)
It is important to note that each candidate may have different education and training backgrounds, and it is not possible to describe each education and experience background.
1When combined, will total the eight years of architectural training and education experience required for licensure (Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 5552).
2Candidates who meet the exemption requirements specified in the Board’s regulations may substitute work experience in lieu of AXP.