Learn more about how you can become professionally licensed in architecture, interior design, or landscape architecture.
Click the categories below for specific information on professional licensure.
To become a licensed architect, a candidate must have:
- Earned a professional degree in architecture from an accredited institution;
- Completed the Architectural Experience Program (AXP); and
- Passed the six parts of the Architecture Record Examination (ARE).
Students at the BAC who carefully manage their time may be eligible to take their licensing examinations as soon as they graduate—a significant advantage in respect to cohorts at other institutions! As a B.Arch or M.Arch student at the BAC, you are on your way towards earning a professional accredited degree. Moreover, you are eligible to register with AXP as soon as you enroll at the BAC. The AXP requires that participants complete about two years of design work in architecture firms and related settings, which many students fulfill as they simultaneously work toward meeting their Practice Requirements at the BAC. When both your degree and AXP requirements are complete, you are eligible to sit for the ARE.
Please Note: Though we provide support to students pursuing AXP, the BAC Practice Department does not administer the program and is not responsible for a student's successful completion of all AXP requirements. Moreover, it is illegal and unethical to call yourself an architect, or to use the letters RA and AIA after your name, before you are licensed to do so.
Licensure in Interior Design is based on fulfilling specific requirements in three areas:
- Education: There are several ways to meet this requirement, but the most prevalent route is to obtain a bachelor's or first-professional master's degree from a CIDA-accredited institution (to which the BAC belongs).
- Experience: Depends on which degree the student has earned. NCIDQ has identified eligibility requirements for determining when one is eligible to apply for the NCIDQ certificate.
- Examination: All candidates are encouraged to participate in IDEP (Interior Design Experience Program). IDEP is a monitored, documented experience program administered by the NCIDQ to help entry-level professionals obtain a broad range of quality professional experience. IDEP requires 3,520 Hours of qualified work experience, of which 1,760 Hours must be earned after the completion of your education. The details of qualifying work experience can be found here.
Successful completion of the Examination results in NCIDQ certification. The NCIDQ certificate is the desired credential in the Interior Design profession. In order to become a licensed Interior Designer in any of the 27 states that have laws regulating the practice of Interior Design, you must first earn the NCIDQ certificate.
As stated by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB), licensure is a formal indication that one has demonstrated "sufficient knowledge, skills, and ability to practice the profession [of landscape architecture] without endangering the health, safety, and welfare of the public." Licensure is currently required in all 50 states in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. There are two kinds of state licensure laws: Title Act (3 states, including Massachusetts), and Practice Act (all other states and Puerto Rico). The Title Act allows anyone to perform landscape architectural services so long as s/he does not identify him/herself as a "landscape architect." The Practice Act establishes the Landscape Architect as an equal in the professional world to those design professionals with whom s/he works: architects and engineers.
Three components to licensure: education, experience, and examination.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) supports this triad as being complementary to and representative of "a continuum of development professional skills necessary to practice." The Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) is created and scored by CLARB in order to maintain professional standards for competency and conduct in the profession of landscape architecture. In order to sit for the exam, individuals are required to have been employed in the practice of landscape architecture under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect. Moreover, they need to participate in continuing education (CE) opportunities approved by the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) as part of ongoing professional development [CEs are not a Massachusetts requirement]. Students should be aware that licensure is regulated on a state-by-state basis, and should contact the appropriate state licensing board to obtain specific information about eligibility requirements.
How the BAC prepares and supports Landscape Architecture students for licensure:
Students are exposed to advanced educational opportunities by the nature of the College and its various educational programs, including bachelor and master degrees and interdisciplinary concentrations within the School of Design Studies. These offerings allow students to add on courses to the required curriculum of the professional degrees in landscape architecture.
*Note that the BAC has been approved by ASLA LA CES to offer Professional Development Hours (PDH) through various courses and programmatic events.