Architectural Licensing Advisor

Architectural Licensing Advisor


Sameena Sitabkhan is the Licensing Advisor for the Architecture Department supporting both undergraduate and graduate students. Licensing is the culmination of your education and gives you the right to call yourself an architect and practice in the United States. Licensing consists of an education requirement, work experience, and a set of exams. It’s a long but worthwhile process and it’s important to get started on it early! In California, you can begin the process while you’re in school and start accruing work experience hours.

Read on to see why you need a license and how to get started.

Why get licensed as an Architect?


  • Call yourself an “Architect.” You can’t do this without a license.
  • Earn a professional credential that is internationally recognized
  • Be eligible for salary raises and promotions in architecture firms
  • Run your own architecture firm
  • Join the community of licensed architects, help make the profession reflect the community we live in, and promote diversity!


How do I become licensed?


Before you can call yourself an architect, you’ll need to earn a license in the state you’re in. Each of the U.S. licensing boards sets their own requirements for licensure in their jurisdiction, but they all include three core components. You can begin the experience portion while in school and get started early. There are also multiple paths to licensure for international students.

  • Education (in CA, B Arch, M Arch, or BA in Architecture)
  • Experience (in CA, begin anytime after high school graduation)
  • Examination (in CA, after the education requirement is completed)


Where do I start?



National Council of Architectural Registration Boards is the non-profit organization that coordinates with 55 US states and territories to manage the licensure process. Each jurisdiction establishes its own licensure requirements and NCARB facilitates the process. Please start by visiting the NCARB websites at these links:


Create an NCARB record

  • Go to
  • Click “Start NCARB Record” then “Establish Record”
  • Create and verify the account
  • Cost is $100 initial fee for a new record, $85 per year renewal


California Architect Licensure Handbook

The California Architect’s Board has issued a handbook that explains how to become an Architect in California. This is a great resource for those who intend to become licensed in California only and is a companion to the NCARB’s AXP Guidelines Handbook.

California Architect Licensure Handbook


How long does it take to become a licensed architect?

See who’s getting licensed and how long it takes on average. NCARB publishes data on licensure candidates on their website NCARB by the Numbers

How can I get information on licensure paths while at AAU?


Attend the Licensing Presentation offered each semester

Reach out to the Licensing Advisor Sameena Sitabkhan at

Participate in student organizations: AAU chapter of NOMAS (National Organization of Minority Architecture Students) or AIAS (American Institute of Architect Students)

Where can I view Licensing Presentation recordings and slides?


Zoom Recording (2021) Licensing Presentation to First Year Students

Zoom Recording (2020) Path to Licensure AXP and ARE


Presentation Slides (2020) Path to Licensure AXP and ARE

Presentation Slides (2019) Licensing Information Presentation

Video Recording (2018) Path to Licensure and AXP