Becoming an Architect

What is the route to becoming an Architect? In Nevada, here are some key steps you’ll need to take:

1. Receive an NAAB Accredited Degree in Architecture

It takes approximately 5 years to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and approximately 3 years to complete a Master of Arts in Architecture. Click here to find NAAB Accredited Architecture Schools.

In Nevada, the only accredited program is at UNLV.  If you’re in Reno, there is a two-year associate’s program at TMCC from which you would then transfer to a school with a four-year program.

If you’re interested in achieving an NAAB accredited degree in architecture, check out our scholarship opportunities page.

2. Complete NCARB’s Architecture Experience Program (AXP)

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) AXP typically takes 3 years to complete and is done in a professional environment under the supervision of a licensed Architect. Click here to learn more about the AXP.

3. Pass NCARB’s Architect Registration Examination (ARE)

The ARE can be taken at your own pace and consists of a series of 6 divisions. Once all divisions of the ARE have been passed, you will receive an NCARB certificate, which gives you the ability to use the reciprocity clause that most states offer towards becoming a licensed Architect in another state. Every state is different, so make sure that you are in communication with NCARB and the board that you wish to be registered with.

For the ARE study guide by NCARB and suggested list of study materials, go to the NCARB ARE guidelines and ARE Forum’s list of books. The ARE Forum itself and its FTP site are great resources for anyone attempting the ARE. Your AIA Northern Nevada Chapter is equipped with an ARE Prep Library, which you may borrow. Click here for the borrowing rules. For a list of materials and checking out items, contact

4. Apply to the Nevada State Board for a license

Once you’ve received your license, you will still need to keep up with your annual continuing education units (CEU) credit. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming CE credits offered by AIA Northern Nevada.