Architectural Registration Exam

All applicants for architectural registration in North Carolina by written examination must pass the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE) prepared by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), have a NAAB Accredited degree and complete the NCARB AXP.

To become a North Carolina Exam Candidate contact NCARB directly at www.ncarb.org for exam eligibility.

Information for individuals who hold a Degree from a school outside of the United States
In order to qualify to sit for the Architecture Registration Exam (ARE), which leads to licensure in this state, a candidate must have both their degree and work experience evaluated. The degree must be equivalent to a National Architecture Accreditation Board (NAAB) accredited professional degree in architecture. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) through their Architecture Experience Program (AXP) evaluates work experience. For work experience contact: NCARB at (202) 783-6500 or www.ncarb.org   For degree evaluation information please contact NAAB at www.naab.org or (202) 783-2007.  After the degree is evaluated and the AXP completed you may apply to the NC Board of Architecture & Registered Interior Designers to take the ARE. Upon successful completion of all sections of the exam you will be eligible for licensure in North Carolina .

Military Applicants

Military Applicants are required to comply with the licensing requirements as set forth in NCGS 83A and 21 NCAC 02 .

ARE Reimbursement for Veterans

As a reminder, all divisions of ARE have been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for veterans, eligible dependents and reservists actively pursuing completion of the ARE for licensure. Individuals may apply directly to the VA for reimbursement. A description of the program and instructions on how to apply can be found on the VA Web site.

Architectural Registration Exam Score Retention:

As of November 1, 2010 retention of credit for purposes of licensure by examination in North Carolina is as follows.

(1)           Passing scores received after July 1, 2006 on any part of the ARE remain valid for a period of time established by the exam provider, NCARB.

(2)           As of July 1, 2011, passing scores received on any part of the ARE prior to July 1, 1996 are invalid.

(3)           As of July 1, 2014, passing scores received on any part of the ARE after July 1, 1996 and prior to July 1, 2006 are invalid.

Architectural Registration Exam Sections

The Architectural Registration Exam is given on a year-round basis at various testing sites throughout the country. Please contact NCARB for exam costs.   Candidates will schedule when and where they wish to take a division via MY EXAM through the MY NCARB. The current divisions of the A.R.E. 5.0 are:

Frequently Asked ARE Questions:

Does North Carolina allow Early Eligibility to the ARE and IPAL? Yes, so long as the candidate has enrolled and is active in the NCARB IDP, completed the NAAB degree and submits the proper application and supporting documentation. Contact NCARB for exam eligibility information.

–  I can’t make it to my scheduled appointment. Can I reschedule my appointment and not lose my test fee? Contact NCARB directly for information on rescheduling exams.  Learn more about rescheduling fees in the ARE 5.0 Guidelines.

–  Am I permitted to review a failing exam?  The North Carolina Board of Architecture & Registered Interior Designers permits review of a failed exam in the presence of a Board Member, Board Legal Counsel and a Board Staff Member.  The applicant will be responsible for all Board of Architecture & Registered Interior Designers costs and fees associated with the review of the exam. This includes Board member per diem, legal counsel fees and other related expenses. Please refer to §93B-8 (c) and (d).

As set forth in the NCARB ARE Guidelines, if you wish to pursue the review process, keep in mind the following information:

The time and place of the review will be determined jointly by NCARB and the NC Board of Architecture.