Undergraduate: BFA/BArch


In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre- professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

The RISD Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

  • MArch (non-pre-professional degree + 111 credits)
  • BArch (156 Credits)

Next accreditation visit for both programs: 2014

NAAB Conditions and Procedures

Career Development Information

  • Do you want to be an Architect? ARCHCareers.org will lead you through the steps in becoming an architect.The “Three Es” of architecture will be your guide. They are: Education, Experience and Examination.Whether you are a high school student, a parent, a university student or an intern, these are the three core principles of the architecture profession. You must satisfy all three parts to call yourself an "Architect."
  • The Emerging Professional’s Companion
  • The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects.
  • The NCARB Handbook for Interns and Architects
  • Architect Registration Exam Pass Rates by School
  • The American Institute of Architects (AIA) publishes more than 120 contracts and administrative forms that are recognized throughout the design and construction industry as the benchmark documents for managing transactions and relationships involved in construction projects. The AIA’s prominence in the field is based on 120 years of experience creating and updating its documents. The history of AIA Contract Documents dates to 1888 when the AIA first published the Uniform Contract for use between an owner and a contractor. In 1911, the AIA published its first standardized general conditions for construction. The first set of Standard Documents of the AIA (1911) and the Second Edition of the Standard Documents (1915) may be viewed online. The 2007 edition of AIA Document A201™ is the sixteenth edition of those general conditions.
  • The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is an independent, nonprofit, student-run organization dedicated to providing unmatched programs, information, and resources on issues critical to architectural education. The mission of the AIAS is to promote excellence in architectural education, training, and practice; to foster an appreciation of architecture and related disciplines; to enrich communities in a spirit of collaboration; and to organize students and combine their efforts to advance the art and science of architecture.
  • Toward an Evolution of Studio Culture
  • The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education. The school membership in ACSA has grown from 10 charter members to over 250 schools in several membership categories. These include full membership for all accredited programs in the United States and government-sanctioned schools in Canada, candidate membership for schools seeking accreditation, and affiliate membership for schools for two-year and international programs. Through these schools, over 5,000 architecture faculty are represented. In addition, over 500 supporting members composed of architecture firms, product associations and individuals add to the breadth of interest and support of ACSA goals

Accreditation Process Documents

In order to promote transparency in the process of accreditation in architecture education, the Department of Architecture has made the following documents available to the public:

  • N.A.A.B. Annual Reports
  • N.A.A.B. Responses to the Annual Report
  • Final decision letter from the NAAB, 2008
  • Architecture Program Report, 2007
  • Visiting Team Report from 2008, including attachments and addenda

These documents are available upon request from the Department of Architecture Office, Bayard Ewing Building (BEB) 231 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903