Accreditation in Architecture

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), the sole agency authorized to accredit US 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 preprofessional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the preprofessional degree by itself is not recognized as an accredited degree.

RISD’s Architecture Department offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

  • MArch (non-preprofessional degree + 111 credits)
  • BArch (156 credits)
  • Next accreditation visit for both programs: 2022

NAAB Conditions and Procedures

  • 2012 Procedures for Accreditation, Amended
  • 2009 NAAB Conditions for Accreditation

Career Development Information

  • The NCARB Handbook for Interns and Architects
  • Toward an Evolution of Studio Culture
  • The Emerging Professional's Companion
  • National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
  • Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)
Architect Registration Exam Pass Rates by School

RISD’s Architecture Department Accreditation Process Documents are available to the public by request. Please send a written request to:

Architecture Department
Rhode Island School of Design
Bayard Ewing Building (BEB)
231 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903


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