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 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, as outlined in NAAB's Conditions and Procedures for accreditation.
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 is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
The University of Oregon Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:
- Bachelor of Architecture (231 undergraduate credits)
- Master of Architecture Track I (non-pre-professional undergraduate degree + 144 graduate credits needed to fulfill all professional degree requirements); and
- Master of Architecture Track II (pre-professional undergraduate degree + 87 graduate credits needed to fulfill all professional degree requirements)
The MS in Architecture degree is a post-professional degree and is not accredited. These students must have completed a NAAB-accredited degree or the international equivalent prior to enrolling.
The next accreditation visit for UO architecture programs is in 2021. Students can visit the NAAB and NCARB websites for further information about accreditation and licensure.
National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) Reports
In the United States, the title “architect” is legally restricted to individuals licensed by each state. Individual state governments use guidelines established by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) to license architects. NCARB guidelines for license examination eligibility and the NCARB examination are used uniformly by most states. Before becoming licensed, an applicant must have three years of professional experience directly supervised by a registered architect. In some states, including Oregon, registration with the Intern Development Program is required while preparing for licensure. Architecture students and graduates of architecture programs who are not yet licensed are prohibited from using the title “architect."