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Architects

Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners

If you are considering pursuing a career in the architecture profession, one of the first decisions you will make will be in reference to your education. Education lays the foundation for developing the skills and knowledge to not only practice a profession, but also to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare. 

The national education standard for architectural degrees is a degree that has been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). All states recognize the NAAB-accredited architectural degree for professional registration and some may only accept the NAAB-accredited degree. Students should keep this in mind as they select an architecture program to pursue their studies. Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental process of peer review. It requires an educational institution or program to meet certain defined standards or criteria and serves to notify parents and prospective students that a particular architecture program has met minimum educational standards for its graduates to enter professional practice.

For a list of Tennessee higher education institutions with NAAB-accredited architectural programs, see the Valuable Resources and Links page.

Besides the NAAB-accredited architectural degree, Tennessee law and rules currently allow two other educational options for professional registration:  a non-accredited architectural degree of not less than four (4) years deemed substantially equivalent to a NAAB-accredited degree or which is part of an architectural curriculum toward a NAAB-accredited degree OR an architecture-related curriculum (architectural engineering or architectural engineering technology) accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

For further Information:

An individual must meet the minimum requirements listed below to be considered for registration by examination:

Education and Experience Requirements

  • graduation from a school of architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and 3 years of architectural experience satisfactory to the Board; OR
  • graduation from a non-accredited architecture program of 4 years or more deemed substantially equivalent to a NAAB-accredited degree or which is part of an architectural curriculum toward a NAAB-accredited degree and 5 years of architectural experience satisfactory to the Board; OR
  • graduation from an architecture-related curriculum (architectural engineering or architectural engineering technology) of not less than 4 years accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and 7 years of architectural experience satisfactory to the board;

AND

  • completion of the Architectural Experience Program (AXP)/Intern Development Program (IDP) of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

Completion of experience and AXP/IDP is required prior to registration, but not for admission to the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).

For further information regarding:

Tennessee does not register by reciprocity. We register by comity, meaning that applicants must meet our minimum registration requirements in order to be considered for registration. The requirements listed below represent the minimum requirements for comity registration:

Education and Experience Requirements

  • graduation from a school of architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and 3 years of architectural experience satisfactory to the Board; OR
  • graduation from a non-accredited architecture program of 4 years or more deemed substantially equivalent to a NAAB-accredited degree or which is part of an architectural curriculum toward a NAAB-accredited degree and 5 years of architectural experience satisfactory to the Board; OR
  • graduation from an architecture-related curriculum (architectural engineering or architectural engineering technology) of not less than 4 years accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and 7 years of architectural experience satisfactory to the board.

Examination Requirements

  • Must have passed the NCARB Architect Registration Exam (ARE).

Other Requirements

  • Must hold an unexpired NCARB certificate. To request that your council record be transmitted, Click Here.
  • Must be registered in at least one other jurisdiction.
  • The Board may issue a certificate of registration as an architect to any person whose qualifications do not meet the requirements of the laws and rules if that person is currently registered in another jurisdiction and holds an unexpired NCARB certificate.

Listed below are the minimum requirements to be considered for re-registration:

  • Must have been previously registered in Tennessee.
  • Must have obtained a minimum of 24 PDH’s in the two years prior to filing for re-registration.
  • Must hold an unexpired NCARB certificate.