Statement of Accreditation

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 NAAB grants candidacy status to new programs that have developed viable plans for achieving initial accreditation. Candidacy status indicates that a program should be accredited within 6 years of achieving candidacy, if its plan is properly implemented. In order to meet the education requirement set forth by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, an applicant for an NCARB Certificate must hold a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the NAAB; the degree must have been awarded not more than two years prior to initial accreditation. However, meeting the education requirement for the NCARB Certificate may not be equivalent to meeting the education requirement for registration in a specific jurisdiction. Please contact NCARB for more information.

The Rochester Institute of Technology Master of Architecture Program was granted official candidacy status—retroactive to fall 2011—for the following professional degree program in architecture:

  • M.Arch. (pre-professional degree + 105 ScH equivalent graduate credits).
  • Visit to establish Initial Candidacy: October/November 2011.
  • Visit for Continuation of Candidacy: November 2013, November 2015
  • Projected year of Initial accreditation: 2017

Find Out More

Full explanation of the NAAB accreditation criteria can be found in the 2014 NAAB Conditions for Accreditation, as well as additional resources about the accreditation process which can be found at NAAB Procedures for Accreditation (2015 Edition). Students and prospective students may find The NCARB Handbook for Interns and Architects and Toward an Evolution of Studio Culture helpful.

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