PHOTO: Tibby Rothman

The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) is a multi-division exam used to assess your knowledge and skills regarding the practice of architecture. Developed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the exam is accepted by all U.S. jurisdictions and is a key step on the path to earning a license.

As a California design professional, your two major resources in the licensing process will be NCARB, which administers the ARE as well as the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), which provides a framework to guide you through gaining and recording your professional experience; and CAB (California Architects Board), which administers the California Supplemental Exam and is responsible for consumer protection and the regulation of licensed professionals.


National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)

Licensing Information

About the NCARB Certificate

Contact Info:
1801 K Street NW Suite 700K, Washington, DC, 20006

California Architects Board (CAB)

Candidates Information

Licensees of Foreign Countries

Contact Info:
California Architects Board
2420 Del Paso Road, Suite 105
Sacramento, CA 95834-9673
(916) 574-7220

 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Days: Monday–Friday (except state holidays)
Licensing: (916) 575-7220
Reciprocity (Inbound): (916) 575-7218
Reciprocity (Outbound): (916) 575-7220


AIA Los Angeles offers seminars to prepare for specific sections of the ARE as well as the Dates and topics will be announced here and in our Chapter e-newsletter as they are finalized.

AIA|LA also has a collection of test preparation materials, including books and flash cards, that Associate and Student members can use at the Chapter Office during business hours. Please Email for details.

Other community resources include:

AIA San Fernando Valley
AIA SFV offers a free series of seminars at Woodbury University. For dates, times and details, please email


NOTLY (Not Licensed Yet)

Started at USC by Karen Kensek and Doug Noble about eleven years ago, NotLY is a free program of classes and support to help get people licensed as architects. It is hosted at USC, but welcomes everyone (not just USC Alumni). Nearly 100 volunteer speakers teach the classes, which are always free.

In previous years, a typical NotLY has featured 30-50 speakers offering dozens of classes. For more information, please contact Professor Douglas Noble, FAIA, at You can also join the NOTLY Facebook Group at