Emerging Professionals


To receive a license to practice architecture, the state of South Carolina requires candidates hold a NAAB accredited degree, complete the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Architectural Experience Program (AXP), and complete NCARB’s Architect Registration Exam (ARE).

New graduates with an accredited architecture degree are eligible for Complimentary Assoc. AIA Membership for up to 18 months. Visit Associate New Graduates – AIA for more information and to apply for membership.


The Clemson University Master of Architecture program is the only NAAB accredited program in South Carolina, currently. Other options within the South Atlantic region include the architecture programs at UNC Charlotte, NC State University, Kennesaw State University, Savannah College of Arts & Design, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.


A portion of the licensure process involves documenting experience hours while working under licensed architects. You will need to document a minimum of 3,740 required hours under the six experience areas to complete the program. Refer to the AXP Guidelines for the full breakdown of requirements, including the ways to gain experience while not working for a licensed architect.


The ARE is developed by NCARB and administered for candidates in all US jurisdictions to test a candidate’s knowledge and skills across multiple topics and various services required in the practice of architecture. This exam can be taken either in person or through remote proctoring. The exam consists of 6 parts including Practice Management, Project Management, Programming and Analysis, Project Planning and Design, Project Development and Documentation, and Construction and Evaluation. The ARE concentrates on the professional services that affect the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

For additional information about how to prepare and take the ARE, visit NCARB’s website.


State Licensure Board – South Carolina

NCARB Licensing Requirements Tool


Emerging Professionals – AIA