Get Licensed in Minnesota

Seeking initial licensure as an architect?
Find below information on the education, examination, experience requirements, as well as application details .

Already licensed in another state?
See the sidebar "Licensure by Comity (Reciprocal Licensure)."

For general application information relevant to all professions, see Get Licensed.

Initial Licensure

Education Overview

Applicants must be graduates of an architectural curriculum accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Find an NAAB Accredited Degree Program

If your degree is a) not NAAB-accredited or b) from a foreign institution, you must have Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA), a fee-based service available from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), evalute your education to determine if it meets licensure requirements.

For details on all the above, see MN Rule 1800.1000 Subp. 5.


Examination Overview

Applicants must pass all six divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The exam is administered by the National Council of Architect Registration Boards (NCARB).

You can apply directly with NCARB to sit for the ARE if:

Your first step will be to establish an NCARB Record. Specify Minnesota as your jurisdiction, and follow the instructions regarding supplying transcripts/verifying your education with NCARB. Then, under the "Exam" tab, "Request Eligibility."

Establish an NCARB Record

NCARB offers the ARE year round at testing centers across the country. Once NCARB determines you are eligible, you can schedule the particular division(s) of the exam you wish to take on any available date and at any available location. Seats are "first come, first served."

See the NCARB website for more information on dates, deadlines and fees, as well as how to retake exam divisions. Exam fees are set by and paid to NCARB.

How to Register for the ARE Exam


Experience Overview

Applicants must successfully complete the experience defined in NCARB's Architectural Experience Program (AXP) before they can be licensed. The program consists of 3,740 hours spread over six experience areas. You will document your experience in your NCARB Record.

Start the AXP


Licensure Overview

Initial License Application

After passing all sections of the ARE exam, use the online architecture license application to obtain your license.

If you did not specify Minnesota as your jurisdiction when you first established your NCARB Record, you must do so prior to applying to the Board for licensure. Your NCARB Record includes your official transcripts (or, if applicable, your education evaluation) and your examination and experience information. It is a required part of the application process.

See the Instructions Overview for more information on how to apply online.

ONLINE Architect License Application


License Application Deadline

You may apply for licensure at any time after you have completed the education, experience and examination requirements summarized above. Applications are reviewed no later than 60 days from the date the Board receives all required documentation to complete the application.


License Application Cost

Licensure applicants must pay a $75 application fee to the Board to review your qualifications.

If your application is approved, the Board will inform you by letter. You must return a copy of that letter and the licensing fee in order to obtain your professional license. The license fee is $120.

Note: You are not licensed and cannot practice or hold out as licensed until the Board processes your license and issues your license number.

Regardless of when obtained, your license expires June 30th of every even-numbered year.


Additional Resources


Professional News

ARE Test Exams Available from NCARB

Stay Connected

Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design (AELSLAGID)
85 E. 7th Place Suite 160, St. Paul MN 55101 USA

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