In the , 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 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.
, of and Environmental Design offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:
Master of Architecture 44 + the pre-professional (Bachelor of Science in Architecture 125)
Master of Architecture 44 / Master of Business Administration dual degree
Master of Architecture 44 / Master of Urban Design dual degree
The next accreditation visit for the accredited sequence is 2012; the last accreditation visit was in 2006. A professional program in architecture at Kent State University has been continuously accredited since 1962.
In general, all states require licenses or certificates for the practice of architecture. Laws governing such licensing vary from state to state. In Ohio, an architect may practice professionally upon satisfactorily completing a professional examination administered by the Ohio State Board of Examiners of Architects.
Since most U.S. state registration boards require any applicant for licensure to have graduated from a NAAB-accredited program, obtaining such a degree is an essential aspect of preparing for the professional practice of architecture. While graduation from a NAAB-accredited program does not assure registration, the accrediting process is intended to verify that each accredited program substantially meets those standards that, as a whole, comprise an appropriate education for an architect.