Pennsylvania Architecture Industry Licensing
Licensing requirements for architecture industry firms and individuals in Pennsylvania.
This page provides an overview of architecture industry licensing in Pennsylvania for individuals and firms. You will find state requirements, application fees, filing instructions, and more. For assistance with licensing, please contact us to learn about our software and managed license services.
Pennsylvania Architecture Company Licenses
Pennsylvania Firm Registration
This section applies to architectural firms that are applying for a license in Pennsylvania for the first time. If you already have a license and are looking to renew it, please see the renewal section.
Criminal Records Information
Provide a recent Criminal History Records Check (CHRC) from the state police or other state agency that is the official repository for criminal history record information for every state in which you have lived, worked, or completed professional training/studies for the past five (5) years. The report(s) must be dated within 180 days of the date the application is submitted.
For applicants living, working, or completing training/studies in Pennsylvania, request your CHRC from the Pennsylvania State Police at https://epatch.state.pa.us. For individuals living, working, or completing training/studies outside of Pennsylvania during the past five (5) years, in lieu of obtaining individual state background checks, you may elect to provide BOTH a state CHRC from the state in which you currently reside, AND your FBI Identity History Summary Check, available at https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks.
Please note: For applicants currently living, working, or completing training/studies in California, Arizona, or Ohio: Due to the laws of these states, the Board is not an eligible recipient of CHRC's or your CHRC will not be issued to you for upload to the Board. Please obtain your Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Identity History Summary Check, available at the link noted above.
When the applicant receives the approval letter from the Board for the firm name or fictitious name, submit a copy to the Pennsylvania Corporation Bureau with your Corporation Bureau filing application. The Board cannot issue a registration until after the applicant has submitted approved documents from the Pennsylvania Corporation Bureau. The Corporation Bureau will issue documents to the applicant indicating the firm has been registered with that Bureau. Submit a copy of the Corporation Bureau approval documents to the Board so the firm can be registered with the Board. Questions about entity filings should be directed to the Corporation Bureau, Department of State, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 787-1057.
Ficticious Name/ DBA
When the applicant receives the approval letter for the firm name or fictitious name, submit a copy to the Pennsylvania Corporation Bureau with your Corporation Bureau filing application. The Board cannot issue a registration until after the applicant has submitted approved documents from the Pennsylvania Corporation Bureau. The Corporation Bureau will issue documents to the applicant indicating the firm has been registered with that Bureau. Submit a copy of the Corporation Bureau approval documents to the Board so the firm can be registered with the Board. Questions about entity filings should be directed to the Corporation Bureau, Department of State, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 787-1057.
|Before you Apply:|
|How to Apply:|
This section applies to architectural firms that are already licensed in Pennsylvania and need to renew their license.
By June 30 of odd-numbered years. Renewals may typically be filed 30-60 days prior to the expiration date.
Renewal notices are sent via email approximately 2 months prior to the expiration date.
Within 30 days of the effective date of the change.
A reactivation form must be requested via email or by calling the board.
Pennsylvania Interior Design Firm License
Interior Design Firm licensure is not required on the State level in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania does not currently license or register interior design businesses.
Pennsylvania Individual Architecture Licenses
Pennsylvania Architect License
|Agency:||Pennsylvania Architects Licensure Board|
|NCARB Certificate:||Not required|
|Completion of CE/PDH:||Not required|
|NAAB-accredited degree:||Not required|
|State-specific exam:||Not required|
This section applies to architects that are applying for a license in Pennsylvania for the first time.
|Form:||Calling Board Office 717-783-3397 Download from websitehttp://www.dos.state.pa.us/arch|
$40.00 application fee + $30.00 exam fee only when applicant does 0T have an NAAB Degree.
This section applies to architects licensed in another state that are looking for reciprocal licensure in Pennsylvania.
With NCARB Certification $30.00 - Without $50.00
This section applies to architects that are already licensed in Pennsylvania and need to renew their license.
By June 30 of odd-numbered years.
Pennsylvania Interior Designer License
Interior Designer licensure is not required on the State level in Pennsylvania.
Learn about architecture licensing in other states:
ARE (Architect Registration Examination) - Assesses candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide the various services required to be a practicing architect.
AXP (Architectural Experience Program) - NCARB program for architectural internship, a requirement for licensure that occurs after filling the educational requirements.
BEFA (Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect) - An alternative NCARB certification that allows foreign architects to independently practice architecture.
COA (Certificate of Authorization) - The most common name of the registration required for firms to practice architecture in a given state.
Design Firm - Architectural firm registration is sometimes grouped with engineering and land surveying on a single “design firm” application form.
NCARB Certification - Licensed architects have the option to become Certificate holders to signify that they have met national standards established by U.S. licensing boards for protecting public health, safety, and welfare. Certification also facilitates reciprocal registration in all 54 jurisdictions, 11 Canadian jurisdictions, and can be used to support an application for licensure in other countries.
Reciprocity - This is when a licensed architect in one state can provide documentation (often a NCARB certificate) to more easily apply for licensure in another jurisdiction.
State Board - Often referred to as the State Architects Licensure Board or Board of Architects, an individual state’s board serves as the regulatory authority for architects. The board qualifies and licenses individuals seeking architectural licensure. The board is responsible for preserving the public health, safety, and welfare of individuals who occupy built environments.
National Architecture Accrediting Board
NAAB establishes criteria for and accredits professional architecture degree programs in the United States.
The American Institute of
Architecture Students (AIAS)
AIAS is an independent, student-run group that promotes excellence in architecture education, training, and practice.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
AIA is a voluntary professional organization for architects providing advocacy, information, and community.
The Association of Collegiate
Schools of Architecture (ACSA)
ACSA represents architectural education programs across the globe.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
NCARB is the national organization representing the state registration boards.