Career Prep

Architects can be individual designers in private practice, part of a corporate group, city planners, environmental systems designers or work in related disciplines such as planning, technology, project and community development, or within government agencies. A critical aspect of architectural education is to understand important environmental issues, such as energy, materials, density, and fabrication systems. Employers value the knowledge that WSU students develop in these areas.

Architects must be well versed in many disciplines and able to effectively communicate and work with a diversity of professionals. Architects must understand and respect the values that other disciplines bring to a project and learn to integrate multiple ideas through collaborative “design thinking.”

Both the undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture at the School of Design and Construction establish an educational experience that can be applied to a lifelong career that advances the betterment of our communities, cities and natural environment.

Licensing in the State of Washington
The Architect licensing law in Washington requires that applicants have at least three year’s practical work experience in a structured intern development program approved by the Washington Board for Architects. The Board requires interns to be enrolled in NCARB’s Intern Development Program for a minimum of 5,600 hours. Interns who complete their IDP core hours in less than three (3) years must continue to work under the supervision of an IDP Supervisor until they have completed a total of 5,600 supervised IDP hours.

Additional policies and interpretive statements can be found on the Board’s policies page.

Questions regarding the statement can be sent to

ARE (Architect Registration Examination)
The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) assesses candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide the various services required in the practice of architecture. The ARE has been adopted for use by all 54 U.S. Member Boards and the Canadian provincial and territorial architectural associations as a registration examination required for architectural registration.

NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards)
NCARB members are the architectural registration boards of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each registration board has state-appointed public and professional members as well as an administrator.

IDP (Intern Development Program)
All of NCARB’s 54 U.S. jurisdictions have an experience requirement that must be documented and completed before one becomes licensed. This time between fulfilling the education requirement and getting licensed is referred to as an architectural internship. NCARB’s Intern Development Program (IDP) guides interns through this process and is the standard accepted means of completing the experience requirement in almost all U.S. jurisdictions.

NAAB (National Architectural Accrediting Board)
The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the sole authority for accredited US professional degree programs for architecture in the United States, developing standards and procedures to verify that each accredited program meets standards for the appropriate education of architects.

Our employment placement rate is currently at 100% (fall 2015), and graduates of our NAAB accredited program regularly pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) at rates higher than the national average.

ARE Pass Rates
As developed by NCARB, the ARE assesses a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide the various services required in the practice of architecture. It has been adopted for use by all U.S. registration boards and the Canadian provincial architectural associations as the registration examination for all candidates seeking architectural licensing. NCARB tracks the pass rates for the ARE in two ways—one by division and the other by NAAB-accredited schools of architecture.