Architectural Experience and Examination Requirements

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), as a federation of all registration boards of the United States including Kentucky, sets national standards for architectural registration. NCARB interprets these standards, maintains records, and acts as the central clearinghouse and contact point for all aspiring architects, architects and registration boards in matters dealing with the registration and professional conduct of architects. NCARB is responsible for establishing, interpreting, and enforcing the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) training requirement.

Architectural Experience Program (AXP)

Kentucky’s registration requirements establish the minimum criteria for legally practicing architecture.  One of those requirements is participation in and the successful completion of a well-documented and verified training program. In this regard, the Kentucky Board of Architects requires an individual to participate in NCARB’s AXP for initial registration. Participation in AXP exposes you to the comprehensive training that is essential for competent practice. 

If you have not enrolled in NCARB’s AXP establishing a Council Record and wish to do so, you apply at NCARB

Reporting Requirement for Documenting Experience through Hours

For full credit of experience gained the Six-Month Rule will require aspiring architects to submit their experience in reporting periods of no longer than six months and within two months of completion of each reporting period.

Experience reported beyond this eight-month period will be accepted at a reduced value of 50 percent toward the AXP requirements for up to five years after the date of the experience. After that time, the experience will no longer count toward your AXP hours.
Architects registered in a U.S. or Canadian jurisdiction, as well as architects registered outside of the United States or Canada whom NCARB has confirmed eligible for its foreign architect path to certification, documenting AXP for obtaining the NCARB Certificate:
• Are not subject to these reporting requirements when retroactively documenting their experience
• Must document their experience via the online reporting system or My AXP mobile app
For more details on NCARB certification requirements and options, refer to the:  Certification Guidelines


The Architectural Experience Program Guidelines

In order to download a copy of the current guidelines: AXP-Guidelines

Also please note Falsifying AXP hours documented, or cheating on, or violating the confidentiality of the ARE is unethical, illegal, and subject to disciplinary action.

Architect Registration Examination (ARE)

In order to obtain a license to practice architecture in the Commonwealth, the successful completion and passing of all divisions of NCARB’s Architect Registration Examination (ARE) is required.
The Kentucky Board of Architects allows access to the ARE if you meet the Board’s education and training experience criteria. NCARB’s online system to request an Authorization to Test will begin the process of obtaining eligibility to take the exams in Kentucky.  Applicants are required to have a NCARB Record and have fulfilled Kentucky’s requirements (as referenced in KRS 323.050, 323.060 and 201 KAR 19:035). These requirements specifically include that a candidate:

1. Be of good moral character,
2. Hold a professional degree in architecture from a degree program that has been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB),
3. Enrolled in NCARB’s Architectural Experience Program (AXP)
The candidate is further required to complete, submit and maintain an active application with the Kentucky Board. 

Available Here:  KY ARE Application 101

Application Instructions also found here: Information and Instructions for Applicants for the ARE

If you have met the requirements, you can place your request through the “My NCARB Record” section of NCARB’s web site.
1. Log into your account at
2. Click on your NCARB Record
3. Go to “Exams”
4. Click “Request Eligibility”
5. If you fulfill all of Kentucky’s requirements, an e-mail will be sent instantly to the Kentucky board in order for us to grant your authorization.
Note from NCARB: When you request eligibilities, you are authorizing NCARB to transmit your Record to the board you have selected, both for your initial eligibilities and upon completion of your licensure requirements. If you wish to change your selected jurisdiction, additional fees and requirements may apply.
If you have not previously completed the Kentucky ARE Application, we will send one to you upon receipt of the email from NCARB.
Once Kentucky reviews and approves your Kentucky ARE Application, and your credentials (supplied by NCARB), you will be eligible to begin scheduling exams. 
Note: Applicants are required to have a current application with the Kentucky Board, and a NCARB Record prior to completion of the request for an Authorization to Test.
To learn more about the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) see NCARB’s ARE guidelines: ARE 5.0 Guidelines

Other ARE Information


NCARB is now offering Practice Exams​

To ensure that all candidates have access to affordable, high-quality study materials, has created a full-length, fully scored practice exam for each division of the ARE.​ Please see the announcement here​. 

Kentucky’s Three Year Eligibility Renewal Requirement

After three years, a candidate's eligibility to test in Kentucky will expire. To continue testing a candidate will be required to reapply for eligibility in Kentucky to take the exams. A candidate’s reapplication will require an additional KY ARE Application and application fee of $100.

NCARB’S Five Year Rolling Clock

Candidates for the ARE must pass all divisions within five years. Three transitional rules, which are noted below, will guide the process.

Three basic rules will guide the implementation of the Rolling Clock:

  • For applicants who have passed all divisions of the ARE by January 1, 2006, regardless of the time taken, such applicants will have passed the ARE.
  • For applicants who have passed one or more but not all divisions of the ARE by January 1, 2006, such applicants will have five years from the date of the first (non-exempt) passed division to pass all remaining divisions. [Exams passed prior to January 1, 2006, are exempt and will NOT have to be retaken.] If a candidate fails to pass all remaining divisions within the initial five-year period, the candidate is given a new five-year period from the date of the second oldest passed division. The five-year period shall commence after January 1, 2006, on the date when the first passed division is administered.
  • For applicants who have passed no divisions of the ARE by January 1, 2006, such applicants shall be governed by the above five-year requirement. The five-year period shall commence on the date when the first passed division is administered.

Adherence to these rules is required for NCARB Certification.

ARE Eligibility in Kentucky

If you have a NAAB accredited degree and are enrolled in the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, (NCARB), Architectural Experience Program (AXP), please download the Exam Application complete and Go to the BOA Payment Portal to upload your completed Kentucky application, and pay the $100.00 application fee. Your application will be reviewed after we receive an eligibility confirmation from NCARB.


Kentucky Revised Statutes - KRS 323

Kentucky Administrative Regulations - 201 KAR (After page loads, scroll down to Chapter 19)​​​

Additional Resources

ARE Application

ARE Instructions

: Architectural Experience and Examination Requirements