To become an architect in Minnesota, you must satisfy:

  • An Education Requirement – an NAAB Accredited Professional Degree (B.ARCH. OR M.ARCH)
  • An Experience Requirement – through the Architectural Experience Program (AXP)
  • And an Examination Requirement –  the Architect Registration Examination (ARE)

The Architect Registration Examination (ARE) assesses candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide the various services required in the practice of architecture.

AELSLAGID Board Allows Direct Application to NCARB for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) 

The Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design (Board) is pleased to announce that its rule modifications allowing for applicants to apply directly to NCARB for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) will be effective on May 13, 2019. Once fully implemented, applicants will no longer need to submit an application to the Board to sit for or retake sections of the exam. Instead, applicants will apply directly to NCARB to complete both the examination and experience requirements. After passing all sections of the ARE and documenting all AXP experience, individuals will submit an application for licensure and complete NCARB Record to the Board.

The Board is working closely with NCARB to ensure a smooth transition for applicants. When the new procedures are in place, individuals currently testing can expect to receive instructions about the transition in the next exam results letter they receive from the Board. New applicants will follow the procedures outlined on the Board’s website to begin their application with NCARB. The new procedures will streamline the application process and eliminate the need for multiple applications to the Board for exam retakes. The Board appreciates your patience during the transition and looks forward to continuing to efficiently serve the needs of its applicants while fulfilling its mission of public protection.

How does AIA Minnesota support those taking the ARE?

ARE Scholarship

The AIA Minnesota Architect Licensing Advisory Committee coordinates awarding a scholarship to an AIA Minnesota Associate member or MSP NOMA member  to cover the costs to take all sections of the Architect Registration Exam, within the parameters defined in the application. Test fees currently total $1,410 for all six divisions of the 5.0 exam.
The deadline for the 2023 ARE Scholarship has passed. Visit ARE Scholarship for details.

Ugyen Sangmo Receives the 2023 ARE Scholarship

The 2023 Scholarship recipient is Ugyen Sangmo, AIAS, NOMAS. Visit 2023 ARE Scholarship Essay to read Ugyen’s winning essay.

ARE Review Sessions

AIA Minnesota offers a review class for each section of the exam. Tips for studying and taking the exam are shared as well as a review of content that should be studied. The reviews being planned for Spring 2023 are listed below. Details and registration will be posted here when confirmed.

March 2023 – ARE101 will be virtual via Zoom
ARE101 is an informal discussion with 2-4 panelists who have recently taken and passed all sections of the ARE. They will share their experience from how they decided it was time to take the exam; how they decided the order they were going to take the exams; how they decided how long in between each; and how they studied and what study materials they used; and what the test taking experience was like. They will also respond to questions from the audience.

April 2023 – Construction & Evaluation will be in-person at Dunwoody

May 2023 – Practice and Project Management will be in person at Dunwoody

ARE Lending Library

AIA Minnesota has established a lending library of study materials from Brightwood Education and Professional Publications, Inc. for all sections of the 5.0 exams.

Lending library materials are available to AIA Associate members only and can be checked out of the office for a period of 14 days. The lending library is free. Click here (pdf) for a complete list of books and lending library details. Contact Deanna Christiansen to confirm availability of library materials.

AIA Northern Minnesota. A set of the six Brightwood books is also available for use in Duluth. Contact Caralyn Kieper for details.

Additionally, we are willing to help establish either face-to-face study groups or virtual study groups. 

Other ARE Resources

NCARB is the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. NCARB administers the ARE.

NCARB ARE 5.0 Guidelines

A Webinar for ARE Testing covering the updated demo exam, the new digital whiteboard, online proctoring, and exam strategies.
What to Expect on Exam Day

Guide to Online Proctoring
A Webinar on Tips for Setting Up an Online Proctored Test Environment

AELSLAGID is the Minnesota State Board of Registration for architects and other professions. 651-296-2380; 651-757-1518


Firm contacts

Is there someone in your firm who can be our point of contact to receive AXP and ARE info? Click here for details and how to sign up.


NCARB presents at the A’21 MN Conference

Jared N. Zurn, AIA, vice president, examination, a senior leadership team member for NCARB, presented “Navigating Licensure: NCARB, the ARE, and You” at the A’21 MN Conference on Architecture on November 11, 2021.
View the 90-minute presentation here.


How can we support you?

Contact committee co-chair:  Gary Demele, FAIA or staff liaison Deanna Christiansen.