UK Architecture Degree: USA Accreditation?


So here's the deal.
I received my bachelor and post-grad degree (both in architecture) at RIBA accreditted universities in the UK.
Now that I work and live in the USA (Wash, DC to be exact), I'm finding the requirements for US architecture (NAAB) accredditation to be very difficult.
Apparently there are course requirements (unrelated to architecture) which are simply not focused on in UK curriculums. Courses such as Human Behavior and Natural Sciences were just not offered as part of my UK curriculum.
Aside from re-taking these courses, does anyone have an idea of how I can take the US IDP exams?
Has anyone here experienced a similar problem with the transfer of foreign credits, and if so, what did you do to resolve this?
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Ask the NCARB and your state licensing board.
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Looking at NCARB is where I saw the requirements for all of the general studies courses.
A lot of the subjective requirements (ie. presentations, writing skills, etc) were covered throughout my degree, but we never had specific courses for them. We went through 6 years of school for architecture, not general studies (not trying to be sarcastic).
That being said, would NCARB accept testimonials from my UK professors as equivalent, or do I actually have to go back to university (in the US) and retake all of these general (non-architecture) courses?

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ElGordo wrote:

I thought the IDP requirements were for actual work related development (Intern Development). Maybe your referring to the requirements to start IDP, as in the University reuirements. Otherwise the IDP has you doing the all of those things in a work environment, and your boss would be filling the paperwork telling IDP that you have completed so-and-so many hours of this related skill and so on. That's what I was led to believe, but I really wouldn't know as I was grandfathered into the old system.
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Night_Seer

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Exactly- Its these requirements which seem very stiff towards traditional, non-US curriculums (at least on paper). And I was wondering if anyone knew if I would actually have to take classes to fulfill the non-Arch classes, or if I could have a professor vouch for my skills in those areas.

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With all due respect, the only people who can answer your questions with authority are at your local state architectural registration/licensing board.
In the US, all registration and/or licensing of architect's is done by the individual states. There is no such thing as being an "architect licensed in the US" ....architects are licensed by states. That is why the only way to answer your question is to go to your state board (Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, DC or whatever.)
NCARB requirements only relate to that organization's certification program, which does not automatically result in being registered/licensed in any particular state.
I suspect that the real answer to your question depends on the type of experience you had in the UK. For instance, a professionally certified architect from the UK, with years of experience, would probably find the state board more friendly than someone right out of school..... but then ....what do I know?
Good luck!
Christopher
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http://www.ncarb.org/stateboards /
http://www.ncarb.org/reciprocity/foreign.html
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Thanks- the NCARB requirements I'm talking about are so that I can take the tests which are applicable for licensure in my state (Wash DC).
It costs me $800 just to send my past curriculum to NCARB for review, and at that it takes them 6+ months to respond. So you can imagine that I'd like to gather as much information as possible about the experiences of others (they will not respond to phone calls).
I'd hate to have to wait so long, and then spend hundreds of dollars more to appeal their response with materials I could've included originally.
thanks

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ElGordo wrote:

One of my coworkers is working on her IDP (In California), and she needs to not complete the education and work experience requirements (5 years of school and 3 years experience, or 8 years total experience, other requirements for related field work), but also has to complete the actual IDP program (which can be done within the 3 years of experience requirement) BEFORE she can even take ANY of the tests. IDP started this year, and is a requirement to getting your license.
Also, the curriculum you are referring to sounds like something that would have been taken care of in your basic studies for your Bachelors degree. Over here we call them general education, which is a part of the curriculum of all Bachelor programs in the US. Are you saying that General education is not a requirement in the UK, or just those specific areas are not taught? Otherwise, there is sure to be classes that you did take that would be equivalent to what the NAAB would require. It is the NAAB that actually reviews the curriculum, so you might want to contact them instead of the NCARB. If it comes down to it, and you have not met the general ed requirements your going to have to bite the bullet and find some Community college to complete those course, but like I said, you might have some sort of substitute (Acceptable courses in Natural Sciences include astronomy, astrophysics, bacteriology, biochemistry, biology, botany, chemistry, geology, microbiology, physical geography, physics and zoology. Courses in cultural geography or economic geography are NOT acceptable in this subject, but they are acceptable in the subject of social studies.) Its all on the NAAB website under EESA.
It looks like their office is in Wash DC too:
National Architectural Accrediting Board Inc. (NAAB) 1735 New York Avenue, NW, 3rd Floor Washington, DC 20006 (202) 783-2007 www.naab.org [click on "EESA"]
Fees for this service will be billed to you directly by NAAB which is a private organization, not affiliated with any architectural registration board.
It says here:
http://www.naab.org/information2657/information_show.htm?doc_id 8952
that appeals are free of charge, but any additional information that you need to give them will cost $200.
One last thing:
For information regarding EESA/NCARB evaluations please email Cassandra Pair at snipped-for-privacy@naab.org.
Hope that helps.
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Many thanks for your response-
I mistakenly said "NCARB" when I meant "NAAB" (the alphabet soup mixes me up sometimes).
I'm 2 years through the work experience right now at a firm in DC and am beginning to get everything together to apply for my tests (just so I can take them after my 3 year mark at work).
As for the courses- we didn't even have general courses in the UK for my Bachelor's- everything was pure architecture and engineering. This is where my concerns are- that I won't even be qualified to take the tests without taking a ton of general ed courses beforehand.

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ElGordo wrote:

After reading through the forms at the NAAB, it looks like that's going to be the case...might as well get started now.
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Chris S wrote:

It was my 'counter' experience that Italian universities viewed US high school education as inadequate (and rightly so) and required a US Associate of Arts degree as a rough equivalent to be able to enter first year of Italian university. I'm not sure about UK education, but wouldn't be surprised if the same criteria applied.
That said, the US may have a similar 'counter provision'. At:
http://www.riba-usa.org/reciprocity/index.htm
under 'US and UK qualifications', they talk about NAAB not recognizing general ed work done prior to unversity, (which is utter baloney, but there you go.) In other words, the US won't officially (to the world) recognize that the US preuniversity education system is lagging with respect to western European.
Hence, you may have to take some night courses in Psychology 101. Or, depending on what NAAB ultimately recommends, you may be able to get equivalent credits for those 'required' courses by taking CLEP tests.
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/clep/exams.html
Marcello
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You will need to have your education evaluated by NAAB. Here's the link. http://www.naab.org/information2657/information.htm
You may be required to take some classes. You may not.

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