How to Become an Architect in Texas

So you want to become an architect in The Lone Star State? Well, you’re in luck — this post will tell you what you need to know about the process of getting your initial architecture license in Texas. Read on, and before you know it, you could be the next O’Neil Ford.

Let’s start with a little background information before we dive in. Architectural registration in Texas is managed by the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) and governed by the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 22, Part 1, Chapter 1

The TAC provides two ways that a person can become eligible for registration: by Examination or by Reciprocal Transfer. Registration by Reciprocal Transfer is the process for individuals who are already licensed in another jurisdiction. This post will focus on Registration by Examination, which is the process for new licensure candidates. 

As I describe the requirements below, I encourage you to take a look at the website for the TBEA and the relevant section of the TAC, both of which are linked above, so you can follow along and see how the requirements are described there as well.

Now that we understand where to find the rules for licensure in Texas, and we know who is in charge of administering those rules, what are the actual steps of the process? Below, we’ll take a close look at each of the requirements defined by the TAC, which can be broken down into education, experience and examination.


This image shows a library with numerous shelves of books. Source

Firstly, an applicant must have a professional degree from a qualifying architectural education program. In order to meet this requirement, the education program must either:

  • Be accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB)
  • Become accredited by the NAAB no later than two years after the applicant’s graduation
  • Be granted candidacy and become accredited by the NAAB not later than three years after the applicant’s graduation
  • Be deemed substantially equivalent to a NAAB accredited professional program through an evaluation by either the NAAB or another organization acceptable to the TBAE


    For more information about the education requirement and how to meet it, see these resources: