How Long is an Architecture Degree?

Do you know architecture is not just challenging but the longest degree as well? Most of the students believe that it takes forever to become an architect. Well, that is because architecture is a creative, diverse, and ever-changing subject and a profession.

So, it requires several years to turn an ordinary human into an architect. Since it is considered as one the few longest degrees to get, have you ever wondered how early you have to start to become a reputable architect? How long would it take to introduce you as an architect? Here’s the answer;

How long is an architecture degree?

The architecture degree is the second-longest degree after a doctoral degree. To obtain an architecture degree, it roughly requires your undivided attention for a good three, four, or five years. 

National Council of Architectural Registration Board

Well, when we ask the same question sitting in an institution? The answer would mostly be five years. However, the National Council of Architectural Registration Board(NCARB) has a whole different view. The NCARB believes that it takes 11 years to become a licensed architect.

Architecture degree take

Both answers are correct. The first professional NAAB accredited degree in architecture is 5 (undergraduate) or 3 (graduate) years long. Whereas, the non-NAAB accredited architecture can be 4 years long. So, the architecture degree is either five, three, or four years long. 

Let’s settle the debate

The NAAB accredited architecture degree is 5 or 3 years old. The non-NAAB accredited degree is four years old. 

However, it takes 11 years to be able to practice legally. In these 11 years, the aspiring architect will acquire a minimum of 3-years of architecture degree first, enrol in a 3-year internship program, and need at least 5 additional years to be able to become an architecture practitioner.

The Architecture degree is not the same years-long in every country

In most parts of the world, the architecture degree is three or five years old. Whereas, in the United States of America it is five or four years old. Some architecture schools are enrolling students in the five-year and the other four years programs. There is no three-year concept in the United States of America. Moreover, aspiring architecture requires 3 years of training to become a practitioner.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is an architecture degree five years?

Yes, most institutions are now enrolling students in a five-year degree program. However, an architecture degree can also be three or four years as well. 

How long it can take you to become an architect?

It can take you 7 to 11 years to work as a professional architect legally. At least 7 plus years are required, five years to get a degree and the rest is all training.

Does it take forever to become an architect?

No, it does not take forever to become an architect. You may only need 7 plus years to become a practitioner. Frankly, 7 plus years is such a short duration for such a rewarding profession.

Can you obtain an architecture degree in three years?

Yes, there is a NAAB accredited 3 years architecture degree. However, the 5-year architecture degree is more valuable.


The architecture degree is 5, 4, or 3 three years long. The NAAB accredited architecture degree is 5 and 3 years long. Whereas, to become a practitioner you may need 7 to 11 years. It is because a degree is not enough to adopt architecture as a profession. Several years of internship or training is also required.

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