The AIA International Region is delighted to announce that it has signed an agreement with the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) to support them with their Substantial Equivalency program for overseas universities.  Through this initiative, the NAAB hopes to benefit from the broad range of expertise and experience represented by AIA IR’s US registered architects. 


The NAAB Board of Directors established the Substantial Equivalency (SE) program in 2003 in order to extend the organization’s expertise and quality assurance services to international stakeholders. “Substantial equivalency” identifies an architecture program as comparable in educational outcomes in all significant aspects to a U.S.-based program and indicates that it provides an educational experience meeting acceptable standards, even though such program may differ in format or method of delivery. While Substantial Equivalency is not accreditation, SE recognition by the NAAB represents that a program of architecture has achieved the highest standard of quality assurance in professional architecture education.


The process for achieving the SE designation involves three visits to a program: the teams for visits one and two are composed of two people (one practitioner and one educator); the team for visit three is composed of four people (practitioner, educator, regulatory board representative, and recent graduate). The first and second visits are conducted over two days, and the third visit over three and a half days. Each visit focuses on a range of quality assurance measures of the program and an examination of student work against a set of performance criteria. The visiting team records its findings and recommendations in a Visiting Team Report submitted to the International Committee after the visit and later for consideration by the Board of Directors. Completion of the SE process usually requires a minimum of three years. To date twelve architecture programs have achieved the SE designation.

 Please contact us if you would like to participate in this program.


Thierry Paret, FAIA, LEED AP

2018-2019 President

AIA International Region