Pursuing a Career in Architecture

Architecture Students

Thinking about becoming an architect?

Architects are portrayed in many ways on television and in the movies, but life as a real architect is so much more! The AIA is a great place to get connected with practicing architects and learn what it takes to become an architect and what a day in the life is like. Contact us if you’re interested in meeting with or shadowing an architect for a day.

Interested in a scholarship?

To encourage and support students pursuing a degree in architecture, the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter, with support from the AIA National, offers annual scholarship programs. Learn more here.

Starting your career as an architect?

We fondly refer to those just starting out in their professional lives as “Emerging Professionals,” and AIA Northern Virginia has many programs available to help kickstart your career.


Young Architects Forum

A committee full of emerging professionals navigating the world of architecture together.

Teacher and Student

ARE Prep Series

A complete series of classes to help you prepare for the exams.

a mentor and a mentee


We have multiple formats of mentoring including one-on-one and group programs. Visit the 360 Mentoring page to learn about our flagship group mentorship program, or peruse our calendar for other mentoring-related events.
woman on a computer

Help Finding A Job

AIA Northern Virginia can help you in your job search. We have a resume bank you can add yours to, and a Job Board that can help you whether you are looking for a position or just curious about what kinds of opportunities exist in our area. Send a PDF of your resume to us at [email protected].
Committee of women


See our list of committees which cover a wide range of topics and interests and offer many additional ways to get connected to the architectural community.
people with paperwork


There are many resources available to help you understand the requirements of becoming a licensed architect.

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is a student-run organization that supports architecture students across the country, providing members with information, advocacy, education and networking opportunities. Most student members experience the AIAS through a collegiate or high school chapter.

The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture. Since most state registration boards require any applicant for licensure to have graduated from a NAAB-accredited program, obtaining such a degree is an essential aspect of preparing for the professional practice of architecture.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is a non-profit organization made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

The National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMA) is a non-profit membership organization that is rooted in a rich legacy of activism, empowering local chapters and membership to foster justice and equity in communities of color through outreach, community advocacy, professional development and design excellence.

AIA Northern Virginia Scholarships

AIA Northern Virginia is working to continue the creation of more equitable communities within the profession.  Through various scholarships and competitions, we are supporting, encouraging, and promoting students pursuing architecture as a career.

AIA Northern Virginia Past Presidents and Fellows Scholarship https://aianova.org/scholarship.php

AIA Northern Virginia Mug Competition

AIA Northern Virginia ARE Scholarship