Application Process
Step 1 : Make Sure You Meet the Requirements


You must be 18 years of age by the time you take the exam.

You must register and create an account with the American Board of Design and Research.

US Citizen
You must be a US Citizen to take the exam.

You must have a Design Degree, Researching Degree, or letter of recommendation.

State or Field Specific Exams
Some states may require specific exams or education to be licensed. In those cases, you will need to submit proof of completion of the required education or exams.

Ethical Assessment
You'll be required to perform a background check and pass an Ethical Assessment. The Ethical Assessment is performed the Monday after you take your exam by the board and its members. You will have your results of this assessment by the time your exam results are ready.
Learn more about the Ethical Assessment
Step 2 : Choose an Academic Type
Applicants can either be a traditional type applicant or a non-traditional type of applicant. Take a look below to see how the board defines these types.


Traditional applicants have formal education backgrounds consistent with their fields of practice. For example, if you are a Design applicant, you have a design related degree or any other degree relevant to your practice. As a traditional applicant you'll be required to present documentation related to your academic background and academic achievements.

Non-traditional applicants or autodidacts are encouraged to apply. You will be required to submit a letter of recommedation, with your application.
Step 3 : Gather Materials
Gather the following materials , relevant to your academic type, in preparation to submit your application:

1) College Transcripts
2) Letters of Recommendation
3) High School transcript or GED
4) SAT or ACT (optional)
5) Resume
Step 4 : Complete Your Application
Application Opens
Applications for 2024 open on October 1st, 2023.


All 2024 applications must be submitted by December 31st, 2023. Any applications submitted after this deadline will be required to pay a $66.00 late fee.

Non-refundable Application Fee
Application fees are $399.99. Active duty and Veterans may request and are eligible for a fee waiver or reduction. Please contact the board for more information.
Learn more about Active Duty & Vet waivers
Step 5 : Submit Your Application Materials
Submit your required application materials. If needed you may also contact us or submit content through our contact info listed below.


The American Board of Design & Research
PO Box 6986
Tyler, TX 75711

(408) 620-0601

Please be sure that you indicate your first, middle, and last name as well as your date of birth when you email or mail application materials. If you physically mail your documents, we recommend keeping a copy of all application forms for your records.
Step 6 : Track Your Status
Track your status online, via your dashboard in the application section.
Not SubmittedYour application has not been submitted.
ReceivedYour application was received by the board.
In ReviewYour application is being reviewed by the board.
PendingYour application requires your input or some documentation to continue the process.
ApprovedThe board has approved your application.
DeniedThe board has denied your application.
Step 7 : Register to Take Your Exam
If your application is approved, you'll receive an email with details on how to register for the exam. For information on the registration process, click the button below.
Registration Process
Interested in applying?
Applications for 2024 are now being accepted.
Apply for your license