AICP Exam Information


aicp 150AICP certification is the only nationwide, independent verification of planners’ qualifications. Earn the AICP credential and colleagues and employers will know that you have the academic qualifications, relevant work experience, and mastery of essential skills required to serve your community effectively.

The most recent APA/AICP Planners Salary Survey shows that certified planners earn more than non-certified planners, even when experience and responsibility are considered. Certification also puts planners on equal footing with the architects, engineers, and other credentialed professionals with whom they work and compete.


To become a certified planner and use the AICP designation, you must be a current member of the American Planning Association (APA), submit an online application, meet specified education and experience requirements, and pass an examination. The exam is given twice a year, in May and November.

The National APA website has additional detail about what you need to take the examination:


Students and graduates of accredited planning programs now have a different way to earn their AICP. Under the AICP Candidate Pilot Program, new planners can take the AICP exam after completing their degree, earn the required amount of experience, and then officially become AICP. More information about the program can be found at:


The APA California Sacramento Valley Section will be offering AICP exam preparation for the May 2019 exam. For more information about exam preparation and participating in a study group, please contact Brent Gibbons, AICP, Section Professional Development Officer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


APA California Chapter and Sacramento Valley Section will each award AICP Exam Reduced Fee Scholarships to offset applicants' costs.

  • The California Chapter application, which is available online (click here), is due by 5 pm on Friday, February 23, 2018.
  • The SVS application is due by 5 pm on Friday, March 23, 2018. To request an application, please contact Blake Roberts, Section Professional Development Officer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Advanced Specialty Certification

Advanced Specialty Certification enables AICP–credentialed planners to be recognized for their knowledge, experience, and leadership skills in specialized areas of planning.

The three advanced certifications are:
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2020 Section Sponsors

Without the support of our sponsors, many of the programs we offer would not be possible.  Click on the logos to the right to learn about each firm.
To our sponsors -- Thank You!

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