Apply for Certification

How to Apply for AICP Certification

Here is all the information you'll need to apply for AICP Certification, which includes verifying your education and employment history.

Download the AICP Guide: Certification Application for full details on submitting your application.

After your application is approved, you may submit your planning experience essays, and take the AICP Certification Exam. Follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1. Bring Your APA Membership Up to Date

All AICP applicants must be current members of the American Planning Association. Please make sure that your APA and Chapter dues are up to date before you start your application.
If your chapter and national dues are not fully paid, you will not be permitted access to the online application.

Step 2. Review the Eligibility Requirements for AICP Certification

Members must meet APA's eligibility requirements for certification before submitting an application for AICP Certification.

AICP Candidate Pilot Program participants: Learn about your path to AICP.

Step 3. Submit the Online Application

Your AICP application must be received by the specified dates in the chart below if you intend to test for the AICP exam or submit planning experience essays for the upcoming window.

Section 1: Applicant Information

Confirm your contact information and select your application type.

Section 2: Describe and Verify Education History

Enter university, graduation date, degree information and upload valid verification for each degree entered. Information on valid education verification can be found in the AICP Guide: Certification Application.

Section 3: Describe and Verify Employment History

Enter professional planning employment information and provide a detailed summary of planning responsibilities for each position. A verification letter from your employer is NOT required.

Section 4: Ethics

Read and Verify You Have Read the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Section 5: Application Summary and Review

Review the components of your application prior to submission. You will not be permitted to change or edit the application once submitted.

Section 6: Submit Application and Fee

The $70 application fee is due upon application submission. Payment must be made online with a credit card. (Fees subject to change.)

Step 4. Receive a Notification Email

Please allow up to 4 weeks for your application to be reviewed before you can proceed to the next step. You will receive an e-mail notifying you of your application approval or denial and your application status will be updated in My APA.

Step 5. Register for the Exam and Submit Your Planning Experience Essays

Approved applicants may register for the exam and submit planning experience essays during the specified submission windows. Members must pass the AICP Certification Exam and their planning experience essays must be approved before AICP Certification is earned.

AICP Application Tips

AICP Certification Application Deadlines

There are two AICP Certification Application windows each year. Once your application is approved, you are eligible to take the certification exam and submit your planning experience essays in any order. Refer to the table below for specific deadlines.

May 2021 AICP Certification Cycle

Opportunities to take the exam with Prometric are in accordance with all local, state and federal regulations — please check their website for the most up to date information.

May 2021 AICP Certification Cycle Dates

Application Dates

Application Window Opens January 5, 2021, 9:00 a.m. CT
Application Deadline for Those Intending to Submit Essays January 19, 2021, 3:00 p.m. CT
Final Application Deadline April 2, 2021, 3:00 p.m. CT

The application deadline in order to submit essays in February has passed. However, you can still submit your application to be considered for the July essay submission window.

Apply for Certification


Exam Dates

Exam Registration Opens January 19, 2021, 9:00 a.m. CT
Exam Registration & Transfer Deadline April 30, 2021, 3:00 p.m. CT
Testing Window May 1 – May 25, 2021

Essay Dates

Expedited Essay Review Window Opens February 9, 2021, 9:00 a.m. CT
Expedited Essay Review Window Closes February 16, 2021, 3:00 p.m. CT
Regular Essay Window Opens February 16, 2021, 3:00 p.m. CT
Regular Essay Window Closes February 23, 2021, 3:00 p.m. CT

May 2021 AICP Certification Cycle Fees*

Application Fee $70
Planning Experience Essay Fee $220
Expedited Essay Review $290
AICP Exam Registration Fee $220
AICP Exam Transfer Fee $100
Planning Experience Essay Appeal Fee $100

*All fees are non-refundable

AICP Candidate Pilot Program participants: View your exam registration and other deadlines.


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