Apply for Certification

November 2020 Exam Schedule

Application Window Opens June 1, 2020, 9:00 a.m. CT
Registration Opens June 1, 2020, 9:00 a.m. CT
Early Bird Deadline June 8, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CT
Final Application Deadline June 26, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CT
Early Bird Notification July 31, 2020
Final Notification September 9, 2020
Registration Closes October 30, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CT
Transfer Deadline October 30, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CT
Exam Window November 9–23, 2020

AICP Certification Exam


AICP Candidate Pilot Program participants: View your fees, registration details and other deadlines.
Application Fee $85
Early Bird Resubmission Fee $100
Registration Fee $425
Transfer Fee $100
**All fees are non-refundable**  

Register for the Exam

May Exam Updates

  • The May exam has been postponed to June 1–July 31.
  • Scheduling for spring/summer dates is open April 20, and the deadline to register for the summer exam or transfer to the fall test is May 29.
    • Currently, Prometric is planning to reopen some testing facilities for in-person exams beginning May 1, 2020. Test center availability is being evaluated on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with government actions. Should you register to take the AICP exam in-person and need to adjust your plans, you may delay your testing date with no transfer fee or switch your registration to the remote testing option
  • Online testing in your home or location of your choice is available.
    • If you prefer to not test in person or there are no locations open in your area, you may take the AICP exam online. Prometric proctors will oversee all AICP exams remotely. Online testing technical requirements are available in our FAQs. You may also review requirements in the ProProctor™ User Guide and run a system check with Prometric.


  • Registration for the spring/summer AICP exam testing is open.
  • Scheduling for spring/summer dates is open April 20, and the deadline to transfer to the fall test is May 29.
  • Have additional questions? View our FAQ page or email us at with any additional questions you may have.

AICP Application Overview

Make sure you are prepared to apply for AICP Certification. In this video, you'll learn about:

  • Meeting eligibility requirements
  • Documenting your education and experience
  • Writing essays that meet criterion requirements
  • Exam scoring and pass rates
  • Finding other resources to prepare for the AICP Exam

How to Apply for AICP Certification

Here is all the information you'll need to apply for AICP Certification and take the AICP Certification Exam. Follow the step-by-step instructions below.

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.

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.

3. Submit the Online Application and Pay Fees

Applications can be submitted only for the upcoming exam window. All applicants must complete and submit the online application along with verifications and pay the application fee by the application deadline posted above. You are strongly encouraged to apply early. Applications submitted on or near the deadline may take longer to process due to high volume.

Section 1: Describe and Verify Educational History

Enter university, graduation date, degree information and upload verification for each degree entered. Information on valid education verification can be found in the AICP Guide Part 1: Certification Application.

Section 2: Describe and Verify Employment History

Upload an employment verification letter for each position entered — containing position title, company name, dates of employment, full-time or part-time indication, and a summary of responsibilities.

Section 3: Respond to Eligibility Criteria

Applicants for AICP must write three essays demonstrating that their verified work experience meets APA's definition of professional planning experience.

Please be sure to review the guidance and checklists provided in the AICP Guide Part 1 to ensure that your essays meet criterion requirements as defined by APA. See the Demonstrating Professional Planning Experience section and the AICP Certification Criteria Checklist in the AICP Guide Part 1 for full details.

AICP Criteria Essay Guidance

Section 4: 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 application fee ($85) and exam fee ($425) are paid separately via the online form. The $85 application fee is due upon application submission and the $425 exam fee is due after application approval. Payment must be made online with a credit card. (Fees subject to change.)

4. Receive a notification e-mail

Due to the volume of applications and thoroughness of the review process, you will hear about the status of your application approximately 8–10 weeks from submission; however, this is a rough estimate and some applications will take longer to review than others.

If you apply during the Early-Bird Application Window you will be notified of application approval or denial by the Early-Bird Notification Deadline above. All other applicants will be notified of application approval or denial by the Final Notification Deadline.

Please note that applications submitted on or near the application deadline may take longer to process and review. Once your application is reviewed, your application status will be updated in My APA, and you will receive an e-mail notifying you of your application approval or an emailed letter notifying you of your application denial.

5. Register for the Exam and Schedule with Prometric

Approved applicants may register for the exam and pay the $425 exam registration fee to receive an eligibility ID for the current exam window. The registration confirmation email will include information on where to retrieve your eligibility ID and instructions for scheduling the appointment to take the exam at a Prometric test center of the applicant's choice. Proper photo ID is required to enter the test center. The AICP Guide Part 2: Taking the Exam takes you through everything you need to know about scheduling your appointment and making sure your exam day goes as smoothly as possible.

APA members facing financial hardship can still earn their AICP Certification thanks to an APA scholarship program. The AICP Exam Fee Scholarship offers assistance to individuals who have delayed taking the exam due to financial hardship.

Check out resources that will help you prepare to take the exam, like the Outline of the AICP Certification Exam.

Certification Application Review

AICP Peer Reviewers and APA staff will collaborate in evaluating all application essays to determine whether they meet the required criteria for professional planning experience.

AICP Peer Reviewers have been AICP members for at least five years and demonstrated their commitment to the profession. Peer review ensures that AICP application reviews reflect the informed judgment of seasoned certified planners.

Eligible members who are interested in volunteering as AICP Peer Reviewers may learn more and apply.


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