Apply for Certification

AICP Certification Exam

November 2019

Application Window Opens June 3, 2019, 9:00 a.m. CT
Early Bird Deadline June 10, 2019, 5:00 p.m. CT
Final Application Deadline June 27, 2019, 5:00 p.m. CT
Early Bird Notification Deadline August 5, 2019
Final Notification Deadline September 30, 2019
Registration and Transfer Deadline October 31, 2019, 5:00 p.m. CT
Testing Window November 4–18, 2019

May 2020

Application Window Opens December 2, 2019, 9:00 a.m. CST
Early Bird Deadline December 9, 2019, 4:00 p.m. CST
Final Application Deadline December 30, 2019, 4:00 p.m. CST
Testing Window May 11–23, 2020

Exam Fees

Application Fee $70
Early Bird Resubmission Fee $70
Registration Fee $425
Transfer Fee $100
**All fees are non-refundable**  

Register for the Exam      AICP Candidate Exam Registration



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

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

Enter professional planning employment information and upload an employment verification letter for each position entered. See sample employment verification letter for more information.

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.

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 ($70) and exam fee ($425) are paid separately via the online form. The $70 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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