AICP Certification Exam

May 2018

Application Window Opens December 1, 2017, 9:00 a.m. CT
Early Bird Deadline December 7, 2017, 11:59 p.m. CT
Final Application Deadline December 28, 2017, 5:00 p.m. CT
Registration and Transfer Deadline April 27, 2018, 5:00 p.m CT
Testing Window May 14–28, 2018

Exam Fees

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

Apply for the Exam           Register for the Exam

November 2018

Application Window Opens June 1, 2018, 9:00 a.m. CT
Early Bird Deadline June 7, 2018, 11:59 p.m. CT
Final Application Deadline June 28, 2018, 5:00 p.m. CT
Registration and Transfer Deadline October 31, 2018, 5:00 p.m. CT
Testing Window TBD two week window in November 2018

Exam Updates

As of May 2017 the AICP Certification Exam has been updated. The update maintains the basic core knowledge structure of previous exams, but places greater emphasis on emerging trends and current practices. To help you prepare, we have clarified exam resources, specifically the Exam Outline and Recommended Readings, and added detail that relates specifically to new or revised content.

After the exam window closes, a panel of subject matter experts will convene to determine the pass-fail standards for the revised exam. Members who sit for the May 2017 exam will receive their exam score information six to eight weeks after testing.

For more details about the new content outline, listen to this hour-long webinar presented by the AICP Exam Committee Chair, Karen Wolf, FAICP, she explains the process behind the update and what examinees should expect in May 2017 exam.

Read the FAQ from Webinar Attendees

Exam Application Review

AICP Peer Reviewers and APA staff will collaborate in evaluating all exam 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 exam 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 here.

How to Apply to Take the Exam

Here is all the information you'll need to apply for 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 membership

All AICP applicants must meet APA's eligibility requirements for AICP membership before submitting an application for the AICP exam.

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. You can gather the information you will need to complete the application in the Exam Application Template.

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 Exam Guide.

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 the AICP exam 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 Exam Guide to ensure that your essays meet criterion requirements as defined by APA. See the Demonstrating Professional Planning Experience section and the Criterion Response Checklist in the AICP Exam Guide 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 payment 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 must 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.

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


Contact AICP exam staff at