“I’m an employer. I look for the AICP credential in our screening process to find the best and most qualified employees for our planning positions.”
— Rodger Lentz, AICP; Director of Planning and Development Services, Wilson, North Carolina
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The American Institute of Certified Planners is APA's professional institute and provides the only nationwide, independent verification of planners' qualifications. Certified planners pledge to uphold high standards of practice, ethics, and professional conduct, and to keep their skills sharp and up-to-date by continuously pursuing advanced professional education.



AICP Candidate Pilot Program (New)

Reduced Fee Scholarship Program

Exam Study Material

Useful Links


AICP Candidate Pilot Program


APA has launched a new opportunity for students and graduates of PAB-accredited programs to start early on their path to AICP certification!

The program will allow students and graduates of PAB-accredited programs to distinguish themselves from their peers by:

  • Taking the AICP exam fresh out of school while you’re still in the academic mind frame as opposed to the mandatory two years of work experience delay.

  • Mentoring and networking with professional planners throughout the program

  • Demonstrating to potential employers a commitment to mastering planning skills and maintaining the highest standard of ethical practice.

  • Getting involved in AICP early and learn among practicing planners while earning required Certification Maintenance credits.

  • Spreading out the timing of exam fees to make paying for the exam easier

Please note that the traditional route to AICP still exists for anyone, including graduates from PAB-accredited programs. In addition, candidates must be members in good standing of National APA (not a Chapter-Only member).

For more information on the program, please go to planning.org/aicp/candidate or contact aicp@planning.org or 312-431-9100

Reduced Fee Scholarship Program 


Each calendar year, AICP provides a Reduced Exam Registration Fee Scholarship. This program was put into place to offer assistance to approved applicants who may defer taking or are unable to take the AICP exam because of the high cost.

Scholarship recipients pay reduced fees to AICP as follows:

  • First time AICP applicants: $120 (combined $60 application and $60 exam fee)

  • Previously approved AICP applicants: $60 (exam fee only).

Please note that if scholarship recipients pay the regular instead of the reduced fees before receiving notice of selection, AICP will promptly refund the fee difference to the candidates

The Chapter Professional Development Officer is charged with choosing a scholarship recipient based on the general selection criteria provided by AICP. Our Chapter will provide one allotted award per calendar year.

The 2019 Scholarship has been announced. Applicants need to submit a written explanation of financial hardship (including financial hardship caused by a budget cutback in a firm or agency) in order to apply. 


Exam Study Material


Please remember that it is imperative to begin studying for the exam early as the exam draws from an extremely diverse range of planning issues. The following are some study guides that will help prepare you for the exam.


Useful Exam Links



Any additional questions on the AICP Exam may be directed to: AICPexam@planning.org or the Chapter's Professional Development Officer Rich Guarino, AICP (e-mail).