AICP Comprehensive Planning Examination


The application window for this exam is now closed.

Application Window Opens June 2, 2015
Early Bird Deadline June 8, 2015, 11:59 p.m. CT
Final Application Deadline June 30, 2015, 11:59 p.m. CT
Early Bird Notification Deadline July 24, 2015
Final Notification Deadline September 25, 2015
Registration Deadline October 22, 2015, 11:59 p.m. CT
Transfer Deadline October 22, 2015
Testing Window November 2–17, 2015
MAY 2016

The application window for this exam will open December 1, 2015.

Application Window Opens December 1, 2015
Early Bird Deadline December 7, 2015
11:59 p.m. CT
Final Application Deadline December 31, 2015
11:59 p.m. CT
Testing Window May 9–22, 2016
(New Applicants)
(Due after Approval)
U.S. and Canada * $70
(refundable for denied and incomplete applications only)
International * $70
$530 **

* Computer-based
** $425 paid after approval; $105 invoiced upon appointment confirmation

Begin Your Application

Applications are no longer being accepted for this exam period.

If your application is already approved:

Begin Online Registration

Complete Exam Details

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


Contact AICP exam staff at

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

Step 1

Bring your membership up to date
You must be a member of APA to sit for the exam. Make sure your APA and chapter dues are up to date before starting your application.

Step 2

Read the Exam Candidate Bulletin and the Response Checklist
The Exam Candidate Bulletin will help you decide whether the exam is right for you. For a quick look at the eligibility requirements, view Does My Experience Qualify. Check out the new Criterion Response Checklist. This is a great resource to make sure your responses meet the requirements.

Step 3

Submit the application and pay exam fees
Complete and submit your online application by the deadline. Exam fees are $495 for new applicants and $425 for returning applicants. See the full chart of fees above.

Applicants that apply during the Early Bird window will receive early notification of their approval or an opportunity to revise their application if they are disapproved, according to the advice in their denial letter, and resubmit their application in the same exam window.

APA has created an Exam Application Template to help you gather the information you will need to complete the application, including the criteria requirements.

Returning applicants: If your original application was approved within the last five exam cycles, please use the "Begin My Registration" button during the application window to register your intent to take the exam. If your original application was not approved within the last five exam windows, you must reapply using the "Begin My Application" button on this page during the application window. This includes filling out a new application and uploading verifications. Read the Exam Candidate Bulletin for more information.

Upload your verification documents
You must verify your education and employment experience before being approved to take the exam. To ensure your verification letters will be accepted, APA has created a Sample Employment Verification Letter that you can provide to your reference. All verifications are uploaded directly into the application before you submit. Read more in the Exam Candidate Bulletin.

Step 4

Monitor your application
APA will update your My APA web page once your verifications have been validated. Please continue to periodically monitor that page for any notifications about the status of your application and verifications.

Step 5

Watch for an e-mail from APA
Once APA has received all your verifications, we will begin reviewing your application. Normal processing and review time is approximately 8-10 weeks; however, this is a rough estimate and some applications will take longer to review than others. Early Bird applicants will receive notification by the Early Bird Notification Deadline, and all other applicants will receive notification by the Final Notification Deadline.

Step 6

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