What is AICP?

AICP is the American Planning Association’s professional institute, providing recognized leadership nationwide in the certification of professional planners, ethics, professional development, planning education, and the standards of planning practice. 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.

How do I become AICP Certified?

Getting AICP-certified is simpler and more flexible than ever. Select the path that’s right for you:

  1. For working professionals, check out the flexible process to becoming a certified planner here.
  2. For students and new graduates of PAB programs, check out the AICP Candidate Pilot Program here.

How do I prepare for the AICP Exam?

If you’re considering taking the AICP exam, you don’t want to miss SDAPA’s valuable annual training sessions to help you prepare. We offer trainings throughout the calendar year. Sign up for the SDAPA newsletter to receive information on upcoming trainings.

What resources and study materials should I use?

There are many resources available to help you prepare for the AICP Exam. Below is a list of resources and study materials suggested through the years by our local chapter members who have become certified. Many of the books listed here are available on APA’s website under the AICP Exam Prep category.  Special pricing is available for APA members.

Additional AICP exam information and resources can be found here.

Who to contact for more information?

If you would like additional information on becoming AICP certified, you may contact our SDAPA Professional Development Officer for AICP Lorena Cordova.


AICP Exam Training Course

This is a comprehensive AICP exam training course planned and produced by the Central and San Diego Sections and recorded by APA California. Conceived as a four-day in-person/live stream event, the primary goal was to reach Section members in remote areas. The on-demand course is now available to everyone!

With over 12 hours of instruction presented in an informal classroom setting with full audience interaction, this course provides the guidance and materials needed to better prepare for the exam. Study at your own pace! Learn valuable exam taking tips!

Topics and speakers include:

  • Part 1: Planning History and ContextWendy Tinsley Becker, RPH, AICP, Principal, Urbana Preservation & Planning, LLC
  • Part 2: Exam and Training Sessions OverviewLorena G. Cordova, AICP
  • Part 3: Plan Making and ImplementationStephen Michael Haase, AICP
  • Part 4: Regulatory LawDavid Pierucci, Attorney, Best, Best, and Krieger
  • Part 5: Ethics TrainingBrian F. Mooney, FAICP, Managing Principal, Community Planning & Landscape Architecture, Rick Engineering
  • Part 6: Public ParticipationJoan Isaacson, Vice President/Public Involvement and Facilitation, Kearns & West
  • Part 7: Planning TrendsDemographics & Transportation, Phil Trom, AICP, Senior Planner, SANDAG
  • Part 8: Leadership, Administration & ManagementDahvia Lynch, AICP CEP, LEED AP, Director of Development Services, City of San Marcos

Cost: APA Members $75 / Non-Members $100 / Student Members $25.  Register now and receive the two bonus videos below!

Becoming AICP – A Helpful Webinar

This webinar gives some helpful tips on navigating the path to becoming AICP. The webinar is recommended for anyone just starting the AICP application process. To access the recording, click here (Recorded 6/2020)

AICP Examination Application Preparation Session

This candid and practical session helps demystify the AICP Exam application preparation process covering resources, dates, fees, process steps, application content and tips. Strategies for studying for the exam and taking the test are also shared. The webinar is recommended for anyone just staring the AICP exam process and hearing from other planners who are in the process or have already become AICP. To access the recording, click here (Recorded 5/2019).

Who to contact for more information?

For AICP – Contact Lorena Córdova, AICP, Professional Development Officer – AICP

For Distance Education – Contact Greg Konar, AICP, Distance Education Coordinator