NCGR-PAA Education Program
The Four Levels
The NCGR-PAA Curriculum and Certification Program is divided into four progressive levels. The first three levels require testing supervised by NCGR-PAA teachers and exam monitors. Part of the third level and all of the fourth are take-home tests. Questions regarding professional ethics are covered for all levels, becoming more comprehensive as the student progresses.
Level I provides the foundation for an understanding of Western astrology. In order to pass a proficiency examination at this level the student must comprehend the building blocks of astrology: signs, planets, houses, personal points, major aspects and their configurations, hemisphere and quadrant emphases, and other fundamentals. Students are expected to be able to calculate a chart by hand for any geographical location in the world.* Some knowledge of classical astrology is required, such as dignities and debilities, planetary sects, and benefics and malefics. The astronomy covered on this level includes the solar system, eclipses, retrograde motion, and the solstices.
*As of July 1, 2018 the natal chart calculation exam will include the latitude, longitude and relevant time information. This is due to the fact that tables for these, which were previously required, are no longer being published and used copies may be difficult to obtain.
Level II reviews natal delineation and introduces various techniques, among them the dynamic elements of transits, progressions, and solar arc directions. Also covered are minor aspects, lunar phases, derived houses, asteroids, and fixed stars. Calculations required for this level include progressions, solar arc directions, antiscia, declinations, the vertex, and the equatorial ascendant. An understanding of planetary cycles, relocation charts, house divisions, and more detailed astronomy is expected on this level, such as the Great Circles, celestial latitude and longitude, declination, right ascension, precession, and the lunar nodes. Additional knowledge of classical astrology is also included, such as essential dignities and disposition.
Level III includes having basic knowledge of Mayan, Chinese, and Vedic astrology, as well as the history of Western astrology. Uranian astrology is also covered on this level, where the student must master the 90 degree and 360 degree dials, as well as have a thorough understanding of planetary pictures, midpoints, antiscia, and Arabic parts. Students must also be able to interpret two charts for synastry, calculate a composite chart, and know how both a composite and relationship chart are constructed. Other techniques comprising this level include horary and electional astrology, solar and lunar returns, as well as mundane astrology.
Once the proctored exam is passed, the student must complete a take-home exam to complete this level of proficiency. Here a comprehensive, in-depth mundane essay is required, as well as a short essay discussing a given electional chart.
Level IV includes an extensive rectification essay, which incorporates several advanced techniques. Once the rectification exercise is passed, the student may specialize in one or more of the following areas: consulting, technical research, general studies, and instruction, each with its own special requirements.
The Four “Majors” of Level IV
Each Level IV area has its specific requirements. It is believed that completion of the NCGR-PAA curriculum is the equivalent of a four-year program in astrology.
Certification: Students who have passed the requirements of Level IV in any one of the four "majors," and have agreed to uphold NCGR-PAA’s ethical standards as spelled out in the NCGR-PAA Code of Ethics, are entitled to use the letters C.A., NCGR-PAA after their name on publications, stationary and promotional items.
Learning & Testing: All the required material for each level of proficiency is covered in the NCGR-PAA Education Curriculum and Study Guide for Certification Testing. The NCGR-PAA curriculum is taught by many qualified teachers throughout the astrological community. Testing is available at specified astrological conferences, and can be arranged through contacting NCGR-PAA's Education Director at