What is IPAL?

The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) is an initiative to give students the opportunity to complete requirements for licensure while earning their degree. Programs offering an IPAL option provide students with a structured approach to completing the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and taking each division of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) before graduation.

How does IPAL integrate with existing programs?

If your school chooses to participate in IPAL, you won’t be required to change your existing curriculum. However, you will have to ensure that students are afforded the opportunity to gain the required AXP experience and take each division of the ARE before graduation. It is up to your school to decide how these elements integrate with existing programs.

Students enrolled in an IPAL option do not need to successfully finish the AXP and ARE to graduate, but will need to complete these and any additional jurisdiction requirements to become licensed architects.

How does NCARB support IPAL?

NCARB assists participating schools by reviewing proposals for new IPAL options, encouraging more programs to participate in the initiative, providing feedback and support as schools develop IPAL options, and collaborating with licensing boards to facilitate licensure.

How will IPAL benefit my school?

Offering an IPAL option indicates you are keeping up with the demands of the profession. By offering an opportunity to complete the core requirements for licensure, you’re helping students develop their skills and advance their careers.

What is the AXP?

The Architectural Experience Program (AXP) provides a framework to guide candidates through gaining and recording professional experience. To complete the AXP, students will need gain 3,740 hours of experience demonstrating their ability to perform 96 tasks identified across six experience areas. Learn more.

What is the ARE?

The Architect Registration Examination (ARE) is a multi-division exam used to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills regarding the practice of architecture. To complete the ARE, students will need to pass six divisions based on practice and the progression of a typical architecture project.

Please note: Each jurisdiction sets its own education, experience, and examination requirements for initial licensure.

To learn more about the IPAL initiative, contact IPAL@ncarb.org.