What is the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL)?

The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) is an option within an accredited architecture degree program that gives you the opportunity to complete the requirements for architectural licensure while earning your degree. IPAL programs provide a structured approach to complete the Architectural Experience Program(AXP) and take each division of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) before graduation.

Advantages to participating in an NCARB-accepted IPAL Program:

  • Structured, streamlined path to earning an architecture license
  • Focused opportunities to gain real-world experience while earning your degree
  • Opportunity to take each division of the ARE before graduation
  • Build your professional network while in school to jumpstart your career

Why is becoming licensed important in the profession of architecture?
All U.S. jurisdictions require individuals to be licensed before they can contract for architectural services. Becoming licensed allows you to use the title “architect” and signifies to the public that you have completed the education, experience, and examination necessary to competently and legally practice architecture independently.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why should I participate in IPAL?
IPAL is a structured path to earning an architecture license that gives you the opportunity to complete all the core requirements to become licensed while earning your degree. The IPAL option will provide you the opportunity to earn your license in less time by incorporating experience and examination into your education.

What are the core requirements for licensure?
To become an architect in the United States you must:

  • Earn an architecture degree (in many states the degree must be from a NAAB- accredited program)
  • Complete the Architectural Experience Program (AXP)
  • Pass all divisions of the Architect Registration Exams (ARE)

Learn more about earning your architecture license.

Please note: Each jurisdiction sets its own education, experience, and examination requirements for initial licensure. Not all jurisdictions accept requirements met through IPAL options. Learn more about your jurisdiction's requirements.

How do I find an IPAL-accepted program?
Browse our list of current schools offering an IPAL option within their NAAB-accredited program.

What if I start IPAL and decide it’s not the right path for me? Can I still graduate?
Yes. You can still earn an architecture degree and pursue your license after graduation.

Can I still graduate if I don’t pass all ARE divisions before finishing school?
Yes. Passing the ARE is not required to graduate. IPAL simply gives you the opportunity to take the ARE while earning your degree. And, as with other candidates taking the ARE, you can always retake a division after 60 days.

If I don’t pass all divisions of the ARE before graduation, do I still get credit for the divisions I passed?
Yes. For example, if you successfully passed four divisions of the ARE, you would only have two remaining divisions to pass post-graduation before applying for your license. Note: Candidates have a five-year period (known as the rolling clock) after passing a division to complete all ARE divisions. Learn more about the rolling clock.

Can I still graduate if I don’t complete the AXP?
Yes. Completing the AXP is not required to graduate. However, IPAL options are designed to give you the opportunity to complete the program’s requirements while earning your degree