IPAL is a structured path to earning an architecture license that gives students the opportunity to complete all the core licensure requirements while earning a degree. The IPAL option will provide you the opportunity to earn your license in less time by incorporating experience and examination during your education.

How can I become an IPAL student?

IPAL options are currently offered at NAAB-accredited programs across the United States. To establish an IPAL option, you’ll need to enroll in a program that offers an IPAL option. Contact your school for more information about participating in their IPAL option.

Are all IPAL options the same?

No. To be accepted into the IPAL initiative, programs must ensure that participating students are able to complete the AXP and take each division of the ARE prior to graduation. It is up to the individual programs to determine how to best interweave experience and examination into their existing curricula. Some schools offer students assistance in finding employment that qualifies for the AXP, while others do not—check out the list of programs offering IPAL options and visit their websites to learn more about how they manage education, experience, and examination.

For more information, hear more from several deans of schools offering IPAL options.

I have an architecture degree from a non-NAAB accredited program. Can I benefit from IPAL?

Many students enrolled in IPAL use the path to go back to school to earn a higher degree from a NAAB-accredited program, while maintaining their pre-existing employment in the architecture field. Taking advantage of this opportunity allows students to meet their jurisdiction’s education requirement, while also taking the ARE. Read more about a similar take on participating in IPAL.

Can I still graduate if I don’t complete the AXP and ARE before finishing school?

Yes. While you would not be considered an “IPAL” graduate, you would still meet most states’ education requirement for licensure by graduating from a NAAB-accredited program, and you would not lose any AXP or ARE progress you made while in school. After graduating, you would need to complete the AXP and ARE in order to earn a license.

Note: Candidates have a five-year period to complete all ARE divisions after passing their first division, known as the rolling clock.

If I graduate from an IPAL option, will I be qualified for licensure?

In most jurisdictions, earning a NAAB-accredited degree, completing the AXP, and passing the ARE will qualify you for architecture licensure. However, some jurisdictions have additional requirements, such as a jurisdiction-specific test. You can learn more about requirements in your jurisdiction by using our Licensing Requirements Tool.

What fees are associated with participating in IPAL?

While NCARB does not charge a fee for participating in IPAL, students may encounter extra costs. Students will also need to pay the fees associated with NCARB’s AXP and ARE programs. 

Do all jurisdictions accept IPAL?

No. Each U.S. jurisdiction sets its own education, experience, and examination requirements for initial licensure. Not all jurisdictions currently accept divisions of the ARE passed prior to graduation; however, many boards are in the process of updating their laws and rules to accept IPAL.

Are you a current student? Explore our resources for IPAL students.