Five Architecture Programs Accepted to NCARB’s IPAL Initiative

Boston—Five additional programs have been accepted to join the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative, which enables students to pursue a license while in school. Spearheaded by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), IPAL enables accredited programs to incorporate the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), as well as the opportunity to take the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), into curricula. Through this path, students can significantly shorten their time to licensure and get a jumpstart on their career.

Since IPAL launched in 2015, NCARB has accepted 26 programs at 21 colleges from around the country. The newly accepted programs include:

  • Boston Architectural College (B.Arch.)
  • Florida International University (M.Arch.)
  • New York Institute of Technology (M.Arch.)
  • Southern Illinois University (M.Arch.)
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (M.Arch.)

A Structured Approach to Licensure

When NCARB first began exploring the IPAL concept in 2013, becoming an architect took an average of 14 years—from the time a student enrolled in school to the moment they received a license. Today, earning a license takes an average of 12.5 years, according to newly released data from NCARB by the Numbers. IPAL aims to streamline and shorten this path while maintaining the rigor required to protect the public’s safety. Additionally, the initiative provides students with the flexibility and structure to gain professional experience, while strengthening the relationship between academia and local firms.

“IPAL programs embrace the reality that today’s candidates are pursuing the education, experience, and examination requirements for licensure concurrently,” said NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong. “Students who choose to enroll in an IPAL program will have a more enriching and holistic experience, and be able to establish themselves in the marketplace fairly quickly after graduation.

Submissions from this year’s applicants were reviewed by NCARB’s Education Committee, which is composed of licensing board members, practitioners, licensure candidates, and educators. The committee will continue to coach accepted programs, help promote engagement with state licensing boards, and oversee the acceptance of future programs.

To learn more about IPAL, visit



The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada.