Washington, DC—Ball State University’s Master of Architecture program has been accepted to join the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative, which offers students the opportunity to become a licensed architect upon graduation. Launched in 2015 by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), IPAL is an accelerated pathway that allows students to complete the experience and examination components of the licensure process while earning a degree.

IPAL is incorporated as an optional path within an existing National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited architecture program. Programs participating in IPAL have flexibility when developing their IPAL option: they must provide students with a structured approach to complete the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®) and pass the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) before graduation, but can otherwise integrate education, experience, and examination in the way that best suits existing curriculum.

By enrolling in an IPAL option, motivated students can jump-start their careers, connect educational theory to practice, and earn an architecture license upon graduation from their degree program. With the average 2019 candidate taking 12.7 years to complete the education, experience, and examination components of licensure, with 6.8 years spent on the AXP and ARE alone, IPAL provides a way for students to overlap these components while maintaining the rigor required to protect the public’s safety.

There are currently 27 programs at 22 colleges from around the country that either offer an IPAL option or are in the process of developing an IPAL option in their program, with over 600 students enrolled nationwide. The initiative requires collaboration between architecture programs, local firms, and licensing boards, as they work together to provide opportunities for IPAL students.

Applications for schools interested in joining the IPAL initiative are reviewed by NCARB’s Education Committee, which is composed of licensing board members, practitioners, licensure candidates, and educators.

To learn more about IPAL, visit www.ncarb.org/IPAL.


The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural licensing boards of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB, in collaboration with these boards, facilitates the licensure and credentialing of architects to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

To achieve these goals, NCARB works with its Member Boards and volunteers to develop and facilitate standards for licensure, including the national examination and experience program. NCARB also recommends regulatory guidelines for licensing boards and helps architects expand their professional reach through the NCARB Certificate.

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