As you may already know, the path to licensure is 1) Education, 2) Experience, and Examination.  This path has been the way for many years; the issue is the time it takes to cross the finish line.

Depending on the degree you pursue, the time to degree completion can be from 5 years for the BArch and 6-7 years for the MArch.  To complete AXP (Architectural Experience Program), it may take from two years at the least upwards of 5 years.  NCARB by the numbers states that it takes 4.4 years to complete AXP.  NCARB reports it takes 2.3 years to complete the ARE (examination).

Thus, using averages, it takes a minimum of almost 12 years to a maximum of 14 years to complete the path to become an architect; of course, this is the perfect path.  We all know future architects who have taken longer and perhaps some have done it in fewer years.  Regardless, one of the criticisms of becoming an architect is the time it takes.

But what if you could do it in less time.


Welcome to Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure, a program created by NCARB in 2015 as an additional pathway to licensure.  Offered now at 27 accredited architecture programs, IPAL will speed your road to becoming an architect.  For details on the program visit the following NCARB website.

Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure


The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) is an option within a NAAB – accredited program that gives students the opportunity to complete the requirements for licensure while earning a degree. (NCARB)

Below are the IPAL Program as listed on the NCARB website.

IPAL Programs


* Program is in development.

Thus, while only available at a limited number of architecture programs, IPAL does offer a particular pathway to licensure.  Ultimately, it allows you to be eligible to sit for the ARE upon graduation.

As listed on the NCARB website, below are the pluses of the program.

By integrating the education, experience, and examination requirements of licensure, IPAL helps students prepare for life after college by:

  • Connecting education to current architectural practice
  • Jumpstarting their careers with work experience and networking
  • Making students eligible for licensure after graduation by completing licensure requirements
  • Opening up career opportunities through licensure
  • Helping students manage the financial burden of earning a degree, both by interweaving paid employment opportunities around academic requirements and by qualifying them for higher paying positions

NCARB – https://www.ncarb.org/become-architect/ipal/students

So, is IPAL for you?  Let us know if you are in an IPAL program or considering one.


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