At The Boston Architectural College (BAC), our history of mentoring students on the road to becoming licensed architects underscores our commitment to preparing students to excel academically and in professional practice.

The BAC was the first design school in the country to create an educational model that supports students to work in an architectural or design firm while they take classes. That's why 100 percent of all 2015 BAC graduate students were employed in their field at the time of graduation.


Accelerated licensure at the BAC

  • The BAC is one of a select group of schools accepted by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards into the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) program.
  • Located in Boston's historic Back Bay, the BAC is the only school in New England selected to participate in the IPAL program.
  • The BAC has offered a Practice program that integrates classroom and studio learning with real work experience since the college's inception in 1889.


Here's why IPAL will work for you

  • On average, the licensure process can take up to 13 years with academic work followed by work experience in an architectural firm.
  • The IPAL track shortens the process because academics and work are completed simultaneously.
  • NCARB has reduced the required Architectural Experience Program practice hours in most licensing jurisdictions.
  • IPAL allows students to take the Architect Registration Examinations while they are still enrolled in school.

NCARB Accepted to Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure


Learn more about IPAL at

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Frequently Asked Questions about the IPAL Program

What is the IPAL Program?

  • NCARB's Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure program (IPAL) provides students the opportunity to complete all requirements for licensure—a NAAB accredited degree, training under the supervision of a licensed architect, and successfully passing license registration exams—by the time they graduate.
  • The initiative encourages accredited programs to incorporate the completion of the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®), as well as the opportunity to take the Architect Registration Examinations® (AREs®).
  • Ultimately, architecture students enrolled at selected schools are able to be fully licensed when they graduate if they have completed the requisite 3,740 AXP training hours and passed all registration exams.

What is significant about The Boston Architectural College's acceptance into IPAL as a member of the inaugural group of 17 schools nationwide?

  • Boston Architectural College's selection as the only institution in New England upholds and builds on the BAC's longstanding tradition of combining advanced academic coursework with critical skills developed through employment in professional settings.
  • This honors program enables committed students to combine standard courses with tailored academic instruction, supervised completion and evaluation of experiential learning, and the unique opportunity to sit for AREs before graduation.

Why is the IPAL program an innovative and progressive step forward, offsetting obstacles to licensure, particularly for architecture students attending NAAB-accredited programs in Massachusetts?

  • The road leading to architectural licensure is perceived as a "disincentive for young people considering architecture as a career. That is the irony: A system developed to protect quality may be doing just the reverse." (Jim Cramer, DesignIntelligence)
  • Although NCARB has managed to reduce the average amount of time required for an intern architect to earn her/his license from the time of graduation, the typical 8 years is considerably longer than other professions like medicine and law.
  • Intern architects in Europe are able to practice upon graduation with required mentoring and enrollment in mandatory continuing education courses.
  • The drawbacks of the long, often twisting path to architectural licensure throughout the US can be summarized in 3 key areas:
    • Intern attrition
    • Career stall-out
    • Prospective shortage of architects
  • Because of its acceptance into the IPAL program, the BAC is the only college in all of New England where students are permitted to start taking the AREs before receiving their degrees.

How are IPAL students chosen as a select group in this BAC honors program?

  • Students must be at least 21 years old.
  • Students must maintain a threshold 3.0 GPA.
  • Students must have achieved a Skill Level 6 through reporting to and evaluation by the Practice Department, and they must have met for a skills assessment within the last year.
  • Students must be employed in an approved work setting and have established an NCARB record in the AXP® program.
  • Students must enroll in the three sequential Professional Practice courses that have been organized specifically to prepare students for the latest ARE Version 5.