Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL)
The Boston Architectural College has a long tradition of supporting and mentoring students toward the goal of becoming licensed architects. In 2015, the Boston Architectural College was one of the initial select groups of schools accepted by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) into the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) program. To date, there are a limited number of architectural programs nationwide which offer the IPAL program as an option.
Of all 25 IPAL programs nationwide, there have been a total of nine successful IPAL graduates (as of 2021), who received their architecture license shortly after graduating from the BAC. To date, the BAC is the only college in Massachusetts to have supported our IPAL graduates in receiving architecture licensure.
You can read more about the BAC’s IPAL graduates here:
Who Qualifies for IPAL?
Any BAC student enrolled in the M. Arch or B. Arch program, with good academic standing, is eligible to participate in the IPAL program.
Before enrolling in the IPAL program, you are required to establish an account record with the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) using your BAC email. As a condition of acceptance to the BAC’s IPAL program, you must show that you will be able to complete all your NCARB AXP®* during your time of study at the BAC and commit to take/attempt ALL 6 sections of the ARE®’s prior to graduation.
*NCARB AXP® hours are separate from the BAC's practice hours and have slightly different requirements. Reported BAC Practice hours do not automatically apply to your NCARB Record. Please make sure to review the documentation and note the differences as all NCARB AXP® hours can count toward BAC Practice hours, but NOT all BAC Practice hours can count toward NCARB AXP® hours.
How Does IPAL Work?
The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) is an option within an accredited architecture degree program that gives you the opportunity to complete the requirements for architectural licensure while earning your degree. IPAL programs provide a structured approach to complete the Architectural Experience Program®(AXP®) and take each division of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) before graduation.
Typically you need an accredited degree before being eligible to sit for the ARE®’s; however, IPAL allows you to start taking the test while earning your degree. Before enrolling in the program, please make sure you review and understand all the IPAL information on NCARB's website.
In summary, if you:
- Report all your AXP® hours
- Complete the ARE®’s while a student at the BAC
- Graduate with an accredited degree
- Apply for your architecture license in a jurisdiction**
Then you can become a registered architect upon completing your degree at the BAC!
**It is important to note that each U.S. jurisdiction determines its own education, experience, and examination requirements for initial licensure. Not all jurisdictions currently accept divisions of the ARE®’s passed prior to obtaining an accredited architecture degree. You can check here for each jurisdiction's requirements. However, many architecture state boards are in the process of updating their laws and regulations to accept IPAL.