MDS Programs Qualify for IDP Hours Toward Professional Licensure

Master of Design Studies Programs in Design for Human Health, Historic Preservation, and Sustainable Design

MDS Students working in Spring 2013 Intensives; Boston Architectural College; Photo by Sam Rosenholtz

The Boston Architectural College is pleased to announce that the Master of Design Studies (MDS) has been recognized by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) as an approved advanced degree program that qualifies for supplemental elective experience toward the requirements of the Intern Development Program (IDP). The MDS at the BAC is offered in the areas of Design for Human Health, Historic Preservation, and Sustainable Design and delivered in a unique distance format that allows students to enroll in the program from anywhere they live and work.

All of NCARB's 54 US jurisdictions have an experience requirement that must be documented and completed before one becomes licensed in the field of architecture. This time between fulfilling the education requirement and getting licensed is referred to as an architectural internship. NCARB's Intern Development Program (IDP) guides interns through this process and is the standard accepted means of completing the experience requirement in almost all US jurisdictions.

"In addition to accelerating the time required to qualify for the licensure exams, BAC's advanced MDS degrees enhance an emerging architect's knowledge and expertise," said Len Charney, head of Practice.

Of the 5,600 hours required to satisfy the experience requirement, up to 930 elective hours may be earned through an approved advanced degree program, including the MDS programs at the BAC. Students are able to petition and receive credit for the 930 IDP training hours after they have graduated from the program and earned their degrees.

"Through low-residency model, students in our MDS programs have the opportunity to earn an advanced degree while maintaining fulltime employment elsewhere," said Don Hunsicker, head of the School of Design Studies. "While the majority of coursework is completed online, the program includes several weeklong residencies at our Boston campus to launch each semester."

To learn more about NCARB or IDP requirements, please visit