Becoming licensed is no easy feat for the recently graduated architecture student. The combination of required internship hours and exam scores proves a daunting obstacle for most, often taking years of work after college to surpass. Now, however, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is testing the waters for an alternative system that could grant licensure to students immediately upon graduation.
NCARB recently sent out a Request for Interest & Information to accredited degree programs to gauge interest in the possibility of combining licensing requirements with bachelor’s degree education. Of the 38 universities that responded, 32 (accounting for 26 percent of the accredited architecture programs in the US) stated their interest in integrating licensure into their curriculum. More schools have also informally expressed their interest in restructuring the licensing system.
Ron Blitch, Chair of NCARB’s Licensure Task Force, had this to say: “We are gratified that so many schools have shown interest in designing an additional path to licensure that would augment traditional architectural curricula. The integrated framework would incorporate all elements of the licensure path, including full IDP compliance and access to the ARE divisions, within a NAAB-accredited degree program.”
NCARB intends to release a Request for Proposals to accredited programs in January of 2015. As Blitch stated, these proposals will need to provide students with internship opportunities to meet IDP requirements, as well as prepare them to take the Architect Registration Exam before graduating. Whether this means changing IDP requirements to fit within the typical five year degree time frame, or revamping school curriculum to better suit the demands of the ARE, remains to be seen.
The Licensure Task Force will be reviewing proposals for integration in June.