Becoming a Licensed Architect With NCARB’s IPAL

Becoming a Licensed Architect With NCARB’s IPAL

The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions. A wide array of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina answer a call in from a listener asking if they should enroll in IPAL (NCARB’s Integrated Path To Architectural Licensure) in undergraduate school to become a licensed architect in the United States and if IPAL should be a factor when choosing their school. The two also discuss the pros and cons of becoming a licensed architect during school.


- How NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards), the IPAL (Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure) program, and the AREs (Architecture Registration Exams) all relate. (05:20)

- Dissecting the supposed benefits of IPAL (via NCARB) (13:00):

  • 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 (26:28)
  • 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 (28:36)

- Taking the AREs and why attempting to complete the required internship experience (the AXP, Architecture Experience Program) during undergraduate school can hurt your career in the short-term and long-term. (34:34)

- The caller asks what factors (IPAL, location, reputation, cost) they should consider when choosing a school. (41:24)

- The importance of having professional experience, feeling behind without it, how much experience is required to stand apart from other designers, and the different types of architecture schools. (45:55)

- Transferring between different schools and surviving New York City. (56:24)

- Strategies for researching different schools. (01:04:35)

About this author
Cite: The Second Studio Podcast. "Becoming a Licensed Architect With NCARB’s IPAL" 17 Jan 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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