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12 Architecture Schools to Offer "Integrated Path" to Licensure Before Graduation

In an ongoing effort to ease the path to licensure, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has accepted proposals from 12 accredited US architecture schools to implement an "Integrated Path" to licensure. The initiative would give students the opportunity to complete the Intern Development Program (IDP) requirements and take the Architect Registration Exams (ARE) prior to graduation. Students would not be required to pass all ARE divisions in order to graduate.

“The programs in this inaugural class exhibited a high degree of creativity, and are focused on strengthening the relationship between schools, the practice community, and licensing boards,” said Licensure Task Force (LTF) Chair Ron Blitch, a Louisiana architect who is a former NCARB President and current member of the NAAB Board of Directors and the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners.

US Architecture Schools Express Interest in Conferring Licensure to Graduates

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.

The Indicator: Toward a New NCARB

Despite never formally becoming a licensed architect, Le Corbusier would for ever alter the profession with his writings (including "Towards a New Architecture") and designs. Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, c. 1950. Image © Sureh Sharma
Despite never formally becoming a licensed architect, Le Corbusier would for ever alter the profession with his writings (including "Towards a New Architecture") and designs. Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, c. 1950. Image © Sureh Sharma

A few days ago I took part in an AIA-organized Twitter discussion (#aiachat) focused on the subject of IDP, or what we here in the US call the Intern Development Program, administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

I periodically get sucked into these Twitter discussions when I’m busy procrastinating and not writing what I’m supposed to be writing. Call it a weakness for provocative questions thrown out on Twitter by faceless moderators: 

Q1: What advice do you have for interns getting started with IDP?

Q2: Many states allow concurrent completion of IDP and ARE4. What are the benefits of participating in both at the same time?

Q3: What resources have you used to help navigate IDP?

And so forth. 

The discussion brought back painful memories of my own tortuous IDP experience. By the time we got to Q7 or Q8 I came to a conclusion: IDP needs to be radically overhauled and re-conceptualized.