integrated path to architectural licensure

Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure: IPAL

The College of Architecture and Design at Lawrence Technological University has been accepted to participate in the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative.  This initiative provides selected students with the opportunity to complete requirements for licensure while earning their degree.  Organized by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the initiative encourages selected accredited programs to incorporate professional experience and examination into curricula.  Each accredited program that is accepted as part of IPAL adapts the IPAL concept to coordinate with the specifics of the college’s curriculum.  To learn more about NCARB and IPAL visit or contact the CoAD iPAL Coordinator Eric Ward at


CoAD iPAL Program Outline

The LTU CoAD iPAL Program is organized around 3+ years of continuous integration of Internship/ Employment with professional Education, beginning in the Summer after 3rd Year courses, and ongoing throughout completion of 6+ year Master of Architecture program.  Internship/ Employment is arranged as Full-Time employment during Summers, and Part-Time employment during Fall and Spring Semesters, to allow sufficient time for coursework.  The LTU CoAD curriculum is organized to allow productive fulfillment of AXP (IDP) experience requirements following the 3rd Year courses, with subsequent coursework arranged to allow the taking of ARE examinations beginning in the Spring of the 5th Year.  CoAD has established a group of partner-firms in the Detroit area who are committed to working year-round with LTU CoAD iPAL Program accepted students, to help them in achieving the goals of this ambitious career path.  CoAD will also provide year-round mentoring to iPAL students and regular check-ins with the partner-firms, to assist with guided progress toward the Program’s goals.

Above is a diagram of LTU CoAD's implementation of the iPAL concept, showing continuous AXP internship/Employment beginning in the summer following 3rd year, with ARE exams beginning in the spring of 5th year.  (Note that modifications to the State of Michigan licensing laws for architects, to permit the taking of exams prior to completion of a professional degree, are currently being addressed to fully enable the iPAL Program Concept).

Support of the IPAL Program by LTU Administration

“In many ways, our M.Arch curriculum perfectly supports the goals and intent of NCARB's Accelerated Path Program. Our program is extremely practice-oriented, in keeping with the University's long-standing motto, "Theory and Practice," which dates from 1932.

“Many of our students already hold architectural employment while pursuing their professional degree, thus there is very little change required to fully meet the requirements of the NCARB's program. The College of Architecture and Design has developed one of the most notable Online Master of Architecture programs in the nation. This will allow our students to engage our Accelerated Path to Licensure Program virtually anywhere in the world where internet service is present.

“Lawrence Technological University prides itself on the delivery of innovative educational models. This program not only fits us well, but it will allow us to work with the NCARB to redefine the transition from architectural education to architectural practice and licensure in the 21" Century.”

Maria Vaz, PhD, Provost (excerpt from Letter of Support to NCARB)

Partner Firms

Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. – Detroit, MI

Constantine George Pappas AIA – Royal Oak, MI

Gensler – Detroit, MI

Hamilton Anderson Associates – Detroit, MI

HED – Southfield, MI

HKS – Northville, MI

inFORM Studio – Northville, MI

Neumann/Smith Architecture – Detroit, MI

Rossetti – Detroit, MI

S3 Architecture – Farmington, MI

SmithGroup JJR – Detroit, MI


Application Information & Timeline

Please refer to the accompanying iPAL Application Process page.



Please contact CoAD’s iPAL Coordinator Eric Ward at




Licensure and NCARB

NCARB’s Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure initiative at

Video: The importance of Architectural Licensure: Destination Architect: Overview (part of a five video sequence)

Video: Student to Architect: The Path to Licensure

Video: The Architectural Experience Program: APX

Video: The Architect Registration Examination: ARE


CoAD Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Architecture

Master of Architecture (M.Arch 36, M.Arch 3+)