The Florida International University Master of Architecture Program is one of five new architecture programs nationwide accepted to the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative by National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB). FIU Architecture is now home to the only IPAL program, public or private, in South Florida.
Launched in 2015, IPAL is a structured approach to licensure for students who are pursuing acareer in architecture. In those states whose licensing boards accept IPAL, the initiative enables accredited architecture programs to incorporate the full practicum and examination elements required for professional licensure into their academic curricula. This makes it possible for students to earn their diplomas and professional licenses simultaneously.
IPAL was designed to shorten the number of years typically invested in becoming a licensed architect. According to NCARB, it currently takes an average of 12.5 years to attain licensure in the United States. At FIU, participants in the IPAL program will be offered an opportunity to cut that time in half. Their program of studies will incorporate mentored, compensated professional experience as well as support in preparing for the licensing examination.
“We are very excited about IPAL. FIU is perfectly located in the bustling metropolis of Miami and surrounded by amazing architecture firms reshaping our city. IPAL capitalizes on this richness and gives our Master of Architecture students the opportunity to enrich their education with real world internship experience, ” notes FIU Architecture Department Chair Jason R. Chandler, AIA.
Applicant programs are reviewed by the NCARB Education Committee, which consists of licensed board members, educators, and practitioners. Florida International University, Boston Architectural College, the New York Institute of Technology, Southern Illinois University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst have joined the IPAL initiative this year. IPAL now includes 26 accredited architecture programs in 21 of the 135 public and private architecture schools in the United States.
This new initiative facilitates the creation of important partnerships between the FIU School of Architecture and the design professions. It ties to our academic mission, and to our strategic goal of ensuring that FIU students have competitive advantages upon graduation, including access to gainful employment opportunities. The program launches in the 2017 fall semester with a new cohort of students.
Associate Dean Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA, concludes, “Providing opportunities to shorten the time to licensure will be transformative for FIU students –and for the profession of architecture in the United States.”