2016 Edition, Issue 2

Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) at NewSchool of Architecture & Design

By Mitra Kanaani, D. Arch., MCP, AIA, ICC, Professor of Graduate Architecture and IPAL Coordinator at NewSchool of Architecture & Design

NewSchool of Architecture & Design is proud to be one of only 18 schools selected by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) to participate in the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL). In California, NewSchool is one of only two institutions to offer IPAL at the graduate level.

IPAL is a new pedagogical model in architectural education that offers qualified students the opportunity to simultaneously work toward their architectural licensing requirements while earning their degree. By combining education, experience, and examination, there will be a unique opportunity for the participating students to enter the profession as licensed architects in an expeditious way, with the same rigor for the requisite knowledge, skills, and experience, for a fulfilling career in architecture.

By enhancing current educational knowledge and skills with experiential learning and licensing exam preparation, IPAL will transform architectural education not only for students, but also for the schools that are going to be involved in such integrated pedagogy. Participating institutions must offer a curriculum that holistically integrates architectural discipline and practice, and that ensures every graduate is prepared to excel professionally and make a positive impact on their industry and community.

Through the IPAL program at NewSchool, students can concurrently complete their National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)-accredited degree, professional experience, and licensing exams in an accelerated timeline that will save them time and professional expenditures. NewSchool will be offering two tracks — IPAL 4+2 and IPAL 4+3 — leading to the first professional Master of Architecture degree, both launching in the fall of 2016. IPAL 4+2 is a three-year program for students who have completed a four-year Bachelor of Architecture. The IPAL 4+3 is a four-year program for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree unrelated to architecture.

During the first year of NewSchool’s IPAL program, students will take a full course-load of architectural graduate foundation courses, including design, precedents and critical thinking, as well as constructability, and tectonics. There are specific IPAL courses that allow the students exposure to the professional practice of architecture. During the first summer, students will have opportunity for study abroad options, as well as the opportunity to gain experience in architectural firms or on job sites.

Dr. Mitra Kanaani with Student
Dr. Mitra Kanaani (left)

In their second year, students will have part-time internships during the fall and spring and full-time internships during summer. These paid internships will follow NCARB requirements for the Architectural Experience Program (AXP). NewSchool, as part of its IPAL requirements, has collaborated with leading industry partners to form a consortium of prominent firms which will provide invaluable practical opportunities for students to fully understand the variety of professional roles available in architecture.

The six divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) are synchronized with the course sequence so that students can take two divisions each year during their second, third, and fourth years. The final year of the program will consist of a full-time practicum and the remaining ARE divisions.

Since its founding, NewSchool has promoted a culture of professional practice through faculty who are active in the industry and curricula that are forward-thinking and career-oriented. As we implement IPAL, we will continue to innovate so that we anticipate and serve the needs of our profession.

For more information, visit NewSchool’s website.