Architecture Schools Named by NCARB for Integrated Licensure Initiative

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has announced the names of the first 13 accredited architectural programs to be accepted for participation in the NCARB Integrated Path Initiative. The initiative encourages programs that are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) to propose a pre-graduation integration of education, experience requirements and the opportunity to take each of the six divisions of the new Architect Registration ExaminationÂŽ 5.0.

The acceptance of initial participants culminates a two-year effort of the Council’s Licensure Task Force (LTF) to design an integrated path framework that promotes individual academic program flexibility while addressing all regulatory requirements for architectural licensure. The LTF, composed of licensing board members, former presidents of related architectural organizations, recently licensed architects and aspiring architects, deans and instructors, and members of the public, reviewed existing programs requiring experience as a pre-graduation requisite and conducted a Request for Interest & Information and a formal Request for Proposals as part of its deliberations.

NCARB has established a new Integrated Path Evaluation Committee (IPEC) to oversee the ongoing work of this initiative. It is anticipated that the IPEC will continue to coach accepted programs, promote engagement with jurisdictional licensing boards regarding necessary law or rule changes to incorporate integrated path candidates, and oversee the acceptance of future program applicants.

These 13 accepted schools represent a wide range of accredited B.Arch and M.Arch programs in 9 jurisdictions, and are split between public and private institutions.

The inaugural class of NCARB-accepted Integrated Path programs is composed of:
Boston Architectural College; Boston, Massachusetts
Clemson University; Clemson, South Carolina
Drexel University; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Lawrence Technological University; Southfield, Michigan
NewSchool of Architecture and Design; San Diego, California
North Carolina State University; Raleigh, North Carolina
Portland State University; Portland, Oregon
Savannah College of Art and Design; Savannah, Georgia
University of Cincinnati; Cincinnati, Ohio
University of Detroit Mercy; Detroit, Michigan
University of North Carolina-Charlotte; Charlotte, North Carolina
University of Southern California; Los Angeles, California
Woodbury University; Los Angeles, California

“Each of these programs has impressed our Licensure Task Force with their creativity, commitment to maintaining their NAAB-accreditation, and desire to provide a conduit for students who choose a rigorous path that will enrich both the academic and experience elements of architectural licensure,” said NCARB President and LTF Member Dennis S. Ward, NCARB, AIA. “We look forward to coaching these programs, and future program participants, as well as celebrating the licensure of their alumni. Over the next few years we will provide support to our licensing board members as they work to evolve their regulations toward accepting this new licensure path.” Each program will implement the integrated path according to the schedule developed with their administration and faculty. Starting dates may vary from school to school. Integrated path students in each program will be part of existing accredited degree programs. Many of the accepted schools have issued statements regarding their participation in the program.

Boston Architectural College; Boston, Massachusetts
“Being selected as an NCARB ‘integrated path’ pilot recognizes the Boston Architectural College’s tradition of integrating rigorous academic coursework with applied, practice-based learning in monitored and evaluated experience settings. It not only underscores the exceptional potential of BAC’s approach but also strengthens the commitment of all partners—students, administrators, educators, and supervising practitioners alike—to redouble the collective efforts to communicate openly and ensure a student’s ultimate success. This recognition will enable the BAC to implement a series of progressive educational changes that stand to benefit all BAC architecture students by eventually reshaping our architecture curriculum. There is no doubt that this is a welcome ‘game changer’ for the BAC.”
Len Charney l Dean of Practice
Boston Architectural College

Clemson University; Clemson, South Carolina
“Clemson School of Architecture is pleased to be at the vanguard of this new initiative to put in practice what has been a core principle of the program—melding the academy and practice to the betterment of both.”
Ray Huff, FAIA, Director
Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston

Drexel University; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“Drexel already attracts highly motivated students who are aware of the program’s access to a NAAB-accredited degree while simultaneously logging enough IDP credits to sit for examination upon graduation. The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure will become an attractive option for qualified students who determine early in their studies that they are interested in licensure. Participating firms that support our program by both hiring our students and providing adjunct instructors have indicated enthusiastically their support of early access to licensure. We look forward to working with NCARB to launch this exciting initiative, which has an opportunity to radically re-invent architectural education.”
Rachel S. Schade, AIA
Program Director, Architecture
Associate Teaching Professor
Associate Director for Student Placement
Department of Architecture + Interiors, Drexel University
Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Lawrence Technological University; Southfield, Michigan
“As Lawrence Technological University embraces the conversation between ‘Theory and Practice,’ this opportunity enables us to celebrate the critical relationship between education and professional licensure. The return on investment from this initiative will greatly benefit our region, particularly as it helps us address the complex issues that face American cities, as in the case of Detroit, which is so important to the College of Architecture and Design.”
Amy Green Deines
Interim Dean and Professor
College of Architecture and Design
Lawrence Technological University

“The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure presents Lawrence Technological University with an opportunity and a challenge to build a more robust dialogue between our academic ambitions and professional pursuits. We are honored to be selected as one of the first universities to participate in this innovative program and we look forward to partnering with the profession to develop this dialogue.”
Scott G. Shall, AIA
Interim Associate Dean and Associate Professor
College of Architecture and Design
Lawrence Technological University

“The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure aligns perfectly with Lawrence Technological University’s longstanding tradition of teaching theory and practice. It will allow the Department of Architecture to better coordinate and support our students’ academic and professional pursuits.”
James Stevens
Interim Chair and Associate Professo
Department of Architecture
Lawrence Technological University

“This designation by NCARB formalizes what the mission of our architecture program has always been: a program that aims to educate architects who practice in the service of the public.”
Martin Schwartz
Associate Chair and Associate Professor
Department of Architecture
Lawrence Technological University

NewSchool of Architecture and Design; San Diego, California
“The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure will transform architecture education. By enhancing current educational practice with experiential learning and licensure exam preparation, graduates of this program will be prepared to enter the profession as licensed architects, armed with the knowledge, skills and experience required for sustained success. At NewSchool of Architecture & Design, we are excited to be one of the leaders of this innovative national movement with NCARB.
“The integrated path to licensure allows NewSchool of Architecture & Design to meet its mission by offering an efficient pathway to success that meets surging industry demand and addresses increasing student pleas for an expedited trajectory to employment. We are proud to work with NCARB to offer innovative opportunities which empower students and transform our industry.
“Transformative education must fully integrate academics and practice to ensure that every student graduates prepared to excel professionally, while making a positive impact on their industry and community.
“The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure will fundamentally alter architectural education by integrating education, examination and experience, thereby expediting the attainment of credentials and formalizing the collaboration between education and practice. NewSchool of Architecture & Design is excited to be one of the leaders of this innovative national movement.”
Vivian Sanchez
NewSchool of Architecture & Design Board of Directors

North Carolina State University; Raleigh, North Carolina
“The Integrated Path toward Licensure project brings together the study and practice of architecture in a fashion that encourages students to reconsider the office as a learning environment. It is an experience that matures the student in such a way as to enrich their study of architecture as they will be more able to understand the implications of design concepts. And, it normalizes the path toward licensure making the profession more accessible.
“Within the underlying idea of the Integrated Path toward Licensure are the seeds of major transformation in architectural education. In my opinion it is a good form of subversive strategy that will benefit students as well as the profession at-large.”
Marvin Malecha, FAIA, DPACSA
Dean of the College of Design

“The School of Architecture at NC State places an emphasis on preparing students to enter the profession. We have built strong relationships with practices, regional, national and global, plus extensive experience with online learning technology. The Integrated Path to Licensure will draw upon these resources to bring an unprecedented opportunity to our students. We are thrilled to be a part of the initial effort, and particularly look forward to working with NCARB and the other schools to share approaches and innovations over the coming years.”
Dr, Robin F. Abrams, FAIA, ASLA
Head of the School of Architecture

Portland State University, Portland, Oregon
“The Portland State University School of Architecture is delighted to be part of the first group of universities offering an accelerated path to architectural licensure. Our students arrive with diverse educational backgrounds; they come to the university at many different stages in their lives and many financially support themselves and families. An accelerated pathway is an opportunity to combine their employment and their education in a focused way that reinforces the learning that occurs in both settings. For them, their goal of being a licensed architect is within sight.
“While this intensive program is for only a few students who can make the commitment, parts of it will help many other students get involved in IDP and shorten their time to licensure. A mark of success for us as a school is not only seeing those in the accelerated pathway program obtain their license, but seeing an increase in students who start their IDP record outside of this pathway and who take advantage of the ARE study cohorts. Once students are on this trajectory, they are more likely to complete it after graduation and bring greater expertise to the profession.”
Barbara Sestak, FAIA, NCARB
Professor of Architecture
Portland State University
College of Fine Arts
School of Architecture

Savannah College of Art and Design; Savannah, Georgia
“I applaud NCARB on this innovative initiative, which fully aligns with SCAD’s tradition of bridging academia and the profession. Professional partnerships are a hallmark of the SCAD education, and students will definitely benefit from a seamless fusion of their academic curriculum, internship program, and examination preparation.”
Paula Wallace
SCAD President and Founder

“SCAD is honored to be partnering with NCARB to inaugurate a momentous new era in architectural education. Integration is the real key. The reciprocal benefits of experiencing education, internship and examination in a fully integrated program amplifies the effects of each individually. The deliberation and care that NCARB’s Licensure Task Force has taken in moving this landmark initiative forward has been exemplary. It underscores not just the magnitude of the task, but their commitment to evolving the profession into the 21st century.”
Christian Sottile
SCAD School of Building Arts

University of Cincinnati; Cincinnati, Ohio
“The School of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati is already recognized as one of the leading institutions in preparing young designers for architectural practice. The School’s inclusion among the founding institutions in the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure program affirms that the School’s blend of academic instruction and full-time work experience is exemplary in preparing its students for full membership in the profession of architecture.
“The rationalized program of educational and work experiences, verified by rigorous examination, represented by the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure Program, will serve as a model to other professions, and at the same time eliminate certain structural barriers some architectural interns face in achieving licensure.”
Jeff Tilman, Ph.D, AIA
Assoc. Director
School of Architecture and Interior Design

University of Detroit Mercy; Detroit, Michigan
“The five-year accredited masters of architecture program at the University of Detroit Mercy has a longstanding tradition of integration with the profession, including one of the oldest co-op programs in the country. Building on that history, this new integrated path, which will make it possible for a student to elect the six-year option leading towards the completion of all three elements required for licensure, will provide a very valuable opportunity for those students who are highly motivated to attain licensure early in their career.”
Will Wittig, AIA
Professor & Dean
University of Detroit Mercy
School of Architecture

University of North Carolina-Charlotte; Charlotte, North Carolina
“The Integrated Path to Licensure program is a worthy experiment combining— for the first time—education, experience and examination into a coherent whole. We know student interest will be high but the program will be demanding and require close partnership coordination between the School, the Profession and our State Licensing Board. We’re ready to take this experiment on!
Establishing an additional path to professional licensure gives our emerging architects more choice. This
may be the most brilliant game-changer in more than half a century.
“The Integrated Path to Licensure program will energize our students who are driven to accomplish their academic and professional objectives in a more focused, collaborative and integrated way. The most promising advantage of the Integrated Path to Licensure Program is that graduates will begin their careers as licensed professionals who will potentially earn a higher salary and not have to sit for the Architect Registration Exam while trying to focus on career and life issues, such as family, all at the same time.“
Christopher Jarrett
Director and Professor
School of Architecture
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of Southern California; Los Angeles, California
“The collaboration between the academy and practice will provide a new model for education and the discipline alike. Synthesizing the best sensibilities, the hybridized experience feathers and blends proposing a new model in the best traditions of USC and critical practice.”
Gail Peter Borden, FAIA
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Architecture Discipline Head
Associate Professor
USC School of Architecture

Woodbury University; Los Angeles, California
“From the perspective of a school with a preponderance of first-generation college students who reflect the multicultural diversity of our region, we see NCARB’s Accelerated Path to Architectural Licensure initiative as an important stepping stone to improving the diversity (including gender diversity) of licensed architects, and we embrace the opportunity to work closely with a consortium of architecture firms and our state board in the process.”
Norman Millar, AIA
Professor & Dean
Woodbury School of Architecture

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects. NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada.