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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 www.ncarb.org/IPAL or contact the CoAD iPAL Coordinator Eric Ward at eward@ltu.edu.

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.

Architectural Licensure

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).

IPAL Partner Firms

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 21st Century.

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

Application Information & Timeline

Please refer to the accompanying iPAL Application Process page.


Please contact CoAD’s iPAL Coordinator Eric Ward at eward@ltu.edu.


Licensure and NCARB

NCARB’s Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure initiative at www.ncarb.org/IPAL

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+)


Program Details

Referencing the diagram of the LTU CoAD iPAL Program below: The LTU CoAD iPAL Program has targeted acceptance of 12+/- students each year, with employment beginning in the Summer following completion of the 3rd (Junior) Year. Priority will be given to 3rd (Junior) Year students, however students farther along in the degree program may also apply. LTU CoAD iPAL students will be continuously employed for 3+ years, to complete approximately 4300 hours of work experience, of which 3740 hours in appropriate experience categories are required to complete the AXP (IDP) program. Employment will be 40 hours/week min. during the Summer, and 20 hours/week max. during the Fall and Spring Semesters. It is anticipated that students will work with one firm for a full year, and will work with different firms over the course of the 3+ year program, to maximize the range of experience available. LTU CoAD iPAL students must commit to preparedness for providing productive AXP-level work in the various AXP categories (coordinated with coursework completion). LTU CoAD iPAL partner-firms in turn commit to providing a range of AXP-level work for iPAL students, with the intention of assisting the students with eventual completion of all AXP categories. Pay arrangements can be handled in several ways, and will be determined between firms and students, consistent with iPAL guidelines. A Letter of Agreement between each student and firm will be signed, documenting the specifics of each employment period. ARE Exams are sequenced beginning in the Spring of the 5th Year to coordinate with the completion of related coursework, and with the fulfillment of related AXP work categories.

M. Arch: Six years

Requirements for Application

Basic Educational Requirements to be met or exceeded:

  • Junior Year status* (60 credit hours minimum)
  • Grade point average: 3.0 minimum (cumulative)
  • Courses taken or currently enrolled: CS1, ID3, VC3

All Educational Information (through this semester) must be verifiable by the LTU Registrar.

*Note that Senior Year students may apply, however priority is given to Junior Year students.

Application Materials to Submit

Application Materials required for submission are:

  • Five items: An iPAL Application form (completed and signed), a Statement of Interest/Cover Letter, a Résumé, a Portfolio (following the guidelines below), and References.
  • Please refer to the Application and the Application Instructions page for specific requirements.

Application Process

After reviewing the Application and the Application Instructions page:

  • Write, assemble, complete, and edit and grammar-check all of the Application Materials.
  • Make PDFs of all your materials, and combine the PDFs as follows: One PDF for all items other than the Portfolio, and one PDF each for Part A & Part B of the Portfolio.
  • Label all three PDFs in the following format: “Last name_First name_IPAL Application (or Portfolio)_Date”
  • Submit the two final PDFs together, by the Due Date below, to the CoAD iPAL Application site.
  • For International Students, please refer to the Application Instructions for additional items.

Application Timeline 2017/2018

  • Completed Application Materials must be submitted by the Due Date of: Monday, 13 November 2017
  • Review of Application and Selection for Program: Nov 2017 -Jan 2018
  • Interviewing with partner firms and Placement with firms: Interviews: 13-15 Mar 2018; Placement: Mar/Apr 2018
  • Finalization of Letter of Agreement & Start of Employment: During Apr/May 2018

Disclaimers & Authorizations

As stated on the Application form, the Applicant understands and agrees:

  • That the iPal Program has no connection with the curriculum; that participation in the Program has no credit hours associated with it; that participation in the Program does not guarantee admission to the CoAD Graduate degree program.
  • That participation in the iPAL Program provides no guarantee of completion of the iPAL Program itself, or of AXP or ARE, or of achievement of actual licensure.
  • That submission of an Application package authorizes LTU to release Application information to iPAL partner-firms for both Selection and Interviewing.
  • That submission of an Application does not guarantee Selection for the iPAL Program; that Selection does not guarantee Interviewing with or Placement with iPAL partner-firms.
  • That all information submitted must be in conformance with the LTU Academic Honor Code.


Please contact CoAD’s iPAL Coordinator Eric Ward at eward@ltu.edu

Additional Resources for Application Materials

  • Mandatory: Please refer to the Portfolio Guidelines for Application to the iPAL Program page. Portfolios submitted for iPAL consideration must follow these guidelines.
  • Optional: Please refer to the iPAL Application Help Links page. Please make use of these resources in the preparation of your Application materials.

Application Form:

The Application Form must be completely filled-out, and signed and dated.
The Educational Information must be complete and verifiable by the LTU Registrar.
For International Students: Additional information required below will be submitted separately from the Application Form and other Application Materials.
For all Students: Additional employment-status information will be required by all partner-firm employers, and will be handled by them separately from the Application process.

Statement of Interest / Cover Letter:

Limit length to one page typically, with no more than two pages maximum length. Describe the following, in a typical three-part essay/letter format (Introduction, Three body-paragraphs, Conclusion): Why you are interested in the iPAL Program in particular, vs. other approaches to school/work; What skills and interests do you have, or intend to develop, that will help you contribute to our partner-firms; and How do you intend to balance the commitments of school and work to successfully participate in the Program.


Include previous work experience with dates of employment, and duties/tasks performed for each employer. Include work experience even if not architecturally related. Include specific skills and abilities, both with software and with other media and technologies. Include leadership activities (LTU, extracurricular, community). Include accomplishments and awards from both college and high school. Include travel and other experiences that are relevant to your architectural and cultural understanding.


Comply with all requirements of the Portfolio Guidelines for Application to the iPAL Program. Website portfolios are not permitted.


Provide three References, with contact information for each (including an email contact). References should not include parents or guardians, and at least one Reference must be other than an LTU faculty member.

Additional Resources for Application Materials

Please refer to the iPAL Application Help Links page. Please make use of these resources in the preparation of your Application Materials.

Additional Information for International Students

Please provide initial documentation from the LTU Office of International Programs on your ability to work under the CPT / OPT Programs.

Submission of Application Materials

Please refer to the Application Process page for specifics of how to PDF, combine, label, and upload your completed Application Materials.


Please contact CoAD’s iPAL Coordinator Eric Ward at eward@ltu.edu.

LTU Links

Quick Tips (OCS):

Cover Letter

Resume Checklist


Office of Career Services (OCS):


This link states the following information:

“Resume assistance is offered during individual appointments in the Office of Career Services, walk-in Friday first-come first-served resume critiques from 10am-11:30am, and during various workshops scheduled throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. For upcoming workshops and events check bulletin boards and the Handshake newsfeed page for locations and times.”

“The Office of Career Services offers a variety of services to assist in career exploration and success. Some of our tangible and non-tangible services consist of job search assistance, resume and cover letter critiques, Thank you letter composition, interview guidance, career and professional development and more.”


AIAS Facebook page

AIAS uses the Facebook link to post when any workshop events such as portfolio workshops will occur. Because they are not planned too far ahead of time one would need to be on the lookout. At times there are also flyers around the studios. There is also a calendar hung on the first level of the architecture building, near the stairs adjacent to the old architecture building where AIAS events are posted.

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