As the age at which architects become licensed continues to fall, schools are exploring the integration of a licensure path into their curricula. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) accepted proposals from more than a dozen architecture schools that want to restructure their programs to allow students the opportunity to complete Intern Development Program (IDP) requirements and take each division of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) before graduation.

After providing feedback to the schools, NCARB is hoping to release the list of accepted programs at the end of this month. NCARB will guide those selected schools in the implementation process, and also work with the state registration boards and jurisdictions to ensure that laws and regulations are in place to grant pre-graduation access to the ARE.

Last year, 32 schools indicated their interest in developing formal proposals when NCARB solicited participation from programs recognized by the National Architectural Accrediting Body (NAAB). Of those 32, more than a dozen filed proposals this year. NCARB was not able disclose an exact number of the schools that submitted plans, because some of those programs may need more development. Schools not accepted this year can resubmit proposals next year. NCARB plans to solicit participation on an annual basis.

The NCARB Licensure Task Force (LTF)—composed of interns, recently licensed architects, state licensing board members and executives, educators, non-architect members of the public, and representatives from AIA, AIA Students, NAAB, and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture—reviewed all of the proposals in June.

"Each program took a slightly different approach, and many built upon already existing requirements for internship through exposure to practice prior to graduation," said LTF chair Ron Blitch, FAIA, former NCARB president and a current member of the NAAB Board of Directors and the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners, in a press release. "We are especially pleased that the integrated path participants are striving to negate any increased costs to students through paid internships and minimizing additional tuition."