Main Content

IPAL Degree Path

Student CAD presentation for masters of architecture online degree

The online Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) is designed for working architecture professionals seeking an accredited master's degree and licensure to qualify for National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certification. IPAL's unique flexibility allows you to:

  • Broaden your comprehension of architecture.
  • Strengthen your communication skills and develop new ones using technology.
  • Apply critical thinking to in-depth analysis of architectural problems.
  • Increase collaborative skills.
  • Enhance your understanding of architecture-related areas through elective courses you select.
  • Earn your Architectural License.

Admission Requirements

The online IPAL Master of Architecture program requires a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies or its equivalent. If your degree counted as a pre-professional degree in architecture, it is acceptable for application to this program. A minimum grade point average of 2.7 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work is required.

View the Graduate Catalog for full degree requirements.

The Application Process

To apply for the online IPAL program, you will need to visit the Graduate Admissions website and apply to SIU. A PDF portfolio file, 2000 AXP hours and a statement of intent are required to be submitted to the School of Architecture.

Check out the program admission page for more detailed information on other requirements for this degree path.

Architecture Student

Program Format

The online Master of Architecture program uses a cohort-based education model. A cohort is a group of students who begin the program together and stay in one unit until graduation. This allows students to develop deeper professional relationships with each other as they pursue their shared interest in obtaining the degree.

Each cohort is encouraged to use online chat rooms, email, and instant messaging to stay in touch with each other and to assist in answering questions, posing issues to professors, and other class matters. Although separated by distance, the cohort model for education can bridge the divide and create lasting, working relationships.

The online program consists of the same courses as our on-campus program. Each term includes a six-hour studio course. There are six 3-credit hour lecture or seminar classes. All courses last a full term. At any given point in the program, students are actively completing a studio and two lecture courses (except in the summer term when only a studio course is completed).

The traditional semester-based time frame is used in this program. Students who begin in the fall of one year may complete the program in December of the following year, or in May two years after their start date. SIU offers a graduation ceremony in both semesters, and we encourage online students to attend graduation, if possible.

Curriculum & Courses

The online IPAL Master of Architecture degree requires 51 graduate credit hours. Four studios at six credits each and nine three-credit lecture/seminar courses comprise the program.

Studios & Lecture Studies

The first studio concentrates on regional architecture. Since the online program attracts students from many places, this studio presents an excellent overview of regional architecture in the US. The second studio is comprehensive design. It is paired with one of the three-credit lecture courses to allow students to explore design solutions much more deeply. The final two are design thesis studios, in which students select the project and spend two semesters developing an architectural solution.

Complementary lecture courses cover such topics as global perspectives on architecture, research methods & programming, architectural systems & technology, and professional practice. Check out the program's curriculum (PDF) and graduate courses for an idea of what to expect.

IPAL offers enrollment in the fall semester. Part-time enrollment is available, though students are cautioned that course sequencing and prerequisites may mean a delay of a year while waiting for a course to be scheduled again.

Program Costs

View our tuition and fee structure through the Off-Campus Tuition and Fees Calculator for additional information. Some courses will require the purchase of additional materials. Please estimate the travel costs of attending up to three weekend-long studio intensives in the first two semesters of the program. The closest major airport is St. Louis, MO (airport code: STL). Some visits occur in St. Louis instead of Carbondale to minimize travel time and costs for students. An option to stay in the dorms on the campus where we meet is available to control the costs of these visits further.

Financial aid and scholarships may be available. Please visit the SIU Financial Aid website for more information.

Contact Information

Michael Brazley
IPAL Coordinator

406 Quigley Hall
Mailcode 4337
875 S. Normal Avenue
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-1120
Rolando González-Torres, PhD
Associate Professor

311G Quigley Hall
Mailcode 4337
875 S. Normal Ave.
Carbondale, IL 62901
Ph: 618-453-1982
E-mail Dr. Gonzalez-Torres