IPAL Master of Architecture | Architecture | SIU

Southern Illinois University



architectural model

Online IPAL Master of Architecture

The online IPAL Master of Architecture program is designed for architecture professionals seeking an accredited professional degree and Licensure that qualifies for National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certification.

The online IPAL Master of Architecture Program allows you to:

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

We are certain this program is a unique offering for the working professional in architecture.

This program utilizes distance education with limited campus-based instruction to help students earn the 51 graduate credit hours required for the IPAL Master of Architecture degree over a period of 20 months. While primarily a distance education experience, some courses will utilize on-campus sessions from time to time. These sessions will be conducted on weekends, not more than one weekend per month. We use Adobe Connect to eliminate the need to come to campus more regularly. However, some studio activities are conducted face to face.


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.

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


To apply for the online Master of Architecture program, you will need to visit the IPAL 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 program.


The online IPAL 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. Your online classmates will be the same set of students throughout the program. This allows students to develop deeper professional relationships with each other as they pursue their common interest of obtaining a professional degree. Each cohort will be encouraged to use online chat rooms, email, and instant messaging to stay in touch with each other and to assist each other 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 nine 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 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. 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 studios are design thesis studios. In these studios, 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 and programming, architectural systems and technology, and professional practice. Check out the program’s curriculum and graduate course syllabi for an idea of what to expect.

This program 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.


The cost for the online IPAL Master of Architecture program is determined by SIU’s Off-Campus tuition and fee structure. Please refer to 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 further control costs of these visits. 

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


The online IPAL Master of Architecture program may be your key to fulfilling the education and license requirement for an NAAB-accredited degree program in architecture. The IPAL Master of Architecture degree at SIU is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board as a first professional degree in architecture. It meets the education requirement to become a licensed architect in all U.S. states and territories and the provinces of Canada. Always check with your local jurisdiction to learn all of its requirements to become a licensed architect, including any changes it makes to the education requirement.

In 2016, College Values Online chose the SIU online Master of Architecture program as one of its Top Eight Values in Online Architectural Education. The SIU Master of Architecture program is the highest accredited program on the list! In fact, since there is no concept of residency for online programs at SIU, all students in the Master of Architecture pay the equivalent of the in-state tuition rate. 


For questions, or to request more information, please contact the IPAL Coordinator, Michael Brazley, at mdbraz7@siu.edu or (618) 453-1120.


View the Graduate Catalog for more information about the University and Graduate School’s policies and requirements.

For additional information regarding other online programs, go to the Office of Extended Campus.