Why Attend NewSchool of Architecture and Design?

Experiential Philosophy
NewSchool of Architecture and Design reinforces classroom theory with real-world application. We challenge our students with rigorous advancement standards, and our hands-on instructional program nurtures artistic passion while demanding professional excellence.

Faculty Practitioners 
At NSAD, most of our faculty members are highly experienced active practitioners. They will prepare you for your career by bringing the present and future of architecture and design into the classroom.  

Professional Accreditation
NSAD’s professional programs in architecture are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). In fact, we are one of a handful of fully accredited architecture programs in the western United States.

Career-Friendly Schedules
You can start your program when it works best for you during one of our four 10-week quarters: fall, winter, spring, and summer. Our mainly afternoon and early evening classes also accommodate the schedules of working students—some of our students maintain part- or even full-time employment throughout their programs.

Social Consciousness
We develop professionals for responsible citizenship and careers in architecture. Our programs are built on a solid ethical foundation and have long promoted accessible, socially beneficial, and sustainable design solutions.

Personal Attention
Our small yet dynamic classes provide individual attention while encouraging collaboration among students and faculty. Because we maintain relationships with many area architecture firms, there are ample opportunities to engage personally with local professionals.  

Prime Location
NSAD is located on the edge of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, in the heart of the Urban Art Trail—where architectural history and innovative design converge. Minutes from the Mexican border, the city boasts a diverse artistic community and mild Mediterranean-like weather, which provides us with a bustling urban classroom all year round. 
The NewSchool of Architecture and Design Story

In 1980, the late Richard Welsh founded NewSchool of Architecture in a small industrial building in Chula Vista, Calif. Welsh had a vision: a superb professional education program that culminated with the Bachelor of Architecture degree.

Change and growth came quickly. In 1988, NewSchool of Architecture relocated to central downtown San Diego and, in 1989, Bislin Education Corp. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Futures in Education, Inc.) purchased the school. Soon after, more degree programs were added: the Associate of Arts, the Master of Architecture and the Master of Science in Architecture. In 2001, ForeFront Education, Inc., acquired the school and changed its name to NewSchool of Architecture and Design.

From its earliest days, NSAD developed an evening class structure to accommodate a large number of working students. In 1991, the year NSAD was institutionally accredited, students became eligible for federal financial aid programs. There became less fiscal need for evening classes—but by this time a tradition had been established. Many mid-career professionals interested in changing vocations were attracted to the program’s afternoon and evening schedules, which remain a top draw today.

In July 2008, NSAD was acquired by Laureate Education, Inc., a global network of 45 accredited campus-based and online universities offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than half a million students around the world. NSAD’s highly regarded architecture and design programs complement Laureate’s global network of higher education institutions.
The Mission of NewSchool of Architecture and Design

The NewSchool of Architecture and Design strives to develop technically competent, aesthetically sensitive, socially responsible professionals prepared for a changing, global society.

In support of the NSAD mission, our fundamental objectives are to:
  • Develop a broadly based, interdisciplinary foundation in the liberal arts, sciences, and humanities
  • Develop the verbal, written, and visual skills necessary for the effective communication of ideas
  • Develop individual design abilities that effectively integrate technology, function, and aesthetics
  • Develop an enlightened sense of design
  • Develop a strong sense of professional ethics and beliefs
  • Provide leadership for a pluralistic society
Our Philosophy
At NSAD, we challenge our students with rigorous advancement standards, and our hands-on instructional program nurtures artistic passion while demanding professional excellence.  We believe that a wide range of individuals can find reward and fulfillment in the study of architecture and design.

Our faculty includes experienced architects, designers, and practicing professionals who develop creative mentorships with students. NSAD subscribes to the “learn by doing” thesis of American philosopher John Dewey, and we encourage our students to intern as soon as their abilities and circumstances allow.

Educational Intent

NSAD strives to meet the ever-changing demands of the architectural and design professions. We continually adapt our educational objectives to meet the fundamental goals of practice within the professions: the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

Architecture, design, and related disciplines are integrative professions that require lifelong learning and exploration. Excellence requires the mental agility to learn new disciplines and to effectively communicate new ideas. At NSAD, we give students the skills they need to adapt and thrive in a challenging professional environment.

To enhance this training, we instruct students in oral and written communication, research methods, problem analysis, and critical thinking.

NSAD’s afternoon and evening architecture program schedule allows students the flexibility to gain hands-on experience with local firms during the day, building relationships that they can call upon throughout their careers.


NewSchool of Architecture and Design is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) to award associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees.

The professional architectural programs offered at NewSchool of Architecture and Design are accredited by the National Architectural Board (NAAB). These programs include the B.Arch, M.Arch I, and the Executive Master of Architecture.

In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a six-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards. Master's degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
 NewSchool of Architecture and Design
NewSchool of Architecture and Design - San Diego, CA
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 NewSchool of Architecture and Design