NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD)

NSAD student at work

NSAD ranks among the top 10 undergraduate architecture schools in the Western United States.


NSAD promotes accessible, socially beneficial and sustainable design solutions.


The school’s instructors are highly experienced, active practitioners.

NSAD logoNewSchool of Architecture and Design helps prepare students to enter and advance in the fields of architecture and design. NSAD emphasizes sustainable thinking and materials, particularly in urban environments. The school’s pragmatic approach is furthered by its instructors, who are highly experienced, active practitioners. They prepare students by bringing the present and future of architecture and design into the classroom. NSAD’s campus, in the heart of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, provides students with access to a diverse mix of architectural history and innovation.

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NewSchool of Architecture and Design offers bachelor’s programs in architecture, construction management, digital media arts and interior design; master’s programs in architecture and construction management; and an executive master’s program in architecture. Courses and curricula are coordinated to maximize collaboration and cross-disciplinary study. Digital media arts, for example, integrates architecture, graphic design and 3-D modeling/animation.

NewSchool of Architecture and Design is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, and its architecture programs are accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board. For two years in a row, DesignIntelligence has ranked NSAD among the top 10 undergraduate architecture schools in the Western United States in its publication America's Best Architecture & Design Schools. 

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, 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. Doctor of architecture and master of architecture 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 offers the following degree programs:

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Bachelor of architecture, first professional degree (B.Arch.)
  • Bachelor of arts in architecture (B.A.)
  • Bachelor of science in construction management (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of science in digital media arts (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of interior design

Graduate Programs

  • Master of architecture, first professional degree (M.Arch. I)
  • Master of architecture (M.Arch. II)
  • Master of science in architecture (M.S.)
  • Master of construction management (M.S.)
  • Executive master’s of architecture

Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2016

NewSchool of Architecture and Design develops professionals for responsible citizenship and careers in architecture. NSAD has long promoted accessible, socially beneficial and sustainable design solutions through programs built on a solid ethical and practice-based foundation.

Faculty members are practitioners who are dedicated to sustainability and social responsibility, as is evident in their associations with community groups, local and national organizations and nonprofits such as Citizens Coordinate for Century 3, Habitat for Humanity and the Green Building Council.

Students are currently involved in pro bono projects to build an orphanage in Baja California; to provide relief services to victims of the earthquake in Haiti; and, through the school’s Design Clinic, to design a school in rural Liberia, Africa, and affordable housing in Southeast San Diego.

NewSchool of Architecture and Design has been recognized as a leader in its field. In 2012, DesignIntelligence ranked NSAD’s undergraduate architecture program as 8th best in the "Top Schools in the West" category in its report America's Best Architecture & Design Schools 2013. The school’s annual student-produced publication, Cartouche, has been honored for its contribution to the field. The school’s Design Clinic program has been honored for addressing key design issues in the San Diego metropolitan area.

NewSchool of Architecture and Design students have earned numerous awards and recognition. Honors include:

NSAD team wins first place NSAD team won first place
NewSchool of Architecture and Design Faculty Member to Receive Crystal Globe Award NSAD faculty member received Crystal Globe Award
NewSchool of Architecture and Design teams win International Design Competition NSAD team won the MCM Group Mock Firms International Skyscraper Award
NSAD Team Wins “Most Adaptable Structure” at Cal Poly Design Village Competition NSAD student team took first place at the annual 2012 CalPoly Design Village Competition
NSAD Alumni winners Three NSAD alumni recognized by the AIA