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Student Life at NewSchool of Architecture & Design

Student Life at NewSchool of Architecture & Design

If you’re passionate about pursuing a career in architecture or design, choosing the right university is crucial to your future success. While accredited degree programs are a principal factor in formal education, selecting a school that offers a truly enriching experience is essential, enabling you to gain the connections, support, and resources to excel in a demanding professional environment.

At NewSchool of Architecture & Design, we turn artistic passion into professional excellence by offering a wide range of study programs, innovative and interdisciplinary teaching, project-based learning, and expert classes in Sustainable and Urban Design. As a globally recognized and award-winning architecture and design university, we’re proud to offer students like you access to accredited architecture programs, global design education opportunities, and a vibrant campus community that’s dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. In this blog post, we’ll give you a sneak peek into what it’s like to study, live, and thrive in our engaging and inspiring community.

Studying in San Diego

At NewSchool, learning isn’t limited to the classroom. Located in the East Village Design District in downtown San Diego, our campus is an urban laboratory that offers unparalleled access to the hub of the architecture, construction, and design industries.

Our campus allows construction management students to observe the redevelopment of a major city firsthand. We’re also located at the intersection of natural and built borders, where architecture and design students have the chance to research problems confronting a globalized society and examine the ever-changing role of architecture in one of the most ecologically diverse and environmentally sensitive areas in North America.

Within its gorgeous natural environment, architecture and design students can reinvent outdoor activities and lifestyles, observe the evolution of the healthcare and biotech industry, and design for a new culture of well-being.

Besides enhancing your formal education, San Diego, California, is buzzing with creative energy, inspiring startups, and innovative design studios.

Walk a few blocks to study at the San Diego Library, housing over 5 million books, or get inspired by 15+ museums within a one-mile radius of our campus. Combined with perfect weather and a variety of beautiful beaches, NewSchool is the ideal place to hone your creativity and turn it into academic and professional excellence.

International Student Community

Our student body is rich in diversity and inclusivity, where design-minded learners from over 20 countries come together to pursue their passion. With award-winning international faculty and staff, NewSchool students benefit from a truly global classroom environment that fosters innovation, creativity, and collaboration.

To further enhance your experience, we offer opportunities for study abroad programs, cross-location collaborations, and guest lectures from world-renowned architects and designers. Whether you’re looking to broaden your horizons, build meaningful connections with peers from around the globe, or simply immerse yourself in a rich tapestry of cultures and ideas, you’ll find all that and more at NewSchool of Architecture & Design.

Campus Facilities and Resources

To create exceptional designs, you need access to exceptional tools and resources. That’s why our campus gives you everything you need to bring your creative visions to life.
From cutting-edge design studios, a large-scale print shop, and state-of-the-art materials lab with 3D printing capabilities to our extensive library of design publications and computer labs, you’ll have access to industry-standard tools and technologies to support your studies, portfolio, and professional growth.

Student Organizations and Activities

NewSchool students are more than just passionate about design education – they’re innovative, creative, and driven to make a difference.

Whether you’re interested in joining the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) chapter or the Construction Management Student Association (CMSA), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), or the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), you’ll find a community of like-minded individuals dedicated to helping our com`munity succeed both in and out of the classroom.

Student-led organizations are a crucial part of the college experience. Our clubs and organizations host various events, outreach activities, and networking opportunities to supplement your academic journey. We’re proud to offer a supportive and inclusive environment that encourages our students to take an active role in shaping their futures.

Award-Winning Faculty

Learning from experienced architects, designers, and practicing professionals is vital to gaining a realistic view of the design profession and a real-world perspective. Our award-winning faculty are selected for their backgrounds, academic experience, and commitment to advancing education in the architecture and design fields.

Our forward-thinking professors are passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise with the next generation of designers, developing effective teaching methods that combine hands-on learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills to help you succeed both in the classroom and out in the field. They are highly trained professionals who are currently working in the industry. They are involved with the most current developments in the profession, as well as part of the professional community and organizations.

Career Opportunities

As an industry and career-focused institution, we’re committed to your goals during and after your formal education. NewSchool’s global university network gives you access to some of the world’s most influential firms.

You’ll gain strong industry connections and cross-collaboration opportunities and work with some of the most exciting brands to gain the hands-on experience needed to grow as a designer.

Some of our esteemed alums can be found making a difference in some of the world’s leading institutions and design firms. Our comprehensive approach to professional development means we introduce career-building strategies from the beginning of orientation, like personal branding, networking, job search strategies, and more, to ensure successful employment.

Internship Opportunities

Our programs allow for internships, and many of our students work in architectural offices during their studies. Internships are one of the most important aspects of professional growth and development, allowing you to gain practical experience to add to your portfolio.

In this regard, the urban San Diego community is an ideal laboratory for innovation where you’ll be encouraged to intern as soon as possible.

Some of our master’s degree programs require an internship for graduation, but we understand the importance of hands-on, project-based experiences and problem-solving in the real world.

Our Career Services Office works with you to secure an internship related to your discipline with some of San Diego’s most innovative firms, allowing you to gain the exposure and experience you need for future success.

Why NewSchool of Architecture & Design?

Education in the design professions prepares students to respond creatively to some of the most pressing problems facing our global society. It gives them the tools, skills, and methodologies necessary to become citizen architects and designers.

At NewSchool we’ll look at what’s Your vision for the future, what are Your values, and what You care about. And you’ll learn to articulate this to others in a meaningful and powerful way. Here, one of our objectives is to give you these tools so you can identify who you are, what are your qualities, and what impact you can make in this world. We start from the premise that you all have what it takes. To us, that’s what successful academia is all about at its core. So, if you want to be a leader at NewSchool you are in the right place!

Architecture, design, and related disciplines are integrative professions requiring lifelong learning and exploration. Excellence requires the mental agility to learn new disciplines and to communicate new ideas effectively. NewSchool programs in Architecture, Construction Management, Graphic Design & Interactive Media, Product Design, and Interior Architecture & Design provide the skills and methodologies necessary to adapt to — and excel in — a challenging professional environment positioned to serve society.

We believe in teamwork and want each other to be successful. And this is the NewSchool family!

Get in touch with our Enrollment Team to discuss your personal degree plan and see for yourself what it’s like to be a NewSchool student!

Mastering the Art of Design Portfolios: Tips and Tricks

As an Architect, Interior, Product, or Graphic Designer, your portfolio visually represents who you are and what you bring to the table. A thoughtfully designed and well-crafted portfolio is a powerful tool that can help you land your dream job, so making it visually cohesive, easy to navigate, and reflective of your creative potential is essential. In this blog post, we’ll share best practices and tips for creating a portfolio that stands out in today’s competitive design landscape.

Feature Your Best Work

The best graphic design portfolios are thoughtfully curated, clear, and concise. Your portfolio should only include your best work, not all of it. Choose the strongest pieces that are the most unique, innovative, and creative. Depending on your audience, it’s also a good idea to show variations in your work to demonstrate your versatility, breadth, and talent.


Keep Things Simple

When it comes to portfolio layout design, less is more. Keep the design clean, simple, and easy to navigate. Use and create a consistent color scheme, unified typography, and design layout to ensure cohesiveness. White space and juxtaposing graphics and text can keep your portfolio uncluttered, allowing your work to breathe.

Tell a Story

As a designer, the visuals you create are only half of the work. Your communication skills are just as critical. Firms want to see your ability to think through design challenges. This means you must reveal your process and visually represent how you created a solution to each project challenge. When presenting your work, visually represent your process through storytelling and make your process clear. Identify the problem you tackled for each project and reveal the relationship to your final design solution. A compelling story demonstrates your thoughtful approach to design and gives your audience a “behind the scenes” look into your creative process and problem-solving abilities.


Use Case Studies

Case studies are a detailed analysis of specific projects that have tackled similar design problem(s) as your project. These case study research examples should reveal various solutions to the problem in which your project has identified. Case studies are used in all fields, whether in architecture, interior, product, or graphic design. So, use them to support your design solutions, and find a way to reveal this visually within the portfolio.

Showcase Your Personality

Standing out amongst a sea of creative talent can be challenging. A great way to ensure your portfolio is noteworthy is to convey who you are as a designer. Incorporate your visual branding and personal design identity beyond just your logo while keeping things simple, consistent, and cohesive. We suggest looking at tons of examples and finding a style that compliments your unique creativity as a designer. Just do a search for “architecture or design portfolios” on and see the array of professional portfolios that have been published.


Keep it Current

Showcasing your growth and creative development is paramount in today’s increasingly complex and competitive environment, so your portfolio should always be up-to-date with your latest work and accomplishments. Don’t let it become stagnant or outdated. Regularly update your portfolio to ensure that it aligns with your goals as a designer and authentic reflects who you are today.

From Good to Great: Portfolio Tips

A design portfolio is one of the most effective tools for landing a career in the creative industry or your next freelance gig. Like a resume, it’s a dynamic platform that showcases who you are and what you bring to the table. Remember to keep it simple, highlight your best work, reveal your creative process, and show off your technical skills. Include sections, elevations, plans, perspectives, research, and even infographics to tell your story. Following these tips, you can put your best foot forward and show the world your talent and creativity. If you’re looking to hone your talent and gain the skills, inspiration, and exposure to build a comprehensive portfolio, consider getting a global design education at NewSchool of Architecture and Design.


About NewSchool of Architecture & Design

NewSchool of Architecture & Design is a globally recognized and awarded design university known for its forward-thinking professors, inspiring campus community, top industry connections, and collaboration opportunities. The School of Design at NewSchool is an urban laboratory where you can explore and break through creative boundaries while hands-on experiences provide the foundations and tools you need to grow and succeed as a designer. Graduates from our design programs have become pioneers in some of the world’s top brands, design firms, and creative agencies. Ready to be one of them? Get in touch with our Enrollment Team to learn more about our design degrees today!