The architecture department at NewSchool is rich in diversity and creativity. With international faculty prominent in the field, our students are exposed to many different approaches to design and innovation and master the same industry standard technology in the classroom that is used in the workplace. From their first day at NewSchool, our students learn to tackle hands-on, community-based projects that provide them the foundation and tools necessary to grow and succeed in their career as an architect.
In the United States, most 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 professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: The Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-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 require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
NewSchool of Architecture & Design offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:
- B. Arch (225 undergraduate credits)
- M. Arch. (preprofessional degree + 90 graduate credits)
- M. Arch. (non-preprofessional degree + 150 credits)
Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2024
NewSchool’s multidisciplinary approach to construction management education sets it apart on the job site. Our courses are designed as interactive learning experiences, honing the skills needed in each part of the construction industry. Our students learn to take an architect’s design and manage every decision-making aspect of the building process from materials procurement, client meetings, budget, and safety violations. We place a strong emphasis on developing business management skills, preparing our students for the industry’s current and future challenges.
At NewSchool, we believe design thinking, grounded in being Human-Centered by Design, is the essence of an education in design, architecture, and construction management. The pedagogic mission of the NewSchool of Architecture & Design is to nurture and inspire design-minded learners to become citizen architects and designers. This mission is realized through NewSchool’s guiding principle of being Human-Centered by Design – a foundational belief characterizing NewSchool’s contribution to the public good by improving the quality of life through design.
Human-centered design thinking permeates NewSchool’s degree programs as exemplified in the institution’s approach to design education, one based on the tradition of John Dewey’s “learning by doing.” NewSchool’s pedagogic foundation is project-based learning and the conviction that for design to succeed it must be human-centered.
Our graduates demonstrate a firm foundation in critical and creative thinking, ethical behavior, and a culture of professional practice on their way to becoming socially responsible leaders in our global society. The institution’s academic programs are defined by four academic pillars:
- Professional Practice: Preparation for practice is emphasized in a curriculum built on design thinking.
- Human Welfare: At the heart of NewSchool’s mission is a desire to improve the quality of life through design.
- Environmental Empathy: Focusing on sustainability and environmental stewardship permeates all we do.
- Community and Industry Engagement: NewSchool’s location provides an urban laboratory in which students learn and work with community leaders and design professionals while investigating creative solutions to complex problems affecting society.
Our philosophy is rooted in design thinking and we focus on preparation for practice and project-based learning. As a Southern California school of architecture, we emphasize a regional approach to design, taking advantage of our location in the heart of downtown San Diego to give students the opportunity to be an integral part of the ever-evolving built environment of the city. We are an urban laboratory where each architecture student has their own studio space and an opportunity to work on real project with clients in our community.
We work closely with the architecture, design, and construction industry in everything we do. We hire practicing professionals to teach our courses, partner with architecture and design leaders to provide industry insights as advisory board members, and facilitate networking opportunities for students with our growing number of successful alumni and industry partners.
NewSchool’s expertise in architectural design and the built environment has been widely recognized in the industry. In 2003, American Institute of Architects (AIA) granted an award for the establishment of the first offices of Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA), housed at NewSchool and today, NewSchool architecture and construction management faculty continue to contribute as key participants in ANFA, which supports studies, workshops, and university-based educational programs designed to explore research that integrates neuroscience and architecture.
In December 2015, American Institute of Architects (AIA) together with AIA Foundation and the Association for Collegiate Schools in Architecture (ACSA) named NewSchool as one of the 11 charter members of its first AIA Design & Health Research Consortium. Today, NewSchool students have a unique opportunity to earn a certificate in neuroscience for architecture, as well as healthy urbanism, digital architecture & fabrication, creative advertising, interior design for architects, and product design. NewSchool is one of the only schools in the country to offer an emphasis on neuroscience in their architecture programs.
With this prowess, NewSchool launched the Center for Healthy Environments to promote the school’s established leadership and expertise in the fields of neuroscience for architecture, healthy urbanism, and sustainable architecture. The Center for Healthy Environments provides consulting and research expertise to the community as well as specialized educational tracks in these fields.