The primary mission of NCAD is to play a significant educational role in preparing individuals for rewarding career opportunities within the creative industries.

Our dedicated faculty include a diverse group of professional artists, designers, and highly qualified general education instructors who educate and mentor our students through a challenging, ever-evolving curriculum that is designed to develop industry-specific technical skills and encourage creative excellence.

To ensure a personal approach to our students education and training, all courses within our program are intentionally kept small (with a maximum of 30 students per instructor in a typical course setting).

The average NCAD student is between the ages of 18 and 25 and typically seeking to prepare for their first professional careers.
Of course, NCAD welcomes any returning students who are ready to fulfill their creative ambitions.


At NCAD we remain committed to providing an exceptional educational experience for our students, enabling our graduates to achieve their career and life goals through the direct application of knowledge and practical training that meets the needs of business and the creative industry.

Our philosophy is to inspire students to continually strive for excellence and to always seek to achieve their maximum personal and professional potential..


Founded in 1982 by Craig Freeman as Northwest Art Center, NCAD has been since its beginning a specialized school of art. Originally located on the waterfront of Liberty Bay, Northwest College of Art & Design began its journey with a small student body and a two-year certificate program.

As the years went by the College grew in size and the demand for a degree program prompted the Founder to expand the curriculum to an associate degree level.

In the early nineties NCAD said goodbye to the beautiful waterfront, and relocated to the Mains Manor Estate in Poulsbo, Washington.

This bold move allowed the College to modify its program once more to create the B.F.A. degree program in Visual Communication and later expand it by adding multiple majors.

Today, NCAD continues its history of positive growth. Over the years NCAD has maintained its mission to educate and prepare individuals for the creative arts world. We invite you to be a part of our exciting and challenging future.


Northwest College of Art & Design is located at the Mains Manor Estate in Poulsbo, Washington, on the Kitsap Peninsula, 9 miles from the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal. From there, it is just a 35-minute ferry ride to the heart of downtown Seattle. Our picturesque 26-acre campus serves as a constant source of visual inspiration.

Students are surrounded by a magnificent view of the Olympic Mountain Range and shimmering Liberty Bay. Students may sketch and paint in the gardens and fields just a few steps from the classrooms. These natural surroundings are special elements not found on urban campuses. Due to Northwest College of Art’s unique location, our students benefit from Seattle’s city excitement, the rural beauty of Kitsap County, and convenient proximity to charming downtown Poulsbo and other thriving municipalities. The Kitsap Peninsula is home to a wide variety of restaurants, specialty shops and boutiques, and major department stores. Less than an hour away, Seattle offers an array of museums, galleries, and a variety of other cultural destinations.


NCAD facilities consist of three main buildings: the Manor House, the Art & Administration Building, and the Henry H. Freeman Building — all with classrooms equipped for lecture and studio work.

The Lower Campus (the Manor House and Art & Administration Building) is equipped with more than 10,000 square feet of classrooms, a photographic studio, multiple computer labs, a 3-dimensional design studio, gallery space, administrative offices, and a small art supply store. Ample parking is available for students.

  • The college currently has four fully equipped computer labs that feature Apple computers with Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk Maya, and more — a industry standard collection of design and development applications. Campus wide Wifi is also available..
  • Our photographic studio has been dedicated to small-scale indoor product and portrait studio-based photography.
  • The school maintains a library with collections for each of the program majors, color print collections and annual publications of design, illustration, fine art, and photography.
  • The student lounge is open to students throughout the day and includes space and furniture that facilitates student studying and relaxation.

Our Henry H. Freeman building offers NCAD students approximately 3,600 square feet of space. The building houses two large painting studios, a lecture room, and a gallery tiled in beautiful Brazilian black slate. One of the painting studios offers a garden view and southern exposure. Both studios offer ample light and vaulted ceilings. Other equipment for student use includes easels, drafting tables, and drawing horses.

Campus Security

High traffic areas of the campus are under remote camera surveillance 24 hours per day. The Northwest College of Art & Design reserves the right to monitor the campus for the safety and security of everyone.

Click the following link to download the most recent Annual Security Report: 2012 Annual Security Report

Web Site Modification

This web site last modified on July 5, 2015 (jf).