As a forward-thinking education company, we prepare motivated individuals for sought-after creative careers.


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

To fulfill our mission and remain true to our philosophy, we are committed to providing a focused 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.

Campus and Facilities

NCAD is located at 1126 Pacific Ave, in a seven story modern office building in the heart of downtown Tacoma, Washington.

NCAD currently uses 22,000 sq. ft. of the 38,000 sq. ft. building for its classes, computer labs, and various administrative offices.

Specialized facilities include 3 computer labs, 3 lecture rooms, a library, a traditional art studio room, and a open computer/laptop space for student use.

Students also have several dedicated lunch/break/work rooms for their use.

Class Size

To ensure a personal approach to our students education and training, all courses within our program are intentionally kept small (with a maximum of 40 students per instructor in a typical course setting). The student to faculty ratio is an average of 24:1.


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.

That 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 and change. In early 2017, the college purchased a building in downtown Tacoma, WA. Starting in September of 2017, Tacoma is the new home to NCAD.

Over the years, NCAD has maintained its mission to educate and prepare individuals for creative careers. We invite you to be a part of our exciting and challenging future.

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: 2017 Annual Security Report

Web Site Modification

This web site last modified on April 16, 2019 (jf).