Founded in 1982 by Craig N. 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 good-bye to the beautiful waterfront, and relocated to the Mains Manor Estate in Poulsbo, Washington, A 26 acre estate where the College could continue to expand its facilities without losing the outdoor beauty that had become essential to our students. NCAD is just 9 miles from the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal and just a 35-minute ferry ride to the heart of downtown Seattle.

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.


The Northwest College of Art & Design facilities consist of three main buildings: the Manor House, the Art & Administration Building, and the Henry H. Freeman Building, 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, computer labs, a 3-dimensional design studio, gallery space, administrative offices, and an art supply store. Ample parking is available for students.

  • The college currently has two fully equipped computer labs that feature Apple Macintosh platform computers, scanners, and cd/dvd burners. The Adobe Creative Suite, an industry standard collection of graphic design, video editing, and web development applications is installed on the computers in both labs and is available for student use. Wifi is also available.
  • Our photographic studio has been dedicated to small-scale indoor product and portrait studio-based photography.
  • The Freeman Gallery prepares exhibits for professionals, NCA students, and faculty. The halls are reserved for current student projects in photography, computer graphics, illustration, fine art and design.
  • 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 during their time on campus.
  • Our Upper Campus offers approximately 3,600 square feet of space. The building houses 2 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 4 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: 2014 Annual Security Report