National Association of Schools of Art and Design Commission on Accreditation (NASAD)

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) is a certifying body for the art and design undergraduate and graduate programs. To know more about NASAD, read the blog below.

Updated by Arpit Sachdeva on 29th January 2019

What is NASAD? 

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design Commission on Accreditation was found in 1944

NASAD is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities with approximately 363 accredited institutional members

It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for art and design and art/design-related disciplines, and provides assistance to institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational, and other art/design-related endeavors.


Focus/Purpose of NASAD 

The primary purpose of schools of art and design is to help individual students turn talent, inspiration, creativity, and dedication into significant potential for service to the development of art and design culture in its multiple dimensions. 


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Therefore, the focus of NASAD’s work is on issues of art and design content and educational substance as applied to the preparation and training of art and design professionals at the highest possible levels.  

NASAD Benefits

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Eligibility Requirements for NASAD accreditation 

The eligibility needs required for the institutions are mentioned here. 

  • The foundation should keep up a curricular program of instruction and prepare in the visual arts or design. 

  • The organization should offer no less than a one-degree program or should give the visual art/design part of a degree program offered in conjunction with a licensed degree-giving establishment. 

  • All approaches with respect to affirmation and maintenance of understudies, and also those relating to the school's assessment, should be obviously characterized in writing distributed by the establishment. 

  • All educational costexpenses, and different charges, and in addition all strategies relating thereto, might be obviously portrayed in the organization's published writing

  • Employees should be fit for their particular teaching assignments by the instructive foundation as well as expert experience. 

  • The establishment might have offices and hardware equivalent with the requirements of its instructive program. 

  • The foundation should have library space and assets proportionate with the necessities of its instructive program. 

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Benefits of NASAD 

NASAD offers many services to member institutions such as the ones given here.  

  • Constructive evaluation of programs through the accreditation process. 

  • Advice and counsel concerning new curricula.  

  • Periodic research studies of topics relevant to education in art and design. 

  • Information concerning developments in art and design, the arts, education, and related matters.  

  • Data compiled from the annual reports of member institutions filing a comprehensive picture of art and design in higher education. 

  • Publications containing information and basic standards for the education of visual artists and designers. 

  • National forums for discussion of issues, concerns, and opportunities.

Services provided by NASAD 

1. Accreditation  

Accreditation is the process whereby an association or agency recognizes an institution as having met certain qualifications or standards. In NASAD, the process focuses upon two principal concerns - educational quality and institutional probity.

2. Consultation 

NASAD provides consultation services to developing institutions and programs. Consultative services are associated with and in addition to the Association’s accreditation function. 

3. Professional Development 

The association publishes books and reports, holds an Annual Meeting and other forums, and provides information to leaders of art and design programs. 


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4. Policy Studies 

NASAD pursues an analysis and publications program on issues in art and design, the arts, education, accreditation, and cultural development. 

5. Institutional Research 

Annually, NASAD collects, compiles, and publishes statistics associated with the operations of art and design schools and departments. More information can be found under the Higher Education Arts Data Services (HEADS) project.

6. Public Information 

NASAD provides information to the general public about accreditation and its relationship to educational programs in art and design. All published documents of the Association are available to the public. 

Fields accredited by NASAD

NASAD provides accreditation to the various art and design programs, across several disciplines, majors and degree levels. Some of the disciplines of both art and design are mentioned below.

Professional Bachelorette degree in Design

  • Communication Design

  • Interior Design

  • Fashion Design

  • Industrial Design  

Professional Bachelorette degrees in Art 

The professional degrees in Arts are offered in many fields such as -

Animation, General Fine Arts, Ceramics, Jewelry/Metals, Digital Media Painting, Film/Video Production, Photography, General Crafts, Sculpture and more.

NASAD Accredited Colleges and Universities 

Some of the colleges and universities accredited by this organization include the following.

NASAD Accredited Colleges/Universities
Liberty University  Full Sail University
East Carolina University Ashford University 
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design  Texas State University

NASAD Decision Making Bodies 

NASAD Officers, Commissioners, and Committee Members are primary representatives from member institutions elected to office by their peers. 

The Board of Directors is made out of the Officers, the Immediate Past President, the Chair of the Commission on Accreditation, six Directors, and two Public Members. The Executive Director is an ex officio, non-voting individual from the Board of Directors. 


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The official body of the Board of Directors is the Executive Committee, made out of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, the Chair of the Commission on Accreditation, and the Executive Director (ex officio and non-voting). 


NASAD is an association that certifies institutions providing art and design programs for undergraduate and graduation degrees offered to the students. It believes in making the standards highly proficient to deliver the best results. 


  What is the difference between Accreditation and Certification? 

Accreditation is the formal recognition of a university or college by an authoritative body to specified standards. 

Certification represents a written assurance by a third party of the conformity of a product, process or service to specified requirements.

  What is the full-form of NASAD and what does it do? 

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) is an association that certifies institutions providing art and design programs for under graduation and graduation degrees offered to the students. 

  Who are the certifying authorities in NASAD? 

The official body of the Board of Directors is the Executive Committee, which comprises of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, the Chair of the Commission on Accreditation, and the Executive Director (ex officio and non-voting).

  What is Higher Education Arts Data Services (HEADS) Data Survey ? 

The Higher Education Arts Data Services (HEADS) Data Survey requests statistical information regarding art/design program operations and achievements. This report is required annually of all NASAD accredited postsecondary institutions. 

HEADS Data Surveys are launched each year on November 1 and due by January 31.

  Is NASAD accreditation important? 

NASAD accreditation is an important indicator of an art program with satisfactory standards. Accreditation provide assurance of quality and integrity of the program it is associated with.