The Penn State Graphic Design program is accredited through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. NASAD is an association of approximately 323 schools of art and design, primarily at the collegiate level, but also including postsecondary non-degree-granting schools for the visual arts disciplines. It is the national accrediting agency for art and design and art and design-related disciplines.
Their philosophy states, in part:
“Art and design are professions requiring talent, knowledge, skill, and dedication. Employment depends almost entirely on demonstrated competence. Success is based primarily on work rather than on credentials. Experience tells us that art and design, though dependent on talent, inspiration, and creativity, require much more to function as a significant spiritual and educational force. Talent without skills, inspiration without knowledge, and creativity without technique can account for little but lost potential.
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. Therefore, the focus of NASAD's work is on issues of art and design content and educational substance as applied to the preparation of art and design professionals.”
The Association also provides information to the public. It produces statistical research, provides professional development for leaders of art and design schools, and engages in policy analysis.