School Info



Stroll through the halls of the Charter High School for Architecture + Design and you will know that you are in no run of the mill high school. The walls are lined with funky chairs, glowing walls, dripping lamps, day glow math projects, illustrated book jackets, fashion garments, sculptures, architectural models, paintings, photography, self-portraits, futuristic computer graphics and an abundance of exhibits of student work. We are what we preach…design is everywhere. It is all around us. And we honor students by surrounding them with the objects and spaces that will spark their innate creativity.

We are the Charter High School for Architecture and Design . . . and we are the most unique and creative high school in the region! We are a tuition-free public high school in Philadelphia dedicated specifically to the pursuit of architecture and design education.

Located at 7th and Sansom Streets in the heart of the historic district, one block from Independence Hall, our 26,000 square foot facility is a modern high school, with four computer labs (PC and MAC), six dedicated design studios, academic classrooms, a spacious lunchroom, and exhibit spaces. We are a school of 500 students, with an average class size of 25.

Founded in September 1999 by the Philadelphia Chapter, American Institute of Architects, the Charter High School for Architecture and Design offers a college preparatory program interlaced with studies in the design fields. CHAD is tailor-made for the creative young person who learns best by actively doing and seeing. Principles of design are woven into all academic disciplines including math, science, English and history. We are a school for students who like to draw, design, build, and think creatively.

What sets us apart? We promote the entry of urban youth into the design fields by using the design process employed by all designers as a tool in teaching academic subjects. Another of CHAD’s hallmarks is our collaboration with industry and cultural institutions, which enables us to enrich our curriculum via contact with professionals within our city. We are endorsed and supported by some of the most lauded organizations and individuals in the nation.

CHAD’s teaching staff is a diverse group of energetic, dedicated, caring, certified educators who come from many walks of life: illustrators, architects, writers, as well as career educators of the highest quality. We are thoroughly committed to creating a school of excellence with high expectations for all students.

The Charter High School for Architecture + Design seeks motivated, creative students! Many CHAD students are visual learners who want to study a design-based curriculum. These types of students often paint murals, join art clubs, make concrete things such as furniture, participate in creating community gardens, keep sketchbooks, solve puzzles, enjoy creative writing, and participate in other creative activities and projects.

We will call you to set up an interview only after the completed application is received. Only completed applications will be processed.

Come join the creativity!

Admissions Information: 215·351·2900 ext. 2285
Fax: 215·351·9458

Email questions:
Paul Musumba

By Paul Musumba

Paul Musumba has been an organic chemistry instructor for CHAD Phila since December of 2017. Prior to his stint at CHAD, he was a chemistry teacher at Delaware Valley Charter High School in Philadelphia. He received a B.S. in Biology and Organic Chemistry from Drexel University in 2010, and a masters degree in Chemistry and Computer Science with Teaching, Organic and computational Chemistry from Temple University in 2016. You can read more about Paul's experience and publications on his LinkedIn profile here:

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