Our Story

The Charter High School for Architecture + Design (*CHAD) was founded in September 1999 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as its Legacy 2000 project.

The school was founded on two principles: to provide a safe, academically sound, and stimulating high school for urban minority students; and given the very low percentage of licensed African American architects in the United States, to prepare African American students, especially, for collegiate study and training in the fields of architecture and design.

On an annual basis, CHAD graduates between 95 and 100% of its senior class and between 90-95% of the graduates are accepted into college. Our faculty is an energetic, innovative, and dedicated group of traditional educators and teaching architects who are committed to caring for and teaching the students. Students come to us from more than 50 different Philadelphia zip codes.

Philadelphia Chapter AIA >


The Charter High School for Architecture + Design is a learning community committed to an innovative program integrating the design process with the mastery of a strong liberal arts education. The school offers each student the opportunity for success and the preparation for life-long learning and responsible citizenship. CHAD is a thoughtful academic environment that engenders love of learning, intellectual curiosity, and new ways of seeing, and prepares students for higher education.