Located in Boston, Massachusetts, North Bennet Street School (NBSS) offers intensive, hands-on training in traditional trades and fine craftsmanship, helping students to achieve meaningful lives and livelihoods. For more than a century, the exceptional programs, master faculty and inspiring community have encouraged individual growth, curiosity, technical mastery and commitment to excellence. The school's reputation for excellence and value attracts students from around the world.

A three-minute introduction to the full-time programs at NBSS.
An advanced piano student working on a grand piano.

We teach and uphold the principles and practices of the craftsmanship tradition including skillful use of hand tools and power equipment, informed choice of materials, creative problem-solving grounded in knowledge of the best practices of the craft and a dedication to the highest quality work. The full-time programs and our Continuing Education workshops and short courses provide a transformative experience for people who share a passion for materials, creative work and careers that employ hand skills to produce objects that last.

Individuals interested in full-time programs are encouraged to visit NBSS and attend one of our information sessions which include a tour our facilities and an opportunity talk to admissions staff, faculty and current students.

The Philosophy of Sloyd

Pauline Agassiz Shaw, the school's founder, was a visionary educator and proponent of the Swedish system of manual training known as “sloyd” which means “craft” or “hand skills.”  The sloyd method focused on the development of character and intellectual capacity as well as technical skills. The method encourages students to systematically develop hand skills along with an understanding of tools, materials, processes and a sense of care and commitment to excellence. Shaw saw the school’s mission as teaching the “whole person” both how to make a living and how to live a fuller life.

Today, the philosophy of sloyd remains at the heart of the school. Full-time programs provide intensive, hands-on training in a structured framework with a focus on practical projects. Each project builds on previous learning and requires students to solve increasingly complex problems.

View a CRAFT IN AMERICA video of NBSS President Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez discussing NBSS programs, sloyd, and social value of hand skills. (2:21 minutes)

Full-time programs and continuing education

North Bennet Street School classes are small, with a student teacher ratio of 13:1 or less. Students work closely with instructors, who are masters of their craft, and with each other in an inspiring and supportive environment. The school offers full-time, professional programs in Bookbinding, Cabinet and Furniture Making, Carpentry, Jewelry Making and repair, Locksmithing and Security Technology, Piano Technology, Preservation Carpentry, and Violin Making and Repair. Full-time programs range from nine months to three years. In addition, the school offers more than 70 workshops and short-term courses each year through our Continuing Education department.

NBSS Facilities

Located in Boston’s historic North End, North Bennet Street School’s 65,000 SF facility includes workshop and classroom space, equipment and machinery necessary for proper instruction in the various fields of training offered at the school. Support services include admissions, academic and student services and administrative offices. 

NBSS Accreditation

North Bennet Street School is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). ACCSC is a private, nonprofit, accrediting organization dedicated to ensuring educational quality and integrity in America's postsecondary career schools. ACCSC accredits more than 800 postsecondary schools and colleges in the United States and Puerto Rico, annually serving more than 250,000 students.

Hiring a student or Graduate

Employers interested in hiring a graduate of North Bennet Street School are encouraged to post their job on the school's job board. Details and the job listing form are online here. Individuals interested in hiring a student or graduate to do a single project or commission, should complete the online commission form. Details on the process and the form are online here.

Contact us

North Bennet Street School
150 North Street
Boston MA 02109
617-227-9292 (fax)

For a complete staff directory, click here.

Learn more at an informal information session
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Learn about the new facility at 150 North Street, Boston.

The craftsman ethos

We believe that a life dedicated to perfecting one’s craft nourishes the human spirit and yields deep personal satisfaction.

We challenge ourselves to develop hand skills, knowledge of materials, technical expertise, and intellect through making objects with the highest functional integrity and beauty.

We share a commitment to high-quality workmanship, attention to detail, self-expression, and the pursuit of excellence.

NBSS public programs receive support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.