The Delaware College of Art and Design (DCAD) was founded in 1997 through a partnership between the Pratt Institute and the Corcoran College of Art and Design. DCAD’s mission is to educate talented and committed students to become art makers, idea generators, problem solvers, and visual communicators who can redefine the way we perceive and experience the world around us. DCAD’s associate of fine arts (AFA) degree program is offered in six disciplines: Animation, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, and Photography. Apart from the traditional disciplines of the fine artist, these include opportunities in publishing, marketing, computer graphics, advertising, packaging, display design, and photography. In addition to studio courses, courses in art history and writing and literature (combined) complete the curriculum. Most students transfer to other colleges that offer the BFA degree; Pratt, Corcoran, MICA, RISD, the School of the Chicago Art Institute, PAFA, UArts, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston are but some of the fine schools to which students are accepted and attend. The College is independently accredited regionally by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and nationally by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
DCAD offers apartment style dormitories in the Saville Apartments directly across Sixth Street from the studio and academic facilities at 600 N. Market Street, and in the next block to the north at 707 N. King Street. A multi-million dollar (4.7m US$) expansion in student housing opened for Fall 2012 in response to a significant increase in requests for on-campus residency. The former hotel's kitchen has been transformed into a student cafeteria for all resident and commuting students. The 600 N. Market building was the initial opening site for the College with an entering student population of 50. The Copeland Student Center, located in the Market Street side of the Saville Apartment building, opened in March 2009. It provides a student lounge, bookstore and in-house art supply area. On the first floor of the N. Market Street side of the 707 building, Jerry's Artarama modifies its paradigm and will open their first urban retail location. Wilmington and the area have been without a full-service art and materials store for many years; the result of this partnership with DCAD marks the first "destination" retail store opening in Wilmington in its latest revitalization.
The Office of Student Services is responsible for overseeing the general welfare of students, offering support services and for planning both recreational and educational activities. Support services offered are career counseling, health and safety education, academic support, and personal counseling. A Student Council facilitates participation and input from the student body.
DCAD is located in downtown Wilmington in the former Delmarva Power headquarters building at 600 N. Market Street. The building has been converted for use as studio and classroom space, as well as administrative offices for DCAD faculty and staff. The building was built in the Art Deco style with an Aztec motif.
Located across 6th Street is the Saville Apartments which serves as one of two on-campus dormitories and houses the Copeland student center. This building was the former Mullins clothing store, which was converted to apartments in the mid-1980s. The Mullins faded advertising can still be seen on the brick south side of the building.