Full-time programs

At the heart of North Bennet Street School are the eight full-time programs. These accredited, professional programs train students for careers in Bookbinding, Cabinet and Furniture Making, Carpentry, Jewelry Making and Repair, Locksmithing and Security Technology, Piano Technology, Preservation Carpentry and Violin Making and Repair.  

A three-minute introduction to the full-time programs at NBSS.

The 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. This method encourages students to systematically develop their hand skills, along with an understanding of tools, materials, and processes, a sense of care and a commitment to excellence in their craft. 

"I was surrounded by students and faculty who loved what they were doing. Even on 'snow days' we all showed up. NBSS is one of my favorite places on earth."

Michelle Stranges PT ‘94, Piano Technician, SUNY-Oswego and Ithaca College

Additional learning takes place through lectures, reading assignments, field trips and discussions. However, working at the bench remains the most important part of each program — providing a practical context for students to receive and apply information and advice from the instructors who are masters of their craft.  

While NBSS has used the same teaching approach for more than a century, course design and content reflect the recommendations of students, graduates, employers and artisans in each field. Our rigorous programs, master faculty, and inspiring community encourage individual growth, curiosity and commitment to excellence as well as technical mastery. Our goal is to provide exceptional preparation for careers that employ hand skills to produce objects that last.

Bookbinding instructor Jeff Altepeter with first-year students.

Classrooms and shops are informal. Small classes allow instructors to provide individual attention. Equally valuable is the opportunity for NBSS students to help and learn from each other.  Students come from across the country and around the world and their diverse life and work experiences encourage a lively exchange of ideas and perspectives. It is common for program graduates to remain involved with the School, offering their insight and expertise as guest lecturers, instructors, networking contacts and employers.  

View the CRAFT IN AMERICA video of President Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez discussing NBSS's full-time programs.

Learn more at an informal information session.
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If you love books, paper, history, conservation and working with your hands Bookbinding may be for you.


If you love wood and working with your hands and have a well-developed attention to details, Cabinet and Furniture Making may be for you.


If you like building things, working with machines, being outside and working in teams, Carpentry may be for you.


If you are detail oriented, like metals and gems and precision work, Jewelry Making and Repair may be for you.


If you love solving puzzles, working independently and helping people, Locksmithing may be for you.


If you are mechanically inclined, have an affinity for music, like working independently and love pianos, Piano Technology may be for you.


If you like old buildings, problem solving and working with your hands, Preservation Carpentry may be for you.


If you like stringed instruments, precision work, and have an affinity for music, Violin Making and Repair may be for you.