Interior designers are responsible for designing attractive and functional spaces inside a home or building. They must work within specific guidelines to determine what types of items, lighting and color schemes suit a given space. The role of a typical interior designer may include such tasks as:
A few colleges and universities focus specifically on design. These colleges and universities are known for their high-quality interior design programs and specializations. In addition to offering standard coursework in interior design, these schools may host workshops and events with speakers, such as celebrity interior designers or successful interior designers, so that students can learn more about their future careers. Many schools have smaller class sizes so that students have direct access to their professors and can learn from mentors and other professionals. Specialized interior design schools often offer exclusive internships and apprenticeships with some of the top design firms across the nation.
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo 8 Santa Fe Community College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 8% TOTAL PROGRAMS 2 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes 6 Sinclair College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 28% TOTAL PROGRAMS 1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
Whether you want to pursue a career in interior design, or simply wish to redesign a room in your own home, the guiding principles remain the same. The Interior Design School, founded in 1991 by Iris Dunbar, runs an evolving and responsive programme of studio-based professional training for people who want to explore through creative practice. The ethos of the school is to educate students in current contemporary interior design, and to maintain close connections within the industry and offer high staff to student ratios.
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes 9 Central Piedmont Community College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 3% TOTAL PROGRAMS 3 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
Community colleges offer associate degree programs in interior design to prepare students for entry-level careers in the industry. Classes may include basic design theory, architectural and furniture history, computer aided design (CAD) and color theory and application. Students may also create studio projects where they solve design-related problems using knowledge and skills they have learned in their coursework.
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes 12 Scottsdale Community College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 23% TOTAL PROGRAMS 2 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
RankSchool Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratioRanking Score School Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience 1 Metropolitan Community College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 20% TOTAL PROGRAMS 3 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes 11 Athens Technical College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 1% TOTAL PROGRAMS 3 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes 3 Johnson County Community College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 18% TOTAL PROGRAMS 3 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo 13 Randolph Community College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 11% TOTAL PROGRAMS 1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
New York School of Interior Design Boston Architectural College New England School of Art and Design Rhode Island School of Design Parson’s The New School for Design
Students interested in a career in interior design can find programs in both community colleges and four-year colleges. The following rankings offers insight into some of the best interior design degree programs in the United States today.
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes 4 Mesa Community College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 25% TOTAL PROGRAMS 2 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
Students develop strong artistic abilities and general business management skills at art schools offering interior design programs. Art schools may offer interior design certification or associate degree programs. Many art schools offer design programs with a strong focus on using computer aided design and drafting (CADD) software, traditional art and design theory. Art schools may offer both online and offline programs. Coursework varies between 24 credit hours and 60 hours for interior design certifications and associate degrees, while four-year programs at art schools typically range in credit hours from 120 to 200.
A professional teaching studio recognised by the industry as a unique and excellent centre for learning
Some community colleges offer an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree or a Certificate of Completion (CCL) in interior design or interior merchandising. Associate programs typically take two years to complete with an average of 60 credit hours. Completing an associate program at a community college may help students transfer in to a university offering a bachelor’s degree in interior design.
The interior design program at Mesa Community College covers necessary skills that help students enter entry-level careers as interior designers after graduation. Courses will cover topics such as color and design theory and application, drafting and computer aided design (CAD), and the history of architecture and furniture. Student who complete the Associate in Applied Science degree may be eligible to transfer their credits to Northern Arizona University to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design after graduation. Advisors are also available to help students plan their academic roadmap.
Students learn how to work with contractors, understand complex building codes and design specialized environments for a wide range of industries. Students may complete a CID certification program at a vocational school in preparation for an entry-level career in the field without the need for a college degree. Coursework typically ranges from 24 credit hours to 60 credit hours.
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo 10 Cape Fear Community College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 9% TOTAL PROGRAMS 1 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
An interior design school or program will allow students to enhance their creative skills while learning strategies to become an established professional in this field. To ensure that students enroll in a quality program, we have analyzed every on-campus and online interior design school and program in the country based on our methodology and compiled a ranked list of the best options for students. Learn more about the best interior design schools and programs for the 2017 school year below.
The following guide serves as an introduction to interior design education, including a review of educational options, types of interior design, curriculum, required industry certification and an interview with a current interior design student at San Diego State University.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the interior design field will grow by 13 percent between 2012 and 2022. Meeting the increased demand for interior designers is the goal of interior design programs across the nation. Interior design colleges and universities provide several educational paths to becoming an interior design professional.
Accredited four-year schools offering bachelor’s degree programs in interior design strive to prepare students for work as an interior designer. A Bachelor of Arts in interior design or Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior design degree program typically provides training in the principles of design, computer applications, space planning and problem solving. These programs should be accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). A portion of the program may involve hands-on training where students design a room or building according to specific guidelines and use advanced computer software programs. Some schools offer the opportunity to specialize specific areas of interior design, such as digital technology, historic preservation, sustainable design, retail floor design or corporate design. A bachelor’s degree in interior design typically requires between 120 and 200 hours of coursework.
Students that enroll in the Interior Design program at Metropolitan Community College will have the opportunity to learn about the theory and practice behind the profession. This program is designed to benefit those who are interested in creating aesthetically pleasing spaces in a variety of environments while exercising their creativity and skill. Upon successful completion of the program’s required 100 credit hours, students will receive their Associate in Applied Science degree and may then be eligible to work as professional designers in the field.
The interior design program at Tulsa Community College allows students to study an occupation in the field while receiving the area-specific skills needed to enter or advance a career by blending their academic and professional experience. Offered both online and at the school’s Southeast campus, students are able to complete the required 72 credit hours either in a traditional classroom or entirely at a distance. Courses will cover various topics including cost estimation, display, lighting, sales, and floor plan drafting. Upon graduation, students may be eligible to enter a career or continue their education at a four-year institution.
Some of the most respected special interior design schools include:
Johnson County Community College offers various degrees and certificates that prepare students for entry-level jobs in interior design in field areas including kitchen and bath, marketing and management, floral design, sales and staging. All courses are taught by experienced professionals who are able to share valuable, real-world information while delivering quality academics in theory and application. The interior design program encourages students to complete 240 hour internships in order to practice their academics in a professional setting. Upon graduation, students may be eligible to transfer to a four-year schools for further educational advancement.
Vocational or trade schools offering interior decorating programs introduce students to the fundamentals of space planning, computer aided design and color theory for both residential and commercial settings. According to Certified Interior Decorators International, most vocational schools offer only interior decorating certification rather than the more complex interior design certification or degree plans.
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes 7 Santa Rosa Junior College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 21% TOTAL PROGRAMS 4 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
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Reviewing design plans Interpreting client instructions and goals Preparing a projected project timeline Estimating project costs Ordering items to create the commissioned space Working within a specified design budget
THE INTERIOR DESIGN SCHOOL A professional teaching studio in London
Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes 2 Tulsa Community College Net Price FINANCIAL AID % 39% TOTAL PROGRAMS 2 STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO
Interior design schools introduce students to the fundamentals of design, architecture and color coordination so they can design and develop functional and attractive spaces. Many of today’s successful interior designers work with advanced software programs and CAD to create working designs and blueprints for their designs. Most interior design schools train students in the latest technologies and software programs so that graduates are ready for employment immediately upon graduation.