In an interior design major, students become familiar with computer programs and applications used by decorators, designers and architects. They study historical aspects of design, as well as the ways and practices of artistic design. Practical experience allows students to create design sketches, employ basic design elements and select applicable decorative elements for future projects. Prior to completion of the bachelor's program, students typically complete an internship. In some states, interior designers must be licensed or registered, often by meeting education and experience requirements. A competency test may be required as well.
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Bachelor's Degree in Interior Design
Enrollees of an undergraduate interior design program must have a high school diploma or GED, as well as SAT test scores. Some programs may require students to demonstrate decorative ability by presenting a portfolio or a letter of recommendation. In addition to a strong background in liberal arts, students complete coursework in art history, architecture and decorative arts. The program also delves into technological programs used in interior designing including CADD (computer-aided drafting design). Course examples include:
- 4D design
- Art survey
- Construction systems
- Lighting design
- Historical styles
- Environmental theories
Career Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated an average growth rate of 4% for interior designers from 2014 to 2024. This growth is expected to stem from homeowners and healthcare industries utilizing interior design services. The BLS reported in May 2015 that interior designers made a median annual salary of $48,840.
Certificate and master's degree programs are available to bachelor's holders. Graduate students are given advanced hands-on instruction in interior design principles. They work with their professors and professionals to develop lighting systems in design studios. Their design skills will be tested as they explore all types of interior environments and figure out how to apply lighting techniques.
An interior design bachelor's degree program typically includes coursework in lighting design, art history and historical design styles. Further education is available through certificate and master's degree programs.