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Top Schools for Interior Design

Learn about degree programs in interior design, which can be found at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Take a look at what's available at four high-profile design schools, and find a list of other schools in the United States that offer formal training in interior design. View article »

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    • MA in Interior Design
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  • 0:05 School Overviews
  • 0:39 Pratt Institute in New York
  • 1:22 University of…
  • 1:58 New York School of…
  • 2:51 Bellevue College in Washington
  • 3:23 Top Interior Design Schools

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Video Transcript

School Overview

Aspiring interior designers can find undergraduate and graduate programs at many of the nation's top schools. Programs are offered at a variety of institutions including the Pratt Institute, the University of Cincinnati, the New York School of Interior Design, and Bellevue College.

Three top schools have received high marks from DesignIntelligence for their interior design programs, while a fourth offers two different degree tracks for students. Degree levels awarded at these schools range from a certificate to a master's degree. Students may develop a design portfolio that can aid them in the job search upon graduation.

Pratt Institute in New York

A private school in Brooklyn, NY with programs in art, architecture and design, the Pratt Institute offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design program, through which students can learn how to create commercial or residential settings. The MFA program is new as of Fall 2015 and replaces the previous Master of Science program. Course topics can include 3-D design and architectural drawing. In addition to coursework, students enrolled in a master's degree program complete a thesis project. The undergraduate program at Pratt was ranked third, and the graduate program was ranked second in the nation of top interior design programs by DesignIntelligence in 2016.

University of Cincinnati in Ohio

DesignIntelligence ranked the University of Cincinnati as #4 in the nation for undergraduate interior design programs in 2016. Through the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. This is a 5-year course of study that helps aspiring professionals develop skills in design technology, critical thinking, and visual communication. The school offers a special co-op program for interior designers, and the degree program culminates in a capstone project, which provides students with hands-on practical experiences.

New York School of Interior Design

The New York School of Interior Design in New York City is a public institution that was ranked 4th among graduate programs and 5th among undergraduate programs in interior design by DesignIntelligence in 2016. In addition to a basic certificate, the programs can lead to an Associate of Applied Science, a Bachelor of Arts, or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. Students who enroll in the certificate program acquire an understanding of architectural design for interior structures. Graduate programs include a professional and post-professional Master of Fine Arts, Master of Professional Studies in Sustainable Interior Environments, Master of Professional Studies in Interior Lighting Design, and Master of Professional Studies in Healthcare Interior Design. This school offers faculty and guest speakers in this field that are among the top in the world.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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Bellevue College in Washington

Located in Bellevue, WA, Bellevue College offers an associate's degree in interior studies and a bachelor's degree in interior design. Graduates of the associate's program can apply to the bachelor's program. The bachelor's program requires students to complete a capstone project and a 150-hour practicum. Both programs prepare students to work at architectural, space planning, or interior design firms, offering coursework in lighting, fabrication, the history of art and design, and building systems.

Top Interior Design Schools

Here are some other top schools that offer interior design programs:

School Name Location Distinction
California State University Sacramento, CA Interior Design program is offered through the Department of Design
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV Offers an associate's degree in interior design
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI Design students participate in community projects such as the renovation of Eagle Crest Conference Center and Resort and design concepts for the Ann Arbor Veterans Administration facility
Iowa State University Ames, IA Students participate in competitions and awards, such as the Health Care Design Competition or Hospitality Design Awards for Creative Achievement
O'More College of Design Franklin, TN The program is the first in the state to be accredited through the Council for Interior Design Accreditation
Ohio State University Columbus, OH Undergraduate programs are available in Industrial, Interior, and Visual Communication Design

Top schools across the country offer programs that train students for a career in interior design. In addition to a school's ranking, aspiring interior designer may also want to consider the hands-on experience a school offers as well as a school's accreditation and degree requirements.

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