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 three high-profile design schools, and find a list of other schools in the United States that offer formal training in interior design.

School Overview

The following three schools, two of which are located in New York City, have received high marks from U.S. News and World Report for their interior design programs. In general, students learn how to create spaces for businesses and homes, which can include choosing cabinets, flooring, furniture and lighting. Degree levels awarded range from a certificate to a master's degree. Students may also develop a design portfolio that can aid them in the job search upon graduation.

1. Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY

School Highlight: Ranked second by DesignIntelligence since 2008.

A private school with programs in art, architecture and design, the Pratt Institute was ranked as the top school for interior design by U.S. News and World Report in 2012. Pratt 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.

2. University of Cincinnati in OH

School Highlight: Offers a special co-op program for interior designers.

The University of Cincinnati was ranked as number six in the nation for interior design programs by DesignIntelligence in 2015. 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 program culminates in a capstone project, which provides students with hands-on practical experiences.

3. New York School of Interior Design in NY

School Highlight: Offers faculty and guest speakers that are among the top in the world.

The New York School of Interior Design is a public institution that was ranked first among graduate programs and third among undergraduate programs in interior design by DesignIntelligence in 2014. 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.

Top Interior Design Schools

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

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