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Masters in Interior Design: Degree Program Overviews

Many private and public colleges and universities and design schools offer masters' degree programs in interior design, such as a Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts or Master of Science. Interior design master students learn design concepts and the elements of interior spaces.

Essential Information

Master of Interior Design programs are often offered as a post-professional degree or first professional degree. Post-professional degrees are designed for students who have bachelors' degrees in interior design, while the latter is for students who hold bachelors' degrees unrelated to interior design.

  • Program Levels:Master of Interior Design
  • Program Fields: Master of Arts; Master of Fine Arts; Master of Science
  • Prerequisites: A Bachelor's degree, possibly in a related discipline, is required for prospective students. Some programs may also require applicants to submit portfolios.
  • Program Specializations: Potential concentrations in the field include residential interiors, sustainable design, or healthcare interiors.

Master in Interior Design

Curricula are commonly designed so that students can select a specialization within the interior design field. Students in interior design master degree programs learn advanced design concepts while studying research relevant to the design issues.

In addition to practical design courses, a master's degree program in interior design also includes classes that focus on research and theoretical concepts. They include:

  • Drawing
  • Interior lighting
  • Color theory
  • Furniture design
  • Interior materials
  • Human response and interior environments

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), interior designer jobs are expected to grow 13% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Keeping the demand for interior designers high is the want for well-designed kitchens, baths and outdoor living areas. However, because the interior design field is a popular occupation, competition is expected to be fierce.

Those professionals with significant expertise in eco-friendly design ideas have an edge on their competitors as more people become conscious of their environmental impact. In May 2014, interior designers earned an annual mean income of $54,850, reported the BLS.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Interior designers are required to obtain licensure in some states. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification governs the exam, which only covers public safety issues (www.ncidq.org). Eligible candidates have at least six years of postsecondary education and professional experience and must pursue continuing education to maintain the licensure.

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