Interior design can be studied at the associate and bachelor's degree levels. Students may find programs offered through the design departments of many 2-year technical and community colleges, as well as 4-year universities.
Schools with Interior Design Programs
The following 2-year and 4-year schools offer degree programs in interior design:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, VA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$12,772 (In-state) $31,464 (Out-of-state)|
|Alexandria Technical & Community College||Alexandria, MN||2-year, Public||Associate's||$5,402|
|Baylor University||Waco, TX||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$40,198|
|California State University - Sacramento||Sacramento, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$6,872 (In-state) $18,032 (Out-of-state)|
|Columbus College of Art and Design||Columbus, OH||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$32,710|
|Fashion Institute of Technology||New York, NY||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$5,230 (In-state) $14,230 (Out-of-state)|
|Iowa State University||Ames, IA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$7,736 (In-state) $20,856 (Out-of-state)|
|University of Kentucky||Lexington, KY||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$10,936 (In-state) $24,268 (Out-of-state)|
|University of Arkansas||Fayetteville, AR||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$8,522 (In-state) $21,826 (Out-of-state)|
|Villa Maria College||Buffalo, NY||4-year, primarily associate's, Private, not-for-profit||Associate's, Bachelor's||$20,260|
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Some things to consider when selecting an interior design school include the following:
- Look for schools that are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), which enables students to qualify to take the national certification exam offered by the National Council of Interior Design Qualification.
- Choose programs that line up with your career goals. A 2-year associate degree program is sufficient to become a design assistant. A bachelor's degree is needed for those seeking to begin as an entry-level designer.
- Consider programs with formal training in computer-aided drafting (CAD), architectural and engineering basics, as they are desirable skills for future job-seekers and are increasingly more important in the field.
- Programs offering formal internships or apprentice programs are desirable. They give students a competitive edge and makes them more well-prepared when entering the profession.
Associate Degree Programs
Associate degree programs offered by many community colleges prepare students for entry-level interior design jobs, such as a designer's assistant. Such programs generally take two years to complete. Many allow students to transfer credits into a bachelor's degree program.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree programs offered by many colleges and universities prepare students to become registered interior designers. Most of these 4-year programs emphasize creative problem solving, lighting, color, building codes and functionality.
Students interested in studying interior design can find associate's and bachelor's degree programs at several 2-year and 4-year institutions. While choosing a program to attend students should keep in mind that more favorable programs may include apprentice programs, internships and/or basic CAD training.