Long Beach, CA, Colleges with Interior Design Programs

Sep 30, 2018

Long Beach Interior Design Schools

Aspiring interior designers can choose from a few different schools in the Long Beach, CA, area. Learn more about two of the closest schools, which can both be found 35 minutes or less from downtown Long Beach. Located near the end of the article is a table comparing school information and a brief section mentioning a couple of other relevant school options.

California State University - Long Beach

The interior design program at California State University - Long Beach is offered by the Department of Design in the College of the Arts. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design has accredited this program, which meets the educational requirements for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam. A passing grade on this exam qualifies one to become a Certified Interior Designer.

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design - This program is geared toward students who plan to continue their education at the master's level or who want to become professional interior designers. Students are required to submit a portfolio of work as a condition for admission to this interior design program. This program requires completion of 132 units of study, 72 of which are specific to the major. Topics covered include interior materials, space planning, visualization techniques and lighting design. Advanced courses explore drafting and detailing, architecture history and theory, the history of furniture and decorative arts, and computer-aided design (CAD) with an emphasis on 3-D modeling.

Santa Monica College

The interior architectural design programs at Santa Monica College are taught in the Academy of Entertainment and Technology. This facility features computer labs that offer students the latest technology in design software, such as Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop and InDesign.

  • Certificate of Achievement in Interior Architectural Design - Students must complete at least 48 credits from courses offered in the interior architectural design associate's program to receive this certificate. At least half of the credits must be earned at Santa Monica College, and students must receive a minimum grade of C in each course.
  • Associate of Arts in Interior Architectural Design - This 60-credit degree requires 42 credits in the core courses. Students receive training in 2D and 3D drafting, architectural design studio, color and design theory and learn about the different materials and products used in interior architectural design. Electives include model building, green interior design, lighting fundamentals and digital rendering.

Comparison of Schools

The table below provides more detailed information on the two schools.

California State University - Long Beach Santa Monica College
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public; primarily associate's
Total Enrollment (2017) 37,622* 29,760*
Campus Setting Large city Small city
Tuition and Fees $6,730 in-state; $18,610 out-of-state (2017-2018)* $1,142 in-state; $8,558 out-of-state (2017-2018)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 80%* 51%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 28%* N/A - Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2017) 88%* N/A
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2011) 69%* 30%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Other School Options

Fullerton College is 26 miles from the downtown area of Long Beach and provides certificate programs in interior design commercial design, Interior Merchandising Level I, and residential design, and an interior design assistant associate's degree. Another option is Orange Coast College, which offers an Interior Design Kitchen and Bath Advanced Certificate and the following three certificates of achievement: Level 1 Merchandising, Level 2 Design Assistant Associate of Science Degree, and Level 3 Interior Design Professional.

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