A master's degree in interior design is a good option for people who have previous education in design or have both an artistic and a technical sensibility. Classes in an online interior design master's degree program may be completed entirely online at a select number of institutions.
Many master's degree programs also integrate architecture into the interior design curriculum. These programs may award a Master of Fine Arts or Master of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design, as well as a Master of Science in Architecture with a specialization in interior design.
Programs at this level generally require a bachelor's degree and a portfolio of art or graphics work that demonstrates an applicant's design capabilities. To graduate, master's degree students usually need to complete a thesis project under the supervision of a faculty member and may need to pass oral examinations on campus.
Related master's degree programs are available in several fields, from industrial design to landscape architecture. Students may also study interior design at the bachelor's degree level. The following degree programs can all be taken online:
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture and Design
- Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design
- Master of Architecture
- Master of Fine Arts in Landscape Architecture
Master's Degree in Interior Design and Decoration
An online master's degree program in interior design engages theories about the aesthetics and function of interior space and imparts the practical knowledge needed to implement them. Students learn to approach problems associated with the allocation and use of space systematically and devise solutions that meet the needs of users with the resources available. Some programs are specifically intended for students who did not major in interior design.
Information and Requirements
Students in an interior design program can have maximum flexibility to access coursework and interact with their professor and fellow students via e-mail, online forums and phone conferencing. Class assignments may have to be handed in by set deadlines. A master's degree is typically completed in two to three years.
Students need a personal computer, graphics software and Internet access to enroll in an online program. Many programs use Blackboard to handle the distribution of their educational content.
Interior Design Courses
An online master's degree program in interior design is likely to require a set of three or more core courses and then allow students to choose from a list of electives. Some programs may require a thesis, while others may require a heavier course load.
Concept, Theory and the Design Process
Students use problem-solving techniques to facilitate the design process in this course. Coursework emphasizes applied research and sketching of multiple alternatives.
This course explores how the design of work environments affects employee behavior and overall productivity. It attempts to integrate theory and research from behavioral and managerial science.
Students in this course learn to develop and document construction plans for interior spaces. Topics considered in the course include elevation, space allocation and detailing.
This course takes students through the process of residential design from concept to virtual construction. Coursework considers both new construction and renovation projects.
Students engage in the process of creating interior spaces that meet the needs and objectives of business entities. Space utilization, workflow and communication are among the topics considered.
An online master's degree in interior design qualifies graduates for senior level interior design positions at corporations and design firms. New hires may have to work at the entry level for up to a year. Degree holders may also become consultants or join interior design teams as freelancers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of interior designers will grow 4% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2015, interior designers earned a median annual salary of $48,840.
Continuing Education Information
The master's degree is considered by some to be the terminal degree level for interior design programs; however, a few schools do offer doctoral programs for people interested in teaching interior design to postsecondary students. These programs are not available online.
In online master's degree programs in interior design and related fields, students learn about the development and implementation of construction and decoration plans for commercial and residential spaces. Advanced coursework is provided through a virtual classroom environment, and students may also work independently on a final thesis project.