Residential Design Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Dec 06, 2019

Residential designers plan and decorate rooms in homes. Certificates, diplomas and associate's degrees are available in the field. Bachelor's degrees in interior design that heavily focus on residential design also are available.

There are many degree options for individuals interested in studying residential design. Training options include certificate and diploma programs, as well as associate's and bachelor's degree programs.

Schools with Residential Design Programs

Below is a list of a schools that offer residential design programs at various degree levels:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
Kent State University Kent, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state: $10,312; Out-of-state: $19,014
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma and Associate's In-state: $2,795; Out-state: $8,936
Missouri State Springfield, MO 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state: $7,376; Out-of-state: $15,326
Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state: $11,707; Out-of-state: $29,608
Harcum College Bryn Mawr, PA 2-year, Private Certificate and Associate's $24,200
Truckee Meadows Community College Reno, NV 2-year, Public Associate's In-state: $2,963; Out-of-state: $9,876
The Art Institutes Online 4-year, Private Diploma and Bachelor's No data found

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

When research schools consider the following before deciding on a residential design program:

  • Prospective students should determine whether a program has been accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), since these programs offer better career opportunities upon graduation.
  • Internships offer opportunities for students to gain professional experience in the field. While most residential design programs offer these hands-on experiences, most certificate programs in the field do not.
  • Individuals should consider career goals when deciding on a program at a specific degree level.
  • Look for programs that will prepare you for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam, which ensures individuals are competent to meet industry standards in their profession.

Residential Design Certificate

Consisting of 3-7 classes, these programs teach students to read and draw floor plans, in addition to introducing them to lighting concepts and furniture styles.

Residential Design Diploma

These 1-year programs generally consist of lecture and studio instruction. Students usually must complete an internship and design project.

Associate's Degree in Residential Design

Students in these 2-year programs are provided with didactic, studio and field experience in design and construction. Some programs emphasize green design through classes such as solar energy and green building science. Internships and a final design project are typical components of program curricula.

Bachelor's Degree in Interior Design

These 4-year programs consist of general education and field-specific coursework. Internships are a common component of most curricula, and students also might be required to complete a thesis design project prior to graduation.

Individuals looking to study residential design will have many options to choose from, including varying undergraduate program levels and school locations. It is important to remember that programs accredited by CIDA will better prepare individuals for a career in interior design after graduation.

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