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Austin Interior Design Schools with Degree Program Descriptions

Research interior design training options in Austin, TX, which currently has two universities offering degrees within about 30 miles of the downtown area. Read an overview of program and admission requirements for these schools so you can decide which one is right for you.

Interior Design Schools in Austin

Students in the Austin area have two options when it comes to public schools offering interior design programs accredited by the Council for Interior Design Education (CIDA). This article highlights the coursework requirements for these programs, which can prepare graduates to become registered interior designers if they pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification examination. Also included is a table of school stats that could be relevant to the college decision-making process.

  • The University of Texas at Austin is located roughly two miles from the city's center and offers bachelor's and master's degrees in interior design.
  • Texas State University - San Marcos is roughly 31 miles outside of central Austin and has a bachelor's degree program available for interior design majors. Both of these schools have their programs accredited by the Council for Interior Design Education (CIDA).

Comparison of Schools

Use this table to easily compare various figures and characteristics of the profiled universities. There are details on tuition costs, acceptance rates, campus settings and more.

The University of Texas at Austin Texas State University - San Marcos
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 51,525 38,666
Campus Setting Large city Small suburb
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $10,398 for in-state; $36,744 for out-of-state $9,985 for in-state; $21,605 for out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 64% 81%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* 36% 73%
Retention Rate (2017)* 95% for full-time 78% for full-time
Graduation Rate (2011)* 83% 54%

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

University of Texas at Austin

The interior design programs are housed in the School of Architecture, which is located in the historical core of the university and was designed by influential architects of the 20th century. The interior design programs offer a rigorous curriculum that combines coursework with studio work in interior architecture and design arts.

Bachelor of Science in Interior Design

In an interior design major's first year, it is common to take classes on visual communication, interiors and society, architecture history and design. In the second year, students delve into world architecture, interior materials and interior design history. The program's curriculum also goes over environmental controls, interior design practice, designing for human behavior and advanced interior design. During the third year, students complete an interior design internship to gain practical application of design procedures. Studio classes allow students the opportunity to pursue individual research projects or explore designing furniture or full-scale buildings.

Master of Interior Design

There are two options to choose from for the Master of Interior Design program. The first professional option meets the necessary requirements to register as an interior designer after graduation. Typically, students who've earned a bachelor's degree in a non-interior design major pursue this route.

The 48-credit, post-professional choice is for students who're looking to get involved in advanced areas of interior design like theory and research work. A bachelor's degree in interior design or architecture is required to enter the program. A thesis has to be completed to graduate.

Texas State University - San Marcos

Interior design is offered through the School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Applied Arts. In addition to a program in interior design, students have access to extracurricular learning experiences, like tours and trips, as well as student organizations, such as student chapters of the International Interior Design Association and American Society of Interior Designers.

Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences - Interior Design

It is recommended that students who're considering becoming interior design majors enter into this program prior to completing general education requirements. This is due to the program's coursework requiring a strict sequence of classes that span across six semesters at the minimum. During a student's academic career as an interior design major, a portfolio review is issued. This is a review process to make sure that only suitable students continue on to upper-division coursework.

The first classes interior design majors enroll in include design graphics, interior history, design development and visualization and presentation techniques. From there, a studio course on residential interior design has to be completed. Toward the end of the program, students take on an internship, along with classes on portfolio design and professional practices. Students also complete design studios in contemporary design issues, environmental design and commercial interior design.


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