Design Schools in Houston, TX with Degree Program Summaries

Feb 11, 2019

Houston Design Programs

Students looking for design programs near Houston have limited options. Within 25 miles of downtown, only four schools are available. However, programs vary widely between these schools and cover a range of design specialties. This article provides details on three of the schools, which are all less than a half hour from downtown. Included in the article is a table comparing valuable school statistics and information, as well as a short section at the end highlighting another nearby school option.

  • Houston Community College, which is located in downtown Houston, offers a skills award in interior design communication. Certificates are available in interior decorating, men's tailoring and alterations and patternmaking. The school also offers an Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design or Interior Design, as well as an interior design professional certificate in kitchen and bath design.
  • San Jacinto College is located 15 miles outside of Houston and offers an interior design certificate, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design.
  • The University of Houston, which is two miles from downtown, is a four-year school in the region offering design programs. Students here can earn bachelor's degrees in environmental or industrial design.

Comparison of Schools

Check out the table below for information regarding school types, program costs, graduation rates and more.

Houston Community College San Jacinto College University of Houston
School Type* 2-year; public 2-year; public 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 57,120 30,509 45,364
Campus Setting* Large city Large suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $1,632 in-district;
$3,360 in-state;
$3,756 out-of-state
$1,500 in-district;
$2,580 in-state;
$4,140 out-of-state
$9,706 in-state;
$22,066 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017)* 62% 50% 85%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions 61%
Retention Rate (2016-2017)* 65% 72% 85%
Graduation Rate* 18%,
22% transfer-out rate
(2014 start date)
13% transfer-out rate
(2014 start date)
14% transfer-out rate
(2011 start date)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Houston Community College

Houston Community College offers certificate and two-year programs in areas including hospitality and tourism, the arts, information technology, business, health sciences, manufacturing and construction. This college is located in midtown and provides students with the opportunity to study fashion design or interior design.

Fashion Design Certificate Programs

This school offers certificate programs in men's tailoring and alterations and patternmaking. These programs can be completed in two semesters and contain specialized coursework relevant to each certificate. Credits earned through these certificate programs can be applied towards an associate's program.

Interior Design - Interior Decorating Certificate

This certificate program takes two semesters to complete. Courses in this program cover topics such as textiles, design elements, materials and methods, technical drawing and interior design basics. The credits in this program can be applied towards the interior design associate's degree program.

Interior Design Occupational Skills Award (OSA)

Students interested in interior design can attend an interior design communication OSA program. Credits earned in this program can be applied towards an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design

Students interested in crafting apparel can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design. This two-year program includes classes in textiles, computer systems, pattern design, draping, as well as courses in fashion history and sketching. Students must also fulfill general education requirements and complete an internship.

Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design

Houston Community College's interior design program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. This two-year program requires summer study. Coursework covers technical and presentation drawing, residential and commercial design, basic elements of design, space planning, textiles, interior design graphics and rendering techniques. Students also complete a field experience and build a portfolio.

Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design Professional Certificate

This 45-credit program is available to students who want to pursue a career in redesigning bathrooms and kitchens. It includes advanced design courses and an interior design internship.

San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College offers certificate and degree programs in areas such as communications, business, health science, public safety, interior design, aviation and craft trades. Students can enroll in certificate and associate's programs in interior design. Courses cover the technical and artistic aspects of this field.

Interior Design Level II Certificate

Students can earn an Interior Design Pre-Professional Level II Certificate at this college. The Pre-Professional Level II Certificate is a four-term program requiring the completion of 45 credits. Some of the courses include textiles, history of interiors, space planning, computer-aided drafting, drawing and residential design. Students have to complete an internship for this program.

Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design

The Associate of Applied Science covers residential and commercial design and can be completed in four terms. Courses cover materials, history of interiors, space planning, drawing, professional practices and drafting. Students also complete a required internship and capstone project.

University of Houston

Established in 1927, the University of Houston offers 109 undergraduate programs, 105 master's programs and 46 doctoral programs. The university's Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Environmental Design and a BS in Industrial Design. Both programs are studio-intensive.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design

This 128-credit program contains 73 hours of architecture coursework. Students take a series of design studios, architectural history courses and architecture electives. They also take classes in technology, physics and precalculus.

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design

Students working towards a BS in Industrial Design complete basic coursework in architecture coupled with an array of design studios. Additional coursework includes materials and methods, design history, visual communication, computer-aided design and physics. Students also complete an internship.

Other School Option

Lee College is located in Baytown, TX, which is 26.9 miles from downtown Houston. The school offers a certificate in game design.

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