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In Georgia, interior design degrees are offered at the associate, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Also available are undergraduate diploma and certificate programs, which may cover interior design in general or a specific area of study, such as kitchen and bath design, window treatment design or decorative painting. Programs often combine lectures with studio time and at least one internship experience. To be considered for admission, applicants to an interior design degree program may need to submit a portfolio for review. In addition, applicants to a master's degree program may need a bachelor's degree in interior design, architecture or a related field.
Profiled below are the ten largest public and private non-profit schools in the state that offer interior design programs, as well as a comparison table that highlights key info.
Athens Technical College
This Athens-based school has certificate, diploma and associate's programs in the interior design field. The kitchen and bath certificate program requires 36 credits distributed amongst nine classes, such as technical drawing, interior building codes, interior materials and design business principles. Students can also complete a studio course and an internship in kitchen and bath design. The 51-credit diploma program and 72-credit associate's degree program include many of the same interior design core classes, such as fabrics for interiors, materials, lighting and computer-aided design. However, the associate's program also includes an internship and additional general education classes.
Aspiring interior design professionals in Gainesville can enroll in Brenau University's Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA)-accredited programs. In the dual bachelor's-master's program, students take classes like 2-D and 3-D design, fabrics for interiors, drawing, drafting and computer-aided design. In the master's portion, students are required to take research and studio classes, complete an internship and pass a portfolio review.
Additionally, Brenau University offers a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design program for those who want to teach at the postsecondary level. The curriculum includes several research classes and teacher-preparation courses. Additionally, students choose between concentrations in human environment and design environment. A thesis is required.
Chattahoochee Technical College
Woodstock is home to the Woodstock Campus of Chattahoochee Technical College, where diploma and associate's degree programs in interiors are offered. The diploma program requires students to complete 59 credits, while the associate's program requires 69 credits. Several of the same courses are included in both programs, such as interior and architectural history, interior fabrics, interior lighting, building codes and multiple design studio classes. Students in the associate's degree program also complete additional general education classes and an internship.
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro's Georgia Southern University has a CIDA-accredited and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)-approved bachelor's program in interior design. When students enter the school, they must declare a pre-interior design major until they've completed 30 credits. At that point, pre-interior design majors can apply to the interior design program. If accepted, they take courses in interior decor and lighting, several levels of studio classes and a practicum, among others.
Georgia State University
Atlanta is home to Georgia State University, where students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio with a concentration in interior design. The program is accredited by NASAD, and admission is competitive. Applicants must submit portfolios during their sophomore year after completing foundational courses. In their junior year, students complete a 2-semester studio series. After its completion, students may qualify to complete credit-based internships. A capstone project in the senior year concludes the program.
Those who want to conduct research in specific areas of interior design may want to enroll in the interior design Master of Fine Arts program. The curriculum involves 30 credits of interior design coursework, 12 credits of art history classes, six credits of courses unrelated to interior design, 12 credits of thesis research, a thesis and a thesis exhibition.
To help undergraduate and graduate students improve their professional development and provide exposure to the discipline, the university has a student chapter of the American Society of Interior Design. Students also have access to a textile studio, the Interior Design Electronically Assisted Studio and the Interior Design Graduate Lab.
Gwinnett Technical College
Lawrenceville-based students can choose from several interior design-related programs at Gwinnett Technical College. Two certificate programs are offered, including faux and decorative painting and interior design assistant. The Faux and Decorative Painting Certificate program requires 15 credits and trains students in surface treatment applications. The 26-credit Interior Design Assistant Certificate program includes classes in basic interior design, technical drawing and interior lighting, and it prepares graduates to become interior design assistants.
Students can also earn a diploma or an associate's degree in interiors. The diploma program can be completed in four semesters and requires 60 credits. The associate's degree program also takes about four semesters and requires 69 credits. The programs share many of the same classes, such as design studios, basic interior design concepts, materials, interior lighting, building codes and fabrics. Students in the associate's program also complete an internship and further general education courses.
Lanier Technical College
Oakwood is home to Lanier Technical College. Interior design programs are offered at the certificate, diploma and associate's degree levels. The school aims to accommodate various schedules by offering day, night and online classes. Additionally, it has a Resource Studio, where interior design students can find various project supplies.
The Interior Windows Treatments Certificate may be earned by completing a fundamental interior design course, an interior fabrics course, a seminar and an internship. Students learn some of the basic interior design concepts, such as space planning and furnishing, while completing the Interior Design Assistant Certificate program.
The diploma and associate's degree program are similar to each other, except the diploma program requires fewer general education courses and doesn't include an internship. Studio classes, business principles, interior lighting, a seminar and technical drawing are all part of the curricula for both programs.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Interior design programs are available at the main Savannah campus of this school, as well as at its campus in Atlanta. Individuals can minor in interior design by completing 40 credit hours of classes like interior spacing and form, materials for interiors and interior design fundamentals. The interior design bachelor's degree program is CIDA-accredited and includes foundational courses in drawing, 3-D design and architecture history. Major courses include multiple studio design classes, building systems, materials and interior lighting.
At the graduate level, the school has interior design Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs. The MA program requires 45 credits, while the MFA program requires 90. Students in the MA program learn about new materials for interior design, research methods and current issues facing the design industry. A seminar and final project are also necessary. The MFA program requires students to complete several studio classes and two internships. A thesis is also required.
University of Georgia
Undergraduate and graduate interior design programs are also available in Athens at the University of Georgia. The CIDA- and NASAD-accredited Bachelor of Fine Arts program requires students to first complete foundational courses and pass a portfolio review before applying to the major. Once accepted, individuals may complete several studio classes and an internship, as well as courses in furniture design, computer-aided design and interior materials.
To be considered for admission into the Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design program, applicants need bachelor's degrees in interior design, architecture or a similar field. To earn the degree, students must complete 57 credits of interior design coursework, including art history and/or art criticism classes, electives, an exhibition, an oral exam and a written report. Interior design students may be able to participate in study abroad opportunities in Italy and/or field trips to New York, San Francisco or Chicago.
Valdosta State University
Situated in Valdosta, this school has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program. Interior design classes typically have fewer than 20 students per class. The curriculum is NASAD-accredited, and students can learn about interior layouts and spaces, materials and furnishings. Additionally, an internship must be completed in the summer of their junior years. Outside of the degree program, the school has various extracurricular activities geared toward interior design, such as a student chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers.
The Georgia State Board of Architects and Interior Designers is responsible for registering qualified interior designers. Although state registration isn't necessary to work as an interior designer in Georgia, anyone in the state who seeks to use the title 'registered interior designer' must be licensed. To qualify for licensure in Georgia, individuals must complete an accredited 4-year or first professional degree program, meet experience requirements and pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam or other board-approved exam. Renewal is mandatory every two years.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Interior Design Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Athens Technical College||2-year, public; midsized city|| Kitchen and Bath Designer Certificate,
Interior Design Technology Certificate,
Interior Design Diploma,
Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design
|$2,684 in-state; $4,820 out-of-state*|
|Brenau University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city|| Combined Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design/Master of Interior Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design
|Chattahoochee Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Interiors Diploma,
Associate of Applied Science in Interiors
|$2,682 in-state; $4,818 out-of-state*|
|Georgia Southern University||4-year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Science in Interior Design||$6,273 in-state; $16,874 out-of-state*|
|Georgia State University||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio - Interior Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Studio - Interior Design
|$8,974 in-state; $23,542 out-of-state*|
|Gwinnett Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Interior Design Assistant Certificate,
Faux and Decorative Painting Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Interiors
|$2,796 in-state; $4,932 out-of-state*|
|Lanier Technical College||2-year, public; midsized suburb|| Interior Window Treatments Certificate,
Interior Design Assistant Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Technology: Interiors
|$3,164 in-state; $5,834 out-of-state*|
|Savannah College of Art and Design||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsized city|| Minor in interior design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design,
Master of Arts in Interior Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design
|University of Georgia||4-year, public; midsized city|| Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design
|$11,622 in-state; $29,832 out-of-state*|
|Valdosta State University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design||$6,297 in-state; $16,871 out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.