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Interior Design Degree Programs in New York City with School Info

The New York City area has a few colleges that offer interior design programs, including three located within three miles from Manhattan's downtown. Learn about the schools' program options, admission information and program requirements to make an informed education decision.

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Interior Design Programs in New York City

The following resource includes a summary of the interior design programs at the New York School of Interior Design, the Fashion Institute of Technology and Pace University. Students will also find a comparison table with key institutional information and a paragraph outlining some other school options for aspiring interior designers.

  • The New York School of Interior Design offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs, as well as certificates, for interior designers. The school is located on the Upper East Side near Central Park, just over two miles from the city's downtown.
  • The Fashion Institute of Technology is close to the Theater District and Times Square. Interior design majors at this school can pursue an associate's or a bachelor's degree. Part of the State University of New York (SUNY), the school is located right downtown in New York City.
  • An interior design concentration is a part of a bachelor's degree program in art at Pace University - New York, which is less than three miles from the downtown area.

Comparison of Schools

The following table is designed to answer some of your questions about the three featured schools, including how selective they are and how much it might cost to attend once you're accepted. You'll also find out how likely first-year students are to return and how many eventually graduate.

New York School of Interior Design Fashion Institute of Technology Pace University - New York
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 541* 8,846* 12,986*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $23,590* $5,483 for in-state; $14,863 for out-of-state* $43,986*
% of First-Year Students Receive Some Form of Financial Aid (2017-2018) 70%* 73%* 95%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 33%* 47%* 80%*
Retention Rate (for full-time students for 2016-2017) 100%* 89%* 80%*
Graduation Rate (for students beginning in 2011) 64%* 77%* 54%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

New York School of Interior Design

Individuals who are thinking about getting involved in interior design work can participate in an introductory workshop in interior design. This is offered through the Institute of Continuing and Professional Studies and offers potential students a broad look at the field through several projects.

Certificate in Basic Interior Design

This is a 24-credit course of study that can be completed in about a year, during which time, students build the portfolios needed to apply to one of the school's higher-level programs. Required coursework is transferable to the associate's and bachelor's degree programs.

Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design

A pre-professional program that consists of 66 credits, this degree can be completed through day or evening coursework. To receive course credit, students must take the contract and residential design courses at the school.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

The 132-credit Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interior Design program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. It consists of elective, general education and professional credits. Credits earned through the school's certificate or associate's degree programs are transferable to the bachelor's degree program. In order to graduate, students must complete about half of the required credits at the school.

Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interior Design program includes a professional and post-professional option. The professional option is suitable for people who're looking to make a career change and become licensed interior designers. It takes three years to complete and is intended for students who have a bachelor's degree in another field of study. The post-professional path takes two years to complete and focuses mainly on theory and research methods. Other professional study options at the master's degree level include healthcare interior design, sustainable interior environments and interior lighting design.

Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY)

Students who apply to the Fashion Institute of Technology must submit a portfolio of original work. Additional requirements include a design test and written essay.

Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design

This program has been approved by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. During the first year of the program, students learn about AutoCAD and presentation techniques and participate in several introductory interior design studios. Through more advanced coursework, they also learn how to create working drawings for interior design purposes and become familiar with materials and methods, textile principles and lighting design.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

Most students enter into this program upon earning their associate's degree. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program requires an additional two years of study and includes a 2-semester senior project. Once enrolled, students learn about the relationship between ecology and the built environment and take courses in interior product design, furniture design and environmental systems.

Pace University - New York

Interior design students on campus have access to the Pace Digital Gallery and the Peter Fingesten Gallery.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts with Interior Design Studio Concentration

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art program at Pace includes a studio option in interior design. Application requirements include submission of a portfolio. Required coursework provides students with a broad introduction to various forms of art, including 3-D and digital design, photography and printmaking. Students also take fine arts classes in painting, drawing and sculpture. Coursework specific to interior design includes the professional practices used in the field.

Other School Options

Interior design students can find a bachelor's and master's degree program in interior design at the Pratt Institute, located about four miles away from New York City's downtown. Another option is the bachelor's degree program in interior design at the New York Institute of Technology, which is about 21 miles away from downtown New York City.

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