Interior Design Degree Programs in Ohio with School Overviews

Ohio has roughly 15 schools that offer interior design programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for ten of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

In Ohio, students can commonly find associate and bachelor's degree programs in interior design. One school listed in this article also offers a related Master of Fine Arts in Design Research and Development. To develop their practical skills, students take studio courses and may also be required to complete an internship experience; study abroad opportunities may also be available.

Interested students may need to submit personal statements and reference letters as part of the application process. In addition, to be considered for admission, they may need to present a portfolio of their work. Additional portfolio reviews may also be required throughout the course of a program.

Columbus College of Art and Design

Located in Columbus, this school's bachelor's program in interior design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and taught by three full-time faculty members and several adjunct faculty who are professionals specializing in this field. Applicants must submit a personal statement, at least one letter of recommendation and a portfolio of strong work examples. The program is comprised of art foundation studies, interior design division requirements, additional academic requirements, liberal arts classes and studio art electives.

Cuyahoga Community College

Cleveland's Cuyahoga Community College is the state's largest public community college. The Business, Math and Technology Division offers an associate's degree program that includes an interior design studio and practicum, in addition to foundations and general education courses. Courses examine visual design, color theory, lighting, architectural drafting and textiles.

Kent State University

The Kent-based university's College of Architecture and Environmental Design has an interior design bachelor's degree program accredited by the CIDA. Students must pass a portfolio review at the end of the first year for continuation in the program. Study abroad opportunities are available to enhance the curriculum. Graduates will have fulfilled an interior design internship, in addition to major courses and core requirements in areas like design fundamentals, design thinking, renderings and interiors history.

Miami University - Oxford

Oxford's Miami University requires submission of a creative portfolio for admission to its four-year interior design program, which is accredited by the CIDA. Within the School of Creative Arts' program, students complete foundations courses, liberal arts requirements, studios and design courses, in addition to optional internships. Courses include computer-aided design, furniture design, the history of design and design materials.

Ohio State University

The main campus of this university, located in Columbus, features a Department of Design that offers a CIDA-accredited bachelor's degree program in interior design. Candidates for the competitive undergraduate program must submit ACT or SAT scores and complete foundation courses as pre-design students, in addition to passing a project entrance review. Interior design majors have internship and study abroad opportunities available.

The Department of Industrial, Interior and Visual Communication Design offers a master's program in design that is also highly competitive. Applicants must submit a résumé, portfolio and three online references. The 90-credit program focuses on design research and requires a first-year review, graduate design seminars, graduate studios, thesis project, written thesis and master's examination.

Ohio University

The College of Fine Arts at this university's main campus, in Athens, has a bachelor's degree program in interior architecture accredited by the CIDA. An end-of-year portfolio review is required each year for progression to the program's next phase. Freshmen study art and design foundations, while sophomore students focus on basic environmental design. During the third phase, students take part in studios and seminars, usually completing their internship in the summer before senior year. The final year includes studios, research and a senior thesis.

Sinclair Community College

Dayton-based Sinclair Community College's associate's degree program in interior design helps students develop design portfolios. Required courses include architectural drafting, residential design, materials and textiles, non-residential design, color theory, sustainable design and rendering. Graduates of this program might find jobs in the profession or transfer to four-year programs.

University of Akron

Located in Akron, the University of Akron's School of Family and Consumer Science offers a CIDA-accredited bachelor's degree program. Students who've completed their junior year take part in a required internship, as well as courses in architectural design, textiles, visual arts and interior design history. Seniors compile a portfolio and must pass a portfolio review for program completion. The final year also requires a class that aids students in reviewing for the NCIDQ exam.

University of Cincinnati

The College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati, situated right in Cincinnati, has a five-year bachelor's program that requires a one and a half year cooperative experience. This highly rated program is accredited by the CIDA and is taught by a faculty of approximately 15 members. Portfolios aren't considered for program admittance, but candidates must submit personal statements, essays and ACT or SAT results, as well as optional letters of recommendation. The courses cover topics in furniture, design materials, design specifications and lighting.

Career Requirements

While some states do require interior designers to be licensed, there are currently no licensing requirements in place for interior design professionals in Ohio. As of 2013, the Coalition of Interior Designers for Legislation in Ohio (CIDLO) proposed a bill calling for registration to use the title of certified interior designer, necessitating successful completion of the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam and requiring fulfillment of continuing education credit requirements. Ohio has many education options for aspiring interior designers, and the following summaries include ten of the largest public and private, non-profit schools with programs.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Interior Design Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Columbus College of Art and Design Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design $32,710*
Cuyahoga Community College Two-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Business in Interior Design $3,136 (in-district)
$3,953 (in-state)
$7,648 (out-of-state)*
Kent State University Four-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design $10,012 (in-state)
$18,212 (out-of-state)*
Miami University Four-year, public; fringe town Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design $14,287 (in-state)
$30,987 (out-of-state)*
Ohio State University Four-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Design Research and Development
$10,037 (in-state)
$27,365 (out-of-state)*
Ohio University Four-year, public; rural Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture $11,548 (in-state)
$20,512 (out-of-state)*
Sinclair Community College Two-year, public; midsize city Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design $2,476 (in-district)
$3,604 (in-state)
$6,868 (out-of-state)*
University of Akron Four-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design $10,509 (in-state)
University of Cincinnati Four-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Interior Design $11,000 (in-state)
$26,334 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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