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Interior Design Degree Programs in Texas with Course Summaries

Texas has 19 colleges that offer interior design programs, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the eight largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Prospective interior designers in Texas can find training programs resulting in a 1-year certificate, 2-year associate's and 4-year bachelor's degree. Practical experience is often part of the core curricula in these programs. Requirements for admission may include a portfolio, along with other standard enrollment standards. These programs can prepare students for interior design licensure.


Baylor University

Located in Waco, Baylor University offers one degree in its CIDA-accredited interior design program. The Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences in Interior Design require 62 semester hours of interior design-related courses, as well as general education classes. Through the design courses, students can learn about building codes, materials, lighting and business practices. A 240-hour internship is required, and seniors must present a capstone project. Students also have 24-hour access to a CAD lab. In addition, they have opportunities for travel/study trips, and they can join professional groups, such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

Collin County Community College District

Collin County Community College District in McKinney offers an AAS in Green Interior and Architectural Design that focuses on environmentally friendly design concepts. This 72-semester-hour program requires two years of study, including summers. With an eye towards green principles, students learn about building codes, spatial composition and building materials. There is an emphasis on computerized drafting. Collin County Community College also offers two certificate programs and a Marketable Skills Achievement Award in green interior and architectural design.

El Centro College

At El Centro College in Dallas, the AAS in Interior Design calls for 72 hours of coursework over four semesters. Students learn about technical drawing, CAD, presentation drawing and rendering techniques. Other courses cover basic design elements, color theory, textiles, lighting and interior design history. The college also offers an Advanced Technical Certificate in Interior Design that enables graduates with an AAS and two years of experience to qualify for the state-licensing exam. Students in both programs can join the school's ASID and IIDA chapters.

El Paso Community College

El Paso Community College in El Paso has an AAS in Interior Design Technology degree program that requires four semesters and one summer session to complete. Students are trained in CAD and architectural drafting, and they also take courses in professional practices, space planning, textiles and color theory. A practicum or field experience is required, and students also design portfolios.

Students interested in a shorter program can pursue a 27-credit-hour Certificate of Completion in Interior Design Technology. This program includes many of the same courses as the associate's program. Certificate recipients can go on to earn the school's interior design technology associate's degree.

Houston Community College

The AAS in Interior Design at Houston Community College in Houston calls for four semesters and two summer sessions of study for a total of 72 semester hours. Prerequisite courses are English composition, workforce development and an elective in math or science. Interior design majors also take courses such as interior history, space planning, commercial design and Photoshop for interior design. A course in bath and kitchen design is included. Students can gain experience through an internship and must compile a portfolio. The school also offers a 20-credit Certificate in Interior Decorating and a 14-credit Interior Design Communication Marketable Skills Achievement Award.

San Jacinto Community College

The AAS in Interior Design program at San Jacinto Community College in Pasadena consists of four terms and a summer session. Some of the available courses include technical drafting, presentation drawing and materials estimating. An internship is also required. Additionally, the college allows associate's program graduates to earn an Enhanced Skills Certificate in Interior Design that qualifies them to take the professional certification exam. The school also has two certificate programs in interior decorating.

Texas State University - San Marcos

At Texas State University - San Marcos, students can qualify for state licensing through the CIDA-accredited bachelor's program in interior design. Courses cover sketching, drafting, design history and business practices. In addition to general education requirements, interior design students complete courses in architectural design, professional practices and contemporary design. Students must also periodically pass portfolio reviews to remain in the program. A summer internship is required.

The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin offers a bachelor's degree and a post-professional master's degree in interior design. The 4-year bachelor's program includes courses in writing, calculus, physics, American government and U.S. history, in addition to interior design courses. Some of the required design classes explore color theory, drawing, design history and current topics in design. An internship is required in the summer between the third and fourth years.

The school offers first- and post-professional master's programs. The post-professional master's program is a 48-credit-hour program open to individuals with interior design degrees from programs accredited by either CIDA or NAAB. Students choose a field of concentration, such as sustainable design or historic preservation, and they work with an advisor to design a degree program. They must also complete a master's thesis or a design studio project. This school's programs are accredited by CIDA.

Career Requirements

Both unlicensed and licensed interior designers can work in Texas, but only interior designers who hold licensure can call themselves registered interior designers. In Texas, interior designers can be licensed through the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE), which requires passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination.

To take the exam, applicants must have completed an interior design education program approved by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) or the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and have six months of experience working under the supervision of a licensed interior designer. As of 2013, both CIDA and NAAB only accredit programs at 4-year schools.

Alternatively, graduates of state-approved certificate or associate's degree programs in interior design who also hold a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field can gain the necessary experience and take the NCIDQ exam. Experience and education must total at least six years; thus, an associate's degree alone is not sufficient for state licensing. Below are brief looks at the ten largest schools in Texas with interior design degree programs, as well as a comparison table that highlights program and tuition info.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Interior Design Programs Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Baylor University 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences in Interior Design $40,198*
Collin County Community College District 2-year, public; midsize suburb Marketable Skills Achievement Award Green Interior and Architectural Design,
Level I Certificate in Green Interior and Architectural Design,
Level II Certificate in Green Interior and Architectural Design,
Associate in Applied Science in Green Interior and Architectural Design
$1,174 (in-district);
$2,344 (in-state);
$4,144 (out-of-state)*
El Centro Community College 2-year, public; large city Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design,
Advanced Technical Certificate in Interior Design
$1,770 (in-district);
$3,330 (in-state);
$5,220 (out-of-state)*
El Paso Community College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design Technology,
Certificate of Completion in Interior Design Technology - Personal Design
$2,386 (in-state);
$4,042 (out-of-state)*
Houston Community College 2-year, public; large city Interior Design Communication Marketable Skills Achievement Award,
Interior Decorating Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design
$1,632 (in-district);
$3,360 (in-state);
$3,756 (out-of-state)*
San Jacinto Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Interior Decorator Marketable Skills Achievement Award
Occupational Certificate in Interior Design Decorator Level II,
Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design,
Enhanced Skills Certificate in Interior Design
$1,408 (in-district);
$2,416 (in-state);
$3,688 (out-of-state)*
Texas State University - San Marcos 4-year, public; small suburb Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences in Interior Design $9,348 (in-state);
$20,268 (out-of-state)*
The University of Texas at Austin 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Interior Design,
First- and Post-Professional Master of Interior Design
Undergraduate: $9,806 (in-state);
$34,676 (out-of-state)*,
Graduate: $10,934 (in-state);
$20,762 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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