Interior design programs in Florida are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students may choose to earn a certificate, associate's, bachelor's, master's, or even doctoral degree in the field. Resources vary by school but may include computer labs with drafting software, resource rooms available for student use outside of class time, lighting labs, or even a gallery. Some programs require the completion of practicum, such as internships. Graduate and doctoral students may need to present a thesis or dissertation.
Florida International University
Miami's Florida International University offers two graduate programs through its Department of Interior Architecture. Individuals who already have a bachelor's degree in the field can pursue the post-professional Master of Arts in Interior Architecture, which can lead to specialization and research opportunities. The Master of Interior Architecture is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). The program is available to students with associate's degrees in interior design or bachelor's degrees in other fields. Open studios, critique rooms, a lecture hall, a resource library, a reading room, a shop, a gallery and a digital fabrication laboratory are available for students' use.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Offered at the Kent campus, the associate's program in interior design technology combines community and laboratory experiences, along with theory, to prepare students for entry-level positions. General education courses may be completed at other campus locations, if desired. The interior design program has two full-time instructors, in addition to several part-time teachers who are practicing professionals in either architecture or interior design.
Florida State University
Tallahassee-based Florida State University's Department of Interior Architecture and Design offers two CIDA-accredited bachelor's programs, as well as three master's programs. The Master of Science First Professional program is for applicants with bachelor's degrees in fields other than interior design and architecture. The Master of Science Advanced Professional and the Master of Fine Arts programs are all appropriate for students with bachelor's degrees in interior design or related fields. Renovated design facilities include studios, a computer-aided design lab, a resource room, a print center, a critique area, a gallery and a library.
Palm Beach State College
An associate's program in interior design technology is offered at this school's Lake Worth campus. The curriculum includes courses in lighting, sustainable design, interior history and building codes, to name a few. Some non-studio classes are available online, and students may take general education courses either online or at multiple campus locations. An internship is also required. Facilities include design labs, a sample/resource room, a library and a presentation room. Interior design students also have access to networked information technology equipment, with a variety of available software.
Ringling College of Art and Design
Ringling College of Art and Design, located in Sarasota, offers a bachelor's program accredited by CIDA. A faculty of approximately seven teaches courses such as drawing/design, writing for designers, architectural history, digital rendering, textiles, digital design, lighting and evidence-based design. Juniors choose between an internship and an open elective, and seniors select either an internship or a thesis. Interior design facilities include a computer lab, a resource room and a lighting lab.
Seminole State College of Florida
Located in Sanford, this school offers a College Credit Certificate in Kitchen and Bath Design program, as well as associate's and bachelor's programs. The 2-year certificate program is endorsed by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and requires completion of 39-42 credits. The second year of the program is composed of a kitchen and bath cooperative education internship.
Students seeking an interior design degree must first apply to the associate's program and, upon completion, can choose whether to proceed to the bachelor's program. Upon completion of the bachelor's program and two years' experience under a licensed interior designer or architect, individuals are eligible to sit for the state licensing exam. The program is the only 4-year interior design degree program in Central Florida.
University of Central Florida
The Division of Continuing Education at the University of Central Florida offers a non-credit, certified residential interior designer program. Students complete this program online and are paired with a facilitator who's a working professional in the field. The program can be started at any time and takes roughly six months to complete. Graduates may take the Residential Interior Designer Exam (R.I.D.E.) that's offered through the Designer Society of America (DSA). A 40-hour internship through DSA is then available to qualified individuals. Prospective enrollees should be aware that the cost to attend this program is is the same price regardless of residency, and is cheaper than typical undergraduate tuition and fees for this school.
University of Florida
Gainesville-based University of Florida has a CIDA-accredited, nationally ranked bachelor's program. Some available courses include architectural design, art and interior design history, 3-D design and interior graphics. In addition to a required field experience, the program provides the option for students to travel to Chicago, Nantucket or international locations. The school also has an option for students to simultaneously pursue a 5-year combined bachelor's and master's program in interior design.
Master's degree candidates are required to submit three letters of recommendation, GRE scores and a statement of intent. Students with undergraduate degrees in design must also submit a portfolio. The master's program allows students to select a 59-credit track in interior design that takes 2-3 years to complete. A thesis is required. The school also has a 90-credit, interdisciplinary doctoral program with a concentration in interior design.
Orange Technical College- Winter Park
Located in Winter Park, this technical school's career certificate requires 1,050 clock-hours. The program is referred to as interior decorating services, but it includes instruction in color theory, design principles, housing architecture, textiles, design styles and space planning, as well as an interior design careers orientation. Some of the courses in this full-time program are offered in a blended online/onsite format. In addition, students can earn 24 credits towards an associate's degree and possibly Chief Architect User Certification. Applicants without high school diplomas are welcome, though placement tests in math, reading and language are required.
Unlike many other states, Florida requires anyone who practices interior design to be licensed. To obtain state licensure, aspiring interior designers must possess six years of combined experience and education, as well as successfully complete the exam offered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Interior Design Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Florida International University||4-year, public; large suburb|| Master of Arts in Interior Architecture,
Master of Interior Architecture
|$6,556 (in-state); $18,954 (out-of-state)*|
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||4-year, public (primarily associate's); large city||Associate in Science in Interior Design Technology||$2,830 (in-state); $9,944 (out-of-state)*|
|Florida State University||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Arts or Science in Interior Design,
Master of Science First Professional in Interior Design,
Master of Science Advanced Professional in Interior Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design
|$6,507 (in-state); $21,673 (out-of-state)*|
|Palm Beach State College||4-year, public (primarily associate's); large suburb||Associate in Science in Interior Design Technology||$2,444 (in-state); $8,732 (out-of-state)*|
|Ringling College of Art and Design||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design||$42,020 (in-state and out-of-state)*|
|Seminole State College of Florida||4-year, public (primarily associate's); small city|| College Credit Certificate in Kitchen and Bath Design,
Associate in Science in Interior Design Technology,
Bachelor of Applied Science in Interior Design
|$3,131 (in-state); $11,456 (out-of-state)*|
|University of Central Florida||4-year, public; large suburb||Certified Residential Interior Designer||$6,386 (in-state); $22,467 (out-of-state)*|
|University of Florida||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Interior Design,
Combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Interior Design,
Master of Interior Design,
Doctor of Philosophy with concentration in Interior Design
|$6,381 (in-state); $28,659 (out-of-state)*|
|Orange Technical College-Winter Park||Less than 2-year, public; large suburb||Certificate in Interior Decorating Services||N/A*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator