Interior Design Schools in Nashville, TN with Degree Program Info

Dec 12, 2018

There are a few schools within about 35 miles of Nashville, TN, that have interior design degree options. Read an overview of their program and admission requirements to find out which one is a good fit for your educational goals.

Nashville Schools with Interior Design Degrees

Interior design training at the undergraduate level can be acquired through two colleges and one university in the greater Nashville area. Their programs are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). This article discusses the courses and internships required at these schools; it also includes a table of stats that allows for easy comparison of the profiled institutions.

  • Students who are looking for a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program in interior design can enroll at Watkins College of Art, which is located about 2.5 miles from downtown Nashville. The studio classrooms at this college have properly equipped workstations where students can practice sketching, schematics and drafting.
  • Another private not-for-profit school in the area that offers a BFA in the field is O'More College of Design. Interior design majors at this school, which is located about 18 miles from central Nashville, often travel to Atlanta and Chicago to see live examples of fieldwork.
  • Roughly 32 miles from Nashville's downtown area, the only public university in the region offering an interior design bachelor's program is Middle Tennessee State University. This school has numerous computer labs available in such locations as Walker Library, the Instructional Media Resources Computer Center, the Kirskey Old Main Building and the Business and Aerospace Building.

Comparison of Schools

The campus settings, enrollment numbers and tuition rates at the profiled schools vary considerably - and all of these could impact your college experience. Learn about them and other facts in the table below.

Watkins College of Art O'More College of Design Middle Tennessee State University
Total Enrollment (2017) 210* 157* 21,913*
Campus Setting Large city Small city Midsized city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $23,700* $29,880* $8,612 for in-state; $26,348 for out-of-state*
% of Full-Time Beginning Undergraduates Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 100%* 96%* 95%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 42%* 31%* 59%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 65% for full-time students* 74% for full-time students* 76% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (Students began studies Fall 2011) 38%* 42%* 44%*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.

Watkins College of Art

The AICAD Mobility Program at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film gives interior design students the chance to spend a semester at another school in Canada or the United States. This provides students with the opportunity to explore interior designs commonly found in a different geographical region.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

After completing foundational fine arts courses, students typically take major courses in areas such as building construction, space planning and human factors and architectural drawing. A portfolio freshman review is also required. The curriculum also allows to students to study the history of architecture and interior design, interior materials, codes and regulations, textiles and furnishings, lighting, residential design and commercial design, among other relevant areas.

Advanced classes are available in materials and detailing and commercial design. There is also a professional practices class to help familiarize students with a working design environment. Towards the end of the program, students must complete an internship. A thesis based on each student's interests is also necessary for graduation.

O'More College of Design

Founded as an interior design school, O'More College of Design provides students with the chance to get involved in travel study classes throughout the United States and abroad. Prior to enrolling in courses, students are required to purchase a laptop with the appropriate software for the interior design major. The school is now known as the O'More School of Design at Belmont University.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

In this program, students take courses in building systems and materials, drawing, 3D design, interior design theory and principles of color. Also included in the curriculum of this 128-hour program are six studio courses and an internship where students will create portfolios, resumes and cover letters.

Middle Tennessee State University

The Department of Human Sciences houses the interior design program at Middle Tennessee State University. It is the largest school in the area offering a bachelor's degree program in interior design.

Bachelor of Science in Interior Design

This interior design bachelor's degree program has a liberal arts foundation. To be accepted, students must possess at least a 2.5 GPA after completing 30 credit hours of general studies and support classes. Once accepted into the program, a specific sequence of interior design courses must be followed. It normally takes three years to complete these major courses. A portfolio course is offered that allows students to prepare for employment after graduation by creating a portfolio and receiving feedback on it.

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