Residential Interior Design Degree Programs in Brookline, MA

Jan 03, 2019

Brookline Residential Interior Design Schools

At the present time, Massachusetts does not require interior designers to obtain a license; however, in 2013, the state had legislation pending that would call for interior designers to be licensed. For those aspiring professionals in the Brookline area, there are no educational institutions with programs of study specifically in residential interior design; students interested in this field generally take an undergraduate interior design degree program, which may or may not include courses and/or studios in residential interior design.

This article highlights the courses and learning opportunities available at three nearby institutions, and it also includes a table of statistics on the profiled colleges. Some details on a few other area schools are provided too.

  • Suffolk University, located about five miles from downtown Brookline, offers a bachelor's degree in interior design and a master's degree in interior architecture.
  • Situated two miles from central Brookline, Wentworth Institute of Technology has a bachelor's-level program in interior design.
  • Mount Ida College also has an interior design program that awards a bachelor's degree. The campus is roughly four miles from Brookline's downtown area.

Comparison of Schools

As private institutions, the profiled schools do have higher tuition rates than many public universities; however, they also offer smaller student bodies which may be appealing to some students. Explore the costs, campus settings, acceptance rates and more in the table below.

Suffolk University Wentworth Institute of Technology Mount Ida College
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 7,201* 4,457* 1,555*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Small city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $37,270* $34,977* $35,720*
% of Beginning Undergraduate Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2017) 93%* 99%* 99%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 84%* 92%* 75%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 77% full-time* 84% full-time* 67% full-time*
Graduation Rate (students starting in Fall 2011) 60%* 67%* 40%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Suffolk University

Suffolk University began a collaboration with the New England School of Art and Design in 1988, and the School of Art and Design officially became a part of Suffolk University's College of Arts and Sciences in 1996. The programs have National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

Students learn about professional practices, code adherence, lighting design, socially conscious and sustainable design skills and design theory. They also take classes in 3D and 2D design hardware and software. A 3-credit residential design studio course is taken in the second year. Topics covered include lighting, finishes, furnishings, presentation techniques, detailing, spatial organization and residential precedents. Other courses include interior design studio, art history, interior construction and codes, interior finishes and materials, furniture studio and lighting. Students have the choice of completing an internship or developing a portfolio.

Master of Arts in Interior Architecture

The master's program at Suffolk is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation as a Professional Level Program. Graduates of this program may put architectural principles to use when designing interiors in business, recreation and residential settings. Students must take art foundation courses and interior design foundational courses; they also create a portfolio, which is regularly reviewed. Students will also be responsible for a thesis.

Wentworth Institute of Technology

The College of Architecture, Design and Construction Management is one of four colleges at the Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT). Regardless of which college they enroll in, students must participate in at least two semesters of co-op placements, which are paid professional work experiences. The WIT student body was 79% male and 21% female in 2017, according to NCES.

Bachelor of Science in Interior Design

Students take lectures and complete studios and labs to earn this BS degree. Courses include drawing, materials, conceptual physics, building systems, construction documents and building regulatory requirements. Students may also work on extra-curricular and/or community-service projects. They are required to complete eight semesters of study and two co-op semesters, and they may choose to study abroad in Berlin during the summer of the third year.

Mount Ida College

The interior design program at Mount Ida College is offered through the School of Design. All of the school's programs have a core design and art foundation curriculum. Students also receive hands-on learning and complete professional experiences.

Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture and Design

Students in this bachelor's degree program are taught to plan and execute interior design projects to meet the needs of clients. They learn how to take into consideration various factors, including electrical and mechanical needs, floor planning, traffic patterns, safety and health regulations and building codes. Each student produces a portfolio in his or her final year, which may help secure acceptance into graduate school or a job. Graduates are qualified to apply to the Interior Design Experience Program (IDEP); those who are accepted to IDEP obtain experience working in the profession. After completing two or three years (depending on the student's undergraduate degree), a student may take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. For individuals who live in states that license interior designers, they may seek licensure after passing the NCIDQ exam.

Other Schools

There are other schools in the area that offer interior design programs, including Boston Architectural College, about 3 mi. (12 min.) from Brookline, and Endicott College, roughly 30 mi. (48 min.) from Brookline. Both schools offer bachelor's degree programs in interior design, and both are accredited by the Council of Interior Design Accreditation.

Other interior design schools in the Brookline, MA, area are Massachusetts Bay Community College, around 9 mi. (16 min.) from Brookline, offering an interior design certificate program, and Newbury College, located in Brookline, offering a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Neither of these programs is accredited by the Council of Interior Design Accreditation.

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