What is the best Interior design degree?

Graduation black hat over old books next to scroll diploma on wooden desk
You’ve decided to pursue a career in interior design. Maybe you are still a student just starting out, or perhaps you’ve discovered an inner talent for designing and are looking for a career change...

We can help you determine whether pursuing an interior design degree is right for you by explaining the different types of degrees and the classes you will take as a student of interior design. We will also offer some advice on how to find out which are the best interior design schools in the United States.

Do I Need an Interior Design Degree?

The first question aspiring interior designers ask is, “Do I need a college or an interior design degree to become an interior designer?” We addressed this issue in our blog, “Can I Become An Interior Designer Without a Degree?” It all boils down to the rules of the state in which you plan to practice and the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. This is a three-part exam administered by the Council of Interior Design Qualification (CIDC), which issues the only nationally recognized professional interior design certification in the United States. It is the highest level of certification for interior designers and is required by 27 states for designers who want to be licensed. If you plan to sit for the NCIDQ Exam, you need to have at least an associate degree in design.

What are the Types of Interior Design Programs?  

There are many junior college and colleges with interior design majors. There are many interior design programs, ranging from the associate to the graduate level, some of which offer an interior design degree. Each type and level of program  has different kinds of classes that interior design students have to take. In general, these interior design programs introduce students to the basics of architecture and design, and most train students in software programs and technologies including computer-aided drafting (CAD).

Vocational Schools:

Sometimes referred to as trade schools, a student studying interior design will learn about the basics of space planning, color theory and CAD. Most vocational schools offer only interior decorating certification..

Art Schools:

Some art schools offer interior design certification or associate degree programs. In these programs, interior design students take classes in business management skills and hone their artistic abilities.

Community Colleges:

These two-year programs typically offer as associate degree in interior design, with a goal of preparing students for entry-level jobs. The type of associate degree  award are Associate of Applied Science Associates of Art, and Associate of Science.

Four-Year Schools:

These programs offer a Bachelor of Arts in interior design or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior design, building on the skills learned on an associate level, adding the aesthetic, technical and business aspects of interior design. Such programs should be accredited by CIDA.

Special Interior Design Schools Schools:

Some colleges and universities focus exclusively on interior design. They often include mentoring programs in a small-class format as well as exclusive internships at well-known interior design firms.

Interior Design Graduate Programs:

These programs emphasize research, so they are best suited for students who want to pursue interior design scholarship or teach at the college or graduate level. They often require students to have a B.A. in interior design or architecture.

What Classes Do Interior Designers Take?

You are probably wondering: “what classes do Interior Designers take?”. Aspiring interior designers have to take a wide range of classes to learn the fundamentals of interior design as well as technical, business and “people” skills.

Associates degree:

In the first year of an associate program, students study design and color theory, and learn basic skills such as drawing and drafting, both hand and digital. The second year includes specialized topics such as color theory, lighting, furniture history, and introductory business and marketing.

Bachelors degree:

The classes future interior designers take in their pursuit of a B.A. include drafting, 3D imaging, space planning, project management, sustainable design and business development.  Core classes cover a wide range of topics, such as the principles of interior design, drawing and perspective, CAD, the history of architecture, lighting, the use color, and professional practice courses.

Master’s in interior design:

Coursework often includes graphic communication such as animation, project management strategies and various entrepreneurial skills. Areas of study center on technology, sustainability and environmental psychology.

What are the Best Interior Design masters in the USA?

Once you decide to pursue an interior design degree, the next step is to choose a school and program that best suit your needs. If you search online what are the best interior design masters in the USA, either an in-person or online interior design education, you will find many articles, such as “Top 100 Colleges for Interior Design.” You must be discriminating, because some of the articles you might discover are sponsored. Look for ones that are third-party, such as those published by educational organization or a trade magazine, and make sure you read about their methodology in arriving at their list. With a simple search on-line, you should be able to find a valid list of the best interior design schools.

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