Top Online Schools for Interior Design Programs for 2018

Image Source

Interior design professionals engage in a series of complex tasks in their profession, and must have a complex understanding of many different areas. These include historical design, colors and textures, ergonomics, environmental psychology, specific technologies, and more. These professionals must have skills in research, theory, communication, and business, and must be able to constructively and ethically work with a team. Upon completing any one of these online programs, students will have the knowledge and experience to enter into this exciting and challenging field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designers earn an annual salary of about $50,000/yr. Demand for interior designers is predicted to grow 4% over the next 8-10 years.

Methodology:

  • All information is cited directly from college websites or the unbiased, independent NCES.gov’s College Navigator
  • To ensure our rankings methodology cannot be duplicated without our knowledge, we have withheld some aspects of the calculations. Please contact us at the email address provided below for more in depth calculations and criteria
  • Our sponsored schools are paid advertisements that are not affiliated with our site’s individual school rankings. They are clearly defined with the word “SPONSORED” as to not confuse our readers with what has been methodologically researched and ranked by our site editors and researchers as compared to the independently sponsored schools that pay for their placement on our site. For more information regarding our rankings or our sponsored schools, please email us at [email protected]

______________________________

NEW YORK SCHOOL OF INTERIOR DESIGN

nysid

Program Standouts:

The New York School of Interior Design is one of the most preeminent schools in the discipline and has been named #1 for many of its programs. NYSID offers several online degrees: one undergraduate certificate and two graduate degrees, all of which cover unique and exciting areas of interior design. Students have access to live classes that are streamed via video-conferencing.

Campus Location: New York, NY

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 3624 Market St., 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104; and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, 206 Grandville Ave., Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Retention Rate: 100%

Acceptance Rate: 35%

Admission Requirements:

Undergraduate applicants must submit a completed online application, a nonrefundable application fee, official high school or GED transcripts, at least two letters of recommendation, SAT/ACT scores, a personal essay, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.
Graduate applicants must submit a completed online application, a nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a background in a relevant field, at least two letters of recommendation, a well-crafted portfolio, a personal essay, a current résumé, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Basic Interior Design Certificate
  • Master of Professional Studies in Healthcare Interior Design
  • Master of Professional Studies in Sustainable Interior Environments

Degree Outcomes:

Depending on their program of choice, students will be able to enter into numerous different fields of interior design. With the notoriety of a NYSID degree, graduates have a strong network of support of professionals and other alumni across the country and the world. These programs prepare student for any type of future interior design scenario.

LEARN MORE ABOUT DEGREE PROGRAMS AT THE NEW YORK SCHOOL OF INTERIOR DESIGN

______________________________

BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

ball-state

Program Standouts:

Ball State University is well-known for its prestigious distance education programs, and regularly appears on lists of the finest online programs in America. The Master in Interior Design is no exception. This rigorous program focuses in elements of research and theory and gives students the opportunity to fast track their coursework.

Campus Location: Muncie, IN

Accreditation: Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604

Retention Rate: 81%

Acceptance Rate: 62%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, a letter of intent, a current résumé, a portfolio, and two letters of recommendation.

Program Options:

  • Fast Track
  • Three Year Program

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates from Ball State University demonstrate strong capabilities in graphic communication, design theory, environmental psychology, and design for ergonomic, accessibility, functional, and cultural needs. As interior design professionals, BSU alumni go on to provide outstanding service within the industry.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAM AT BALL STATE UNIVERSITY 

______________________________

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN

nebraska_omaha

Program Standouts:

According to their website, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln online Master in Architecture: Interior Design was ranked by design professionals at more than 200 American firms as one of the best programs for preparing students for real-world success. The curriculum offers practical experience, research projects, and scholarly inquiry.

Campus Location: Lincoln, NE

Accreditation: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604

Retention Rate: 82%

Acceptance Rate: 75%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a statement of goals, a portfolio, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Evolving Issues in Interior Design
  • Behavioral and Social Factors in Environmental Design Behavior
  • Preservation and Meaning of Historic Interiors

Degree Outcomes:

This online program is designed to prepare students with a diverse set of applicable skills. A leader in education and research, UNL gives students specific training in research and theory-based problem-solving skills, setting them up for employment positions of increased responsibility. Alumni have gone on to work in areas such as project management, commercial industries, government, and more!

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN 

______________________________

CHATHAM UNIVERSITY

chatham

Program Standouts:

Chatham University delivers an online Master in Interior Architecture that is focused mainly on design theory. Students have the opportunity to explore different building types in order to develop a specialization. This well-recognized program gives students a competitive edge in the classroom and in future work environments.

Campus Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Accreditation: Chatham University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market St., 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104; the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, 206 Grandville Ave., Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI 49503; and the Pennsylvania West chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, 2000 Westpointe Dr., Apt T12, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Retention Rate: 80%

Acceptance Rate: 53%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a GPA of 3.0 or higher, a personal statement of intent, a current résumé or CV, and two letters of recommendation.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Statistical Research Methods for Business
  • Interior Architecture Inquiry
  • Issues in Interior Architecture

Degree Outcomes:

Upon completing this online program, students are prepared to enter into a new or enhanced field of interior design. With an impressive degree and a world of experience, graduates go on to higher education, doctoral programs, or specialized careers in interior design. Some students will gain supervised teaching experience and complete a master’s degree.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAM AT CHATHAM UNIVERSITY

______________________________

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

Colorado State offers an online graduate certificate in Evidence-based design. CSU’s excellent on-campus interior design program is delivered in this nine credit program to graduate students seeking to learn how to use research in order to create public spaces that improve people’s responses in health, educational, and other similar environments. This certificate program is offered through CSU’s nationally ranked College of Heath and Human Services/Design and Merchandising Department. Graduates from this program will be prepared for Evidence-based Design Accreditation and Certification or for a project for the Environmental Design Research Association CORE Award.

Campus Location: Fort Collins, CO

Accreditation: Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604

Retention Rate: 86%

Acceptance Rate: 78%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. They must submit an online graduate application and provide one official transcript from every institution attended.

Certificate Coursework:

  • Trends/Issues in Interior Design
  • Research and Theory-Design and Merchandising
  • Research Methods

Certificate Outcomes:

Graduates from this program will be prepared to design environments based upon sound research and principles that best fit their clients’ needs. Both art and science are emphasized in this program, which combine to prepare its graduates with foundational skills and knowledge necessary to create “aesthetically rich designs that deliver effective, measurable results.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM AT COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

______________________________

SAMFORD UNIVERSITY

samford

Program Standouts:

Samford University’s Department of Interior Architecture offers an online, “faith-based” Master in Design Studies. This school provides rich coursework that can be oriented to fit all students’ academic and career goals. The curriculum is largely focused on elements of design, academic research, and design practice.

Campus Location: Birmingham, AL

Accreditation: Samford University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033

Retention Rate: 89%

Acceptance Rate: 91%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application and official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a relevant academic background.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Architecture, Society, and Culture
  • Design Issues in the Interior Built Environment
  • Research Design and Methods I and II

Degree Outcomes:

Upon completion of this online master’s degree, graduates are able to apply current research findings to produce successful results in problem-solving, and are able to engage in analytical methods in order effect optimal outcomes. Alumni demonstrate ethical and responsible practices in a number of different areas of interior design.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAM AT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY

______________________________

STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:

Stephen F. Austin State University delivers two master’s degree programs in interior design. One is the master of science with an emphasis in interior design. The other gives specialized focus to healthcare interior design. SFA’s respected program provides aspiring designers with the flexibility to choose a more general interior design educational path or a more focused track through the convenience and accessibility of an online format. This master’s program is 30 credits with a thesis or 36 credits without a thesis

Campus Location: Nacogdoches, TX

Accreditation: Stephen F. Austin State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033

Retention Rate: 71%

Acceptance Rate: 62%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be in their final year of undergraduate work;
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution;
  • Have 95 or more semester hour of undergraduate work at SFA.

Applicants generally have an overall grade point average of 2.5 and at least 2.8 in their final 60 undergraduate credit hours.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Philosophy of Human Sciences
  • Advanced Lighting
  • Housing and Furnishing
  • Sustainability

Degree Outcomes:

This master of science degree program with its two specializations will prepare graduates to provide creative solutions to challenges in contemporary society. This program provides a general and fundamental focus upon humankind as such, and its specializations in interior design equips students to design creative and sustainable environments most conducive to human flourishing.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAM AT STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY

______________________________

BRENAU UNIVERSITY

brenau

Program Standouts:

This school offers an online Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design that is unique in that it is specifically geared toward preparing students to teach the discipline at a college level and develop outstanding skills in both practice and research. This program drastically enhances a current career in interior design.

Campus Location: Gainesville, GA

Accreditation: Brenau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033;  and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, 206 Grandville Ave., Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Retention Rate: 71%

Acceptance Rate: 36%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a GPA of 3.0 or higher in a relevant field of interior design, a current résumé showing professional work experience, and NCIDQ certification.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Research and Design Theory
  • Interior Design Classroom Preparation
  • Educational Technology

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates will be well-prepared to enter into positions of college-level instruction and research, and will have the necessary skills to create challenging and thorough curricula that effectively communicate current methods, theories, and problems within the interior design community. Alumni demonstrate strong links between professional practice and design research.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAM AT BRENAU UNIVERSITY

______________________________

SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN

scad

Program Standouts:

The Savannah College of Art and Design is one of the most highly-respected art schools in the world. It offers an online Master in Interior Design that draws from numerous departments. The college of art is supported by the Angelo Donghia Foundation, one of the most influential interior design institutions in the country.

Campus Location: Savannah, GA

Accreditation: Savannah College of Arts and Design is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033

Retention Rate: 85%

Acceptance Rate: 72%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a well-crafted portfolio, and a current résumé.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Emerging Interior Materials
  • Environmental Psychology for Interior design
  • Contemporary Issues in Interior Design

Degree Outcomes:

Upon completion of this outstanding online program, students are prepared to enter into or expand upon an exciting and profitable career in interior design. Having completed challenging projects, both alone and with a team of peers, students have strongly developed skills that are much desired by employers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAM AT SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN

______________________________

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-STOUT

Program Standouts:

The University of Wisconsin-Stout offer a Master in Fine Arts in Design. This intensive 60 program is structured to engage students in a wide range of professional positions in the design industry. Graduates from this terminal degree program will have engaged in cross-disciplinary coursework and research that takes account of industrial design, graphic design, interior design, game design, entertainment design, interactive media, studio art, and design history.

Campus Location: Menomonie, WI

Accreditation: The University of Wisconsin-Stout is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604

Retention Rate: 73%

Acceptance Rate: 88%

Admission Requirements:

Candidates must submit a completed online application and application fee. Official transcripts of undergraduate and any other graduate studies must be provided. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required, and applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree in design. A visual portfolio must be submitted, along with a written statement of interest, résumé or CV. Applicants must also provide three letters of recommendation.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Ethics in Design
  • Special Topics in Design Sustainable Design Practice
  • History of Design Seminar

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates from this degree program demonstrate knowledge of the broad context of design. They are able to collaborate across disciplines in order to address design problems and create solutions. Graduates are equipped to constructively critique current design theory and method, and are ready to explore and use design perspectives and techniques in an ethical manner. Graduates from this program will be able to create advanced design solutions and disseminate design-related knowledge.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-STOUT

______________________________

THE NEW SCHOOL-PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN

Program Standouts:

Parsons School of Design offers an excellent online certificate program with two specialized tracks. This program consists of 6-8 online courses that generally run 9 weeks, and the entire program takes approximately two years to complete. Parsons’ Interior Design and Architectural studies certificate develops the student’s sense and appreciation in space design and decorative arts history.

Campus Location: New York, NY

Accreditation: The New School-Parsons School of Design is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market St., 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Retention Rate: 82%

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Admission Requirements:

Potential students enroll in this certificate program according to an individual and interest based policy.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Interior Design Basic Core
  • Color Theory
  • Basic Interior Space Planning
  • Perspective Drawing for Interiors

Program Outcomes:

Those who finish this certificate program will possess a more developed understanding of spatial design and space design, along with a greater knowledge of the history of decorative arts.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS AT THE NEW SCHOOL-PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN

______________________________

ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY

academy-of-art

Program Standouts:

This prestigious online university has helped a multitude of students build highly successful careers in interior design. The curricula focus on theory, design, and technology and expands upon intellectual, artistic, and ethical abilities. Academy of Art University gives students unique opportunities to “explore and create the designs of their dreams.”

Campus Location: San Francisco, CA

Accreditation: The Academy of Art University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission; Council of Interior Design Accreditation, 206 Grandville Ave., Suite 350 Grand Rapids, MI 49503; and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190

Retention Rate: 71%

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Admission Requirements:

Undergraduate applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official high school or GED transcripts as well as those from any attended undergraduate institutions, and an art portfolio (not required but highly encouraged).
Graduate applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, a statement of intent, a current résumé, and a portfolio.

Program Options:

  • Associate of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture and Design
  • Master of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design
  • Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture and Design

Degree Outcomes:

Academy of Art University Associate in Interior Design graduates learn how to push boundaries and create dynamic interiors through the utilization of innovative methods of spatial organization, materials, and lighting. Having learned from some of the finest interior design and architecture professionals in the world, alumni are well-prepared to enter into or expand upon a career in this field.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAMS AT THE ACADEMY OF ARTS UNIVERSITY

______________________________

ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN

rocky-mountain

Program Standouts:

The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design online Bachelor in Interior Design draws from many different areas such as, art, architecture, environmental design, graphic design, and industrial design. Students have access to a diverse group of peers and one-on-one time with talented professors.

Campus Location: Lakewood, CO

Accreditation: The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604; Council for Interior Design Accreditation, Council of Interior Design Accreditation, 206 Grandville Ave., Suite 350 Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Retention Rate: 58%

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must complete an interview with an admissions representative, and submit a completed application, the nonrefundable application fee, official high school transcripts as well as those from any undergraduate institutions, a well-crafted portfolio, an artists statement, and Financial Aid documentation.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Design Process and Planning
  • Holistic Design
  • Interior Materials

Degree Outcomes:

Students exiting this cutting-edge undergraduate program are supported by an incredibly strong career services department and a network of professionals and alumni. Graduates have a keen understanding of the discipline and go on to provide skilled, ethical, and environmentally responsible interior design.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAM AT ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN
 ______________________________

ART INSTITUE OF PITTSBURGH

aip

Program Standouts:

This prestigious online academic institution is well-known and recognized for its distance education art programs. Interior design students can enroll in a bachelor’s degree program or a Diploma in Residential Planning, both of which help to develop technical and creative skills to design interior spaces that meet demanding requirements.

Campus Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Accreditation: The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market St., 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Retention Rate:

Acceptance Rate:

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, official high school transcripts as well as those from any undergraduate or military institutions, and a personal essay. Applicants are required to complete a phone interview with an admissions professional.

Program Options:

  • Bachelor in Interior Design
  • Diploma in Residential Planning

Degree Outcomes:

AIP interior design students develop strong capabilities in problem solving for complex scenarios by using design principles, theories, and applications; as well as in communication, building management systems/codes, interior finish materials, and professionalism.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE AND DIPLOMA AT THE ART INSTITUTE OF PITTSBURGH

______________________________

FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE-JACKSONVILLE

Program Standouts:

This online certificate program delivered by Florida State College-Jacksonville provides the skills needed for successful and attractive interior design in the realm of home staging. Those who complete this program will be able to increase a home’s marketability and value. Students can complete this accelerated online program in as little a four months, gaining know-how and skills in basic design principles, use of color and textures, scale and proportion, furniture placement and environmental considerations.

Campus Location: Jacksonville, FL

Accreditation: Florida State University-Jacksonville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033

Retention Rate: 37%

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Admission Requirements:

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Principles of Interior Design
  • Materials and Sources
  • Fundamentals of Interior Design
  • Selected Studies in Interior Design

Program Outcomes:

Completion of this certificate program will provide needed knowledge and experience in home staging, based upon sound principles governing interior design. This program is designed for those seeking entry-level positions interior design and provides a broad, yet focused, introductory knowledge of the basics of interior design as it applies to the presentation and decor of home living spaces.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM AT FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE-JACKSONVILLE

______________________________

PENN FOSTER COLLEGE

Program Standouts:

Penn Foster College is one of the most well-ranked online schools in the country, and provides students within an exemplary Associate in Interior Design that focuses on design, drafting, and relevant business skills. In a challenging yet rewarding curriculum, students engage in a series of projects and examinations that help form in-depth understandings of the field.

Campus Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Accreditation: Penn Foster College is accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation; Distance Education Accrediting Commission; National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements; Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education; Better Business Bureau

Retention Rate: No data

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Admission Requirements: Applicants must submit a completed online application and official high school or GED transcripts.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • CAD for Interiors
  • Architectural Lighting Design
  • Marketing and Sales in Interior Design

Degree Outcomes:

Students in this online associate’s degree program develop strong skills in residential and commercial design, dynamic interaction of color; drawing techniques; and the legal, financial, management, marketing, administrative, and ethical issues surrounding the profession. Glowing student reviews confirm the effectiveness of this outstanding program.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DEGREE PROGRAM AT PENN FOSTER COLLEGE