Interior Design Bachelor's Degree

An interior design bachelor's degree program teaches you about design techniques and styles, preparing you for your professional career. Find out the details of an interior design bachelor's degree program, as well as whether you need to be licensed to work in this field. Schools offering Interior Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Interior Design Bachelor's Degree Program?

Interior design bachelor's degree programs teach you how to create aesthetically pleasing atmospheres that meet the physical, experiential and social needs of clients. Courses cover spatial considerations, design processes and sustainable practices. You also learn about materials, fixtures, textiles and other design elements, including furniture styles and historical periods. Lessons addressing building codes, ethics and other legal aspects of the industry are also covered.

Much of your 4-year time investment is spent in a studio, and you usually assemble a portfolio during your studies. These practical considerations include how to use industry-relevant computer software, such as AutoCAD for drafting purposes. You might find online programs accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, but for-profit schools typically offer these. Most schools either require or encourage you to complete internships and other real-world experiences.

Topics Covered Sustainable practices, fixtures, furniture styles, design processes, textiles
Other Requirements Professional portfolio and internship often required
Continuing Education Licensure is not required in all states, but can be obtain by passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam
Possible Work Environments Retail outlets, hotels, hospitals, restaurants, self-employed

Do I Need a License?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some states require interior designers to obtain a license. The licensing exam is typically conducted by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and requires six years of education and experience combined. Usually, states require you to complete continuing-education credits to maintain your licensure.

How Do I Find Work?

Whether or not your state requires you to get a license, you probably have to complete 1-3 years of apprenticeships or other work experiences to start out on your own, the BLS reported. The NCIDQ offers the Interior Design Experience Program, which provides opportunities for entry-level interior designers to work with mentors. You can also earn specialty certifications that signify an area of expertise, such as kitchen and bath design, said the BLS.

Many industries hire interior designers, including furniture and home goods retail outlets. Interior design and architecture firms are other places to gain experience. The BLS noted that hospitals, hotels and restaurants frequently hire interior designers, and you can also choose to work independently. And the growing interest in sustainable living requires green-savvy designers to create environmentally friendly interiors for homes and businesses.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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