What Schools Have Interior Design Programs in Nashville, TN?

Find out which Nashville schools offer interior design programs. See requirements and school information, and learn about the job prospects for an interior designer career in Nashville. Schools offering Interior Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

There are three interior design programs offered at the bachelor's degree level through public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities in and around Nashville. These 4-year programs offer internships and cooperative education opportunities, in addition to classes and lab sessions that develop technical and creative skills. Graduates are prepared for entry-level employment. A portfolio may be required as part of the application process. Read on to learn if one of these programs might be right for you.

Interior Design Bachelor's Degree Programs in the Nashville, TN Area

Middle Tennessee State University

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Interior Design
  • Program Length: Four years, full-time
  • Tuition: Approximately $5,898 per year for in-state students, $21,246 per year for out-of-state students (2012-2013)
  • School Type: Four-year, public; about 26,000 students (23,000 undergraduate students)
  • Address: 1301 East Main St., Murfreesboro, TN 37132
  • Phone: (615) 898-2300

The bachelor's degree program in interior design from Middle Tennessee State prepares you for entry-level employment in design consulting, computer-aided design and design firm work. To improve your employment opportunities, it's recommended that you participate in either a co-op program or internship while attending school. Drawing, house design, visual presentation, resource management and interior construction are just a few of the courses you may take in this program.

O'More College of Design

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design
  • Program Length: Four years, full-time
  • Tuition: $25,000 per year (2012-13)
  • Admission Requirements: Could include portfolio, letters of recommendation, personal interview
  • School Type: Four-year, private not-for-profit; about 200 undergraduate students
  • Address: 423 S. Margin St., Franklin, TN 37064
  • Phone: (615) 794-4254, ext. 237

O'More employs industry professionals, including urban designers, preservationists, interior design business owners and studio executives, to teach the interior design program. This major provides hands-on experience through local, national and international internships. The curriculum includes drafting, detailing, design technology and illumination. You'll also have the opportunity to work with merchant clients on various projects.

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design
  • Program Length: Four years, full-time
  • Tuition: $19,650 for the first academic year (2012-13)
  • Admission Requirements: Portfolio, essay, reference letter
  • School Type: Four-year, private not-for-profit; about 400 undergraduate students
  • Address: 2298 Rosa L Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37228
  • Phone: (615) 383-4848

This program helps students develop presentation techniques as well as technical skills in interior design. Students are required to have a laptop for classroom use. Teaching takes place in studios, lecture rooms and a materials resource room that contains textiles, materials, catalogs and paint samples. The school requires students to complete an internship of at least 120 hours. Field trips and a thesis project are other features of this program.

Education and License Info for Interior Designers in Nashville, TN

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's degree and design coursework is usually required to enter the field of interior design. Tennessee doesn't have minimum education requirements to practice, though if you want to be a registered interior designer in the state you'll need at least a two-year degree and four years of related experience. Earning a bachelor's or master's degree reduces the experience requirement for registration.

You can obtain this optional registration through the Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners. In addition to a degree and relevant experience, you'll need to pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. To be eligible to take the NCIDQ test, you'll need to meet the organization's education and experience requirements.

Job Outlook and Salary Info for Interior Designers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that employment of interior designers nationwide would increase by 19% between 2010 and 2020. This increase was attributed to homeowners and business owners wanting to make their interiors more environmentally friendly and accessible. Designers employed in specialized design firms could experience a higher increase in jobs (27%) during this period.

In May of 2011, the BLS reported there were 360 interior designers employed in the Nashville area. The annual mean salary of these workers was just over $56,000 a year.

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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