Interior Architecture Degrees and Universities

Combining skills and methods from both interior design and architecture, interior architecture is the specialty wherein designers construct, adapt and renovate interior spaces. Learn about undergraduate and graduate degrees in this field, and review the coursework in these programs. Schools offering Building Information Modeling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What I Need to Know

Programs in interior architecture are available at different levels. You may choose to obtain an undergraduate degree where you will learn the fundamentals, or you may choose to go on to earn a master's degree or professional certification in a specific area of study. Generally programs require an art portfolio and an internship where you can receive hands on experience.

Degree Options Bachelor's degree and master's degree
Certificates Professional certificates with degree; professional certificates in furniture, residential interiors, computer-aided design or set design available
Courses Color theory, lighting, textiles, drafting; internships

Where Can I Find a Degree Program for Interior Architecture?

You can earn a certificate or degree in interior architecture at more than 40 universities, community colleges and art schools around the country, according to the National Center for Education Statistics as of June 2018. These programs are usually housed within architecture departments, although you can also find them in conjunction with design or fine arts programs. Some universities have interior architecture programs accredited by the Council for Interior Design that prepare you for a career as an interior designer. Others are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board and prepare you for a career as a specialized architect.

What Kind of Degrees Are Available?

Degrees in interior architecture are available at the undergraduate and graduate level. A 4-year bachelor's degree program teaches the fundamentals of interior design and architecture in addition to providing you with a general-education background in areas that include the humanities and applied mathematics.

Master's degree programs are either pre- or post-professional courses of study that can take 1-3 years of study to complete. These programs may require you to choose a specialization in areas such as historic preservation--or they may be designed to aid in career advancement for those who have already studied design or architecture. Some graduate programs do not require prior study.

Professional certificates and online degrees in interior architecture (or a related design field) are also available at select colleges and universities. Some professional certificate programs require a college degree for admission, while others have a very specific focus, such as residential interiors, furniture, set design or computer-aided design.

The following schools offer degrees in interior architecture and design:

  • Bowling Green State University
  • Auburn University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Hines College of Architecture
  • Boston Architectural College

What Will I Study?

Interior architecture programs host theoretical courses may address color theory, lighting, textiles and the history of architectural interiors. Practical courses focus on computer design software, reading construction documents and drafting. At the center of most interior-architecture programs are artistic studio courses wherein you build your design portfolio. Many programs also require you to complete either a professional internship or capstone design course for hands-on experience. Other course topics can include:

  • Environmental and sustainable design
  • Building codes
  • Professional ethics
  • Spatial composition
  • Design Foundation
  • Digital Media
  • History of Architectural Interiors
  • Furniture and Millwork

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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