Interior Design Courses and Training Programs
Interior designers create floor plans and add decorative details to improve the aesthetics of commercial and residential spaces. Learn about interior design education programs and common course topics.
What You Need to Know
Interior design training programs range from short certification programs that prepare students to be assistants in the field, to undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Following your educational training, you may choose to enter into a 1-3 year apprenticeship program in which you train under the supervision of industry professionals.
|Degrees||Undergraduate Certificates; Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Degrees|
|Courses||Basic Drafting, Computer-Aided Design, Construction Methods|
|Licensure||Many states require licensure, which typically requires at least two years of education and work experience|
How Do I Become an Interior Designer?
In order to work as an interior designer, you must typically complete an educational program in interior design at a college, university or design school. Undergraduate interior design programs can take from 2-4 years to complete and can grant certificates, associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees. Many states require you to be licensed to work as an interior designer, and licensure typically requires at least two years of education combined with work experience. Shorter certificate programs can qualify you to work as an assistant to industry professionals. Here are some options to consider:
- Certificate in Interior Design
- Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design
- Bachelor of Interior Design
What About Other Programs?
Master's and doctoral degree programs are also available and can lead to advanced work in the field or educational positions. Following your educational training, an apprenticeship provides you with work experience and mentorship in a design or architecture firm, furniture store or in a program offered by interior design organizations. Online opportunities in interior design may be available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. In some cases, students may complete blended online opportunities where courses are completed both online and on-campus. You might decide on one of these programs:
- Master of Arts in Interior Design
- Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design
- Master of Interior Design
- Doctor of Philosophy in Interior Design
What Are the Admission Requirements for Interior Design Programs?
Many undergraduate programs require that you complete lower-level design coursework prior to advancing into the upper-division curriculum. Often, you will also have to complete design skill assessments via a portfolio review or on-site evaluations. Programs then evaluate your coursework GPA and design abilities to determine if you will be allowed to advance in the program.
Graduate programs in interior design are competitive and require that you already have an undergraduate degree to be considered for the program. These programs accommodate both students with no previous interior design coursework or experience and students that have a work or educational background in design. Typically, you must submit collegiate transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, professional experience and a design portfolio to be considered for admission into a graduate program in interior design.
Which Courses Will I Take?
Interior design programs teach you how the various components of buildings and homes, like lights, furniture, decorations and colors, impact the functioning and appearance of spaces. Interior design curriculum generally includes coursework in:
- Basic drafting
- Computer-aided design
- History of interior design
- Construction methods
- Design materials
- Commercial design principles
- Residential design principles