Schools with Residential Design Programs
Read about the types of schools that offer programs in residential design or interior design, and get info on certificate, diploma and degree programs in this field. Find out what you'd learn in a residential design program at each of these levels. Review the certification and licensure requirements for residential and interior designers.
Residential design programs may be available under a few different program names, and at both undergraduate and graduate degree levels. This article will explore the requirements, content, and availability of these programs as well as their outcomes in order to help you choose the right program for you.
What Kind of School Offers a Residential Design Program?
Several community colleges, vocational schools and universities offer programs in residential design. Commonly referred to as interior design, programs are usually available through traditional, on-campus courses, though you can find a few online. Many private art institutions have specialized departments for architecture and interior design students, allowing you to interact with peers in other disciplines.
What Types of Programs are Available?
You can find programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as shorter programs that offer only professional studies. Certificate and diploma programs may be completed in 1-2 years and usually don't have a general education requirement. You can enroll in a 2-year associate or 4-year bachelor's degree program at the undergraduate level. If you already have a degree, master's studies in residential design offer a 2-year program that allows you to specialize in residential spaces.
Which Schools Offer Certificate Programs in Residential Design?
At the certificate level, a multitude of schools offer programs in residential design or a related field. The following are a few examples:
- Academy of Art University hosts an online Interior Architecture and Design Certificate program
- New York School of Interior Design has a Basic Interior Design Certificate program available online
- San Diego Mesa College provides a Certificate of Achievement in Interior Design program
Which Schools Offer Associate Degree Programs in Residential Design?
Numerous colleges and universities have programs culminating in an associate degree in residential design or a related field, such as:
- Bellevue College offers an Associate in Arts in Interior Studies degree program
- Academy of Art University delivers an online Associate of Art in Interior Architecture and Design degree program
- San Diego Mesa College has an Associate of Science in Interior Design degree program
Which Schools Offer Bachelor Degree Programs in Residential Design?
Residential design bachelor degree programs are common at various educational institutions. Here are a handful of programs offered:
- Academy of Art University provides a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture and Design degree program entirely online
- Marymount University houses a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design degree program
- Bellevue College has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Interior Design degree program
Which Schools Offer Master Degree Programs in Residential Design?
Master's degree programs can be found in both online and traditional formats at a variety of schools. Some of these programs include:
- Savannah College of Art and Design delivers a Master of Art in Interior Design degree program through e-learning
- Marymount University has a Master of Art in Interior Design degree program
- Academy of Art University has an online Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture and Design degree program
What Kind of Training Will I Receive?
Art institutes typically include a significant amount of hands-on practical experience in classroom and lab sessions. You'll also attend studio classes that allow you to develop your drafting and presentation skills. These schools commonly display student work within the school, community and professional field. Most online programs are offered through art institutes and art academies.
Private and public colleges and universities also teach skills through practical classroom and lab application and often include internship or work-study opportunities for you to gain practical experience with a design firm. At the graduate level, you'll also need to complete a professional project or thesis in your area of concentration.
Some academic programs allow you to choose a specialization within a broad interior design program, such as residential, commercial or environmental design. Others provide a blend of instruction in several disciplines. Undergraduate courses train you primarily on the use of computer applications, lighting technology and color theory. Graduate studies may introduce theory and psychological aspects to the field.
Am I Certified Once I Graduate?
Graduation from a certificate, diploma or degree program qualifies you for certification, but does not issue designer credentials. Although you may need to register or become licensed as a residential designer through your state, several states also require that you test for national certification through the National Council for Building Designer Qualification. You're required to complete a formal education program and have several hours of experience. Other organizations, such as the National Kitchen and Bath Association or the National Council for Building Designer Certification, also require you to have a combination of education and experience to qualify for optional certification testing.
If you are looking to begin or expand your career in residential design, there are many program options available to you both online and on-campus. Graduate degree programs are geared towards working professionals and those looking to further their career horizons, while undergraduate work will help aspiring designers begin their journey.