Looking up from this computer screen you might notice in any space around you, the work of interior designers. What they do, and what they have inspired is everywhere. On TV, on the newsstand, in buildings, on roof decks, and maybe even in your own home, interior designers help create the spaces that we live, shop, and eat in and even where we go to the doctor.
If you find yourself doodling a remodel of your kitchen obsessively, or creating online mood boards for home decor, then you have come to the right place. Maybe your thing is popping into open houses in your neighborhood and leaving comment cards full of ideas for the home stagers to consider for next time. Either way, obtaining an online interior design degree may be worth exploring. With so many online options right at your fingertips, it also may be closer and more accessible than you think.
What is Interior Design?
Interior Design is a growing industry that is full of art, math, and imagination. The growth of this field in the last 15 years is in no small part due to HGTV hit shows like Fixer Upper and Flip or Flop. With media encouragement to turn any space into a beautiful space, people are catching the design bug. Even though design is a skill needed everywhere, some of the best interior design schools in the world are right here in the United States. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics predict that between 2017 and 2026 interior design job will grow by nearly 3,000. This means thousands more Johanna Gains’ and Christina El Moussa’s. While you may not be the next design superstar streaming into people’s living rooms, you could quickly and easily become the next design superstar for a family or business.
The non-entertaining elements of an interior designer’s day include reading blueprints, adhering to building and safety codes, relearning the new update of design software, and making the fifth color palette change for picky customers. Something that creative designers of public spaces must stay aware of is the requirement for people with disabilities to access the space. Another is that when the Fire Marshall comes to inspect, she will not be sympathetic to your multi-colored, dream-inspired fiber art if it happens to be blocking the sprinkler system. Interior Design, in this way, is as much about conforming to regulations as it is about letting your creativity run free.
Interior Design: The Online Option
Without changing your current work schedule, or your family’s movie night, you can easily earn a certificate or degree in design online. With several degree types to choose from, Value Colleges has hooked you up with a variety of ways to learn more about your passion for palettes, or your excitement for decorative exit signs. In the following Top 25 Best Online Interior Design Programs we have included single courses, certificates, bachelor’s programs, master’s programs, and even one Doctor of Interior Design program. Most of these programs are available through distance learning; however, we chose to include a couple programs innovative programs that required on-campus participation.
While Interior Design is often offered as an on-campus option, offering students studio time and foam board for 3D modeling, online options also exist at every level of design education. The software that every modern designer uses these days is much of the designing work that online courses can teach, along with building codes interpretation, blueprint reading, and courses on color, shape, textile, and design theory.
For those very dedicated budding interior designers, the Environmental Design Research Association offers an EDAC Certification, specifically for those engaged in designing spaces for healthcare offices and hospitals. The American Society of Interior Designers also offers awards and scholarships to designers who are engaged in service. The possibilities for this kind of support are nearly endless.
Ranking Online Design Programs
The Value Colleges Top 25 Best Online Interior Design Programs ranking features colleges and universities that have a reputation for art and design, either as lotted departments or the focus of the entire school, as with RISD and Savannah College of Art and Design. The following ranking features different levels of programming, allowing students at any level of education to find a reputable interior design program. As important as their track record for getting graduates into their dream design job, they are accredited online interior design programs that have proven their value through the Value Colleges methodology:
- Reputation (from U.S. News & World Report)
- ROI (from College Scorecard)
- Cost (from IPEDS reporting)
So anytime you are ready to turn off the DIY channel and put all the cable TV and Youtube studying you have been doing to work in a new career in interior design, Value Colleges has the perfect program for you. Read on to learn more about your next bold move.
New York University
Imagine studying in town that is considered the heartbeat of the country. New York University is in the center of it all, from business and finance to fashion and design. Established in 1830, the Secretary of Treasury at the time, Albert Gallatin, built the vision of NYU, and set out to ensure this prominent city would have a “system of rational and practical education open to all.” Their campus sits on 230 acres of land in the heart of New York City. In an urban mecca where green space is treasured, this beautiful sprawling campus is a gold mine. In total, they serve close to 60,000 students. An interesting fact about NYU is that they are ranked seventh for producing alumni who are millionaires by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
The School of Professional Studies at New York University distinct Interior Design programs through their Professional Pathways Program. The courses of study offered pride themselves on being centered in the design capital of the world. Each program has an emphasis on designing aesthetic functional and technically competent environments. Each discipline infuses the influence of sustainable practices into the curriculum. Each course brings a range of traditional studio methodologies and processes, as well as computer-aided graphics. Students will learn the foundations of creative problem solving and research as they relate to the quality and function of internal environments. Some of the course offerings include Introduction to Interior Design in New York City: Design, Industry, and Enterprise and Basic Drafting for Interior Design. Many of the courses can be completed off-site, but the program cannot be completed online. Students must be in New York to participate in the program.
Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island School of Design, known as RISD (pronounced Riz-dee) to most, was established in 1877. Providence, Rhode Island is home to this designed focused school on 13 acres of land. They are located at the edge of what is known as College Hill and is neighboring the campus of Brown University. The two institutions share many resources including social events as well as some shared academic courses. The US News and World Report frequently ranks them first among the top excellent art schools, above the School of Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University. RISD is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.
RISD is known for being one of the best interior design schools in the world. Through their continuing education program, they also offer an online interior design degree and certificate. This offering includes an extensive Interior Architecture program where students can achieve a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts or achieve one of two master’s programs. One of the Master’s programs is geared towards students who are already established in the field professionally, and the course of study centers Adaptive Reuse. RISD also has a certificate program in interior design through their Continuing Studies Program. This is a unique program that focuses on reuse as a form of architectural and design practice.
The UCLA Extension was established in 1917, as a part of the University of California Los Angeles and University of California Systems, though they are and always have been financially self-supporting. Their classes take place in downtown Los Angeles and locations scattered throughout Los Angeles County, including Torrence. They are headquartered in Westwood, in a towering building that can hold all that students need. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges fully accredits all extension programs. They have over 5 thousand course offerings and 100 certificate programs. One of the ways they are most famous is by their volume of Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar-winning alumni that have emerged from their Entertainment Studies program.
The UCLA Extension offers a program that can act as the first step on the journey to achieve a Master’s degree in Interior Architecture. This program, called Foundation Level Interior Design, is perfect for those who are investigating if they are interested in a career in design or not. Other prospective students might already be working as interior designers with interest in updating their skills. This course of study includes a total of 18 classes that include a historical perspective on environmental arts, the foundational of commercial and residential interior architecture, and how to use freehand drafting and drawing to communicate design concepts. Students who complete the certificate program, with a B or better, and already hold a bachelors degree will be eligible for the advanced coursework leading to the Master’s program.
UC Berkeley Extension
The University of California Berkeley Extension was founded in 1891, as a platform for continuing education for students and community members. Many people turn to this aspect of the UC Berkeley when they are interested in changing careers, interested in developing a new skill set, investing in courses to move up in a current career, or for personal enrichment and lifelong learning. Many classes have the option of studying online, with a traditional classroom experience where students can meet at one of their three locations including Belmont, Downtown San Francisco, and Downtown Berkeley. All instructors are professionals in their field and have a plethora of experience to contribute.
The UC Berkeley Extension offers a Certificate Program in Interior Design and Interior Architecture. Students will learn the ins and outs of creating beautiful and functional interior spaces. Each student will undergo coursework that synthesizes design theory and history with studio classes. Students will also engage with digital and manual drawing skills, while effectively learning to communicate their ideas visually. Students will gain all of the necessary competencies to qualify for the California Council of Interior Design Certification Exam (IDEX), as well as the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Exam (NCIDQE). A bachelor’s degree in any field is a prerequisite requirement for the program.
The New School Parsons School of Design
The New School Parsons School of Design is generally referred to as merely “Parsons.” It is a private art and design based institution of higher learning that is situated in The Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, New York. They are consistently ranked among the best interior design schools in the world. It was established in 1896 by artist William Merritt Chase who was seeking avenues for the development of individual artistic expression. It was one of the first postsecondary in the country to offer programming explicitly in interior design, graphic design, fashion design, and advertising. They have a wide range of offerings including design and urban ecologies, textiles, architectural design, and curatorial studies.
As a component of the Parsons School of Design Strategies (SDS), Parsons School of Design offers a Master’s of Science in Strategic Design and Management Program. Students have the option of tackling the program as an online interior design degree, or they can participate entirely on campus, or choose a blended format. This course of study is unique in that is emphasizes design from an interdisciplinary framework. Some students might be business professionals who are interested in investigating challenges of business through the lens of design, while other students might be design oriented and interested in gleaning the necessary leadership and business skills to transform the global economy.
Chatham University was established in 1869, with the original name Pennsylvania Female College. Upon their original foundation, they were located in the Berry Mansion, which is in the Shadyside section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They have maintained their Eastside campus at the where the East Liberty neighborhood and Shadyside come together, which sits on 39 acres of land. They also have an Eden Hall campus, which is situated in Pittsburgh’s Pine suburb. Their total student enrollment includes just over 1,000 undergraduate students and nearly 1,100 graduate students. They are fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Chatham University offers many opportunities for students to achieve their goals with a flexible academic structure. They offer an online interior design degree program that can also be taken with a hybrid model or on campus, depending on the student’s needs and interests. The program is a Master’s of Science program in Interior Architecture that focuses on design theory, as well as a variety of building types. This course of study also emphasizes critical thinking skills, teaching, and research. This 30 credit program Master’s program can be completed in under one year of full-time study, though students that require flexibility have the option of completing it on a part-time basis.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Savannah College of Art and Design is often referred to as SCAD and was established in 1978. When they first began holding classes, they offered only eight majors. In 1982 the enrollment grew to over 500 students, and their programming began to grow also. As of 2014, they had an enrollment that exceeded 11,000 students. Their campus sits in the heart of Savannah, Georgia, with an additional location in Atlanta. They also have a location in Hong Kong that grants degrees, and a study abroad location in Lacoste, France. They have become known as one of the best interior design schools in the world, and are rated number one by DesignIntelligence. SCAD is fully and consistently accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
SCAD is known for online interior design degree offerings, including three distinct degree programs. Their Bachelor of Fine Arts program includes 180 hours of study, at least 10 of which are dedicated to student electives. They also offer a Master of Arts in Interior Design that requires 45 credit hours, and their terminal degree is the MFA in Interior Design, which includes 90 credit hours, and has the effect of credentialing graduates to teach at the collegiate level. All of SCADs programs emphasize critical thinking skills along with collaborative teamwork, communication, and of course the ins and outs of creating beautiful and functional spaces.
Clary Sage College
Clary Sage College was established in 2004 by Teresa Knox, who is a champion of career-oriented education. Knox came from a long line of Oklahomans and was working as a dental assistant when she started a program to train students like herself who are interested in becoming dental assistants. Her vision is what created Clary Sage College, which boasts a mission to educate students in comprehensive career-oriented education. They have since become a non-profit institution, and Theresa Knox is no longer the CEO. Instead, she serves on the Executive Board of Higher Education. Their Campus is located in the middle of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Clary Sage College offers a 15-month Interior Design Program that culminates in a diploma. This can be completed as an online interior design degree. Students will engage in the foundations of Residential and Commercial Design, Color Theory, Drafting for Interior Design, 3D Imaging, Small Business Marketing, AutoCAD, Furniture Design, Lighting, and Space Planning and Textiles. Graduates will be prepared to work in the field of interior design for residential and commercial spaces. The program embeds many networking opportunities for students to have career leads even before they graduate. Clary Sage College has financial aid and scholarship opportunities that apply to many students who enroll.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The Nebraska State Legislature established the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1869, just two years after the state achieved statehood. Over the last 150 years, the school has not wavered on many essential values identified during the initial charter. The most of these are Nebraska-Lincoln’s commitment to education for all. In the early days, this meant that students could study there regardless of race, gender, class, or parents occupation. Now, this means a generous and inclusive commitment to financial aid and student access to resources. The Lincoln campus is the flagship campus of the University of Nebraska system. Currently, they offer coursework within their eight distinct colleges. Their entire student enrollment is just over 25,000 including undergraduates, graduates, and postgraduates.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture offers a Master’s of Science in Architecture with a specialization in Interior Design. This is an online interior design degree that can be completed with 36 credit hours in two or three years, depending on the students desire to study full or part-time. Each student has the opportunity to tailor their program to their unique needs and career goals with the help of an advisor. Another offering specific offering that comes with this program is the opportunity for students to learn to design spaces for aging adults by achieving a dual certificate in Interior Design and Gerontology.
Colorado State University
Colorado State University is a public school founded in 1870. They are located in Fort Collins, just at the foot Rocky Mountains, about an hour north of Denver. Colorado State is also called CSU by many, and offers more than 150 degrees, with graduate programs in education, business, and engineering, as well as Biomedical Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Many important inventions and discoveries have come out of the labs at CSU. Hence, it is considered one of the leading research universities. Graduates of CSU at any level have the advantage of having access to some of the most cutting-edge and resourced projects designed to advance health and wellness, as well as function, design, and aesthetics in the country.
Colorado State University offers an Evidence-Based Design Graduate Certificate program that falls under the category of an online interior design degree. This course of study teaches students to research and construct designs that enable people to have positive responses to the built world around them. Evidence-based design means there is a greater focus on research rather than intuition when building spaces that respond to a client’s needs. This particular program synthesizes both science and art, giving students the fundamental skills to create designs that deliver practical and aesthetically pleasing designs. This program will put students in an excellent position to achieve their EDAC Certification, or create a project for the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) Core Award.
Samford University first began holding classes in 1841 as a private Christian institution. It was initially established with the name Howard College and is the 87th oldest college or university in the country. Located in Homewood, Alabama, which is a suburb of Birmingham. As a private religious institution in the south, they were behind the times of desegregation, but they admitted their first African American student in 1967, which sparked a new wave of integration. Currently, they have over 166 undergraduate courses of study. Most of their classes have fewer than 20 students. The US News and World Report ranked them third in the South for Regional Universities. Total enrollment is close to 5,500 students.
Samford University offers an online interior design degree program that culminates in a Master’s of Science in Design Studies (MSDS). This particular course of study gives students the tools to research the area of their design interests and expertise. This degree can support an academic career in design education, among many other possible avenues. Critical thinking and analysis are emphasized in the program as well as research that is used for transformative design solutions. The program requires 24 months of rigorous study that supports design, research, and teaching. The program infuses faith-based learning into the curriculum to promote lifelong learning.
Ball State University
Ball State University was established in 1918. They are a public institution of higher learning situated in Muncie, Indiana on a campus with 1,140 acres of land. They have two satellite campuses in the towns of Indianapolis and Fishers. They were founded by the Ball Brothers who were industrialists who also founded the Ball Corporation. The Carnegie Classification of Higher Education has classified them has a Doctoral Institution that conducts a Higher Level of Research Activity. The institution is comprised of eight distinct colleges. Their total student enrollment is nearing 23,000 students. They offer over 400 clubs and student life organizations on campus.
Ball State University offers an online interior design degree program that culminates in a Master’s in Interior Design. This course of study was designed to optimally give students the foundations necessary for becoming a competent interior designer. The coursework is rigorous, and the pace is quick with classes the stress research and theory and focuses on topics such as environmental psychology, design theory, accessibility, ergonomics, graphic communication skills, as well as cultural and functional needs. The online format enables students to study when their schedule allows. With a bachelor’s degree and full-time study, this program can be completed in 2 years; otherwise, students can complete the program in three years time.
Goddard College is a private low-residency model undergraduate and graduate college. The campus is located in Plainfield, Vermont, 20 miles east of the state capital of Montpelier. Students at Goddard engage in a learning style that is based on John Dewey’s principles of self-guided education. Dewey’s educational philosophy is informed by the idea that people learn only what they inwardly accept, thus encouraging students to forge their path of studies. With help from faculty “mentors,” students create their curriculum and learn what they are most interested in knowing, within the parameters of their degree. Dewey also believed that education is a moral concern; therefore a Goddard education comes also with the requirement that students learn a great deal about themselves in the process. The Plainfield, Vermont campus is littered with buildings designed and built by students in the since retired architecture and design programs. Funky buildings that reflect the Goddard philosophies of balancing teamwork and individual creative exploration.
The MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College is a student-centered degree, which teaches art as a transformational practice. With guidance from artist faculty, MFA students will complete coursework that is within their chosen area of study. The MFA is a self-directed degree and, as such, is best suited for students who have a background in Interior Design as a practice before enrolling. Students will be expected to complete coursework and self-guided studio work, submitting artwork as well as written coursework over the five-semester, 60-credit terminal degree program. There is a mandatory 9-day residency that begins each semester on the Plainfield, VT campus, or the sister campus at Port Townsend, Washington.
Brenau University is a private university that was established in 1878. Their primary campus is situated in Gainesville, Georgia, with additional campuses scattered throughout the state in Augusta, Fairburn, Norcross, and two in Atlanta Metro region. Total enrollment is close to 3,500 students annually. They have a range of degree offerings from Associate’s degrees to doctorate programs. Their curriculum is geared to support professional programming and career development with a strong liberal arts foundation. The US News and World Report has ranked Brenau among the top 15 best higher education values in the Southeast for six years in a row.
Brenau University offers an online interior design degree. Students can earn a Master’s of Fine Arts in Interior Design online, gaining the skills and credentials to teach college level classes in the field. Students will learn how to leverage research for practice, and prepare a thesis built on the work in the program and personal research interests. Students will learn how to plan and implement a design curriculum for undergraduate students, and put their work to the test by teaching beginning Interior Design classes as a component of their coursework. Students will have opportunities to take elective courses that engage their unique interests.
New York School of Interior Design
New York School of Interior Design was established in 1916 as a private nonprofit institution of higher learning with the sole purpose of teaching students interior design. Their undergraduate programs offerings include: Basic Interior Design certificate (BID), Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design (AAS), and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design (BFA). The four available graduate programs include Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design (MFA-1 and MFA-2), Master of Professional Studies in Interior Lighting Design, and Sustainable Interior Environments. Each of these programs is geared towards students who are at varying stages in their careers and lives. Their campus is situated in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, New York, in multiple buildings lining Madison Avenue, and Midtown, as well as on Manhattan’s upper east side at 170 East 70 Street. . In 2010 they opened a new LEED-Platinum Graduate Center on Park Avenue South and 28th Street. DesignIntelligence has ranked their programming in the top five of all Interior design programs for the past five years in a row.
The New York School of Interior Design is known as one of the best interior design schools in the world, especially for those seeking an online interior design course. NYSID is known for meeting students where they’re at with flexible online programming that does not skimp on the quality or rigor of traditional classroom programming. Students will watch lectures from the comfort of their own homes, communicate with faculty members, participate in discussions via conversation boards, and interact with peers. Students can choose from two online learning styles including self-paced, which includes individual classes that you can one can sign into at their convenience, or the real-time program that consists of a Master’s of Professional Studies in sustainable interior environments.
Tidewater Community College
Tidewater Community College is a two-year comprehensive institution of higher learning in South Hampton Roads, Virginia. They were established in 1968 when a philanthropist from the area named Fred W. Beazley shut down an existing college called Frederick College and gifted the land to Virginia’s commonwealth for the establishment of Tidewater Community College. They now have campuses in Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake. They are fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Enrolled are over 34,000 students, making them the 19th largest associate’s degree producer in the country, and they have the second biggest student body of undergraduates in the country.
The Tidewater Community College offers an Associate’s of Applied Science degree program in Interior Design. Students in the program will learn to create innovative and practical spaces using cutting edge software and design techniques. This affordable online interior design degree gives students all of the foundations for a fraction of the price of typical design schools. Additional topics covered are Color Theory, space planning, visual presentation, estimating and construction documentation. Students can choose to take day, evening, and even online classes. Those who graduate this program will be fully qualified to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Exam.
Academy of Art University
The Academy of Art University was initially established in 1929. Their motto speaks to their foundation, which is Built By Artists for Artists. Their campus is situated in San Francisco, California, though much of their programming is delivered online. Their name was originally The Academy of Art College, and they were initially founded as an institution for advertising art. Nearly 12,000 students enroll annually, and their degree offerings include Associate, Bachelor, and Masters degrees in close to 25 subjects. They have always had an open admissions policy, meaning that 100 percent of their applicants are granted admission.
The Academy of Art University offers online programs that lead to degrees in Interior Architecture and Design. There is a range of offerings including a Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Interior Design and Architecture, a Master’s, an MFA (terminal degree), and an Associate’s degree program. The online programming is designed for students who benefit from a program that embeds flexibility into its mission and enables students to learn from the comfort of their home. The only thing you need to get started is an internet connection and a computer. Each program features the foundations of spatial organization, lighting, materials, and interior designs.
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design was founded in 1963 by artist and educator Philip J. Steele. The campus sits on a 23-acre campus in Lakewood, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, in the Arts District. Their campus holds the designation of a National Historic District. They offer programming that is both traditional and on campus, as well as many options to study online. They reorganized their programming so that the online courses and the residential courses correspond, and can work together. Their undergraduate and graduate degree programs are all fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.
The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design offers a residential Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, as well as and online option. This comprehensive program brings together many disciplines that include architecture, graphic design, environmental design, and industrial design. Among their program offerings are a museum, a theater, and an interactive exhibit planner. Students will learn Computer Aided Design and drafting, space planning, lighting design, as well as human and environmental behavior. The program ensures that each student will gain significant one on one attention from faculty who are also industry professionals. There are many opportunities for students to fully engage in experiential and collaborative learning in service of making the world a more beautiful place.
University of Wisconsin-Stout
The University of Wisconsin-Stout was founded in 1891 and is a member of the University of Wisconsin System. It was established by its namesake James Huff Stout who was a lumber magnate. In 2007 they grew a new designation as “Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University,” by their Board of Regents. They are one of two special mission institutions in the system providing programming that is distinctly connected to careers in industry, home economics, technology, helping professions, and applied professions. Their campus is situated on a 124-acre rural campus Menomonie, Wisconsin. Their offerings include over 50 undergraduate majors, 26 graduate disciplines, and two advanced graduate majors, as well as one doctorate.
The University of Wisconsin-Stout offers a MFA in Design Program that is delivered in a hybrid format. This 60 credit hour program brings together practical problem-solving skills with an innovative educational theory that will not only prepare students to be educators but will enhance their artistic practice. The outcome of this terminal degree will open doors for graduates to teach in academic settings. Many of the courses offered in this program account for the required flexibility of working professionals. Students also have the option of working in a dedicated studio and lab space. There are also opportunities to study abroad. Each degree is tailored to the individual learner in a collaborative environment.
Tulsa Community College
Tulsa Community College was founded in 1970 with the original name of Tulsa Junior College. They are a public school that offers two-year degree programs. They are the most prominent two-year institution of higher learning in the state of Oklahoma. Their student body hovers around 25,000 students per semester. TCC has four distinct campuses, and a conference centered scattered throughout the Tulsa metropolitan area. They employ 280 full-time faculty members and 536 adjunct faculty annually. They are ranked in the top three percent of community colleges nationally for the number of degrees they award in all disciplines.
Tulsa Community College offers an online interior design degree that results in an Associate’s in Applied Science in Interior Design. This degree program falls under the workforce development category in Tulsa Community College’s offerings. Students will learn a variety of critical skills necessary for success in the Interior Design industry including creating purchase orders, isometrics, historical periods of design, drafting for interiors including floor plans, space planning, and elevations, lighting, and textiles and computer-aided design. Each student will participate in a field internship that will give them hands-on work experience. This degree program may prepare students to transfer to a four-year university.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Florida State College at Jacksonville, also known as FSCJ, was established in 1966. It was initially founded as Florida State Junior College, but in 1986 they decided to follow the Community College movement by changing their name to Florida Community College at Jacksonville. In 2009, the Florida State Legislature recognized that there was a shortage of four-year colleges in the state and they allowed the state to transition some community colleges to four-year institutions. They currently have four physical campuses scattered throughout the Jacksonville, Florida region with additional academic sites in the First Coast region. Their total enrollment is 52,000 students.
FSCJ offers an online interior design degree technical certificate specifically in Home Staging. This Home Staging Specialist program enables students to dive deep into four courses including Principles of Interior Design, Selected Studies in Interior Design, Materials and Sources, and Fundamentals of Interior Design. Students have the option of applying this coursework to the Associate’s in Science in Interior Design Technology Degree program if they are interested upon completion. This program can be completed in as little as one term if all of the classes are offered in that timeframe. All of the courses emphasize color and texture, basic design principles, and scale and proportion when designing spaces.
Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College was established in 1933 and was named Palm Beach Community College initially. They were the first community college in the state of Florida. They first began offerings classes at Palm Beach High School which is in West Palm Beach. The original goal of the school was to give high school students additional skills that would allow them to plug into the industry during the Great Depression more easily. They currently offer four campuses, the main campus being in Palm Beach County, Florida; the largest in the Lake Worth Campus, which is on 114 acres of land, and there are full-service sites that include one in Belle Glade, one in Palm Beach Gardens, one in Boca Raton, and one in Loxahatchee Groves.
Palm Beach State College offers an online interior design degree program that trains students in a myriad of skills necessary to be successful in the design industry. Students will learn how to communicate effectively, think critically and creatively, engage in innovative problem solving, professionalism, and aesthetic understanding. Students will emerge from the program with an Associate’s of Science degree in Interior Design Technology. Social responsibility is another theme that the curriculum cultivates. It is recommended that full-time students give themselves four semesters and two summers to complete the program. Graduates of the program will be prepared to gain entry-level employment in the field upon completion of the program.
New York Institute of Art and Design
The New York Institute of Art and Design is considered one of the leading online schools for creative professionals. They first opened their doors in 1985 with the name Sheffield School of Interior Design. Their first-course offering was their only course in the beginning, and it was called Art and Business of Interior Design, and it was a correspondence course. In 2012 they underwent a significant shift from correspondence education to complete online learning. Since 2015 they have been offering more new courses including Personal Style, AutoCAD, Landscape Design, Floral Design, Creative Writing, Graphic Design, and Home Staging. Much of their vision is to create learning opportunities for creative students who require flexible learning opportunities.
The NYIAD offers an online Interior Design Course that will prepare students to be successful professional interior designers. The curriculum covers design history and trends, fabrics and furniture styles, lighting and color theory. Included is over 13 hours of HD video programming that will enable students to master the necessary skills to get the most out of any space, led by professional designers and industry leaders. Students will also learn about contracts and pricing as well as scheduling and purchasing. This program is approved by the Designer Society of America (DSA). Students have the option of applying for their RIDQC Interior Design Certification.
The Art Institute Pittsburgh Online
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh was established in 1921 as a profit based institution for higher learning with a focus on illustration and art. They are currently a nonprofit institution that is run by Dream Center Education Holdings. Their campus is situated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, though they have an extensive online division that is semi-autonomous. They offer degree classes as well as non-degree course offerings for students interested in artistic enrichment. Since 2008, they have been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The institution’s general emphasis is on design education and a focus on education that is geared towards the creative job market.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division offers an online interior design degree program that culminates in a Bachelor’s of Science in Interior Design. The program is 180 credit hours in length and can be completed successfully with 15 quarters of study. The curriculum focuses on program solving skills, giving students the tools to solve complicated design problems using interior design principles and knowledge. Communication is another topic that is stressed in the program, as well as interior finishing materials, professionalism, and building systems. Because the program is delivered online, there are some software requirements for students to be able to accomplish the coursework.
Atlantic International University
Atlantic University International is a private institution of higher learning that was established for the sake of providing adult learners with multiple postgraduate learning opportunities. Their classes are offered in a distance learning format, explicitly targeting students that require flexibility as well as expediency. Their headquarters are located in Honolulu, Hawaii. Their founding principles are modeled after the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that engages that concept that education is a human right. Even though their structure is unique, they meet the standards of degree-granting institutions in the United States. They are comprised of three different schools including the School of Social and Human Studies, the School of Science and Engineering, and the School of Business and Economics.
Atlantic International University offers an online Doctor of Interior Design program through their school of social and Human Studies. Students will construct their program, with the help of their advisor, that is based on their career goals and interests. No two students will have the same course of study. The program was designed to give working adults the opportunity to go back to school and study within a flexible framework. Some of the core courses offered in the program include Design Methods, Art and Design, Philosophical Foundations of Design, Housing and Apparel, Facility Management and Design, Housing Neighborhood Design and Sustainability, among others.