List of All U.S. Colleges with an Interior Design Major

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When you enter a room, how do you feel? Is the space warm and inviting? Are there tasteful decorations and a welcoming atmosphere? This could be thanks to an interior designer.

 

Interior designers make inside spaces aesthetically-pleasing and functional. They work with a wide range of facilities, from private homes to hospitals to office settings to hotel lobbies.

 

If you have an eye for detail, an artistic mind, and technical competence, then interior design could be the path for you. 

Overview of Interior Design

 

To become an interior designer, you’ll usually need a bachelor’s degree. Although associate degree programs in interior design do exist, you may have difficulty finding a job beyond the assistant level unless you complete an additional two years of education (four years in total).

 

A bachelor’s degree program in interior design typically includes coursework in areas like:

 

  • Color theory
  • Lighting
  • Materials
  • Interior design graphics
  • Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CAD)
  • History of interiors
  • Space planning
  • Sustainability
  • Interior design business practices
  • Interior design graphics
  • Building codes
  • Hands-on studio experience
  • Drawing

 

Some states require practicing interior designers to be certified. That means passing an exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). There are different requirements for certification, including education and experience.

 

Although there are master’s degree programs in interior design, people don’t typically need graduate degrees to practice.

 

In addition to qualities and traits like design and aesthetic sense, successful interior designers should have skills such as:

 

  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Budgeting
  • Technical knowledge
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal skills

 

Many (but not all) interior designers work with clients as independent contractors, meaning they are effectively conducting their own businesses. This, of course, additionally demands a strong business sense and the ability to self-manage. Others work in interior design firms, construction sites, commercial stores, and other settings. No matter where they work, they will often travel to client spaces, too.

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median salary of $56,040 among interior designers in the U.S. in 2019.

 

What to Look for in a College as an Interior Design Major

 

Accreditation

 

It’s a good idea to pursue interior design bachelor’s degree programs that are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). This will prepare you for your career, as well as the NCIDQ exam.

 

Cutting-Edge Technologies

 

Technology is fundamental to a strong interior design program. At Parsons School of Design, in which The New School’s program in interior design is housed, the coursework is intended to prepare students to “develop new design approaches using traditional fabrication methods as well as emerging technologies, such as bio-based materials and virtual and augmented reality.”

 

Students should look for programs that use and train students to use the latest technologies for their education and careers, including CAD, a fundamental practice in the field.

 

Experiential Learning Opportunities

 

Becoming an interior designer requires hands-on practice. Look for programs that give students the opportunity to engage in experiential learning through internships, apprenticeships, and other real-world practice. Not only will this give you a strong foundation in your craft, but it will help you secure a job in the field after you graduate.

 

Baylor University, for example, requires students to complete an internship with a qualified interior designer or architect for course credit. Students can also participate in a summer study abroad program to see examples of design and architecture firsthand in destinations like Britain, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.

 

Specializations

 

When you start your program, you probably won’t know what your specialty will be, or if you’ll have one at all. That said, you should still seek out programs that will prepare you for a range of niches. Some common specialties are:

 

  • Corporate
  • Healthcare
  • Kitchen
  • Lighting 
  • Sustainability
  • Universal

 

List of All U.S. Colleges With an Interior Design Major

 

Institution

Location

Adrian College

Adrian, MI

Andrews University

Berrien Springs, MI

Appalachian State University

Boone, NC

Arizona State University | ASU

Tempe, AZ

Auburn University

Auburn, AL

Ball State University | BSU

Muncie, IN

Baylor University

Waco, TX

California College of the Arts | CCA

Oakland, CA

California State University, Fresno | CSU Fresno

Fresno, CA

California State University, Long Beach | Long Beach State

Long Beach, CA

Cazenovia College

Cazenovia, NY

Central Michigan University | CMU

Mount Pleasant, MI

Colorado State University | CSU

Fort Collins, CO

Columbia College Chicago

Chicago, IL

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

East Carolina University | ECU

Greenville, NC

East Tennessee State University | ETSU

Johnson City, TN

Eastern Michigan University | EMU

Ypsilanti, MI

Endicott College

Beverly, MA

Florida International University | FIU

Miami, FL

Florida State University | FSU

Tallahassee, Florida

George Fox University | GFU

Newberg, OR

George Washington University | GW

Washington, DC

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, GA

High Point University

High Point, NC

Howard University

Washington, DC

Illinois State University | ISU

Normal, IL

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis | IUPUI

Indianapolis, IN

Indiana University Bloomington | Indiana

Bloomington, IN

Indiana University of Pennsylvania | IUP

Indiana, PA

Iowa State University

Ames, IA

Kansas State University | KSU

Manhattan, KS

Kent State University

Kent, OH

Marist College

Poughkeepsie, NY

Maryland Institute College of Art | MICA

Baltimore, MD

Maryville University

St. Louis, MO

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

Middle Tennessee State University | MTSU

Murfreesboro, TN

New Jersey Institute of Technology | NJIT

Newark, NJ

New School

New York, NY

New York Institute of Technology | NYIT

New York, NY

North Dakota State University | NDSU

Fargo, ND

Northern Arizona University | NAU

Flagstaff, AZ

Ohio State University | OSU

Columbus, OH

Oklahoma State University | OSU

Stillwater, OK

Oregon State University | OSU

Corvallis, OR

Pratt Institute

Brooklyn, NY

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

Rochester Institute of Technology | RIT

Rochester, NY

Samford University

Birmingham, AL

San Francisco State University | SF State

San Francisco, CA

San Jose State University | SJSU

San Jose, CA

Savannah College of Art and Design | SCAD

Savannah, GA

Seattle Pacific University | SPU

Seattle, WA

South Dakota State University

Brookings, SD

Southern Illinois University Carbondale | SIU

Carbondale, IL

Suffolk University

Boston, MA

Texas Christian University | TCU

Fort Worth, TX

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

The State University of New York at Buffalo | SUNY Buffalo

Buffalo, NY

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

University of Idaho

Moscow, ID

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY

University of Memphis

Memphis, TN

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities | Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

University of North Carolina at Greensboro | UNC Greensboro

Greensboro, NC

University of Oklahoma

Norman, OK

University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

University of Texas at Austin | UT Austin

Austin, TX

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

University of Wisconsin-Madison | Wisconsin

Madison, WI

Utah State University

Logan, UT

Valdosta State University | VSU

Valdosta, GA

Virginia Commonwealth University | VCU

Richmond, VA

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Washington State University | WSU

Pullman, WA

Wentworth Institute of Technology | WIT

Boston, MA

Western Michigan University | WMU

Kalamazoo, MI

Notice a school that’s missing? Email us and let us know!

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

Top colleges use the Academic Index, a metric that represents the strength of your GPA and test scores, to filter out applicants before even looking at qualitative factors. Because extracurricular activities are so important for prospective interior design students, you should make sure adcoms get a chance to see your application by bringing an exemplary academic profile to the table.

 

To find out your true odds of admission to the best interior design schools, we recommend trying our free Chancing Engine (it’s free). Informed by data like your academic records and extracurricular activities, it will estimate your real chances of admission to these and hundreds of other schools in the U.S.

 


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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