If you love playing with shapes, colors, and textures around the house, few career roles will afford you as many opportunities to express your creativity and fashion sense as becoming an interior designer.
Interior design professionals work on projects that involve creating comfortable, warm, and exciting home setups for others, while optimizing for dynamics elements like color matches, space, and natural lighting.
For many people, the natural route for people interested in design functional structures is either more technically-oriented fields like architecture or civil engineering.
However, with interior design, you gain the benefit of working on heavily user-oriented aspects of structural design that directly impact how the users feel, enjoy, and use their living and working spaces. This unmediated influence on the life satisfaction of others is an open secret as to why most interior designers thoroughly enjoy the work they do.
Plus, today, with the intensifying complexity of building and the rise of a more technical approach to interior design fueled by a proliferation of software programs, the discipline now requires more and more math, art, and imagination.
Hence, getting a robust education in interior design before kickstarting your career has never been more critical. Here, one of the best ways to get started is with a Bachelor’s in Interior Design.
The following online schools offer some of the best Bachelor’s programs in Interior Design you will find anywhere in the U.S.
Plus, since these programs are entirely available online, you can complete from the comfort of your home without having to worry about on-campus accommodation or taking time off your current job if you have one.
#10: Brenau University, Gainesville, Georgia
Brenau University is renowned for its online distance education programs, ranking in the top ten in U.S. News & World Report ranking for the best college online program in the country, and their interior design programs are no exception.
The Bachelor of fine art in interior design at Brenau offers a throughout coverage of interior design theory and methodology, with courses in the history of the discipline, visual literacy, environmental psychology, and design graphics.
However, since the program has a substantial research focus, this BFA is better suited for students interested in pursuing advisory roles or an academic career in the discipline. Participants get an education on how to effectively research problems and tackle current big-picture issues of the interior design field.
The 124-credit program is also available with a human environment concentration that explores institution design, healthcare design, and historic preservation. The coursework also includes an interior design practicum.
Finally, the program culminates in a final portfolio presentation that engages all the information synthesizing skills that the student gleans throughout the program.
#9: Boston Architectural College, Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Architectural College, a small private college in the Back Bay area, offers one of the best starter interior design programs in the country. With less than 700 students enrolled, and a faculty ratio of a mere three students to one faculty member, this institute offers unmatched opportunities for intimate connections with both instructors and colleagues.
Furthermore, BAC’s interior design curriculum emphasizes the use of space, promoting a personal experience-first approach to environment design that is sure to translate superbly in professional practice.
Also, the program coursework incorporates a more commercial focus than you get with most other interior design degree programs. Here, students learn about commercial retail design and gather practical business skills that are crucial to success in the real world.
Consequently, it is no surprise that the school is renowned for an abundance of eminent alumni placed at some of the country’s top interior design firms. The college also consistently appears near the top of most rankings of interior design schools in the U.S.
#8: Baker College, Flint, Michigan
If you want an online interior design bachelor’s degree program with maximum schedule and coursework flexibility, look no further than the BFA on offer at Baker College in Flint, Michigan. Here, participants get an entirely synchronous education plan, with full responsibility for scheduling, participating in, and logging classes resting the shoulders of the student.
The 120-credit program features comprehensive courses that cover the nitty-gritty of lighting, CAD, space planning, sustainable design, as well as instruction on the fundamental history and theories of design.
Furthermore, the program curriculum also includes a capstone that sees participants conceptualizing and completing a studio project that incorporates everything they learn from the program.
Baker College’s interior design department prides itself on the success of its graduates, with more than 90% of them going on to place at architectural and design firms, space planning organizations, or graduate school within six months of completing their program.
#7: Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Art Institute offers one of the best ways to kickstart your interior design career with their undergraduate major in the discipline. This degree program qualifies you to work at most entry-level positions in the field or to pursue further certification at the graduate level.
Their BFA program in interior design is a comprehensive foray into the subject. Here, you take courses like color theory, universal design, structural requirements, sketching, graphic communications, CAD, ethics, sustainable design, and interior design regulations and codes.
The 120-credit program is entirely asynchronous, allowing students to complete all sections of the curriculum at their pace and schedule. However, all participants of the program must complete a 120-hour internship with a design agency to get a taste for actual practice.
Furthermore, students here can opt for a kitchen and bath design specialization that confers an additional associate degree.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s BFA in interior design is a pretty successful program, with 91% of its graduates placing in graduate school or design-related employment within a year of program completion.
#6: Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas
The Bachelor’s program in interior design available at Stephen F. Austin State University is arguably one of the best in the country and an excellent way for students to build a solid foundation for their professional careers.
This hybrid Bachelor’s program includes a few on-campus courses, while you can complete a majority of your coursework online. Furthermore, interested students can also work with advisors on strategically selecting electives to minimize on-campus time.
In this interior design program, participants complete a 132-credit curriculum that incorporates all aspects of interior design, including interior lighting, space management, materials, design codes, hand drawing and CAD, ethics, and environmental sustainability.
Courses on offer also include job-specific entries like furniture design, kitchen design, bath design, as well as a technical architectural workshop.
Furthermore, the bachelors in interior design at Stephen F. Austin State University has full accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, and graduates of the program automatically qualify to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications exam
#5: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
The college of health and human sciences at Colorado State University offers a bachelor of science program in interior architecture and design that gives participants a robust launchpad for a prospective career in interior design.
With this hybrid program, students can complete a significant percentage of the degree program via the school’s online platform, only needing to visit the CSU campus for a handful of courses.
Classes on offer here include introductions to interior design, colorwork, residential interiors, space planning, building codes, ethics, and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, participants also get a research-based approach to interior design that avails them with a variety of historical, ecological, and cultural perspectives.
Like other robust Bachelor’s programs in interior design, this one also emphasizes creative problem solving and communication skills to enhance the student’s prospects of practicing effectively in the real world.
Yet another reason to study interior design at Colorado State University, is that according to the school’s report, holders of their Bachelor’s in interior design post a 99% employment and continuing education rate within six months of finishing the program.
CSU’s online Bachelor’s in interior design has accreditation from the Council of Interior Design Accreditation.
#4: New York School of Interior Design, New York City, New York
Interior design is a practicum-heavy discipline that typically requires extensive hands-on education and unrestricted access to an experienced faculty, and few schools match these requirements as well as the New York School of Interior Design.
NYSID is a small, close-knit college in New York City with an enrollment of only around 500 students, promoting an environment with more intimate connections between colleagues and faculty.
Furthermore, the school also has one of the most desirable faculties in the business, with 100+ faculty members serving its seven-degree programs, including currently practicing designers at top U.S. Design firms like HOK, Rockwell Group, Gensler, Perkins+Will, and Stern Architects.
With their BFA program in interior design, participants get a comprehensive curriculum that takes them through the theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline with an emphasis on technical proficiency, enhanced creative and critical thinking skills, functional graphics and verbal communication, and sustainable design practices.
Plus, here you get a mix of self-paced and real-time classes with zero on-campus meetings for the entire program.
NYSID’s Bachelor of art in interior design has accreditation from both the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and it consistently ranks in the top 5 of DesignIntelligence’s annual list of the best schools for studying interior design.
The program’s alumni also report an inviting 100% job placement rate.
#3: Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
The Savannah College of Art and Design is a specialist non-profit art college with campuses in Georgia and Hong Kong, as well as a study abroad program in France and online degree programs via its eLearning platforms.
SCAD is, without a doubt, one of the most prestigious art and design schools in the country with an alumni that boasts several prominent designers and a prolific student base that regularly top major national art competitions. Furthermore, the college also has one of the most varied portfolios of programs on offer at any U.S. art institute.
One of these programs is a bachelor of fine art degree in interior design that is available both online and at the school’s campus locations. With this program, students get a curriculum that introduces them to interior design, electronic design, interior lighting, interior materials, as well as a host of other optional electives.
Plus, students here can also minor in options like themed entertainment design, architectural history, service design, and furniture design, to help further enhance their career prospects and specialization opportunities.
When studying at SCAD, you also enjoy the school’s policy that emphasizes the development of effective communication, critical thinking, professional ethics, and collaborative teamwork on all their courses.
To reinforce this ethos, students at SCAD get unrestricted access to several collaborative projects that work with input across the school’s departments, including SCADpad, an innovative micro-housing project that continues to receive design awards and significant global press coverage.
The Savannah College of Art and Design consistently ranks on top DesignIntelligence’s annual list of the best schools for studying interior design, and their online Bachelor’s in interior design is an excellent place to start for any aspiring student.
#2: Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colorado
For students looking to study interior design from home, one of the best options available nationwide is the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver, Colorado. RMCAD’s programs are renowned for their extreme focus on practical work and equipping students with the crucial technical skills needed to function as a professional in the real world.
The online interior design bachelor’s on offer at the college centers on the artistic and technical aspects of interior design, introducing students to skills like Computer-aided design, handcrafting, regulations and infrastructure codes, and material sources.
Consequently, the curriculum for the program draws content from several disciplines like environmental design, architecture, graphic design, and industrial design to give participants the well-rounded knowledge and skill sets that will make them successful interior designers.
Courses on offer here include lighting design, interior systems and materials, space planning, environmental and human behavior, manual drafting, CAD, and sustainable design.
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design’s online Bachelor’s degree in interior design has accreditation from both the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
#1: Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
The Academy of Art University in San Francisco is one of the most renowned design institutes in the country, and it will be no surprise to people in the know that they top this list. This reputable family-owned college has been the first school of choice for many designers and artists for almost 90 years now.
Furthermore, the college’s design program has full accreditation for both the National Architectural Accrediting Board and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, the most respectable accrediting body in the country for interior design programs.
At the academy, students can join a Bachelor of Fine Arts program in interior architecture and design that is entirely available online.
Here, students get a comprehensive education on how to create beautiful, functional spaces to maximize human comfort and match their expectations while incorporating standard sustainability practices and all the latest technological innovations in the field.
Furthermore, the curriculum and coursework for these programs delve both into the conceptual, theoretical, and practical aspects of the discipline, introducing students to design theory, conceptual design, design process, sustainable design, and portfolio preparation.
The Academy of Art University also prioritizes practicum. Hence, its studios always stay up to date on all the latest advancements in industry practices and technology. Plus, students here gain unlimited access to these studios, a nationally acclaimed faculty, and the opportunity to showcase their work at the school’s annual spring show.