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What is an Interior Design Degree? How Much Can You Earn With an Online Masters in Design? What are the admission requirements for an interior design degree? What are the best interior design degrees?
Best Online Interior Design Schools
Are you an aesthetic person? Do you want to design and decorate interiors? If so, consider earning a master’s degree in interior design online.
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From choosing beautiful furniture for rooms in residential spaces to working on the feng shui of corporate offices or hospitals, interior design is an exciting career full of creative challenges.
In fact, interior design has changed a lot from the days when curtains and chairs were simply chosen to match. Currently, experts in the field are focusing on how spatial design can influence people’s moods and behavior. In addition, interior designers study how the design affects the environment and underserved communities.
Also, due to the growing demand for interior designers for large-scale projects, you may find yourself creating fashionable design schemes for very large clients such as:
By earning a master’s degree in interior design online, you will get a lucrative job for large clients. After all, the in-depth study you will undertake as part of your postgraduate program will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to take on any interior design job.
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Earning a master’s degree in interior design online is a great way for creative people like you to advance into higher-paying careers. These degree programs also focus on multiple fields, meaning graduates can tailor their studies to suit their specific interests and talents.
For example, if you like mid-century modern design, you can concentrate your electives in your online master interior design program in that particular niche.
Of course, an interior design degree is not just about learning different design styles. Instead, most interior design degrees show you how to integrate design into your professional practice. In addition, you will look at how design interacts with many factors, including:
Interior design courses can also cover design theory, basics of design and decor, and how interior design relates to human behavior. For example, you’ll probably take online color theory courses and learn how different colors are associated with different moods or activities. Painting your kitchen or dining room a warm color such as yellow, orange or red can make you feel hungry. But painting your bedroom a warm color is not a good idea – instead, choose a color that is associated with relaxation and calm, such as shades of blue or green.
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However, these degrees vary widely, so the specific coursework requirements you must meet will vary from school to school. But you will also find many common features. For example, most online master’s degrees in interior design are master’s degrees (although master’s degrees are also often available).
A typical interior design degree requires approximately 33-36 semester credit hours to complete. If you go to school full-time, you can complete that many credits in about two years of study. Some schools may have longer programs (e.g., one that requires 42 or 45 credits, or as high as 90 credits), while others may offer accelerated options that can be completed in a year or a year and a half. Studying part-time, of course, would extend the schedule needed to graduate.
When choosing a postgraduate program in interior design, keep accreditation in mind. On the one hand, you want to attend a school that has institutional accreditation (regional accreditation or national accreditation, although regional accreditation is preferred). Many financial aid packages are only available if you attend an accredited school. Similarly, accreditation helps ensure that credits are transferred if you decide to change schools.
In addition, it makes sense to choose a program that is also accredited. The best master’s programs in interior design are accredited by the Interior Design Accreditation Council. CIDA (and regional or national accreditation agencies) accreditation is voluntary. However, undergoing accreditation allows schools and programs to demonstrate their commitment to designing and developing high-quality educational programs. In addition, accredited schools and programs are created to help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in school as well as in your future career.
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Therefore, with an online Master of Interior Design, you will develop the skills you need for a career in the design industry. You can pursue general studies or specialize in an area of your choice, such as residential, corporate or healthcare design. And because you’ll be participating in an online learning program, you’ll have the freedom to study on your own terms from the comfort of your own home.
Graduates of master’s degree programs in online interior design don’t just become interior designers. You can also become a creative director, consultant or teach courses in interior design or related fields at universities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designers earn an average of $60,340 a year. However, this average salary estimate is based on interior designers who only have a bachelor’s degree in their field. So, depending on the program, your master’s degree will likely open up more career opportunities and attract larger clients, which may result in a higher salary.
The salary range for this career reflects the income potential of earning a master’s degree in interior design. For example, the top 10 percent of interior design earners make almost $100,000 a year.
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Of course, your salary depends on many different factors other than your level of education. Your interior design experience, level of knowledge and skills, and the quality of your portfolio will affect your salary. Ultimately, this is a service-oriented career, so your performance at work will also have a lot to do with the money you make. If you provide your clients with top-notch service and help them meet their interior design goals, you’ll likely get good reviews and referrals for other work.
Requirements for an online interior design degree vary by program type and school. In general, you need a bachelor’s degree in interior design, architecture, or a related field of design to apply for an online master’s program. Additionally, many colleges require applicants to submit a multi-page portfolio of personal project work. Some programs also require proof of English language proficiency, while others are for international students.
After being accepted into one of the best online interior design schools, you will find that an internship or final project is a common requirement. These activities allow you to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a real-life scenario working with real clients under the supervision of an experienced interior designer.
You may be wondering how an internship works when you are an online student. Rather than visiting a campus or working in a designated area, interior design programs do a great job of helping you find internships that are in or near your hometown. This minimizes the need to travel while providing the all-important off-road experience you need to further develop your skills.
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During your studies, you will also develop your portfolio, which is essential for looking for a job after graduation. Employers will want to see what you can do beyond just looking at transcripts. Your portfolio will show what you’ve done to complete your interior design qualification.
OSR uses six data points to rank the master’s degree in the interior design programs listed below. There are three school-wide criteria and three program-specific criteria.
For the entire school, OSR uses student satisfaction levels, admission rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For a particular program, RIA looks at that program’s median alumni debt, how many degrees are offered in that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.
Each of these six statistics is displayed by each school. The sliding bar below each stat shows how that school compares to other schools in the United States. “Not reported” means the school did not provide this information to the U.S. Department of Education.
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A more detailed description of the RIA process can be found on the methodology page. See our rankings of the best interior design degrees below!
San Francisco-based Academy of Art University offers a 36-hour online Master of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design program and a 63-hour Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture and Design program.
The master’s program focuses on design analysis, programming, and understanding human social and spatial interactions. Similarly, you will learn about space planning, the use of colors and materials, and the preparation of construction documentation. The MFA program delves into project development and traditional and digital media. You will also explore innovative ideas and global issues.
Graduates of these programs find a variety of professional employment in their field, depending on the selected program path. All students must complete a thesis project.
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