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Degree Overview: Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Interior Design and Decorating

Majors Overview April 8, 2014

Students will get an understanding of appropriate colors, spaces, and materials, with associate’s degree programs in Interior Design and Decorating. Students will utilize computer programs and theoretical classes to organize spaces. Those whom graduate may obtain entry-level jobs in interior decoration or design consultation. With the necessary work experience, they may also qualify for licensure.

Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree Programs in Interior Design and Decorating

Students enrolled in an interior design and decorating associate’s degree program are taught design basics, such as design theory, fabrics, color, and application. Design schools, universities and colleges, offer associate’s degree programs in Interior Design. Commonly, they offer associate’s degrees as Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) programs.


Coursework in an associate’s degree program covers the aesthetics and functions of decoration and design. Students are also taught interior-space safety and problem-solving techniques. Students are typically imparted knowledge through classroom lectures and given hands-on training. Internship and externship opportunities are also offered by some programs, allowing students to gain professional experience. Coursework may generally include:

•Color theory
•3-D design
•Interior design history
•Furniture design
•Computer-aided design (CAD)
•Design elements

Career Choices

Individuals who seek entry-level careers in interior design would need to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree; recruiters for assistant positions prefer candidates with associate’s degrees in Graphic Design (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). Earning a 60-credit-hour associate’s degree would qualify graduates to seek admission to the Interior Design Experience Program (IDEP) administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ); after they complete the program, they can pursue entry-level interior design jobs in positions such as:

•Builder’s assistant
•Model-home merchandiser
•Color and materials designer
•Interior designer assistant
•Interior design consultant

Licensure and Continuing Education Choices

Interior Design degrees at the master’s and bachelor’s levels are offered by many academic institutions. Graduates of an associate’s degree in Interior Design may be allowed to transfer some credits towards admission to a bachelor’s degree program. Licensure or registration is mandatory for interior designers in many states (BLS). Eligible candidates can obtain licensure from the NCIDQ. About 3-4 years of qualified full-time work experience, augmented with an associate’s degree in Interior Design, would qualify interested individuals for the licensing exam.

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