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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Interior Design

Majors Overview April 12, 2015

Get information about Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs in Interior Design and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and professional credentials and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Interior Design

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Interior Design program are typically taught methods for executing creative design solutions in various commercial and residential spaces. Students learn about creating 3-D designs and communicating them via visual media.

Over the duration of the program, students involve themselves in design studio sessions in which they engage in solving design issues for various settings. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.


Coursework that includes architectural history, methods, and materials is devised to train students in creating rooms that meet the specifications of clients. Core coursework commonly includes the following:

•Contract documents
•Interior design graphics
•Global design interface
•Color and composition
•Floor plan development
•Design rendering
•Interior lighting
•Environmental technology

Career Choices

Individuals aspiring to become interior designers are expected to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in interior design. Graduates from these programs are ready for careers in numerous areas of interior design. They can seek popular specialties within the field such as:

•Kitchen designer
•Residential designer
•Home theater designer

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, average job growth rate of 13% have been predicted for interior designers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2013, the middle half of interior designers brought in average annual wages ranging between $35,290 and $67,110. Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia featured among the states that paid the highest wages to these professionals.

Professional Credentials and Continuing Education Choices

Graduates from the bachelor’s program may seek continuing education by enrolling in a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Interior Design. Students enrolled in these two-year programs are often required to participate in an internship, satisfy research requirements, and complete a thesis before they obtain a degree.

Interior designers can seek state licensure through the passage of a qualifying exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).

The exam incorporates topic areas such as project coordination and building codes apart from a full-day test of an interior designer’s skills. At least six years of combined professional experience and education are requirements for students that wish to take the exam.

Voluntary certification at multiple levels is offered by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) for professionals that specialize in designing bathroom and kitchen spaces. They may choose from options such as:

•Certified Bath Designer
•Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer
•Certified Kitchen Designer

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