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Master’s Degree Programs in Interior Decorating Overview

Majors Overview February 27, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in interior decorating and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Interior Decorating

No school offers master’s degree programs in interior decorating. A master’s degree program in interior design may be available to interior designers armed with bachelor’s degrees. In this program, students are offered advanced instruction in architecture, design theories, business practices, and digital design. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification offers professional certification that may be availed by graduates of the program.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in the field. Commonly, applicants for admission are required to have job experience and submit an admissions essay outlining their career goals and professional references. A bachelor’s degree in a related area of architecture, art, or design, may suffice to gain admission to some schools for career-changers without a bachelor’s degree in interior design.


The fundamentals of interior design are available through a combination of project management practice, academic instruction, and studio presentations. Students gain expertise in using digital media to draft interior designs in healthcare facilities, hotels, the workplace, and private homes.

Program coursework also includes classes examining advanced art topics, code-compliant design, business concerns, and the materials used when creating interiors, these would suit the needs of individuals seeking to run design firms. Core coursework may cover other subject areas such as decorating, lighting, furnishings, materials, and construction. In most colleges, participation in an internship and creation of a professional portfolio are incorporated in the program.

Core coursework may typically cover topic areas such as:

•Lighting design
•Art history
•Interior architecture
•Building codes
•Business management

Job and Wage Outlook

Over 58,900 individuals found employment as interior designers in 2012 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics); these professionals are expected to see a four percent job growth over the 2012 – 2022 decade (BLS). Professional interior designer certification and continuing education can help these professionals remain competitive.

Continuing Education Choices

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) offers professional certification to program graduates who pass an examination. The exam, which has three parts, can be taken by interior designers with a combination of work experience and qualifying education. Entry-level interior designers can seek mentorships and career assistance from professionals in the industry by enrolling in the NCIDQ’s Interior Design Experience Program (IDEP). Those who participate in the IDEP program can also get guidance through the process of passing the NCIDQ exam.

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