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Factors to Consider When Selecting an Interior Design School

Higher Education Articles April 21, 2015

Interior design features the study of the furniture placed in a room to its basic architecture. Numerous colleges in the U.S. offer bachelor’s degree programs in interior design.

Selecting an Interior Design School

In this article, we will take a look at various factors to consider when you select an interior design school:

Coursework and Types of Programs

Schools offer bachelor’s degree programs in interior design in both Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Interior Design formats. Organizational behavior, public speaking, principles of accounting, and marketing may be subjects in a B.S. program. B.F.A. graduates spend hours studying specific subject areas such as contract design, furniture design, residential design, and advanced lighting.

Different schools offer different levels of intensity in their interior design programs. More basic coursework than in others marks some undergraduate programs, which boast no more than about 30 to 40 credit hours of interior design-based courses. Over 80 hours of courses specifically related to interior design are available through more specialized design schools.

Opportunities for Networking

The availability of field-specific student organizations at prospective colleges must be considered by incoming students to an undergraduate degree program in interior design. Some schools have campus groups to facilitate the connection and encouragement of interior design students with similar interests, aimed at helping them professionally and academically. The availability of internships may also find consideration by applicants as to whether the coursework incorporates those internships or if they exist outside of the official curriculum of the school.

Accreditation of Schools

While qualification for the examination administered by the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) can be accomplished in many ways, the quickest way is through attendance of a school accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

Attending a school associated only with the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) or accredited only by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) would entail an increase in the minimum work experience needed for qualification from 3,520 hours up to 5,280 hours. The official website of the school usually offers accreditation information under the “About Us” category.

Bachelor’s Programs in Interior Design

Diverse aspects of the art world are put together with the fundamentals of design in an undergraduate degree program in interior design, which usually comprises field experience, thesis projects, internships, and study abroad programs. General education requirements are augmented through time spent by students on courses focused on the fundamentals of design, such as:

•3-D animation
•Graphic design

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