United States Masters in Interior Design Programs
Potential Benefits of Earning a Masters in Interior Design
Many colleges, universities and interior design schools offer Masters in Interior Design programs where students learn design concepts and aspects of interior spaces as well as methods to understand the unprecedented challenges in the industry. Contemporary interior designers have to stay abreast of sustainable design practices, new developments in technology and find innovative ways to address social changes and new client needs.
Some programs are considered post-professional degrees, and are intended for students currently holding a Bachelor’s degree in interior design. Other programs are geared to students who hold a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field. Prospective students may be required to submit a portfolio.
There are masters programs that focus on embellishing an existing space as well more architecturally-oriented programs focus on spatial design. Potential concentrations in the field include residential interiors, sustainable design, or healthcare interiors.
Accreditation and Licensure For Interior Design Schools and Professionals
Students may want to verify whether the National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredit the Interior Design Masters Program, or Interior Design schools they are considering. If the program fulfills the education requirement it will qualify graduates to sit for the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) professional licensing exam.
Licensure requirements for interior design professionals vary by state. In some states, only licensed designers may do interior design work, while in other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may do this work; however, only licensed designers may use the title “interior designer.” In still other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may call themselves
interior designers and do interior design work.
FUN FACT: About 1 in 4 interior designers were self-employed in 2014[i]
Which Masters Degree in Interior Design is Right For You?
Whether you are looking for a Master of Arts, Master of Science or an MFA in Interior Design, GradSchools.com has helpful search tools to find accredited masters programs. If you are hoping to study on-campus, start with a location search to determine which city, state or country has Interior Design Masters programs.
Some schools also run online masters program. Distance learning may suit working professionals or students with other responsibilities update their design skills and credentials.
Masters in Interior Architecture and More Degrees
Browsing through listings and requesting information from each school is one way of approaching your choices. Some of the listings might include Interior Design (Master of Fine Arts), MA in or MS in Interior Architecture, MS Interior Design and MFA in Woodworking.
Potential Curriculum and Coursework in Masters in Interior Design Programs
The curriculum and coursework found in Masters programs in Interior Design may vary depending on the school and type of degree. Many programs are designed so that students may select a specialization within the interior design field. Some of the topics and themes that students in interior design master degree programs learn may include:
- Advanced design concepts
- Research relevant to design issues
- Practical design courses
- Interior lighting
- Color theory
- Furniture design
- Interior materials
- Human response and interior environments
Employment Outlook & Salary Information for Interior Design Professionals
According to recent BLS data, employment of interior designers in projected to grow 4% from 2014 to 2024, which is slower than average for all occupations, though job prospects should be better in higher income areas. Furthermore, employment of interior designers in specialized design service firms has an 8% projected growth rate for the same period.[ii]
The median annual wage for interior designers was $48,400 in May 2014. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,170, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $89,700.[iii]
The 3 industries with the highest employment in this industry are specialized design services architectural, engineering and related services and furniture stores.[iv]
It is common that interior designers choose a specialty, for instance:
- Healthcare designers
- Sustainable designers
- Universal designers
- Kitchen & Bath designers
- Corporate designers
Ready To Pursue a Masters in Interior Design Graduate Degree?
The positive impact of a well-designed interior environment is verifiable both in professional and personal spaces. If you are excited to research and cultivate a theoretical knowledge in the application of current design issues that face current society, earning a master’s degree in the field of Interior Design might be a rewarding experience that may lead to a promising career. Start reviewing masters degrees on GradSchools.com to find the Interior design school and program that aligns with your creativity and goals!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/interior-designers.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/interior-designers.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/interior-designers.htm | [iv] bls.gov/oes/current/oes271025.htm
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
Rochester Institute of Technology
The Furniture Design program at the School for American Crafts will engage students in the pursuit of their creative interests while providing a comprehensive technical background in contemporary woodworking...
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
Pratt’s graduate program continues to be an architecturally oriented program with emphasis on spatial design as well as surface embellishment.
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)
he M.S. in Interior Architecture is structured to meet the needs of students from non-design backgrounds seeking a professional-level education while offering up to one year of advanced standing for those already in the field.
- Pullman, WAPullman, WA
Washington State University
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Specialization in Interior Design within the Master of Science Degree in Architecture is a scholarly research-based curriculum.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New School, The
Students in this graduate studio program incorporate sustainable design practices and enhanced building performance into innovative designs that consider the relationship of human perception and factors to the built interior.
- Ames, IAAmes, IA
Iowa State University
With approximately 120 majors, the Interior Design program is guided by seven full-time faculty members instructing most studio and lecture courses.
- Providence, RIProvidence, RI
Rhode Island School of Design
MA Interior Architecture, 1+ Year, MDES Interior Architecture, 2+ Year...
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New York School Of Interior Design
Full-time, 60-credit program with a focus on advanced studio and academic research in history, theory and methods as they relate to an interdisciplina...
- Arlington, VAArlington, VA
The M. Wilhelmina Boldt Interior Design Program offers two tracks leading to a Master of Arts in Interior Design.
- Tuscaloosa, ALTuscaloosa, AL
University of Alabama
- East Lansing, MIEast Lansing, MI
Michigan State University
The program is designed to provide students with advanced knowledge in one of three major areas of specialization: facilities design and management, h...
- Corvallis, ORCorvallis, OR
Oregon State University
The Department of Apparel, Interiors, Housing, and Merchandising offers graduate work leading toward Master of Science, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Apparel, Interiors, Housing, and Merchandising. Areas of concentration for MS and...
- Tempe, AZTempe, AZ
Arizona State University
Brenau University is pleased to offer a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design (MFA ID) in a completely online format.
- Boston, MABoston, MA
The New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University prepares students for rewarding careers in professional interior design.
- Lubbock, TXLubbock, TX
Texas Tech University
Students working toward a Master's degree in environmental design have the opportunity to study the interaction between individuals and groups and their environments. Courses in the curriculum include research methods and application, interior design, a...
- Norman, OKNorman, OK
University of Oklahoma
The Master of Interior Design degree offers three areas of focus, Sustainable Living, Design Process Management, and...
- Mississippi State, MSMississippi State, MS
Mississippi State University
Technology is changing the world and architecture.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
School of The Art Institute Of Chicago
As interior spaces develop ever larger proportions, and airports and malls continue to challenge the distinction between interior and exterior, the ar...
- Lexington, KYLexington, KY
University of Kentucky
The graduate program in Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles offers an M.S. degree.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
Landscape design is a profession that focuses on designing gardens and small, often residential landscapes.
- Columbia, ALColumbia, AL
University of Missouri - Columbia
Graduate Programs offer emphases in: Environment and Behavior studies leading to the MS and Ph.D. degrees Environmental design leading to the MA degree...