Bachelors In

Interior Design Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.
on February 19, 2024

Why We Love It

  • $55,510
    Potential Avg. Salary*
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for 27-1025 Interior designers 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

With a bachelor of science in interior design , you’ll be prepared to take the interior design licensing exam to become a professional interior designer. Interior designers work alongside architects, helping to design the layouts, fixtures, and other interior aspects of homes, businesses, museums, and more.

This degree program is multi-faceted, focusing on topics in geometry, aesthetics, and behavior.

What is a Degree in Interior Design?

Interior designers and interior decorators are often mistaken for each other, but the roles are very different. While interior decorators are focused on paint colors, curtains, furniture, and other decorations, interior designers plan the layout, materials, fixtures, and spaces of building interiors.

It’s a licensed position that requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program, and passing a licensing exam. With a bachelor’s degree in interior design, you can gain the knowledge needed to become licensed.

Working alongside architects, stakeholders, drafters, and construction planners, Interior designers help to create plans and blueprints for building interiors. In an interior design program, you’ll learn how to plan those interiors to ensure accurate, spacious, ergonomic, and natural spaces.

Coursework in math and geometry helps with the planning of interior spaces; classes in design and visual communication help with creating aesthetically pleasing layouts; and courses in human behavior help with creating spaces that can be used naturally.

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What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Interior Design?

  • Interior Design Theory
  • Visual Communication
  • Interior Materials and Assemblies
  • Interior Design History
  • Designing for Human Behavior
  • Topics in the History of Architecture
  • Elementary Physics
  • Environmental Controls

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Interior Design?

Interior design is an important part of new construction and revitalization/improvement projects. When the economy is thriving, interior designers are in high demand for planning building layouts and features.

When the economy is poor, there is less demand for interior designers, but the skills gained in an interior design bachelor’s degree program allow for alternative income opportunities. You may also choose to work at times as an interior designer or to teach art and design at schools and colleges.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Interior Design will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Interior Design Degree

Interior design has gained growing popularity among students who aims at studying online. Students are required to complete around 120 – 180 credit hours to earn the bachelor degree.

The program can normally be completed in 4 years by full time students. Most programs require completing an internship in accredited places as part of the curriculum.

What Can You Do With an Interior Design Degree?

Interior design is the branch of art and science that aims at achieving the best use of the interior space of a building to make it a more pleasant and healthier place. Interior designers should understand the intended use of a building and its environment. The work of interior design includes site inspections, space planning, communicating with clients, execution of the design and construction management.

Some interior designs have remained for hundreds of years as works of art, and are admired by people from around the world. For hotels, restaurants and malls, it can play a major role in the success of the business overall. Some interior designers are world-renowned artists earning millions of dollars yearly.

What does an interior design student learn?

7 main elements should be considered in any interior design which is: space, line, forms, light, color, texture and pattern. The study lies between science, art and engineering. Interior designers should learn about human psychology and the engineering of spaces and materials. However, a significant part of the work depends on talent, creativity and passion for the work. The following list shows the courses commonly offered in degree programs:

  1. History of art: studying the evolution of art and culture is an essential part of understanding the current and favored trends.
  2. Physics: interior designers should understand the motion of the components of a design and the properties of materials used.
  3. Human behavior and psychology: interior designers should take into consideration human interaction with the surroundings. Designers will also study the psychological effects of colors and the spaces needed by people in various buildings.
  4. Construction: This course introduces the principles for designing and constructing buildings including the use of various materials. Materials are an essential part of any design and may limit in some situations the available options for interior designers.
  5. Safety and sustainability of buildings: interior designers are responsible for making the environment inside the buildings safe and suitable for the intended use of the building. More people are currently concerned with using eco-friendly and energy-saving materials and applications. Some buildings as hospitals, universities, labs and train stations should have particular safety and technical specifications that should be fulfilled in any design.

Now I have an interior design degree…where can I work after graduating?

The demand for interior designers is high around the world and it is still growing. People acknowledge the benefits of having smart, sustainable and safe interior design, particularly in countries where homes are getting more expensive and smaller. Work is not limited to housing and is involved in almost all types of construction. Accordingly, there are various types of specializations in the field that you may consider after graduation:

  1. Interior designer: you will be responsible for creating functional, safe and beautiful spaces. Interior designers can specialize in certain types of buildings such as houses, malls, chapels, administrative offices, hospitals, educational, or other types of buildings.
  2. Graphic interior designer: the role of this job is to develop graphic illustrations of interior designs which are needed in the initial stages of design or to show the clients the expected results before execution.
  3. Kitchen designers:  some are more specialized in designing kitchens for more fancy houses which require more care about its use and safety.
  4. Estates manager: some use their knowledge and skills to manage luxuries estates maintaining the high standards for these places.

Should I choose an interior design degree?

Achieving success as an interior designer requires more than just a degree. You must have the passion, talent and creativity to become well-known, appreciated, and successful. You should also have the following skills to reach your goals in this field:

  1. Trend identification: you should always stay updated regarding recent trends, and predict future trends.
  2. Time management and organization: your work can get very stressful and demanding which requires careful time management and organization to fulfill your tasks.
  3. Communication skills: you should be able to communicate effectively with your supervisors and understand the needs of your clients.

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Best Jobs for Interior Design Degrees

While an interior design bachelor’s degree program leads to the obvious career choice of interior designer, it provides a good education for other types of careers as well.

Graduates may find work as interior decorators or adult education teachers, or they can earn additional degrees to work as architects, college art or design professors, or even ergonomists—helping business create ergonomic workspaces.

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Interior Design degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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