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Home » Interior Design » Top 8 Interior Design Colleges and Institutes

The sheer craft of putting together the best home design that not only reflects upon the homeowners’ personalities but also enriches the house with memories and positivity is nothing short of magic.

Interior designers are artists who make a person’s dream come true. They understand the philosophical bends that govern people’s lives and add vigor to home interiors. They take a mundane space and fill it with life. They manage their client’s expectations with articulate space planning while also developing design ideas to accommodate their hobbies, sustainability, and healthcare issues.

If you are an aspiring interior designer then you already have a passion for the craft. Now all that is left is to find the ideal degree programs that will train you to hone your skills for the real world.

In today’s article, we are going to discuss the best interior design schools that offer a wide array of coursework that will introduce you to the nuances of home design. You can choose a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree depending on how well you want to pursue your craft. We have no doubt that by the time you attain your interior design degree, you will be a master of the field.

8 Best Interior Design Schools To Hone Your Specialization

There are several schools where you can learn the basics of interior architecture and design along with basic economics and management skills before you take a leap towards a career in interior design. The Pratt Institute, University of Cincinnati, Auburn University, and the Fashion Institute of Technology are all good choices for general education before divulging in different specializations while following a career in home design.

Now, let us look at some of the best interior design schools that will help outshine your peers.

1. New York School of Interior Design

New York school of interior design

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No surprise here, the New York school of interior design is certainly our top choice. This private, non-profit institution has educated many successful interior designers. Their alumni are a glowing recommendation for the institution itself.

The New York School of Interior design offers one bachelor’s degree course and five master’s degree courses from which you can choose.

If you are located in and around Manhattan, you can opt for off-campus boarding and register for their extensive course in the interior design program.

If you wish to enroll in this fine institution, you must plan ahead. Although enrollments are updated on a rolling basis, the applications must be sent in before the due dates.

The application process: You must submit a copy of your SAT scores or ACT scores if you graduated from a high school in the United States. You must also attach two letters of recommendation and an essay stating why this is the perfect institution for you. Lastly, a portfolio is a necessity when applying to the NYSID.

Mandi Young, Designer at Juniper Gardens elaborates on maintaining a robust portfolio at school and after graduating, “Building a virtual portfolio allows you to show what you’re capable of before a client has taken a design risk on you. Look through home listings to imagine challenges that home owner is facing and create mockups of how you would resolve them.”
Critical aspects of the course/school Details
Location 170 east, 70th street, New York – 10021
Program duration 4 years
Tuition fees $31,788
Due date for application in the Fall semester 1st February
Due date for application in the Spring semester 1st October

Read also – How To Get The Interior Design Certification?

2. Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah college of art and design

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Ranked as the second and best interior design school is the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia that promotes a positive learning experience for interior design students.

The SCAD offers a variety of courses that you can opt for. You can start with undergraduate coursework in BFA and follow up with a bachelor’s degree and even opt for a master’s degree if you so choose.

Critical aspects of the course/school Details
Location 516, Drayton Street, Savannah, Georgia – 31401
Tuition fees $36616
Due date for early application 1st November
Due date for regular admission 15th January

The admission is SCAD is anything but competitive, however, you must have a substantial portfolio. You must attach a copy of your graduation certificate for undergrad or bachelor’s based on the course you choose along with LOR, SOP, and English proficiency. If it is applicable, you will also need to provide a copy of your SAT scores and GRE as required.

Read also – 10 Best Online Interior Design Courses

3. The New School – Parsons School of Design

interior design college - Parsons School of design

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The Parsons school of design is a popular choice for students pursuing the art of design in any field. The innovative coursework and the inspiring learning environment of the new school appeal to students of fashion design and interior design alike. The school is well-connected with the design industry thus providing excellent opportunities to graduates and undergraduates to experience the strategies of the real world.

Critical aspects of the course/school Details
Location 72 Fifth Avenue, New York, 10011
Tuition fees $46960 – $47500
Due date for spring admission 15th October
Due date for Fall admission 1st November
Due date for regular admission 15th January

You must apply for the Parsons design courses with a transcript of your grades which must be 3.42 and over. It is necessary to provide transcripts from all former institutions.

You must also submit a 500-650 worded essay along with a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, your SAT or ACT scores, and a Portfolio with a dedicated section to the Parson’s challenge.

Read also – How To Become a Certified Interior Designer Without A Degree in 2024?

4. Arizona State University

Arizona state university - interior design college

The Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute offers undergraduate and bachelor’s degrees in art and design courses. ASU campus offers various extra curriculums and clubs such as the energy club, Alpha Phi, Educator’s Rising club, and a dance club.

Critical aspects of the course/school Details
Location 810 S Forest Mall, Tempe, Arizona – 85281
Tuition fees $16500 – $36500
Due date for priority admission 15th January
Due date for summer admission 1st March
Due date for fall admission 1st July

You must attach a copy of your 3.0 GPA along with transcripts from your former education programs. You also need to submit a graduate admission application and fees. Lastly, you need to furnish proof of English proficiency along with a portfolio, two contacts for recommendations, and a letter of intent.

Read also – Everything About Interior Design

5. Drexel University

Drexel university

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The Drexel University is a place to not only educate interior design students in the subtle nuances of decorating a home but also to make them critical thinkers with innate skills and a sense of responsibility. The institution focuses on real-world values to prepare students for a career in the esteemed field of interior design.

Interior design students participate in a design studio culture to learn sustainability and diversity in their field of work.

Critical aspects of the course/school Details
Location 3141, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia 19104
Tuition fees $30184
Due date for regular admission 6th November
Due date for winter admission 1st November
Due date for spring admission 24th January
Due date for fall admission 14th June

You must submit all your former transcripts from various institutions along with an application essay, recommendations, financial capability (you can apply for financial aid as well), and a portfolio.

Read also – Best Interior Design Software

6. Florida State University

Florida State University

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Florida State University offers a wide range of courses to educate students for the practices in the real world. Aside from dedicated courses in interior design, they also offer general education in design, mathematics, languages, psychology, economics, etc.

Therefore, if you want to excel in your field with the innate skills of an interior designer, you can learn to be economical with your designs once you understand the client’s mindset by communicating with them in their preferred languages. All in all, you have a few choices to best the competition with skills no one else has.

Critical aspects of the course/school Details
Location A 2500 University Center, 282 Champions Way, Tallahassee, Florida – 32306 – 2400
Tuition fees $30184
Application due date for Master’s program 1st Feb
Application due date for Bachelor’s program 7th Feb

Read also – How to Become an Interior Designer?

7. George Washington University

George Washington university

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One of the finest interior design schools in the country is George Washington University in Washington D.C. This magnificent institution is dedicated to providing a thorough, full-time education in Interior architecture and design.

Due to the high standards of learning, the acceptance curve of this university is particularly selective. About 41 – 46% of applicants acquire successful admission each year based on their portfolio and overall application profiling.

You must submit your high school transcripts (translated to English if it is in a foreign language.), your SAT or ACT scores, and completion of the school preparatory program. You also need to submit an essay, two letters of recommendation from counselors or faculty, a portfolio, and the short answers required in the common application process. Lastly, you must share your bank statements along with a verified affidavit of your financial aid (if any).

Critical aspects of the course/school Details
Location 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC – 20052
Tuition fees $59758
Application due date for admission 1st October

Read also – 6 Best Time Saving Tips for Interior Designers

8. Michigan State University

Michigan state university

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You can apply using the common application or coalition application apps or go directly to the interior design school website.

Critical aspects of the course/school Details
Location 426 Auditorium Road East Lansing, Michigan – 48824
Tuition fees $41476
Application due date for admission 1st February

You will need to furnish your SAT or ACT scores along with the required minimum completion of high school coursework. You must also write an application essay and expressly share your special skills in varied activities, leadership, community service, etc.

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There are several other institutions such as the University of Florida in Gainesville, San Francisco State University, The Art Institute of Atlanta, and others where you can pursue a general education or specialized coursework in the field of Interior Design.

Once you finish your courses, you must quickly prepare for the NCIDQ examination and attain the Council for interior design accreditation. The CIDA qualifies you as a licensed interior designer, thus you can embark on a journey for a brighter future.

General education will only get you so far but specialization in making people’s dreams come true is a career with unbound possibilities.

Samantha Odo, Real Estate Sales Representative & Montreal Division Manager, at Precondo, says, one should prioritize NETWORKING. Building solid connections within the industry opens doors to opportunities you wouldn’t believe. Attend events, join online communities, and don’t shy away from reaching out to established professionals. My success in real estate is not only about what I know but also about the people I know. It’s a small world, and a recommendation from a well-connected peer can kick-start your career in ways you can’t imagine.”


If you have difficulty managing the fee for a full-time course in one of the top schools, you can always choose to take the courses at a State University. There are also several financial aid programs available for aspiring interior design students to help achieve their dreams with finesse. One of the best ways to develop the skill of interior design is through practice.

Ashley Woodyatt, Director at Woodyatt says, “One of my biggest tips for being successful in interiors is to get hands-on. For example, having a go at fitting a curtain pole, painting ceiling coving, and applying gold leaf will help give another dimension to your knowledge but also help you deliver briefs to contractors, estimate time and cost more accurately, and receive a higher level of respect from customers and suppliers. Without first-hand knowledge of processes, mistakes or inaccuracies can be caused, as well as a breakdown in relationships if what is being requested is unrealistic.”


Having the right business tools will make each stage of the interior design process simpler and more efficient. Foyr Neo is a powerful interior design platform built with you, the designer, in mind. Take design ideas from concept to a photo-realistic rendering in just minutes with a suite of advanced tools, including:

  • The ability to choose from thousands of preloaded items like furniture, plants, accessories and much more – or upload your own 3D models to create the exact look your clients want.
  • Produce 4K, photo-realistic renderings on demand.
  • Advanced lighting options and visualization settings.
  • Real-time 3D editing capabilities.

By combining the functionality of multiple tools in one platform we empower designers to spend less time with software and more time with their clients. Sign up for Foyr Neo’s 14-day free trial now and experience the power of limitless design.


Yes, New York School of Interior Design and Fashion Institute of Technology offer specialized courses for commercial design.

Yes, Academy of Art University and The Art Institutes offer reputable online interior design degrees.

Yes, University of Florida and Texas Tech University offer dual degree programs for both disciplines.

Yes, UCLA Extension and Florida State University offer specialized tracks catering to various design niches. 

Many schools provide coursework aligned with the NCIDQ exam requirements and offer prep courses as well.

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