Online Interior Design Degrees 2021

Earning an online degree in interior design can lead to many new career opportunities. Here, we list the top programs available.

January 27, 2022 , Modified on June 9, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Interior Design Degrees 2021

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Interior designers make indoor spaces welcoming, aesthetically pleasing, and safe. In diverse environments like corporate boardrooms, hospitals, and private homes, interior designers apply their expertise to improve interior spaces.

A degree in interior design prepares graduates for careers in an above-average paying field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), interior designers make a median salary of over $57,000 per year.

Our list ranks the best online interior design programs to help prospective students find the best fit for their interests, budget, and career goals. This article also introduces common interior design courses, salary data, and scholarships for interior design students.

View Our Rankings List Here
Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Accredited Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Answers to Questions Discussing Interior Design Programs

Q. What kind of jobs can you get with an interior design degree?

Interior design majors work as interior designers, corporate designers, healthcare designers, and sustainability designers. Some also specialize in kitchen and bath design.

Q. Do interior designers get paid well?

Interior designers earn an above-average salary. The median annual salary exceeds $57,000, with the top-paid interior designers making nearly six-figure salaries.

Q. How much does an online interior design degree cost?

Earning an interior design degree online can cost as little as $50 per credit, depending on the school. Thanks to online formats, students can find the most affordable interior design program rather than limiting their search to their local area.

Q. How many years does it take to be an interior designer?

Most interior designers hold a bachelor's degree, which typically takes four years. Interior designers can also earn a two-year associate degree or one-year certificate.

Why Get a Degree in Interior Design?

Interior designers improve the functionality and aesthetics of spaces by designing layouts, selecting furnishings, and choosing color schemes. Within interior design, professionals specialize in areas like corporate design, healthcare design, and kitchen design. Sustainable designers improve energy efficiency and sustainability while universal designers make spaces more accessible.

A degree in interior design trains learners in design elements, stylistic choices, and design drafting. Some interior design programs offer an online option, which prioritizes flexibility and convenience. In addition to interior design degrees, many programs feature specialty certificates focusing on areas like sustainability or accessibility.

How Much Does an Interior Design Degree Cost?

The cost for a degree in interior design varies depending on the school and program. In general, two-year colleges charge lower tuition rates than four-year schools, and public institutions cost less than private schools. Many public schools offer tuition discounts for state residents. For example, American River College charges $46 per credit for California residents enrolled in its associate program in interior planning and design. Out-of-state students pay $353 per credit.

Bachelor's programs in interior design typically cost more than associate degrees. At Berkeley College, a private school, interior design majors in the bachelor of fine arts program pay $870 per credit. Online programs may offer tuition discounts for learners.

In addition to tuition costs, interior design majors often pay additional fees for supplies, including drafting software, model making equipment, and drafting materials. These supplies can add several hundred dollars per year to the degree's cost.

How Much Do Interior Design Majors Make?

The salary outlook for interior designers remains strong. Interior designers earn a median annual salary of over $57,000, according to BLS data. Salaries vary depending on location, professional experience, and degree. For example, interior designers typically need a bachelor's degree but those with an advanced degree or additional specialized certificates may earn higher salaries. Top-paid interior designers make almost $98,000 annually.

Industries also influence salaries. Interior designers working for architecture firms earn above-average salaries, while those working in wholesale trade or for furniture stores earn below-average salaries for the industry. Many interior designers also work as self-employed professionals, where earnings often vary.

The highest-paid states for interior designers include Arkansas, the District of Columbia, New York, California, and Massachusetts. Interior designers increase their earning potential with professional certifications or a master's degree in design. A strong portfolio and work experience also helps interior designers earn more.

Courses in Interior Design

A degree in interior design strengthens creative and technical skills. During an interior design program, majors take courses in design elements, materials, and building standards. Learners strengthen their technical abilities with courses in CAD design software and other interior design programs. Many programs offer specialized courses in sustainable design and lighting design, preparing graduates for focused career paths.

In addition to coursework, interior design students complete hands-on projects and build a portfolio. Programs typically encourage learners to pursue an internship to strengthen their professional experience. This section introduces common interior design courses. While every program sets its own curriculum, many include the following options.

Certifications and Licensure for Interior Design

Interior designers pursue licensure or certification to demonstrate their skills and advance their careers. Some states require registration or licensure to work as an interior designer. Professionals also pursue certifications to show specialized abilities. For example, LEED certification signifies experience in sustainability and green design. Most certifications and licenses require a degree, work experience, and an exam.

In some states, interior designers must register with the state or apply for licensure. Typically, this process requires passing scores on an examination such as the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Exam. Candidates may need a bachelor's degree and several years of work experience to receive their license. The NCIDQ offers certifications for candidates with a certificate or degree in interior design. Candidates must also meet work experience requirements. The three-part examination process tests candidates on fundamentals, professional skills, and interactive abilities. The final test uses case studies to assess design skills and judgement. A LEED credential demonstrates excellence in sustainable design and operations. Interior designers can apply for the LEED green associate or LEED AP with specialty. Candidates should ideally work on LEED-registered projects before applying. After completing a multiple-choice exam, candidates earn their credential.

Scholarships for Interior Design

Interior design majors qualify for multiple scholarships, including prestigious awards offering more than $10,000 in financial aid. Professional associations like the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) offer scholarships for interior design students. In addition to the opportunities listed below, degree-seekers can find scholarships based on their school, state, or career plans.

Scholarships for Interior Design
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Against the Grain Artistic Scholarship

$1,000 The scholarship supports Asian American students majoring in the arts, including interior design. Applicants must enroll full time at an accredited institution and demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA.

CINTAS Foundation Fellowship

$20,000 The CINTAS Foundation offers a scholarship for interior designers, urban designers, and architectural designers. Applicants with Cuban citizenship or lineage qualify for the fellowship.

David Barrett Memorial Scholarship

$12,000 Offered by ASID, the award recognizes undergraduate or graduate students who incorporate classical design elements in their work. Applicants submit a transcript, bio, personal statement, letter of recommendation, and portfolio.

Best Online Interior Design Programs 2021

  1. Century College
    Location

    White Bear Lake, MN

    Tuition

    $4770

    Century College offers a hybrid associate degree program in interior design that can be completed in 2 years through a mix of online, daytime and evening courses. The Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design prepares students to market their services and sell their products after graduation. Century College also has a American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) student chapter that graduates can join for professional networking purposes. Financial aid resources are available for online students.

  2. American River College
    Location

    Sacramento, CA

    Tuition

    $6660

    American River College offers a hybrid associate degree program in interior design. The program receives input from an advisory committee of professionals from the interior design community to ensure the curriculum is useful and provides a solid introduction to the industry. Earning a degree in interior design through ARC can be accomplished through some online coursework and classes taken in the evening and on weekends. Students in this program can apply for financial aid to help pay for their degree.

Related articles that may interest you

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Do this for you

Explore your possibilities- find schools with programs you’re interested in and clear a path for your future.