Graduating with one of the 5 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Interior Design allows you to get your foot in the door in one of the most dynamic and fascinating design fields in the workforce.
Graduates of interior design programs work in a variety of environments, such as home and commercial business design, remodel supply centers, furniture stores, and architectural firms. Interior designers combine technical training in drafting and art with a unique understanding of human behavior to create spaces that promote health, safety, and inspiration for everyone.
What Is an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design?
Interior design students receive a solid background in art history and studio art so they can create beautiful spaces for their clients. However, unlike interior decorators, interior designers receive a much more technical education.
The bulk of interior design courses are in architecture, including basic concepts of building design, and frameworks like anthropometrics and ergonomics. Hands-on training includes drafting by hand and 3D modeling with the help of computer-aided design softwaree, or CAD.
Additionally, interior design programs teach students about building codes and permitting, eco-friendly design, and accessibility. Some programs also include courses in business and programs in communications, which are useful for setting up an independent practice.
Though interior designers can be registered without a bachelor’s degree, the opportunities and education provided by four-year degrees give grads a leg up in applying for jobs and networking with industry professionals. Furthermore, bachelor’s in interior design grads leave their programs with extensive portfolios before ever setting foot in the job market.
How Much Can You Earn with an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design?
The median pay for interior designers in 2019, according to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, was about $56,000 per year. This goes up to $61,000 per year for those employed in architecture and engineering fields, which is where that bachelor’s degree can come in handy: without training in building codes and permitting, those jobs aren’t as attainable.
This year hasn’t been great for the economy overall, but according to National Public Radio, home improvement projects are actually on the rise, which is great news for job-seeking interior designers across the country. Similarly, a poll from MarketWatch shows new home construction surging. Home improvement and construction projects offer job opportunities for designers working with large firms as well as self-employed designers who have found their niche with wealthy clients.
What Is Required for an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design?
Most programs require about 120 credits for graduation, and some require an internship, practicum, or research project. Admissions requirements vary with each program but not every school requires a portfolio for admission.
Two of the biggest benefits to the schools on our list are flexibility and affordability. Many programs offer discounted tuition for online students, along with scholarships. Some classes can be completed in accelerated formats, and others offer the option of live webcam-based classes or asynchronous learning.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Interior Design?
OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.
The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design20-Year ROI$648,048
- Tuition: $16,268(in state) / $16,268(out of state)
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Programs offered online9
Program LevelMedian Debt$32,875Programs in Department6Popularity at School54.47%100%OSR Score
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design’s online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design provides students with flexible, modern skills for the ever-evolving interior design workforce. Coursework includes industrial, graphic, and environmental design, as well as architecture and contract-planning. To help students steadily develop their skills, these topics become gradually more challenging throughout the duration of the degree.
Academy of Art University20-Year ROI$753,855
- Tuition: $20,952(in state) / $20,952(out of state)
- A blended online education platform
- Classes offered in 7.5 and 15-week increments
- Scholarships totaling up to $3,000 available
School WideStudent Satisfaction77%Programs offered online32
Program LevelMedian Debt$35,688Programs in Department3Popularity at SchoolNot Reported91%OSR Score
Academy of Art University’s Online Interior Architecture & Design degree exemplifies both aesthetics and innovation through professionally-produced instructional videos, lectures, hands-on work, group discussion, and guidance from industry leaders. Students can participate in live classes or complete coursework on their own schedules. Distance learners create community and network through social media, live-streamed events and workshops, and a digital portfolio showcase.
Berkeley College-New York20-Year ROI$806,586
- Tuition: $23,379(in state) / $23,379(out of state)
- 120 credits required for graduation
- Program start times in fall and winter semesters
- Small class sizes promote focused online learning
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedPrograms offered online11
Program LevelMedian Debt$29,165Programs in Department1Popularity at SchoolNot Reported82%OSR Score
Berkeley College’s online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design degree prepares students for immediate entry into the workforce. The program combines all the basics of design, composition, and drafting technology with carefully-chosen, experienced faculty. Berkeley College stands out for its small online class sizes (with a maximum of 15 students), emphasis on real-world problem-solving, and options for students to participate in design research or complete an internship for credit.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
- Tuition: $13,906(in state) / $28,926(out of state)
- Internship program available to all majors
- No limit to transfer credits
- 120 credits required for graduation
School WideStudent Satisfaction71%Admission Rate61%Programs offered onlineNot Reported
Program LevelMedian Debt$23,261Programs in DepartmentNot ReportedPopularity at School< 1%69%OSR Score
New Jersey Institute of Technology’s online Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design prepares students to design a better world for all. The program focuses on design that meets the needs of people with disabilities or special needs, protects the environment, and promotes public health and safety. Students also learn effective collaboration skills, as well as legal and technical regulations that will guide them in the workforce. Topics of study include architectural history, business, ergonomics, and communication.
Ohio University-Main Campus
- Tuition: $11,896(in state) / $21,360(out of state)
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate74%Programs offered online9
Program LevelMedian Debt$20,072Programs in Department1Popularity at SchoolNot Reported67%OSR Score
The online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture from Ohio State University prepares graduates for dynamic careers in both residential and commercial design. Ohio State’s program stands out from the rest due to its expansive array of course options, spanning art, business, communications, and more, along with an internship requirement that gives graduates competitive work experience. With multiple start times throughout the year and self-paced classes, students can fit a quality education into their busy lives.