Best Online Master’s in Interior Design Programs

Did you know that an online master’s in interior design can increase your earning power as much as 35%? While there are many things to consider when choosing a college or university for an interior design program, the number one factor should be how much you will earn upon graduation.

Individuals with a master’s degree in interior design have a wide range of career options when it comes to creating dynamic spaces for their clients. Interior designers earn a median annual salary of $49,810, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Interior designers are in for a treat right now, as technological advancements have given them a plethora of new tools with which to create the interior spaces of the future.

The online master’s in interior design programs allow you to study from anywhere and at any time. The studies may be conducted at any time, anywhere, even in the comfort of our home. Online education allows you to learn when it is most practical for you.


Best Accredited Online Master’s in Interior Design Programs

1. University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Students can prepare for careers in research or academia by enrolling in UNL’s hybrid MS in architecture program, which includes an interior design specialization.

Accreditation
Format

Online

Tuition
Tuition

$245/credit in-state; $772/credit out-of-state

Duration
Duration

2-3 years

Credits
Credits

36 credits

Core courses in evidence-based design, research methods, and evolving issues in interior design are included in the program. Students can also choose electives in branding, environmental behavior, women in design, and design-health interactions, based on their career goals and research interests.

Students can also add an interior design and gerontology certificate to their degree program, allowing them to concentrate on the wide range of space requirements of nursing homes, retirement communities, and other care facilities.

This 36-credit interior design master’s degree program offers two- and three-year tracks, allowing students to choose the pace and format that best suits their needs. Both tracks include a 3-6 credit field experience. Financial aid assistance, academic advising, technical assistance, and internship and career services are all available to enrolled students.

Students must complete a thesis that addresses an issue in interior design before graduating. The thesis synthesizes what students learned throughout the program while also providing new perspectives on how interior designers can respond to emerging industry needs.

A bachelor’s degree in interior design, architecture, or a closely related field is required for eligibility. They also have to submit a goals statement, college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a portfolio of previous interior design or architecture work.

The National Architectural Accrediting Board has granted UNL’s College of Architecture accreditation.

Program: MS in Architecture
Available Concentrations: Interior design
Instruction Style: Asynchronous
Graduation Rate: 68%
Location: Lincoln, NE

2. Savannah College of Art and Design

SCAD offers a 45-credit online MA in interior design program that equips students with the technical and research skills necessary to succeed as upper-level professionals.

Accreditation
Format

Hybrid

Tuition
Tuition

$38,475/year

Duration
Duration

2 years

Credits
Credits

45 credits

Interior design theory, research methods, emerging materials, and environmental psychology are all covered in the core curriculum. In the contemporary issues in interior design course, students examine and evaluate various methods and issues in the field using critical thinking and practical design concepts. In addition, students must complete a final project in their chosen field.

Prospective students must submit their college transcripts, a portfolio, a resume, a statement of purpose, and at least two recommendation letters to apply to the master’s in interior design online program. A bachelor’s degree in interior design or a related field from an accredited college or university is required for eligibility. Students can take some in-person classes at the school’s Atlanta or Savannah campuses in addition to taking distance courses.

All students at SCAD pay the same tuition, regardless of where they live. A writers’ studio, peer tutoring, thesis support, and graduate mentor programs are among the school’s resources tailored to the needs of online students. A job board and career development services are available to alumni.

SCAD’s online courses are all delivered in an asynchronous format with no set login times. Students can now watch lectures, complete assignments, and participate in discussions on their own time. Students can also participate in study abroad programs in Hong Kong, France, and other parts of the world.

Program: MA in Interior Design
Instruction Style: Asynchronous
Graduation Rate: 65%
Location: Savannah, GA

3. Ball State University

Interior design MA and MS degrees are available online at Ball State. Both options provide rigorous coursework and a diverse range of experiences to prepare students to serve as field leaders.

Accreditation
Format

Online

Tuition
Tuition

$410/credit in-state; $616/credit out-of-state

Duration
Duration

2-3 years

Credits
Credits

39 credits

The 39-credit master’s in interior design online program emphasizes problem-solving and creative thinking while addressing the interior space needs of various cultures, populations, and functions. Inclusionary design, environmental psychology, professional design practice, and design analysis are among the topics covered by students. They also write a final thesis on a topic of their choice.

While the traditional program requires students to complete all requirements in three years or less, a fast track option allows students to complete all requirements in two years or less. Email, discussion boards, blogs, wikis, journals, and file sharing are all ways for students to communicate with their peers and instructors. Academic advising, peer mentoring, technology assistance, academic support, and career planning are all available to distance learners. The online master’s degree in interior design can be started in the fall, spring, or summer terms.

A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution with a minimum 2.75 GPA is required for admission to Ball State’s graduate school. A resume, portfolio, and at least two letters of recommendation from professors or employers are required of prospective students. They must also submit a letter of intent outlining their career goals as well as the electives they wish to take once they are enrolled.

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation has given the interior design program its seal of approval.

Admission requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum

Program: MA or MS in Interior Design
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous
Graduation Rate: 62%
Location: Muncie, IN

4. Boston Architectural College

The BAC’s 30-credit online MS in interior architecture prepares students to create dynamic interior spaces in a variety of applications by providing advanced knowledge in the field.

Accreditation
Format

Hybrid

Tuition
Tuition

$2,060/credit

Duration
Duration

3 semesters

Credits
Credits

30 credits

 Individuals who want to create responsive environments and apply cultural knowledge to evidence-based design practices will benefit from the program’s format.

The master’s in interior design online program is divided into three semesters, the first of which is devoted to contemporary methods and the second to research methods. During the third semester, students write a thesis in which they apply their knowledge to current interior design issues.

Courses on design strategies and research techniques are included in the curriculum. Students learn to apply concepts from environmental psychology, ergonomics, and anthropometrics to their work in the program’s human and social factors in design course.

Students must attend two weekend residencies at the school’s Boston campus, despite the fact that all classes are taken online. The BAC hopes to help students network and improve their communication skills through these in-person sessions.

Official college transcripts, a personal essay, a current resume, a portfolio or work sample, and at least one recommendation letter are required for admission to the online master’s degree in interior design program. The program is open to new students in the fall and spring semesters.

Writing assistance, tutoring, test proctoring, academic advising, resume help, and portfolio support are all available through the school’s Learning Resource Center. Students who are both residents and nonresidents pay the same tuition. The BAC campus is located in the historic Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.

Program: MS in Interior Architecture
Instruction Style: Asynchronous
Graduation Rate: 10%
Location: Boston, MA

5. Brenau University

Students enrolled in Brenau University’s fully online MFA in interior design study current and emerging issues in the field while honing their research abilities.

Accreditation
Format

Online

Tuition
Tuition

$695/credit

Duration
Duration

18 months to 2 years

Credits
Credits

54 credits

Individuals seeking advanced positions in the industry, as well as researchers and university professors, will benefit from the degree program.

Building information modeling, contemporary issues in design, applied interior design, and research methods are among the topics covered in the 54-credit master’s in interior design online program. Students can concentrate their studies on the human or design environments by taking classes and conducting research in those areas. Because of the accelerated seven-week terms, most students can complete the program in less than two years if they attend full time.

Students work on a thesis throughout the program, which they present before graduating. For an MFA exhibition, students must also create and present a teaching and design portfolio. A limited number of assistantships are available in the program, allowing students to work directly with instructors and gain hands-on, advanced research experience in the field.

A bachelor’s degree in interior design or a related field from a program accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, as well as a minimum 3.0 GPA, are required for admission to the Brenau University online master’s degree in interior design. Students must also submit a portfolio as well as a current resume.

Program: Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design
Available Concentrations: Human environment; design environment
Instruction Style: Asynchronous
Graduation Rate: 49%
Location: Gainesville, GA

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master’s in Interior Design Program?

You’ll find useful information about what to expect while earning an online graduate degree in interior design from an accredited college or university in the sections below. While no two programs are identical, many of the best in this field share some common elements.

Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Interior Design

You may have access to a wide range of courses depending on the format and emphasis of your online program. The following is a list of some of the most common classes found in these programs:

How Long Does it Take to Get an Online Master’s in Interior Design?

Just like any other type of design degree program, online masters in interior design take time to complete. The exact amount of time will depend on several factors including whether you attend school full-time or part-time as well as which practicum experiences, internships, and other skills-building activities are required by your particular program. 

The format of each program is another factor. Several schools require students to take classes as part of a cohort, where one takes classes with the same group of classmates. In some programs, you can take independent courses to complete your degree more quickly and at your convenience. While this isn’t the most important consideration when choosing an online master’s in interior design program, it can help you determine if you have the time and discipline to maintain your coursework on a regular basis. Both types of programs have their pros and cons; it’s really up to you and your own personal circumstances which option will benefit you most.

A master’s in interior design degree online typically requires students to take  about 60 credits of advanced coursework. ITypically, these programs take two to three years to complete, but some colleges and universities offer  accelerated formats.

Students in most master’s of interior design degree online programs must complete about 60 credits of advanced coursework. These programs usually take two to three years to complete, though some colleges and universities offer accelerated options.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Interior Design Degrees

One way to ensure that an online interior design master’s program is a quality program is to verify that it’s accredited. Accreditation for an interior design program is important because it demonstrates that the program offers quality academic programming. There are numerous kinds of accreditation, including regional accreditation and national accreditation.

Regional accreditation is generally regarded as more prestigious. Nationally accredited schools, on the other hand, must adhere to strict guidelines and frequently offer lower tuition rates. Regional accreditation is held by about 85 percent of colleges and universities in the United States.

Look for regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, AdvanceED, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities when looking for online programs. The Higher Education Council is the most common national accrediting agency. Additionally, the Council for Interior Design Education may accredit some interior design programs.

There are many online Master’s in interior design degrees available. However, students must make sure they meet the specific accreditation regulations, such as those housed by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education.

These accreditation agencies have a responsibility to the public to ensure colleges and universities meet certain standards for educational quality and institutional integrity. Some of the top interior design schools are regionally accredited by agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE).

If you’re considering online interior design degrees, accreditation is important to keep in mind. While research suggests that accredited schools may not necessarily be better than unaccredited ones, there are a number of potential benefits to choosing schools with regional and national accreditation.

The Education Department and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) both play important roles in ensuring that institutions of higher learning earn their accreditations. They give students assurance that academic programs adequately prepare them for careers or advanced studies by doing so.

Lists of all accredited colleges and universities in the United States can be found on the Education Department and CHEA websites.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Interior Design Graduates

Job Placement

Education SpecialtyMedian Annual Wage of Workers
with a Bachelor’s Degree
Median Annual Wage of Workers
with a Graduate Degree
Architecture$67,000$76,000
Graphic Design$51,000$63,000
Interior Design$43,205$48,124

Master’s In Interior Design Salary

Interior designers may have the opportunity to advance into management roles and earn higher salaries as their careers progress. The median salaries in this field for entry-level, mid-career, and late-career professionals are shown in the table below, courtesy of PayScale. Master’s degree holders in interior design are typically on the higher end of the scale.

Design Director$92,579$47,215$74,063$103,688
Project Manager$58,890$47,112$61,245$73,024
Interior Architect$54,934$47,243$54,934$78,556
Interior Designer$46,971$41,804$51,668$64,820
Sales Consultant$40,805$35,092$41,213$48,558

Master’s In Interior Design Careers

A Master’s in interior design program can be a great resource for professionals looking to enhance their career. Students of online graduate programs in interior design are able to work at their own pace, make an immediate impact on their careers, and make a difference through their creativity.

You can fulfill a variety of roles in the interior design and architecture fields with an online graduate degree in interior design. Interior designers often work in offices where they communicate with clients, subcontractors, and architects on projects. They meet to discuss specific details about a project and create sketches or mockups using computer-aided design programs (CAD).

An online graduate degree in interior design prepares students for a variety of roles within the interior design and architecture field.

Interior designers are usually enthusiastic about their work and are constantly looking for new ways to meet the needs and desires of the people, businesses, and organizations they work with.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Interior Design Program

There are many options to help you finance your education. The FAFSA form is one option. U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens can fill out the FAFSA form to determine if they qualify for financial aid, including grants, work-study benefits, and low-interest loans. Also, check online and with your school  to find additional scholarship opportunities. Your online interior design program’s own financial aid staff may also be another source of information on available options to assist with financing your education.

One example is the American Society of Interior Designers, which offers undergraduate and graduate scholarships.