Guide to an Online Interior Design Education

by Jennifer Croley
Guide to an Online Interior Design Education

Whether you are interested in an interior design career, want to study interior design for personal use, or are a professional seeking continuing education, there are several online options to help you achieve your goals.

How Online Interior Design Programs Work

If you want to study interior design, you should definitely explore your online options.

For interior design students, feedback on their work is important. Jan Jacobson, Online Academic Program Director for the Art Institute Online's Interior Design and Residential Planning Program, points out that technology helps online students get the feedback they need. "Our students get the same feedback online as they do on-ground, maybe even more," says Jacobson. "We have many technology features that allow us to communicate with our students virtually that are not used in a brick and mortar classroom."

Jacobson points out that no matter what the program length, students must work hard to stay balanced. "The flexibility of online programs is a plus, but a student must be highly motivated and able to stay focused," says Jacobson.

Online Interior Design Schools

"Deciding on what type of interior design education to pursue is a big challenge," notes Katie Thomas, Associate Director of Student Programs for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Thomas tells students that getting all the details is the best way to make an informed decision. "Students really should start at square one. Find out what programs are available, what sort of design each school specializes in, how much each program costs, what types of classes are offered, what percentage of graduates actually pursue interior design, and what types of jobs those graduates have landed."

Online Interior Design Education Financial Issues

Students need to check with the financial aid office at their school for information regarding loan assistance or grant programs.


Kayem Dunn, Executive Director for the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), tells prospective students to think about their career goals now. "A big architecture or design firm will have different hiring requirements than retail establishments," points out Dunn. "Students need to think about whether the online programs they are considering will provide them with the tools they need to do the kind of work they want to do." Information on interior design careers is available at Careers in Interior Design.

Another consideration is licensing requirements. In many states you cannot call yourself an interior designer unless you achieve a certain level of accredited education, and in some cases, pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. For information on licensing requirements visit ASID's Factsheet of Interior Design Registration Laws.

Request more information from these online interior design programs.

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