The Best Interior Design Schools Can Put Your Career on Track!
Today, training from a top ranked Interior Design school or program is practically indispensable if you're serious about an Interior Design career.
I know, I told you that my degree was in Fine Art and that my mentor, Joy, learned her craft on the job...
...Well, that was then...this is now!
When I began walking into San Francisco Interior Design firms with my Art degree in hand, over thirty years ago, few colleges or Universities offered degrees in Interior Design...
That is no longer the case! The following is my subjective list of the best Interior Design Schools in the English speaking world.
Do you need to go the one of the best Interior Design schools and spend all those dollars or pounds or euros to a have a successful career in Interior Design?
No, you don't...Nor will attending one of these top Interior Design schools guarantee your success.
If you're passionate about and committed to the Art of Interior Design, though, you will get high quality instruction in every aspect of the craft at these schools.
You'll work with state of the art equipment and materials and forge relationships with instructors who are often internationally recognized, award winning designers at these quality design programs.
Most of these schools and their programs have been on my radar since the days of my apprenticeship in the 70's.
I've honed my current knowledge of top design schools and programs by research, especially one on one conversations with my colleagues.
Since I've studied and worked on the west coast of North America, Canadian and U.S. schools on the west coast are the schools I'm most familiar with. I do have Designer friends the world over though, and, I've relied on them for recommendations.
I've tried to be eclectic in making this list.
I talked on the Careers page about the distinction made in Europe between academic University degrees and the more vocational and craft oriented Trade Institute certificates.
Included in the following list are Universities, Art and Design Colleges and vocational Trade Institutes that offer a range of academic degrees and one, two and three year Interior Design Certificates.
If I know the Design School offers an online or low-residency program, I'll mention it.
I have not included schools whose course offerings are solely online. I figure that will take the research and space of its own page.
If you have information on good or not so good online courses let me know and I'll get the info out there.
Finally, this site is written in English and most of our readers are from predominantly English speaking countries...so, I've limited Interior Design schools on this list to those that offer course work in English.
So, here it is, my list of (some) of the best Interior Design Schools...If I've left a great Interior Design School out, let me know...I'll update and expand this list so check back from time to time.
1. Florence Design Academy The Florence Design Academy, Florence, Italy, is widely considered the cream of the world's best Interior Design Schools. Graduates work in the highest paid, most prestigious corporate and private Interior Design jobs. All courses are taught in English and Italian. Students work on the latest high-tech equipment and instructors are internationally recognized designers.
2. The Interior Design School The Interior Design School, London, UK, offers a one year Interior Design Diploma. The course work is rigorous and a Bachelors Degree is required to apply to the program. Alumni work all over the world in high profile Design jobs and reports on job placement for graduates is good. It better be...the one year program costs over 20,000 pounds. The Interior Design School also offers a two year program and several one day to one week workshops and courses.
3. UCLA The University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA. The Interior Design Program at UCLA offers both Bachelor's and Master's degrees as well as a strong certificate program. All programs qualify toward the education requirements to become a Certified Interior Designer in the State of California. Job placement and Internships from the UCLA Interior Design program are among the best anywhere.
4. Harrington College of Design Harrington College of Design, Chicago, IL, USA, offers a well respected four year Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program...This is a great place for older, adult students who are going after a second career or gearing up for a lifestyle change. Almost all classes are offered in night and weekend time slots for the working, adult student.
5. Vancouver College of Art and Design Vancouver College of Art and Design, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, offers a two year Interior Design program that stresses strong hands-on training of design fundamentals...drawing, lighting, color, materials, etc. The city of Vancouver is one of my favorite places in the whole world.
6. Interior Designers Institute Interior Designers Institute, Orange, CA, USA, offers both a two-year Associate of Arts (AA) degree and a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design. Instructors are world class designers, equipment is top of the line and class size is small lending itself to great mentor relationships. High level placement with companies like Mercedes Benz and Disney. Students regularly win and place in the top international Interior Design school competitions.
7. Kingston University Kingston University, London, UK. Bachelor of Arts programs in both Interior Design and Interior Architecture are consistently ranked among the best in the country. Kingston University has one of the UK's first Masters programs in Interior Design.
8. Whitehouse Institute of Design Whitehouse School of Fashion and Interior Design, Sydney, Australia, offers a rigorous three year Bachelor of Design in Interior Design degree. As Interior Design professionals, Whitehouse school graduates have the expertise to work at the highest national and international levels.
9. University of Technology Sydney University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia. The Bachelor of Interior Design program is a four year liberal arts degree program. The design courses have an international focus with an emphasis on green design and other emerging concepts.
10. Dublin Institute of Design Dublin Institute of Design, Dublin, Ireland, is an awesome Interior Design school for adult students interested in changing careers or starting new careers after raising a family. The Dublin Institute of Design offers 6 week, 10 week and one year certificate programs in Interior Design and a two year Associate of Arts diploma in Interior Design. They also have a program in conjunction with Dublin Institute of Technology so that AA graduates may transfer to the DIT Bachelor of Arts Interior Design program.
11. Fashion Institute of Technology State University of New York Fashion Institute of Technology State University of New York, New York City, NY, USA offers two year and four year programs in Interior Design. Great craft fundamentals, excellent facilities and internships and job placement in some of the most prestigious Interior Design firms, like Rockwell Group, Gensler, Interior Architect and others.
12. Westwood College Westwood College has campuses in six U.S. states; California, Colorado, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois and Texas. Westwood College has a Bachelor of Arts Interior Design program designed to be completed in three years. This is a practical, project oriented design curriculum considered to be top notch in the industry. They boast high job placement for graduates and strong relationships with private sector companies for student internships...Westwood College does offer an online degree.
13. Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China. Graduates of the three year, full time Bachelor of Arts in Design program are eligible for Diploma membership of the Charterered Society of Interior Designers in the UK.
14. University of Kentucky College of Design The School of Interior Design at the University of Kentucky offers a five-year professional degree in Interior Design. Thought of as one of the top design schools in the country, University of Kentucky design graduates work at some of the top levels in the industry.
15. Edinburgh College of Art Edingburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, UK offers a two year degree or certificate program in Interior Design. Edinburgh College of Art has an international reputation for excellence in instruction and for being on of the UK's best vocational Interior Design schools.
16. The Art Institutes The Art Institutes are a chain of private art colleges with campuses in over 45 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Some of the more notable campuses are The Illinois Institute of Art at Chicago, whose campus includes a world class art museum; The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, The Art Institute of Vancouver and The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Students can pursue AA, BA and Masters degrees in Interior Design as well as non-degree certificate programs. There is also an Art Institute online where you can pursue both degree and certificate programs from the comfort of your home while dressed in your pajamas.Return to Interior Design Careers
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