How do I Choose the Best Interior Design School?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 26 December 2018
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In order to choose the best interior design school, some thought as well as some research is helpful. Decide whether you want to attend design school in person or prefer to learn online. If you're not sure, you can investigate schools and narrow down your options, while also keeping your preferred style of learning, networking opportunities and work or child care responsibilities in mind. A crucial consideration to make when choosing design schools is to be sure that the school you choose is accredited and approved by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).

A good accredited interior design school may be independently run or it may be a part of a college. At least an associate's degree in interior design is needed to become an interior designer, although a bachelor's degree may be strongly preferred by some employers. Before deciding on a particular degree program from a certain interior design school, it's a good idea to check with employers you hope to work for by arranging an informational interview at their convenience. Keep your telephone or in-person interview to no more than ten or 15 minutes and ask questions about what type of education the company looks for when hiring interior design graduates. You can also ask potential employers about internship opportunities they may have.


Choosing an interior design school with an internship program or work placement opportunities may be best, if it will help you get an entry-level interior designing job upon graduation. Find out from each school you're considering what their record of employment is for past graduates. Class sizes are another thing you should research and compare when looking for the best interior design school.

It's important to remember that getting accepted into the best interior design schools is competitive. You should start preparing as far in advance as possible. The better you understand what the school expects, the more prepared you'll be in terms of having a competitive design portfolio and the other requirements that could allow you to gain acceptance over the competition.

Another consideration to make when selecting an interior design school is whether or not it's approved for your financial aid qualification, if that is one of your concerns. If you're going to borrow money for school, it's especially important to look for interior design programs and schools that seem the most likely to help you find a job as soon as you graduate. Struggling to pay back school loans without having found a good paying job isn’t appealing to any graduate. Choosing a school with the lowest tuition isn't as crucial as finding one that will jump start your career in interior design.



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