Pin Me

How to Pick an Online Interior Design School

written by: Jen Collins•edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi•updated: 12/26/2010

There are several options available for online interior design training. Checking an online school's accreditation is important if a student would like to receive federal financial aid.

  • slide 1 of 7

    Knowing how to pick an online interior design school involves several factors. It is important to consider whether or not the online interior design program is accredited. A quality college will be accredited regionally or nationally. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation is a voluntary accrediting body. Another factor to consider is whether you would like to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam, which is sometimes a requirement to obtain a state license to practice interior design. Some states require licensing in order to practice inteior design, it is important to check with your state to determine what is required.

  • slide 2 of 7

    Overview of Accreditation

    The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) provides accreditation solely to interior design programs. While the organization has been in business since 1970 it only recently began allowing online interior design programs to apply for accreditation. Accreditation through CIDA is voluntary and many quality programs choose not to apply. In order to obtain federal financial aid you will want at minimum an online interior design school to be regionally or nationally accredited though one of the various accrediting bodies.

  • slide 3 of 7

    National Council for Interior Design Qualification

    In order to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam education and experience requirements must be met. There are several options of satisfying this requirement. The first route to qualify is through the completion of a CIDA-accredited interior design bachelor’s or master’s degree with approximately two years of full-time interior design work experience. An option for those who do not complete a CIDA-accredited program requires either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in interior design with two years of full-time qualified interior work experience. There are also requirements in place for those with associate’s degrees, degrees in subjects other than interior design as well as those who have earned a degree in architecture.

  • slide 4 of 7
    image courtesy of barunpatro
  • slide 5 of 7

    Westwood College Online

    Westwood College Online offers a bachelor’s degree in interior design. Westwood College’s online interior design degree is nationally accredited through the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). The online interior design program consists of 194.5 credit hours and takes approximately three years to complete.

  • slide 6 of 7

    Academy of Art University

    The Academy of Art University offers an online bachelor’s degree in interior architecture and design. This online program is accredited through CIDA as well as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), a regional accrediting body. The online program consists of 132 units; 78 units in the interior design major, 45 liberal arts units and 9 art electives.

  • slide 7 of 7

    The Art Institute Online

    The Art Institute Online offers an online bachelor’s degree in interior design. The Art Institute online is a division of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. This online interior design degree program has received CIDA accreditation. The school is also regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). This online program consists of 180 credits; 117 credits in interior design; 60 general education credits and 3 elective credits.

    If you are questioning how to pick an online interior design school, these schools and ideas can help.