A career in interior design can be a fruitful one. Fulfilling those goals, however, will mean getting an education that can make that happen. Among the many considerations that should be considered when choosing a school for interior design, two are among the most important. One of those factors, tuition, is essentially universal for nearly everyone. Another important factor is the graduation rate because accomplishing those goals begins with finishing your degree.
Here is a list of 20 of the top interior design programs based on important factors like affordability (Tuition), and the probability of completing the program (Graduation Rate), which translates into real-world opportunities. Good luck to you on your career endeavors and on finding the best school for interior design – for you.
|1||Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (99 points)||Blacksburg, Virginia|
|2||New York School of Interior Design (90 points)||New York City, New York|
|3||James Madison University (90 points)||Harrisonburg, Virginia|
|4||University of Cincinnati (87 points)||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|5||Kansas State University (86 points)||Manhattan, Kansas|
Here are the Top 20 Interior Design Schools
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (99 points)
This is the other Blacksburg, VA school, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is also number one on our list of the top 20 interior design schools. Virginia Polytech offers a strong tuition rate, and simply put, students graduate and succeed at Virginia Polytech Institute.
New York School of Interior Design (90 points)
As one of the more renowned interior design schools on the top 20 list, the New York School of Interior Design, in the heart of New York, NY makes an appearance at number two. Although tuition will likely require financial assistance, a strong graduation rate, and being the New York School of Interior Design, was enough to earn this spot.
James Madison University (90 points)
With an impressive graduation rate well over eighty percent and a comparable tuition cost, James Madison University’s interior design program lands a three on our list of the top 20 schools for interior design. This Harrisonburg, VA campus is home to many aspiring designers and has been the start for many successful designers.
University of Cincinnati (87 points)
The University of Cincinnati’s interior design program is recognized throughout the Midwest and beyond. With competitive tuition costs and a strong graduation rate, the U of C is a great place to begin a career in interior design.
Kansas State University (86 points)
K-State is not only the pride of Manhattan, KS, but it is also a wonderful choice for students considering an interior design career. With manageable tuition fees for most with financial assistance and a respectable graduation rate, Kansas State University finds its program solidly on the list of the top 20 interior design schools.
Ball State University (85 points)
As the only school representing the state of Indiana, this Muncie, IN college joins a select group of Midwest institutions on our list of the top 20 schools for interior design. If dreams of being a designer are in your future plans, then Ball State University may be in your future too.
Kean University (85 points)
Not as well-known as many of the other schools on our top 20 list, Kean University is a great place to begin a career in interior design. Very competitive tuition fees help offset a middling graduation rate and is enough to earn Kean University a solid spot on the list of the top 20 interior design schools.
Utah State University (84 points)
The state of Utah is noted for having many exceptional post-secondary institutions, and one of those educational facilities is the Utah State University in Logan, UT. For students seeking a great interior design program, Utah State University offers a wonderful program at comparable tuition costs.
Boston Architectural College (82 points)
Despite a lower than average graduation rate, the Boston Architectural College offers an exceptional interior design program, and with tuition assistance, at a cost that is affordable too. For students with dreams of an interior design career, the Boston Architectural College can play a big role in making those dreams a reality.
Savannah College of Art and Design (81 points)
The Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA is home to one of Georgia’s best interior design programs. While the tuition fees at this esteemed facility will generally require financial aid or scholarship assistance, the laurels of being a Savannah graduate and a strong graduation rate earn this program a spot in the top 20.
Baylor University (81 points)
While Baylor University is well-known and recognized well beyond its home city of Waco, TX, what might be less-known is Baylor’s great interior design program. Along with the reputation and praise that comes with Baylor University also comes healthy tuition costs. A near 80 percent graduation rate, however, keeps Baylor University in our list of top schools for interior design.
Cornell University (81 points)
Few programs need as little introduction as Cornell University. And yes, if you weren’t aware, they also have an extraordinary interior design program. It might also surprise some people to know that this blue-chip school has a near-perfect graduation rate.
College for Creative Studies (79 points)
One of those schools on our list of the top 20 interior design schools that few have probably heard of is the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. Buckle up for a considerable tuition tag on this program, but that is offset somewhat by a strong graduation rate.
George Washington University (79 points)
Like many of the highly-acclaimed post-secondary schools in the Eastern U.S., George Washington University in Washington, DC affords students the opportunity to enroll in an elite interior design program. A very strong graduation rate helps to counterbalance a sizeable tuition fee and earns GW a place in the top 20 too.
Andrews University (79 points)
Hidden among the educational giants like U of M and Michigan State, lies hidden gems like Andrews University. In addition to offering a hands-on and innovational approach to its impressive interior design program, Andrews University also affords a reasonable tuition fee after financial assistance.
Pratt Institute (77 points)
The Pratt Institute may not be familiar to many outside of Brooklyn, NY, but those in the interior design industry are aware of the Pratt Institute interior design program. That also means that employers recognize graduates of Pratt Institute. Despite solid graduation rate numbers, hefty tuition fees keep this great program from ranking higher on our list of the top interior design schools.
Bay Path University (76 points)
This college and Bay Path University’s interior design program is another among the hidden treasures for students seeking the best interior design schools and programs. While Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA isn’t as commonly recognized, the dreams and goals of Bay Path University graduates seeking a career in interior design commonly are.
Cleveland Institute of Art (76 points)
One of the country’s most recognized art programs, the interior architecture program at the Cleveland Institute of Art is second-to-none. The tuition fees here will typically require financial assistance or scholarship aid, but a solid graduation rate helps to keep this famed art college on our list of the top 20 interior design schools.
Brenau University (75 points)
Highly respected and widely recognized in the circles of those in the interior design world, the Brenau University interior design program has led many students into successful careers within the field. This Gainesville, GA school is held back by graduation rates below fifty percent but has competitive tuition rates.
Drexel University (74 points)
The interior design program at Drexel is uniquely situated to offer the best education and career opportunities. Students benefit from gifted peers, outstanding faculty, world class facilities, and an unmatched depth of resources. Our highly ranked, CIDA-accredited program is supported by a top university with a distinctive vision, and we maintain a principal position within the academic and professional worlds. Interior design at Drexel is characterized by a focus on human experience, explorations of materials and form, commitment to a sustainable future, and a rigorous professional training.
The Ranking Formula
The schools on the list are ranked using a weighted point system. Each school uses the same two variables, and the scores of those two variables are then added and assigned to the corresponding schools resulting in the total point values.
If you have questions about finding the right school, want to make a comment, or if you find an error or outdated information, please contact us. We strive to deliver accurate and helpful information, but it is important to note that figures such as gradation and tuition rates are approximations and are always susceptible to changes. Thank you for helping us to keep our data accurate and up to date, and please don’t hesitate to let us know if we can help you in your educational endeavors in any way.
For more programs, check out our master’s in interior design degree page.