A graduate interior design degree is a great academic degree for those with previous design education or who have an innate artistic sense or stellar technical abilities. Earning an on-campus or Online Master’s in Interior Design degree is a smart way to advance one’s interior design career as coursework because these online master’s in interior design degree program take a deep dive into the skills and techniques required to springboard an interior design career to the next level.
Most Online Master’s in Interior Design degree programs offer a variety of academic specialties within the interior design field, in addition to teaching students how to own and manage a professional interior design professional practice. Many programs focus on how design and design elements impact human behavior, sustainability, academia, health/wellness, and even sustainability.
An Online Master’s in Interior Design degree program typically provides both artistic/design classes in combination with technical courses, which creates professional designers with the ability and talent to create decors that are aesthetically pleasing and functionally effective within what is often challenging spatial requirements.
Additionally, students enrolled in a graduate interior design degree will complete classes on the many materials used in the creation of design and design elements. Design projects tend to be detail-oriented and demand a strong sense of organization, and most graduates of an interior design program are highly adept at keeping all of the facts straight.
Classes for an Online Master’s in Interior Design degree program are available from a number of different higher learning institutions. The Master’s in Interior Design degree programs listed below represent those programs that are available online, although some graduate degree programs may have a limited residency requirement.
There are a variety of academic graduate degree paths that leads to a rewarding career in interior design –
- An MFA – a Master of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design.
- An MS – a Master of Science degree in Interior Design.
- An MA – a Master of Arts degree in Interior Design.
9 Best Online Master’s in Interior Design Degree Programs
1. The University of Nebraska (UN Lincoln)
The University of Nebraska College of Architecture (UN Lincoln) offers a Master of Science degree (MS) degree in Architecture with an academic specialization in Interior Design (MSID) that can be completed entirely online. The University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s Online Master’s in Interior Design degree program offers two academic tracks that cover two or three years. Core coursework includes evidence-based design and evolving issues in interior design, among others.
- Tuition Fees – $ 332 per credit (state resident online)
- Credit Units Required – 36 credit units.
- Student Enrollment – 25,390
- Accreditation – HLC
2. Ball State University (BSU)
The Estopinal College of Architecture & Planning at Ball State University offers a Master of Science (MS) degree or an MA – a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Interior Design that can both be finished entirely online through BSU’s distance learning platform. Ball State University’sOnline Master’s in Interior Design degree programs offer candidates a socially responsible curriculum and the ability to flexibly schedule classes to meet the student’s other commitment.
- Tuition Fees – $ 449 per credit unit (state resident)
- Credit Units Required – 80 quarter credit units.
- Student Enrollment – 22,443
- Accreditation – CIDA & HLC
3. Stephen F Austin State University (SFA)
Stephen F Austin State University (SFASU) offers a Master of Science (MS) degree program in Human Science and Interior Design (HSID) that includes coursework in sustainability, housing/furnishing, and advanced lighting, and social statistics, to name a few. SFA’s Online Master’s in Interior Design degree program offers four academic emphases to online students – interior design, healthcare interior design, human development & family studies, or family & consumer sciences.
- Tuition Fees – $ 491 per credit (state resident)
- Credit Units Required – 30 credit units with a thesis option or 36 credit units with a thesis.
- Student Enrollment – 12,969
- Accreditation – SACSCOC
4. The University of California (UC Los Angeles) (UCLA Extension)
The Los Angeles Campus of the University of California (UCLA Extension) is one of the interior design schools of California that offers a Master of Interior Architecture that is available 100% online. UCLA Extension’s Online Master’s in Interior Designdegree program includes classes in concept-driven design, interior architecture, and interior detailing, to name a few.
- Tuition Fees – $ 500 per credit unit (state resident)
- Credit Units Required – 42 semester units. (63 quarter units)
- Student Enrollment – 44,371
- Accreditation – CIDA & WASC
5. Brenau University (BU)
The Fine Arts & Humanities College at Brenau University offers a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Interior Design. Brenau University’s MFA Online Master’s in Interior Designdegree program is recognized among the top online colleges by SR Education Group. It is noted that applicants for this graduate degree should already hold a baccalaureate degree in interior design, architecture, or another related field of study.
- Tuition Fees – $ 742 per credit
- Credit Units Required – 36 credit units.
- Student Enrollment – 2,817
- Accreditation – CIDA & SACSCOC
6. The Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD)
SCAD – the Savannah College of Art and Design offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Interior Design that can be finished online or on SCAD’s Savannah or Atlanta campuses. The Savannah College of Art & Design’s (SCAD’s) Online Master’s in Interior Design degree program includes classes in interior design theory, emerging interior materials, and environmental psychology for interior design, plus a graduate internship, to name a few.
- Tuition Fees – $ 855.00 per credit
- Credit Units Required – 45 credit units.
- Student Enrollment – 9,812
- Accreditation – CIDA & WASC &NASAD
7. Chatham University (CU)
Chatham University’s Continuing & Professional Studies School offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Interior Architecture (MIA) that offers a limited residency across its five-semester curriculum. This Online Master’s in Interior Design degree program offers a rolling admissions schedule and is designed for those applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in interior design or another related design field.
- Tuition Fees – $ 987 per credit unit
- Credit Units Required – 72 quarter semester units.
- Student Enrollment – 2,437
- Accreditation – MSCHE & CIDA
8. The Academy of Art University (AAU)
Since 2002, the School of Interior Architecture & Design at the Academy of Art University has been offering two of the best Online Master’s in Interior Designprograms with its Master of Arts degree in Interior Architecture & Design or its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interior Architecture & Design. The Academy of Art University is recognized among the best creative media and art programs in the nation.
- Tuition Fees – $ 1,137.00 per credit
- Credit Units Required – 66 credit units.
- Student Enrollment – 9,812
- Accreditation – CIDA & NASAD & WASC
9. Boston Architectural College (BAC)
Boston Architectural College offers a post graduate Online Master’s in Interior Architecture degree program with its Master of Science degree (MS) in Interior Architecture (MSIA) that is available 100% online. This program is specifically designed for those with a bachelors in interior design. This online graduate program is focused on research and adding to the interior design professional body of knowledge. Students will spend a year researching and writing their thesis which enables them to develop a specific area of expertise.
Classes for this online graduate degree in interior architecture include Guided Research in Area of Inquiry, Thesis Research Strategies, Thesis 1 – Special Topics, Thesis 2, and others.
- Tuition Fees – $ 1,224 per credit
- Credit Units Required – 30 credit units.
- Student Enrollment – 737
- Accreditation – NECHE
Our Ranking Methodology
The ten Online Master’s in Interior Design programs noted above have been evaluated by BestValueSchools.org to represent a comprehensive cross-section of the available Online Master’s in Interior Design programs offered by public and private institutions of higher education.
These Online Master’s in Interior Design programs are listed with the most affordable tuition fees presented first, with data and information gathered from each interior design school/college/university’s website, the US Dept. Of Labor (DOL) and the federal government’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
Tuition fees are noted by ‘per credit’ and offer students financial insight into the primary costs of attaining one of the listed Online Master’s in Interior Design degrees. Additionally, tuition costs represent the costs to enroll in the program for the school year of 2020 to 2021 or 2019 to 2020.
Other information included for prospective students includes the following –
- Credit units required to complete the degree – provides insight into the depth and breadth of the academic degree offered.
- Student enrollment data – provides students with some idea of the size of the school.
- Accreditation data – each of the schools, have received regional/national accreditation; however, many offer more specialized, programmatic accreditation, as follows –
- CIDA – the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Online Master’s in Interior Design programs that have received CIDA accreditation offer a curriculum that meets the NCIDQ’s requirements for education. Most interior designers are certified by the NCIDQ’s triple-part exam.
- NASAD – the National Association of Schools of Art and Design
Do You Have Concerns About Your Interior Design Program’s Ranking?
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