Online Interior Design Courses and Certification Programs

Find out about online interior design courses and in which degree and training programs they’re most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program information and in-person requirements to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

Online coursework in interior design is available mainly through degree programs offered at both for-profit and non-profit schools. Students who are interested in the field can choose a major in Interior Design, Interior Architecture or Fine Arts. Programs can lead to an associate’s degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or a certificate. These programs are offered in a blended format, combining online courses with on-campus requirements. Students who are interested in earning an online certificate in another design-related field may also consider professional certification in graphic design, which can be completed entirely online.

The classes within these programs typically cover the planning, livability and aesthetics involved in interior design. They also focus on design theory, process and studio work. Design elements and principles, space planning and color theory are part of the program. Through assignments that require hands-on design work, interior design students build a professional portfolio of their projects. Graduates are prepared for interior designer certification.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Advertising and Commercial Design
  • Commercial Photography
  • Fashion Design
  • General Visual Communications Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration and Drawing
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design and Decorating

Interior Design Programs and Courses

Interior Design Associate’s Degree

Offered by a few colleges, this entry-level online program covers areas like residential and commercial design, drawing techniques, use of computer-aided design software, and legal, financial, ethical and other issues encountered by interior designers. Students will be expected to take some general education requirements. Coursework for the 2-year degree program includes:

  • History of interior design
  • Color theory
  • Textiles
  • History of furniture
  • Architectural lighting design
  • Professional practice

Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design

Generally offered as a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, this 4-year online program requires the completion of internships and an extensive portfolio. Along with interior design courses, students also study related topics in anthropology, psychology, sociology and biology in order to gain a well-rounded perspective for creating livable, functional spaces. Students take classes in areas such as:

  • Holistic design
  • Drafting
  • Building codes and regulations
  • Design research
  • Office design

Master’s Degree in Interior Architecture and Design

A few schools offer this advanced degree in design online; it is offered as both a Master of Science and a Master of Fine Arts degree. The curriculum focuses on advanced techniques in interior architecture and design. Students complete a thesis or a directed project. They have access to other students and professors through an online course delivery system and can complete work on their own time, although specific milestones must be completed on time. Coursework can include:

  • Spatial design
  • Sketching for design
  • Lighting design
  • Materials use
  • Concept, theory and design process

Interior Design Certification

In order to become a certified interior designer through the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), prospective interior designers must complete a formal program in interior design with a minimum of 40 semester hours of interior-design-related coursework, submit proof of work experience with an interior design firm and pass the 3-part Interior Design Fundamentals Exam administered by the NCIDQ. An exception is made for those with a Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture, who do not need additional interior design education to take the exam.

Overall, there are lots of online courses and programs available in interior design, and they can prepare graduates for certification in the field. Students in undergraduate degree programs get a comprehensive overview of the design-related subjects as well as a general education, while online master’s degree programs typically offer a greater degree of flexibility in both curriculum and scheduling.



interior design association

Interior design association

Online Start Dates: January 2017, April 2017, July 2017, October 2017

On-Campus Start Dates: April 2017, October 2017

Program Length: 3 years (4 year degree equivalent)

Interior design association

The Bachelor of Interior Design is a leading program with in-class and online delivery. A practitioner oriented and skills-based approach will prepare you for a rewarding career as an interior designer in a growing and competitive marketplace.

I love interior design. I m doing a four year degree in three years and I m getting all of the support I need. Tara Bennett, RCCIT Bachelor of Interior Design student

Interior design has always been my passion. Now I m finishing my degree online, working part-time and I still have time to be a mom. Mirielle Drover, RCCIT Bachelor of Interior Design online student

If you are creative with a passion for aesthetics and function, the Bachelor of Interior Design will give you the foundation and skills to create beautiful, practical, healthy and safe environments for interior spaces. You will apply critical, analytical, and technical skills in high level design processes. You will gain expertise in the latest technical and digital media. You will develop creative and collaborative problem solving skills, visual literacy, cultural and ecological awareness. And you will grow a real understanding of the design industry s business side and how to market yourself as a professional.

The mission of the Bachelor of Interior Design program is to cultivate student knowledge, foster exploratory and critical skills through educational experiences that are relevant to effectively meet the demands of their future professional career and the betterment of society.

The Bachelor of Interior Design at RCCIT is recognized by the:

In-class and Online Delivery

Offered both in-class and online, the Bachelor of Interior Design is designed to accommodate your busy schedule and active lifestyle. You can complete your degree in-class, online, or choose a combination of in-class and online courses.

In-class and online courses are limited to 20 students per class, for personal one-on-one instruction.

Accelerated Program and Credit Transfers

The Bachelor of Interior Design is equivalent to a four year degree. Through consecutive, full year study, you can complete your degree in only three years. If you enter the program with previous post-secondary education, you may be able to transfer credits to complete your Bachelor of Interior Design in less than three years.

In your final year, you will work in a professional design environment, one full day per week over the course of 25 weeks. Mentored by practicing experts, you will have the opportunity to apply your new knowledge and skills. If you take the online program and live outside of Toronto, you can complete your internship in your home community. If you already work in a professional design environment, you can complete your internship at your own workplace.

The successful completion of this program will enable the graduate to:

  • Create designs for a variety of market sectors that effectively interpret the relationship of the human response to the built environment.
  • Apply the principles and psychology of design theory, and colour methodology.
  • Articulate the challenges of the changing world of design, and its connection to culture, history and empathy for an interior environment.
  • Apply a systematic design process to creatively solve challenging design problems.
  • Employ effective and professional communication skills and techniques to interact and negotiate in collaborative environments, including client presentations.
  • Demonstrate entry to practice knowledge of building systems, material selection and interior detailing in relation to interior design and interior construction.
  • Use current industry tools, mechanical, digital and manual methods to express design ideas.
  • Employ both convergent and divergent thinking in the process of observation, investigation, speculative enquiry, ideation and implementation of design solutions.
  • Apply relevant building codes, laws, regulations, sustainability and universality to human welfare and safety when designing interior spaces.
  • Engage in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to underpin design ideas.
  • Critically reflect and evaluate personal depth of knowledge and practical experience to collaborate effectively with others.
  • Model sound business practices related to project management and professional ethical conduct.
  • Develop a professional portfolio and branding as a design professional.

Interior design association



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Interior design houston

Best Of Houzz Award Winner 2015 – 2017!

Hey Houston! Interior design, remodeling and outdoor living spaces are an expression of ourselves – about where we feel most comfortable by ourselves or with friends or family. We make sure that space is exactly what you want it to be for your investment. No surprises – only perfection.

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In Houston, outdoor living can also go year ’round, with our permanently installed outdoor heating systems and outdoor lighting!

We get it right. Every time. And not because we steamroll clients into doing what we want, but because of our collaborative design process, 3D renderings and virtual video tours that allow you to see – and edit – your project beforehand from every angle.

Do you need a kitchen and bath remodel? A whole-house update? A covered outdoor kitchen with an RCS grill or built-in Big Green Egg? Houston loves to eat and cook – so we can help, whether you’re dreaming of that new, remodeled kitchen with Carrara marble tile or patio kitchen plans with multiple outdoor appliances and cookersl Whatever it is, we know how to integrate what’s new into what is existing, so it blends and won’t ever look like an afterthought.

What about furnishings and finish materials? Our lead designer, Lisha Maxey, is also the owner of the award-winning LGH Design Services in Houston, will make sure that, whether it’s an interior project with Restoration Hardware pieces or an outdoor living space with offerings from Janus et Cie, it will all tie together and look like it’s always been there.

Check out our full portfolio of interior design projects, from the fun, funky kitchen of a collector that repurposed a school’s school science lab chairs to the Mid-Century Modern redesign that seamlessly incorporated an Indian family’s culture and heritage.

We’ve got plenty of outdoor kitchen design projects and ideas for you, too, and can add everything from wood-fired outdoor pizza ovens to outdoor heating systems to outdoor audio-visual areas, even if you have a small-space outdoor kitchen or patio! In fact, outdoor kitchen design for small spaces is one of our many specialties, thanks to smart outdoor space planning.

Interior design houston

In Houston, outdoor living can also go year ’round, with our permanently installed outdoor heating systems and outdoor lighting!

The quality of our work shows in our long list of positive reviews for interior design, remodeling, custom outdoor kitchens and other design-build projects. Houston customers have given us so many good reviews that we earned a Best of Houzz Award for customer service the past three years in a row!

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interior design firms in new york

The current lineup of the top 100 Giants firms is Interior Design’s 40th, and that deserves some recognition. Our Giants make a lot more money today than they did four decades ago—and are doing it with more diversity of talent, technology, geography, and materials than ever before. Business is good, and firms are optimistic.

Join the Interior Design Research Group to give us your feedback as well as get the first look at research, white papers and industry intelligence. If interested, send your contact information to Wing Leung at [email protected]

Interior design firms in new york

As usual, we have some new annual numbers to share. Giants have a good history of beating their own forecasts for total design fees, having done so for seven straight years. The latest fees came in at $3.9 billion, nearly $200 million better than predicted. If the numbers-beating streak continues, we’ll be seeing total fees higher than $4.1 billion reported next January. On the flip side, while terrific at beating fee forecasts, the Giants aren’t as accurate on how much square footage they will work on. They had hoped for just short of 1 billion square feet and came in with slightly over 900 million, which is still a bump from the previous 884 million. From a fee standpoint, that’s $103 per foot, up from $99.

Sustainability is still a factor, but how big of one is up for debate. The number of employees who are LEED-accredited has been dropping for years and currently stands at 25 percent. Just over half of total fees come from sustainable projects: $2 billion. While that hasn’t actually decreased, growth has been very slow. Green furniture and fixtures appear to have peaked at 64 percent of grosses two years ago and today come in at 60 percent, or $51.2 billion. Last year, an average of 6 out of every 10 square feet were sustainable—more than 7 out of every 10 square feet for a third of the firms. They certainly want to have the conversation, 91 percent saying that sustainability is part of design decisions. So the green trends warrant monitoring. Money is definitely there, but growth is debatable. More firms are doing the work with fewer LEED staffers.

One area where the news is virtually all good: staff. The number of designers employed rose from 15,200 to 16,800. Firms are getting their money’s worth, too, as fees per employee have reached $317,000, an all-time record. Employee compensation has gone up accordingly. Salaries rose to $75,000 for design staff on average and to $110,000 for project managers, the highest we’ve ever tracked for both.

The biggest segments remain office projects (39 percent of revenue), hospitality (14 percent), health care (13 percent), and government and retail (7 percent each). Some of these areas showed nice growth. Office-related fees were up a healthy 14 percent, while government dollars grew by 25 percent and health care 22 percent. One interesting note from the firms that work on education projects: Higher ed has always been the big moneymaker, but the number of firms working in the K-12 arena has been steadily rising and has now hit 61 percent. Regardless of sector, the Giants have shown a remarkable ability to line up work. At the low point of the Great Recession, they worked a total of 22,200 jobs. Since then, the number of jobs has grown each year and stands today at 58,600. Throughout that time, the ratio of new construction to renovation has held pretty steady at around 1:1. However, “reno” is currently at the highest it’s been in three reports. For either scenario, the furniture, fixtures, and construction products have always been big business, with grosses continually rising. This time was no exception, with $85 billion worth of product installed versus $58 billion in the 2011 report. Next time, the Giants look to top the $90 billion mark.

Business remains global, but the U.S. market is by far the biggest. With 15 of the Giants strictly U.S.-focused, more than half complete at least 90 percent of their projects here. (Not counting the three firms based internationally.) Of the firms conducting business abroad, 74 percent work in Asia and the Pacific Rim, 60 percent in Europe, and 51 percent in Canada. Volume was up in Europe and the Caribbean, by 11 percent and 20 percent, respectively, while the Middle East was down 15 percent. Of special note: Mexican projects have attracted 39 percent of these firms, the highest volume since we began keeping track 10 years ago.

The last 40 years haven’t always been kind, for sure, but right now it’s safe to say that the Giants’s interior design business is robust and poised for continued success—71 firms reported revenue growth, and 88 expect business to be even better this year. When we asked about new tactics to generate that growth, the words that came up most were expand and diversify. We’re talking across the board. Expansion and diversification of the kind of work firms do, where they do it, and what kind of talent they recruit to get the job done. That’s what a 40-year learning curve gets you. So let’s just say it: Here’s to 40 more!

The first installment of the two-part annular business survey of Interior Design Giants comprises the 100 largest firms ranked by interior design fees for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2016. The 100 Rising Giants ranking will be published in July. Interior design fees include those attributed to:

  1. All types of interiors work, including commercial and residential.
  2. All aspects of a firm’s interior design practice, from strategic planning and programming to design and project management.
  3. Fees paid to a firm for work performed by employees and independent contractors who are “full-time staff equivalent”.

Interior design fees do not include revenues paid to a firm and remitted to subcontractors who are not considered full-time staff equivalent. For example, certain firms attract work that is subcontracted to a local firm. The originating firm may collect all the fees and retain a management or generation fee, paying the remainder to the performing firm. The amounts paid to the latter are not included in fees of the collecting firm when determining its ranking. Ties are broken by the dollar value of products installed. Where applicable, all percentages are based on responding Giants, not their total number. The data was compiled and analyzed by the Interior Design market research staff in New York, led by Wing Leung, research director.



Diploma in Interior Design (DID – S89)

As an Interior Designer , you have the ability and power to craft and transform the experiences of everyday living.

At the Diploma of Interior Design (DID), you will be equipped with skills to go beyond mere interior decoration. You will learn and engage in design research to develop your ideas and create interior spaces that are functional and purposeful. You will be taught how to combine design aesthetics with technical knowledge, and develop techniques to best communicate your ideas.

Interior Design students are also exposed to Specialisation workshops and Studio projects. This introduces them to various research and experimentation processes, helping them assemble a Design Portfolio that has gained recognition by employers in the design industry, as well as local and overseas Universities.

Course Highlights

  • Experience a paradigm shift in your understanding of interior design when you learn to question and redefine what the spatial enclosure can be
  • Dynamic, project-based curriculum that trains and exposes you to a broad range of thinking, designing and crafting skills
  • Learn to develop a strong research grounding to push the limits of your design ideas
  • Gain a broad exposure to international design trends by participating in internationally run workshops such as the Visiting School by Architectural Association, London
  • Take part in global design studios, international competitions and “live” industry projects and gain valuable experience as an interior design student
  • Join the global situated programme with overseas design institutions like Pratt Institute, New York and SAIC, Chicago, and expand your learning journey through regional study trips to Japan, Korea, India and Thailand

Interior design association

Interior design association

Making space your playground

“I was in the Science stream but that didn’t hinder my passion to pursue a design course. I went to SP Open House and after looking at the works that were exhibited, I was very sure that SP Design School was my top choice. I enjoyed every lesson and assignment that was given and even initiated to do more than was required. I was surprised at my own motivation and enthusiasm! Under the Industry Mentorship Programme, I was attached to an Architectural/Interior Design firm which was an eye-opening experience and gave me lots of exposure.”