Home >> Arkansas >> Fayetteville >> Interior Design Colleges


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Fayetteville AR

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Degree Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Fayetteville AR, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Fayetteville AR

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Fayetteville AR can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Fayetteville Arkansas interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new career in Fayetteville AR. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arkansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

Fayetteville Arkansas interior designer bathroomOnce you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Fayetteville AR residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Fayetteville Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Fayetteville AR school you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Fayetteville AR business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Fayetteville AR colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fayetteville AR programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Fayetteville home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Fayetteville Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Fayetteville ArkansasPicking the right interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fayetteville Arkansas.