Home >> Arkansas >> Fayetteville >> Interior Design Schools Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Fayetteville AR

How to Find the Best Interior Designer College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Fayetteville AR, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final choice. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

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

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Fayetteville AR

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Fayetteville AR may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Fayetteville Arkansas interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new career in Fayetteville AR. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at many Arkansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Colleges

Fayetteville AR student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Fayetteville AR homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.

What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Fayetteville AR home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fayetteville Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Fayetteville AR college you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Fayetteville AR business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Fayetteville AR colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Fayetteville AR schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Fayetteville home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Designer School near Fayetteville Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Fayetteville ArkansasPicking the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fayetteville Arkansas.