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2021 Interior Architecture Degree Guide

Are you interested in designing the interior of empty spaces and structures? Do you want put the finishing touches on that newly built office building or apartment complex? Although interior architects share a lot with interior designers, they do much more than just pick colors and patterns. Interior architecture focuses on the actual architecture of the building and its construction. So you may choose furnishings for a space, as well as design windows, molding and other decorative finishes. Students will also learn technical issues like making old buildings safe from environmental hazards. Essentially this means that students of interior architecture will learn how to design indoor spaces that are both functional and attractive.

As an interior architecture major, there will be many different classes that you will need to take. Although each institution has its own requirements, a majority of these classes will include: art, design, environmental psychology, history, building systems, English, geometry, physics, architecture, drafting, professional development and computer design.

A Recent Jump in Interior Architecture Degrees

#259 Most Popular Major
662 Degrees Awarded
13.4% Increase in Graduates

Interior Architecture was the 259th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 662 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 13.4% increase in interiors degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 573.

The United States has 34 different schools where you can get a degree in interior architecture. Explore this or one of our many other custom interiors rankings further below.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Interior Architecture

This is a unique field that attracts many creative and self-motivated individuals. It combines two very popular fields of study into one occupation. In order to be successful you should be ready to learn about how to preserve and restore old buildings. This field requires extensive knowledge on architectural design and style throughout history and today. It is imperative that you understand building codes and safety regulations. A student will be able to build both physical and virtual models and draw plans of their own designs to scale. Perseverance and determination are important characteristics for students who will be drawing and redrawing, thinking and rethinking, making and remaking, and inventing ways to look at the world and create it into a physical space.

A student of interior architecture needs to meticulous and yet creative. Not only will students be designing spaces, but they will also be marketing their business skills, preparing estimates, configuring contracts, and planning and managing projects. Internships or work experience are highly recommended for success in a future career.

Prior Education for an Interiors Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most interiors degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Once you obtain your degree, additional interiors certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Interior Architecture Degrees

There are many different interiors degree levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a in interior architecture to something that takes less time like a . How long it takes to complete some common interiors degree levels is shown below.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to interiors, with approximately 52.4% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for interiors workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 54.4%
Master’s Degree 18.7%
Doctoral Degree 10.8%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 6.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.5%

Most workers in interiors have at least a bachelor's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in interior architecture have received.


This of course varies depending on which interiors career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Interiors Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$41.2k Average Starting Salary
5% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree in interior architecture allows students to go in many different directions. Some students decide to work for architecture and engineering firms. Others may choose to go into interior design firms. Although it is not necessary, some people decide to continue their education in a more concentrated manner. More advanced degrees allow students to get jobs more readily in their specified field.

Growth Projected for Interiors Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your interiors degree? Interior Architecture careers are expected to grow 5.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to interior architecture.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Architectural and Engineering Managers 190,000 5.5%
Interior Designers 69,500 4.5%
Architecture Professors 10,500 10.5%

How Much Money Do People With a Interiors Degree Make?

Interior Architecture graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $41,244 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $32,000 to as high as $49,600. As you might expect, salaries for interiors graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Interiors Careers

Salaries for interior architecture graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers interiors grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers $148,970
Architecture Professors $99,320
Interior Designers $59,120

Getting Your Interior Architecture Degree

With over 60 different interiors degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased interiors school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Interior Architecture

One of 8 majors within the Architecture & Related Services area of study, Interior Architecture has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Interiors

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Architecture 6,100
Architectural Sciences & Technology 5,123
Urban & Regional Planning 2,633
Landscape Architecture 1,142
Environmental Design 697

View All Interiors Related Majors >


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