How to select the best Interior Design College Program

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Suzanne in Oceanside, California

24 months ago

Our daughter is a HS Senior who is targeting colleges with Interior Designs programs. She has already gotten her feet wet this past summer with a (paid) internship at an architectural firm; it was a great experience for her and solidified her decision to pursue ID. We are only targeting CIDA accredited colleges and only those who offer BA in ID. Saying that...can anyone tell us the real difference betweeen a BA & BS in ID? We don't want to rule out a college that offers a BS in ID if we shouldn't be. Our daughter believes that if she pursues a BS she will have to take more "science" courses and science is not one of her favorite subjects and would prefer not to take them if she doesn't have to. She has also been torn between ruling out ID "art" schools vs traditional colleges because she'd like to have a true college experience, living in dorms, sororities, althetics, etc. and doesn't know if she would benefit by giving that up by going to an "art" college (ie. Academy of Art S.F.). Any comments, suggestions, recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!!

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Charlotte Baldassari in merchantville, New Jersey

23 months ago

Hi Suzanne-
I pursued a Masters of ID after an undergrad degree of French & Econ. My opinion on this is mostly from the undergrads at Drexel Univ. They felt like they were getting the college experience as much as their high school friends at other schools. Mostly because they were in a city, near other colleges (Penn, Moore, U of the Arts). They did talk openly about being far more stressed than even their engineering friends. The workload for ID programs and IArch programs is intense. I can't think of a single undergrad in the program who was in a sorority. Mostly those were the girls in the fashion & merchandising program because they had time on their hands. We did have some students who were very busy with athletics, but you could see the impact on their projects. They just didn't have the time to devote to live in the studio working.

I would say that she should look in magazines and websites to pick out a few designers/firms that she admires. Then check out LinkedIn to see where their employees graduated from. People are always more likely to support alums and in this field, she'll benefit greatly from getting her foot in the door.

I would also suggest she seriously consider doing a study abroad through DIS www.disabroad.org/. They are highly regarded in the field and having studied there myself, I can tell you their programs are top-notch. She'll make a lot of life long friends and great contacts.

Best of luck to you!

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