Best New York Interior Design Schools


Interior design is a passion for many students; it’s a way to express your inner creativity and also see people benefiting from your talents. Unfortunately, the choices for interior design programs are limited in variety, so students may not have much choice in this area. However, New York still has quite a few interior design programs available for those who want to pursue their careers in this field. Once they’re done with their degrees, or even during their studies, these students might even get to work on some cool projects such as a Fifth Avenue apartment

Before we delve into the best interior design schools in New York, however, it might be wise to look at the kind of school that you want. You should also consider if it is something you really want to do and right for your future. Here are some factors that you need to keep in mind when looking for the most suitable school for interior design:

1. Accreditations

Any interior design school worth attending should be accredited by the CIDA or the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. With approval from this organization, you can be sure that the program you’re considering will actually be able to prepare your talents for an interior design career. If you’re not sure whether the schools you have in mind have this accreditation, you should get in touch with the admissions office and ask them directly.

2. The Right Degree

Some interior design programs at certain schools offer a BS in the field of your choice, while others may offer a BFA or BA. A BA program will probably get you the traditional kind of liberal arts degree. This will mean that you get a well-rounded education about the arts. A BS degree, on the other hand, will focus more on the subject matter at hand.

A BFA, however, is more of a professional degree. You may have some general education courses in your academic career with this choice. The major focus of your studies, though, will be on honing and developing your talent and finding your voice. You’ll have to decide which kind of degree you want to take and be aware of what each one entails.

3. Flexibility or Focus?

Before you decide on any one school for interior design, it’s essential that you see whether they offer room for exploring your own interests. Read the reviews and talk to students from each likely organization if possible. If you already know what you want to pursue, it might be better to go for a focused program. If you’re still wondering what specialization to pursue, it will be better to go for a school that offers several specialization and degree options.

4. The Portfolio Requirements

Some programs and schools for interior design might require a portfolio submission for the application process. In fact, most of them will probably have this demand, so make sure you can meet it. The requirements could be reasonable for some schools and very difficult for others, so know what’s expected of you. Check out the requirements before the application deadlines pass and see if you can meet them.

5. Location

Some people love living in New York, but it isn’t for everyone. If you’re considering an interior design program in this area, make sure you’re okay with living there as well. On the upside, New York offers a slew of specialties and fields where you’ll probably have an advantage while studying. The makeover for this loft is just one example.

After you’ve considered all these factors, you’d be in a better position to decide the best interior design school for yourself. Here are some of the best options to look at in New York:

New York School of Interior Design — New York, NY

The New York School of Interior Design is located in New York City and offers a BFA degree. It ranks in fourth place by Design Schools Hub and fifth place by Design Intelligence. There are about 16 to 17 credits that you can take in one full-time semester.

This school is actually one of the very few such organizations that offer a specialization in interior design education. Most of the other options only offer interior design programs among several other options. Moreover, the New York School of Interior Design is one of the most highly-ranked grad schools that offer interior design as a subject. This means that there’s a strong faculty for this field here, as well as some excellent post-grad opportunities and networking chances.

Those who graduate from this institution have a bright career prospect in front of them. It’s estimated that about 98 percent of graduates from this college get employment in around six months after graduation. Even if someone isn’t sure that they want a full-degree commitment, they can always enroll in a non-degree certificate program and build their profile in that way.

Parsons School of Design (The New School) — New York, NY

This school is also located in New York City and offers a BFA degree. It’s ranked in fifth place by Design Schools Hub and in the fourth place by Design Intelligence. The Parsons School of Design is among the five colleges of The New School and hence has some very well-developed networks in both industry and commerce. If you’re looking to gain a degree in commercial design, this might be one of the best choices for you.

Even if you’re not sure what your main focus is, the Parsons School of Design can help you find your way. There are over thirty-five programs, both graduate and undergraduate, that can help students in focusing on their goals. There’s a special emphasis on collaborative work, which means a lot of group projects and interaction between degree prams. Since interior designers need to collaborate with several kinds of professionals in the course of their careers, this will be good practice for when you’re out practicing after graduation.

Pratt Institute — New York, NY

Pratt Institute is ranked second by both Deigns Schools Hub and Design Intelligence. It offers a BFA degree in interior design, and its graduates have very high chances of gaining employment right after completing their degrees. Those who applied for grad school after their undergraduate degree were also accepted to a program within a few months.

There’s also a top-notch graduate program in Pratt Institute for interior design. You can pursue the MFA program, where one learns about environmental quality, dealing with changing technologies, sustainable practice, and aesthetics. Such knowledge will bolster your degree and make your practice even more well-rounded.

Cornell University seal

Cornell University Ithaca, NY

For now, Cornell University is the lone Ivy League school that offers an interior design program. This makes it a very competitive and demanding choice, though someone with a true passion will probably find it enjoyable. Cornell offers a Design and Environment Analysis program at graduate and undergraduate levels. Their structure provides students with hands-on experience when it comes to innovation and research. There’s also a lot of emphasis on how design can impact the environment. This will help in obtaining a degree that can not only propel you forward in your field but also help you practice responsibly.

The curriculum for interior design studies at Cornell is focused on three main fields—Design Strategy, Health and Wellbeing, and Sustainable Features. The graduates of this school are full of praise for the curriculum, citing project management as one of the best things they learned there.

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) — New York, NY

There’s a lot of international acclaim for FIT, making it one of the most recognized schools when it comes to fashion, art, business, communication, and all forms of design. The Interior Design program at this organization has been developing and honing its students’ talents for more than five decades.

If you choose to enter the program for interior design here, you’d have a multidisciplinary and rigorous degree to pursue. This program is a combination of the theory of interior design, practical projects, and academic historical studies. This way, you get to experience interior design from the bottom up, culminating in hands-on experiences that will benefit your career from the very beginning.

FIT has also obtained eighth place in the ranking of design programs by Design Intelligence and seventh place by Design School Hubs. However, potential students are warned that the curriculum is quite demanding, with a focus on thorough research, adaptable academics, experiential learning, and industry partnerships.

School of Visual Arts (SVA) — New York, NY

Offering a BFA in Interior Design, SVA focuses on creating environments that improve the quality of life and culture of the occupants. The program encourages innovative and thoughtful designs.

Syracuse University — New York, NY

Another institution not within NYC but deserving mention is Syracuse University. Its Environmental and Interior Design program, part of the School of Design, emphasizes the role of design in addressing social and environmental challenges.


Before you pick any of the schools discussed above, do consider the pros and cons of each program and organization. There are different experiences within each, which could shape your career and passion along the way. Take your time and start your research way before the admission deadlines; this way, you can determine whether you and the program will be a good fit.

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