Interior design education and training requirements


There are a lot of different classes you could take while enrolled in an interior design program, including many different courses specific to your future career, and a few more general education classes.

Interior Design Fundamentals

As an interior designer, you should have a strong grasp on some of the basic concepts of design: the history of the industry, the major players in the field, the most popular styles, and significant influences on design, to name a few. In a class on fundamentals you will learn about the basic process for planning interior spaces in both commercial and residential settings, the major building systems as well as how codes affect the design process, and how to appropriately use sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials. You will also get practice choosing fabrics, background elements, and furniture for interior designs, and might even be taught about certain professional organizations within the industry and what you can expect the beginning of your career to look like.


You might not think that it would take an entire course to learn about textiles, but you would be surprised what you need to know about them to be an interior designer, and how they can impact your work. In a class like this you will learn how to examine the properties of textile fibers; how to distinguish between different types of fibers (such as natural and synthetic; how yarn is developed, classified, and processed; and how to use textiles and make the most of them in all their different applications. You will also learn about fundamental techniques in the fabrication of textiles, such as weaving and knitting. You might also learn about how to care for textile products and about different finishing techniques, such as printing and dyeing. Lastly, some textiles courses also include instruction in some of the issues that affect textile production, such as legal, environmental, and sustainability problems.

CAD for interiors

CAD, or computer-aided drafting, is a very popular tool that interior designers use to create representations of their spaces. You will most likely take a class in CAD so that you can learn about how to navigate this computer program in order to prepare 2D drawings. Instructors will spend class time teaching you how to interact with the computer interface, use different commands to create spaces, add blocks, and create different patterns. You will also learn how to assign different qualities to design layers, to create drawings in elevation view, and how to use template and drawing files. You may need to buy a version of the software program for this, or your school may provide you with a trial of the CAD software for use for school projects.


Many programs, especially at the associate’s degree level, require students to take some classes that are outside the realm of topics covered by their major. The benefit of taking classes such as English and math is that you can build up some valuable skillsets that will be helpful in just about any career in which you find yourself – including interior designing. If you take English, for example, you will learn about how to brainstorm ideas; how to revise and edit the essays, letters, and reports you write; and how to get a reader’s attention through different literary techniques. You will get practice writing a wide variety of different types of material, which can be helpful in your written communication as an interior designer – especially if you are self-employed and have to run a business.


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