How to Select the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Wise River Montana
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Wise River MT, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Wise River MT may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus 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 concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Wise River MT interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new profession in Wise River MT. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Montana community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For students who to study in the comfort of their Wise River MT homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Wise River MT home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Wise River MT employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Wise River MT college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Montana or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Wise River MT business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Wise River MT colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Wise River MT schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Wise River home, visit the college and sit in on a few 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wise River MT, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Interior Design Graduate Programs Wise River MT
Picking the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Graduate Programs and wanted more info on the topic Best Interior Design Courses Online. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wise River MT.
Other Montana Designer Locations
Wise River, Montana
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30 Best Graphic Design Schools | 2022 Rankings
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Graphic Design: Often aimed at students who wish to go straight into the workforce upon graduation. Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) in Graphic Design: Combines studio courses in art and design with liberal arts courses. Associate of Arts (AA) in Graphic Design: Curriculum includes humanities courses.
Course Descriptions < Montana State University
Montana State University PO Box 172660 Bozeman, MT 59717-2660 Telephone: (406) 994-6650 Fax: (406) 994-1972 Email: [email protected] Location: 101 Montana Hall Registrar. Antoni Campeau. Print Options