Program Overview

interior design students

At NEIT, with our Interior Design associate degree, you will become an interior design professional with the sophistication needed to create environments where people live, work, socialize, and recreate.  You will develop a fundamental knowledge of design theory, space planning, color and spatial composition, attributes of materials, textiles, building codes, lighting, and building systems.

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Full Description

The Interior Design Associate Degree program at New England Institute of Technology provides students with the necessary skills to design and execute interior design projects including their furnishings. The Interior Design program allows the students to develop the abilities to create building interiors that answer the economic, functional, technical, psychological, and aesthetic requirements of a project by emphasizing the fundamentals of interior design in conjunction with the technical aspects of planning, structures, and construction methods.

The Interior Design students are introduced to the basic elements and theories of design, color and spatial composition that form the foundation of creative design for both residential and commercial properties. Interior Design students, through topic-specific courses, are introduced to both manual and CAD drawing skills. Theory and technical courses familiarize the student with the fundamentals in design attributes of materials, lighting, furniture, textiles, architectural history, specifications, building codes, and building systems. Studio courses require the student to incorporate the learned theoretical and technical knowledge into a comprehensive design based upon specific program requirements. Studio project types include residential, office, and retail.  Green Technology and Sustainable Design are incorporated into the entire curriculum.

Students can earn their Associate in Science degree in Interior Design in as little as 18 months. Upon successful completion of the associate degree program, students can continue into the Bachelor of Science in Interior Design.

Potential Career Opportunities

The associate degree program will prepare students for careers as residential or commercial interior designers. Students may also begin work as interior design assistants to prepare for more advanced roles. 

Graduates of the associate degree program can also pursue opportunities such as the following:


Residential/Commercial Interior Designer

Kitchen & Bath Designer

Manufacturer’s Representative

Space Planners

Color & Materials Designer

Builder’s Assistant

Interior Design Consultant

Model-Home Merchandiser

FAQ

  • Can you be an interior designer with an associate degree?

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most career opportunities across the design industry are targeted towards professionals with a bachelor’s degree, though, some interior designers will accept assistance from individuals from associate programs or with related work experience.

  • Is an associate degree in interior design worth it?

    Associate degrees take two years to complete and will help familiarize students with important concepts associated with the interior design field. It can help prepare students for entry-level jobs as assistants to interior designers or to move forward in their educational careers.

    Interior designers have mastered how we craft the space around us to create a functional and decorative environment. Interior designers must also be able to draw, read, and edit blueprints.

  • What type of career placement opportunities and networking is available to students?

    Our Career Services Office can help connect graduates of our degree programs to design firms in need of new hires by providing employers with resumes of recent graduates and alumni, posting employment and internship opportunities for employers seeking part-time student workers and interns, and arranging on-campus recruiting activities.

Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The Interior Design  programs, at both the associate and bachelor’s level, prepare students to be proficient in the art and technology of designing the interior built environment relative to the user’s social, psychological, and aesthetic needs.

Program Goals

  1. To educate students in the fundamentals of interior design and building sciences through a seamless and comprehensive study combining the theoretical and practical concepts of design, building systems, components, and construction.
  2. To expand our students’ observational skills and critical thinking abilities.
  3. To instill within each student an awareness of and desire to contribute to the profession and society at large through the development of a professional and personal ethic that demands technically, environmentally, and socially responsible decision making.

Program Outcomes

The Interior Design graduate will be able to:

  1. Function as an integral member of the building team.
  2. Act in an ethically and morally responsible way with regard to the profession, public safety, and regulatory authorities.
  3. Evaluate and analyze problems relative to the interior built environment and develop solutions that meet the economic, social, technical, and aesthetic needs of the client and society.
  4. Demonstrate a historical appreciation and professional accountability within the context relative to the interior design industry.
  5. Demonstrate effective oral and written communications.
  6. Present design concepts through a graphic and verbal presentation.
  7. Generate construction documents using electronic mediums.

Courses Offered

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When do my classes meet?
    Day Classes: Technical classes normally meet for at least three hours a day for up to five days a week. Classes normally begin in the early morning (7:45 a.m.), late morning (usually 11:25 a.m.), or mid-afternoon. A technical time slot may vary from term to term.

    Evening Classes: Technical classes meet on the average of three nights a week, although there may be times when they will meet four nights a week. Classes normally begin at 5:45 p.m.

    In addition, to achieve your bachelor’s degree, you will take a total of approximately seven liberal arts courses, which will be scheduled around your program schedule over the course of your entire program. Each liberal arts course meets approximately four hours per week. Liberal arts courses are offered days, evenings, and Saturdays.

    At the beginning of each term you will receive a detailed schedule giving the exact time and location of all your classes. The College requires that all students be prepared to take classes and receive services at any of NEIT’s locations where the appropriate classes and services are offered.

    When a regularly scheduled class falls on a day which is an NEIT observed holiday (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day), an alternate class will be scheduled as a make up for that class. The make up class may fall on a Friday. It is the student’s responsibility to take note of when and where classes are offered.

  2. How large will my classes be?
    The average size for a class is about 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  3. How much time will I spend in lab?
    The average size for a class is about 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  4. Where do my classes meet?
    Students should be prepared to attend classes at any of NEIT’s classroom facilities: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campus.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?
    A candidate for admission to an associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements.
  6. How long should it take me to complete my program?
    To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you should take the courses outlined in the prescribed curriculum. For a typical six-term curriculum, a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months.

    To complete all your degree requirements in the shortest time, you should take at least one liberal arts course each term. Students who need more time to complete their curriculum may postpone some of the liberal arts courses until after the completion of the technical requirements. Students are provided up to two additional terms of study to complete the liberal arts requirements without any additional tuition assessment fee. During these additional terms of study, students are required to pay all applicable fees.

    Students may also elect to complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a special five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Terms. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees.

    Students wishing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.

  7. Is NEIT accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  8. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?
    The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Office of Teaching and Learning for further information.
  9. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?
    Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at an accredited institution will be considered  upon receipt of an official transcript for any program, biology, science, and mathematics courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the past three years and for English or humanities courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the last ten years. official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students will receive a tuition reduction for the approved technical courses based on the program rate and will be applied against the final technical term of the curriculum’s tuition amount. No tuition credit is provided for courses which are not a part of the technical curriculum.
  10. What is the “Feinstein Enriching America” Program?
    New England Institute of Technology is the proud recipient of a grant from the Feinstein Foundation. To satisfy the terms of the grant, the College has developed a one-credit community enrichment course which includes hands-on community enrichment projects. The course can be taken for a few hours per term, spread over several terms. Students who are already engaged in community enrichment on their own may be able to count that service towards course credit.
  11. How many credits do I need to acquire my Financial Aid?
    In order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award, you need to maintain at least 12 credits per academic term.
  12. What does my program cost?
    The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with your cost for books and other course materials. Students who decide to take more terms than the enrollment agreement describes to complete the technical courses in their curriculum will be subject to additional fees and possible additional tuition costs. Students who elect to take the technical portion of the degree requirements at a rate faster than the rate prescribed in the curriculum and the enrollment agreement will be assessed additional tuition.

    Students who require prerequisite courses will incur additional tuition and fees above those outlined in their enrollment agreement.

    If a student elects to take a course(s) outside of the prescribed curriculum, additional tuition and fees will be assessed.

    Remember, students who withdraw and re-enter, one time only, pay the tuition rate that was in effect for them at the time of their last day of attendance for up to one year from their last day of attendance.  Second re-entrees and beyond pay the tuition rate in effect at the time they re-enter.  The most economical way for you to complete your college degree is to begin your program now and continue your studies straight through for the six terms necessary to complete your degree requirements.

  13. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?
    The Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing a job search strategy. Upon completion of their program, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates employment or a specific starting salary.
  14. Where will job opportunities exist?
    Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the most exciting aspects of this program is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities.
  15. What kind of jobs will I be qualified to look for?
    The Interior Design Program provides students with the problem solving skills and technical knowledge needed to work in an Interior Design firm or in a related field. Job opportunities include interior/architectural firms, systems furniture designers, kitchen and bath specialists, and in-house retail designers.

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the Department of Design + Architectural Building Technology, establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to these programs to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies to enter these fields. The successful student must possess the following skills and abilities or be able to demonstrate that they can complete the requirements of the program with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Cognitive Ability

  • Ability to interpret ideas and concepts visually and/or graphically
  • Ability to learn, remember and recall detailed information and to use it for problem solving.
  • Ability to deal with materials and problems such as organizing or reorganizing information.
  • Ability to use abstractions in specific concrete situations.
  • Ability to break information into its component parts.
  • Ability to understand spatial relationships.
  • Possession of basic math skills through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions using both the U.S. and Metric systems of measurement.
  • Ability to perform tasks by observing demonstrations.
  • Possession of basic keyboarding skills and knowledge of computer programs.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty and students.
  • Ability to demonstrate and use the knowledge acquired during the classroom training process and in the lab setting.

Adaptive Ability

  • Ability to maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with other members of the faculty and students in a responsible manner.

Physical Ability

  • Ability to stand and/or sit for long periods of time.
  • Ability to perform learned skills, independently, with accuracy and completeness.

Manual Ability

  • Sufficient motor function and sensory abilities to participate effectively in the classroom laboratory.
  • Sufficient manual dexterity and motor coordination to coordinate hands, eyes and fingers in the use of the computer, plotter and other equipment.

Sensory Ability

  • Visual
    • Acute enough to enable the adjustment of drafting equipment
    • Ability to properly distinguish colors.
    • Acute enough to read small print.
    • Acute enough to read small numbers on measuring instruments