School of Interior Architecture & Design

The School of Interior Architecture & Design is a serious professional program for the serious professional designer. Our curricula delves not only into the conceptual and theoretical but into the practical as well. Our teaching is hands-on, focused on aesthetics, and geared toward application and business. We are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, the most prestigious accreditation available in the United States for interior design schools.

Our program includes interactive interior architecture and design classes guided by our experienced faculty. Our courses teach the skills needed to help you succeed in a number of careers, including project designer, visualization specialist. or building information management (BIM) designer.

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What is Interior Design?

Interior design is the practice of enhancing the way people experience the physical spaces they occupy. It is achieved through reimagining, redesigning, and redecorating a room or multiple rooms within a dwelling. The ultimate goal of interior design is to attain a final design that is optimally functional, aesthetically pleasing, and personalized to the needs of those who inhabit it.

Interior design professionals use a broad range of skills and techniques to produce this desired outcome, from sketching new floor plans to identifying client needs and preferences, sourcing furnishings, implementing lighting solutions, and more. These competencies are typically obtained through enrolling in schools for interior design, as most clients prefer to hire a designer with a completed academic degree or certification.

It’s also important to note that graduates of interior design programs can apply their education to various job roles and industries, including commercial interior design, residential interior design, furniture design, lighting design, and TV/film production design.

You can prepare for a career in this field by completing your studies at the Academy of Art University. We offer an Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, and Master of Fine Arts degree, along with a Certificate program, providing students with flexibility in how (and to what extent) they complete their training.

What We Teach

Create dynamic interiors using innovative approaches to spatial organization, materials, and lighting. If you’re willing to push boundaries, our faculty of industry experts will give you the space and support you need to do it.

Conceptual Design
We introduce design basics with a focus on 2D and 3D space and composition problem solving. You will create a variety of solutions for a problem and present concepts to scale using sketches and models. Utilizing the elements of design to communicate abstract conceptual ideas is emphasized.
Design Process
You will apply the skills and theory learned to develop a comprehensive response to program and contextualize a commercial design project. You will also demonstrate a detailed understanding of the design process, including research, concept and design development, design documentation, and presentation. Designing for real-world application is emphasized.
Sustainable Design
You will gain a practical understanding of the field of environmentally conscious design. You will learn about the impact of design on the environment, and of ways to conserve and protect it. Focus is placed on principles of natural harmony, non-toxic materials, and earth-friendly initiatives within the design industry.
Portfolio Preparation
The portfolio is a graphic representation of the designer’s range and overall approach to projects. In this course, you will develop an identity package, and your portfolio will serve as a presentation of your ability and personal style. Emphasis is placed on conveying strengths and professional readiness.
Student Stories

Interior Architectural Design: Spring Show Video

Come and take a closer look at some of the most outstanding student work produced by the Academy’s different schools, such as the IAD department. The annual Spring Show held at the end of every school year is a great opportunity for students to proudly show off their handiwork.

Start Your Career Now

Are you ready to attend one of the best interior design schools in the world?

Facilities & Technology

All of the best colleges for interior design know the latest in software and equipment is essential to preparing students to enter the industrial design workforce, which is why we keep up with current advancements in technology and industry practices. Whatever the pros are doing and whatever the pros are using is what you will find in our classrooms and studios.


We believe that the best teachers are current working creatives. That is why our faculty is comprised of nationally recognized art and design experts who maintain careers on the leading edge of industry trends. They challenge their students to reach their personal creative potential.

Alumni Success

Industry Partnership

Four Seasons

The School of Interior Architecture & Design was asked to participate in an exciting collaborative project with the Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco. Students were asked to conceptualize the future of hotel lobbies and provide the Four Seasons with innovative design solutions toward improving the function and aesthetics.

Careers in Interior Architecture & Design

As one of the top interior design schools in the country, Academy of Art University interior architecture and design graduates have a range of opportunities to choose from. Our facilities, faculty, and hands-on learning approach are designed to provide you with the tools you need to succeed as a professional interior architect and designer.

Don’t limit yourself. Apply to one of the leading colleges for architecture and interior design and experience a whole new world of opportunities.


Your career starts here.
Take the first step.
Or call 415-274-2222 to request more information about this program.
AutoCAD/BIM Designer
Plan, program, and generate construction doc­uments that accurately represent design intent. Plans, sections, details, elevations, and schedules are all a part of design documents.
FF&E Designer
Focus on Furniture. Fixtures & Equipment (FF&E) selections. specifications. and material sourcing. The overall design concept established by the team is represented throughout all FF&E presentations. All members of the design team are expected to have strong leadership, organization, communica­tion, and relationship management skills.
Job Captain
As a job captain, you'll collaborate with project managers to develop solutions to problems and coordinate the design through the entire process. Work with fabricators, contractors, and regulatory agencies to bring the project to life on time.
Company logo of Gensler
Company logo of Puccini Group
Company logo of BAMO
Company logo of Forrest Perkins
Company logo of HBA Hirsch Bedner Associates


Learn Online

Seeking interior design colleges that offer online or blended learning? Our revolutionary online courses provide the same rigorous education that we offer on campus with greater flexibility. Our online programs are purpose-built to deliver art and design courses. Study on your own time, at your own pace. Combine online and on-campus classes.

Find Out More

Still weighing out your options for interior designing colleges?

That’s completely understandable! Attending one of our open house events is an excellent way to immerse yourself in our culture and personally explore our institute. We invite all interested individuals to contact us.

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