Advance or begin your interior designer career with our completely online master of arts (MA) or master of science (MS) degree in interior design. 

This rigorous and innovative program will equip you to be a professional interior designer, as well as to develop and hone your creative processes in your pursuit of design excellence. The program emphasis is on research and theory (VS design) and during the course of study, you will learn design theory, environmental psychology, graphic communication skills, and design for ergonomic, accessibility, functional, and cultural needs. Your practical skills will be complemented with design theory, critical thinking skills, and other knowledge that will make sure you continue growing and evolving as the needs of our global populations change.

What You Will Study

As a graduate of our program, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of interior design as it relates to functional, cultural, and ergonomic needs of diverse populations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of interior design as it relates to human behavior and space programming (for example, research and identification of clients' needs as related to behavioral settings, proxemics, density and crowding, personal space and territory).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of graphic communication skills needed for the professional practice of design (for example, digital trends, cutting-edge animation techniques, digital rendering techniques).
  • Integrate various approaches and articulations of creative and critical thinking through the study of innovative design methodologies, scholarly design articles related to the social, cultural and economic developments over time, and works of key practitioners, theorists, and critics.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in creative expression and intellectual leadership through the study of professional standards, ethical procedures, and transnational models covering management and entrepreneurship policies.
  • Develop a commitment to lifelong learning and other creative and intellectual pursuits.

Academic Advisor

Dr. Shireen Kanakri
Assistant Professor of Interior Design
Team Lead for the Ball State University Health Environmental Design Research Lab

Why a Master's Degree in Interior Design?

Advancing your interior design career goals with a master's degree from Ball State offers many benefits to you:

By having a program that is offered online, you will be able to incorporate this degree easily into your life. Not only will you be able to maintain your current job, you will be able to live and work from your current home and will not face the need to travel. Or, if you prefer on-campus options, you can do all or part of your course work on our Muncie, Indiana, campus.

Our faculty provide a multidisciplinary approach to teaching. Their combined experience in research, project design and development, technological training, and teaching creates a strong foundation of knowledge that provides students with an array of support and guidance to help them advance into the future.

Today's interior designers need to know more than just how to make a room look good; they need to have a full scope of understanding about environmentally friendly design and universal design, which means the space is usable for a wide variety of people, even those with physical limitations. Ball State excels in this area with studio classes teaching sustainability and universal design.

By having a program that is offered online, you save an exceptional amount of money. By not having to pay for the use of running the class in a facility and paying for an on-site instructor, you will pay a tuition that is far smaller than most on-site programs. Plus, we offer many financial aid options. Learn more about tuition and financial aid for our online students.

Ball State is known for its superior use of technology and has a long history of providing quality online degrees. Our online courses are interactive and our course management system is easy to use. You will also have easy access to technical support through our HelpDesk.

Our graduate program was approved in 2009 as a result of the success of our undergraduate program, which is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Of the approximately 500 interior design programs in the United States, only about 150 have accreditation.

Our professors have time to work with you one on one because our average class size for on-campus courses is 15 while online classes have an average of eight students.

Course Requirements

Two tracks for this degree are offered. 

For a full list of required courses for each track, see the course catalog.

View Catalog

Fast Track

If you have a bachelor's degree in architecture or interior design, your program will require only 33 credits and can be completed within two years. 

You may start this program at any semester. Please keep in mind that, realistically, it is impossible to complete a thesis or creative project with remaining program electives in one semester. Thus, it is more likely you will continue working on your thesis or project the spring of your second year if you follow this schedule.

Sample Plan of Study

Courses are scheduled each semester based on student demand. Check with the program director to confirm which courses are available.

Fall 2019

  • IDES 602 Quantitative Research Methods (3 credits) — Online only
  • IDES 620 Inclusive Designs (3 credits) — Online only

Spring 2020

  • IDES 600 Quantitative Research Methods (3 credits) — Online only
  • IDES 619 Environmental Psychology (3 credits) — Online only
  • Submit topic approval to your research advisor

Summer 2020

  • Elective 1 (3 credits) — Online only
  • Elective 2 (3 credits) — Online only

Fall 2020

  • IDES 606 Visual Cultures in Built Environment (3 credits) — Online only
  • IDES 613 Design Analysis (3 credits) — Online only

Spring 2021

  • IDES 604 Professional Design Practice (3 credits) — Online only
  • Elective 3 (3 credits) — Online only
  • Thesis or creative project (3-6 credits) — Online only

*Electives might be taken from the Graduate Certificate in Planning and Design of Healthcare Environments

*Electives can be taken from other departments or other institution.

*No more than 9 credits can be transferred from other institution.

*All electives need to be approved by the Interior Design Graduate advisor prior to taken the course. 

**THES is 6 credits, RES 697 is 3 credits, and CRPR can be 3 or 6 credits. Students who sign up for 6 credits need 6 credits of electives. Students who sign up for 3 credits will need 9 credits of electives.

If you have no prior design education, this option requires 80 credits (approximately three years) of undergraduate and graduate course work. This program must be started in the fall semester only. This is a combination of online and on-campus courses.

Sample Plan of Study

Fall 2019

  • IDES 101 Rapid Visualization (3 credits)
  • IDES 110 Design Fundamentals (3 credits)
  • IDES 222 Interior Design Studio 1 (3 credits)
  • IDES 602 Quantitative Research Methods (3 credits) — Online only
  • IDES 620 Inclusive Designs (3 credits) — Online only

Spring 2020

  • IDES 112 Design Present. Techs (3 credits)
  • IDES 115 Interior Finishes (3 credits) 
  • IDES 120 Graphic Communication 2 (3 credits)
  • IDES 224 Interior Design Studio 2 (3 credits)
  • IDES 600 Qualitative Research Methods (3 credits) — Online only
  • IDES 619 Environmental Psychology (3 credits) — Online only
  • Submit topic approval to your research advisor

Summer 2020

  • Elective 1 (3 credits) — Online only
  • Elective 2 (3 credits) — Online only

Fall 2020

  • IDES 221 Graphic Communication 3 ( 3 credit)
  • IDES 314 Color and Light in Interior Design (3 credits) 
  • IDES 324 Interior Design Studio 3 (3 credits)
  • IDES 362 Introduction to Construction Detailing (3 credits) 
  • IDES 606 Visual Cultures in Built Environment (3 credits) — Online only
  • IDES 613 Design Analysis (3 credits) — Online only
  • Elective 3 (3 credits) — Online only

Spring 2021

  • IDES 334 Interior Design Studio 4 (3 credits)
  • IDES 400 NCIDQ Prep (1 credit) — Online only
  • IDES 604 Professional Design Practice (3 credits) — Online only
  • Elective 3 (3 credits) — Online only
  • Thesis or creative project (3-6 credits) — Online only

*Electives might be taken from the Graduate Certificates in Planning and Design of Healthcare Environments
*Electives can be taken from other departments or other institution.
*No more than 9 credits can be transferred from other institution.
*All electives need to be approved by the Interior Design Graduate advisor prior to taken the course.
**THES is 6 credits, RES 697 is 3 credits, and CRPR can be 3 or 6 credits. Students who sign up for 6 credits need 6 credits of electives. Students who sign up for 3 credits will need 9 credits of electives.


Ready to Apply?

You will first want to check if you meet the admission requirements for the Ball State Graduate School. Then you may apply.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

Request Info   Contact Us