In 1906, Frank Alvah Parsons established the first academic interior design program in the United States. Parsons continues to lead this evolving field with programs including AAS Interior Design. Begin your interior design career with accomplished New York professionals who guide you in exploring design’s potential to improve lives at every scale. You develop an awareness of the social, environmental, and cultural dimensions of interiors through curricula and projects that investigate global concerns such as sustainability and economic inequality. In the process, you become a designer equipped with the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to succeed in a growing field.
The AAS program provides up to 44 credits toward the educational requirement for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) licensing exam. Although licensure is not required in order to practice interior design, some graduates choose to obtain a license. If you wish to pursue licensure, refer to the NCIDQ website for detailed information about educational requirements for the exam.
In the program, you take three design studios focusing on residential, retail, workplace, and hospitality interiors. You learn the theory and practice of interior design through conceptual investigations of space, research on sustainability and materials,
and training in computer rendering. In the studios, you explore the relationship between interior architecture and decorative arts. The AAS professional program allows you to take electives offered throughout Parsons to develop the range of skills required in the future workplace. Internships at
prominent design firms like Victoria Hagan Interiors, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, AvroKO, Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design, and Yabu Pushelberg offer opportunities to apply your learning to real-world interiors.
You share campus facilities with students of architecture, lighting design, and product design and can work in the fabrication shop and conduct research in the Light Lab and the Angelo Donghia Healthier Materials Library. “AfterTaste,” an international design symposium hosted by Parsons, and WORK, the program’s annual publication, let you engage with international scholars and practitioners shaping the contemporary design landscape.
The city’s museums, archives, and designed spaces present opportunities for both applied and critical study. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum — an important collection of decorative arts and furniture and sponsor of many industry-related events — is a key resource. You also have access to the showrooms, factories, dealers, auction houses, and experts that make the city an international center of interior design.
Supplementing industry-focused core courses, electives enable you to deepen your understanding of and experience in designing with soft and hard materials, lighting, and sustainable materials and systems. You have opportunities to study a range of historical, theoretical, and related design topics. You can complete your studies in two to four semesters of full-time study, depending on the number of transfer credits you bring to the program. Most students finish the program in three full-time semesters. Students with the maximum number of transferable credits (31) are eligible to be considered for the two-semester fast-track option. (Eligible fast-track transfer credits must include 21 liberal arts credits, with 6 in English or critical reading and writing courses, and 10 studio arts credits, all from a regionally accredited college or university. Transfer credit is conferred at the discretion of admission counselors.)
This program is part of Parsons' School of Constructed Environments (SCE). Learn about the
SCE community and explore our
SCE blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.
The Associate in Applied Science degree is awarded for completion of 65 credits of coursework. A maximum of 31 credits of undergraduate coursework may be transferred from other institutions. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.
Students who receive the maximum number of transferable credits (31) are eligible to enroll in the fast-track option outlined below.
The following is a list of some notable program alumni:
Alice Kerrison (2005)
Principal, Alice Kerrison Interiors
Alejandro Barrios (2000)
Principal, Alejandro Barrios Carreri Architecture and Interiors
Lisa Sternfeld (2005)
New York, NY
Principal, Sheila Bridges Design, Inc.
Antonia Hollerbach (2006)
Principal, Antonia Hollerbach Interiors
Julia Thomson Fontana (grad 1998)
Scott Saunders (1997)
Principal, Scott Saunders LLC
Book on his interiors: Feb 2010 Publication Date
Mary Chan (2005)
Principal, Studio Bartleby
Janine Carendi MacMurray (2005)
Principal, Area Interiors
2007 Top 10 Designers, Domino magazine
Principal, GRADE Architecture + Interior Design
Design Director, AVROKO (San Francisco, CA)
1-2 years, 65 credits
Can be completed full-time or part-time
A professionally oriented course of study that provides essential foundation training and technical skills, enabling students to build a competitive portfolio and launch a new career in their chosen industry. Best suited to students who have previous college experience in an unrelated field and want to change careers.
4 years, 120 credits
Full-time undergraduate major
A holistic degree program that immerses students in challenging studio courses, art history and critical theory, as well as the wider world of liberal arts. The course of study culminates in a thesis and qualifies alumni for further graduate study. Best suited to first-time college students.
Explore the BFA degree option
2 years, 60 credits
Full-time graduate program
A professionally oriented program that trains students in highly advanced, specialized design methods and technical skills, enabling students to advance their existing design practice. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a related design field and/or work experience in interior design.
Explore the MFA degree option
The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree program is most suitable for mature students with some college experience who are clear about their interests in the field of design and prepared for rapid immersion in a professional course of study. The typical student has a bachelor's or an advanced degree and work experience in a field other than design. Admission to the program is based on the prospective student’s maturity, desire to pursue further education, previous accomplishments, and potential for growth. Applicants must have graduated from high school at least two years prior to be eligible to apply.
Priority Application Deadlines:
We will continue to review applications submitted after the priority deadlines have passed if space is available in the program.
Financial Aid Deadlines
All applicants are required to apply online. Save your work frequently and print a copy for your records. You must complete all required fields and uploads prior to submission.
Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent by mail must include an
Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.
See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.
Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world.
Explore the SCE Community
Nadia Elrokhsy, Program Director
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