Interior Design Degrees: Master's, MFA, PhD & Online Course Info

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An Online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interior Design is considered to be a terminal degree in the interior design field. Classes in Design Studio, Human Influences on Interior Design, Communication and Experimental Methods should help graduates learn the skills necessary to become innovative designers who can successfully model and display their design ideas.
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Studying Interior Design: Master Degrees at a Glance

Police science covers several different academic areas, such as policing, criminology and criminal justice. Students who earn a graduate degree in one of these areas may go on to pursue law enforcement careers, as well as administration, management or teaching positions in the field.

If you're interested in law enforcement jobs, keep in mind that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a seven percent employment increase for police and detectives from 2010-2020, which is slower than the national average. State and federal positions will become increasingly competitive, and advanced degrees may be beneficial for candidates who wish to work for government agencies.

Master's and Ph.D. programs in law enforcement can also lead to post-secondary teaching positions. Job growth in this area is expected to be comparable to the average for all occupations at 17% from 2010-2020, according to the BLS.

Online MFA in Interior Design
Who Is This Degree For? - Individuals who want to work in police departments or other areas of law enforcement in an administrative or supervisory role
- Aspiring technical school or junior college teachers.
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean salary) - First-line supervisors of police and detectives ($81,000)*
- Police and sheriff's patrol officers ($56,000)*
- Criminal justice and law enforcement professors ($66,000)*
Time to Completion 1.5-3 years
Common Graduation Requirements - Master's exams
- Thesis
- Required seminars
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design

Many master's programs accept students with undergraduate degrees in almost any subject. Some schools prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees in criminal justice or related fields. The technical and theoretical studies may be geared toward training for managerial and administrative roles within law enforcement agencies.

Some programs require seminars or other hands-on projects outside the classroom, as well as work in the police field. If you're currently employed, many programs offer classes at night and on weekends.

Pros and Cons


  • The degree is flexible, preparing you for a variety of positions, such as policing or leadership roles
  • You can prepare for advanced training, including a law degree or teaching credential
  • Graduates could have an edge in their job search among other students trained in policing, since many jobs in law enforcement require an undergraduate degree


  • May not lead to jobs with high enough pay to justify the cost of the degree*
  • On-the-job experience may be weighed more favorably than advanced education in police work*
  • Some career paths lead to dangerous or strenuous work environments*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Common Courses and Requirements

Some master's degree programs allow students to tailor their core courses to specific areas within law enforcement, such as forensics, management or homeland security.

Examples of courses you might take at the master's level include:

  • Criminology
  • Interview and interrogation
  • Criminal law
  • Drug enforcement

Criminal justice programs often require completion of a capstone course in which your skills are evaluated in a work environment. Master's exams may be required in order to graduate and are often taken upon completion of all required coursework.

You'll need to write a master's thesis based on your interests, usually after earning a certain number of credits or receiving permission from criminal justice department leaders. Some programs also require that students complete courses in research methods before starting thesis work. A proposal or outline may need to be approved before you can begin composing a draft.

Online Format

Most programs are traditional or a hybrid combination of online and classroom courses. Fully online programs are available, with course requirements that are similar to traditional programs. Online programs may not require the same hands-on fieldwork as traditional programs, and therefore may be better suited to students training for administrative or teaching positions in police science. Programs that rely heavily on fieldwork, like those in policing, are not generally available in online formats.

Getting Ahead with This Degree

Effective oral and written communication is essential to many police and detective positions, according to the BLS. Most programs require various communication classes that are meant to help police science students understand crime reports and work cooperatively with diverse groups.

If elective communication courses are offered beyond the core requirements, students may benefit from taking them to strengthen their interpersonal communication skills. You may also consider specializing in a specific area of police work, which the BLS notes is how some professionals climb up the ranks.

Degree Alternatives

If you're interested in police science but want a career with a brighter job outlook, you may consider training to become a probation officer. You can prepare for this career through master's degree programs in related areas, such as sociology, psychology, social work or even criminal justice. The BLS predicted 18% growth in employment for all probation officers and correctional treatment specialists between 2010 and 2020. The BLS noted that job growth might be due to a number of professionals retiring from the field.

Why Earn an Online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interior Design?

An Online Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design is a terminal degree, which means graduates should be able to display an advanced degree of proficiency in design theory and application. Potential students in the program are usually practicing interior designers who want to either attain supervisory positions or teach at a college level. Master's programs in Interior Design culminate in an exhibition of the graduate's major design work, which is in experimental interior design and displays a firm understanding of design methods.

Interior Design Occupational Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics ( states that job growth for interior designers will increase faster than other professions, particularly in the areas of commercial and hospitality design. However, competition for design jobs in major firms is often fierce and applicants with a master's degree are usually preferred for the most prestigious Interior Design consultant firms. Interior Design growth is also dependent on the overall health of the economy, which means in times of economic downturn these positions may decrease.

Interior Design Salary Information

The median annual salary for interior designers, according to the BLS, is $42,260. These salaried designers generally work with consulting firms or with furniture stores that offer design services to their customers. Some graduates of an Online Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design program may choose to become either a college instructor or a freelance designer, and the salaries for these types of positions may be higher than those of salaried designers.

Degree Specifics

Individuals who are working towards a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design will take courses that teach about the human element of interior design and encourage experimentation. Such courses may include:

  • Experimental Design Studio
  • Design Humanics
  • Interior Design Studio
  • Design Communication

Skills Obtained

Graduates of this master's program must have a firm understanding of the foundation principles of interior design. These include:

  • Ability to communicate interior design concepts
  • Skills with design studio computer applications
  • Knowledge of how human interaction influences interior design
  • Willingness to experiment with design ideas