2020 UPDATE: This post has become popular when you google NYIAD and I’m so happy that it’s a helpful resource! As such, I get lots of emails asking for follow-up info. Please VISIT THIS POST for more information and FAQs. Between that follow-up and this original post, I’m sharing ALL of the information and insight I have on this course and any further questions you have should be directed to the school. Thanks for reading!
As many of you know, for my 30th birthday my parents gave me the gift of enrollment in the New York Institute of Art and Design’s Complete Course in Interior Design. I planned on writing a review when I finished it, but that won’t be for a while and a few readers have been asking about it, so I decided to share a bit about it now.
I was pretty hesitant to take the course because I couldn’t really find any reviews of it and I wasn’t sure if it was going to be good, but at this point I feel comfortable saying it’s a great course so far, I’m learning a lot, and I definitely recommend it. I think it’s great for anyone who’s interested in design or becoming a designer but has a full-time job and can’t go back to school for a Bachelors in Interior Design, or anyone who just wants to do it online due to location and the convenience factor. Second, quick point I’ll make is that Lauren Liess, who is now a hugely successful and talented designer and author, took the course and as far as I know that’s her only formal training. If that’s not an endorsement I don’t know what is! I have no idea why the school doesn’t advertise that fact. Anyway, now I’ll get into more details for those that are interested!
What It Is
The New York Institute of Art and Design is an online design school based in New York City, offering online courses in various creative subjects including interior design, photography, jewelry design, and others. They are accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission and licensed by the New York State Education Department.
The NYIAD Complete Course in Interior Design is a comprehensive course covering all the basics of interior design. You have around 18 months to complete it (of course if you need extensions you can get them), and it’s all online. It is not for any sort of college credit. At the end you are eligible for the Designer Society of America’s Residential Interior Design Qualification Certification. This is not the same as being a Certified Interior Designer, which is a qualification you earn by doing a Bachelors Degree in Interior Design. There’s a lot of debate out there over whether or not a formal Bachelor’s degree is necessary in order to be a successful interior designer, and some of the best designers out there (in my opinion) like Nate Berkus, Erin Gates and the aforementioned Lauren Liess don’t have Bachelor’s degrees in interior design…but anyway, that’s a topic for another day!
The entire program cost a little over $1200. For comparison’s sake, the New York School of Interior Design costs $915 PER CREDIT. Their Basic Interior Design program is 24 credits – 24 times 915 = a little under $22,000. Yikes.
There are 6 “Units” in the course. Each unit has several “topics” within. At the end of each Unit, after you’ve gone through all of the topics, you do a project. You mail the project in to the school, and they mail it back to you with a grade and audio feedback. The audio feedback is a recording of your teacher, who has your work in front of you, and she talks to you as she goes over it, offering critiques and insight on how you did. That part is pretty cool, I have to say – it makes it feel totally personalized and it’s great to know an actual person is sitting down with your project.
One thing I like is how they mix up the course content. For example, you learn about furniture styles in the course, and you learn about how to run a design business (among tons of other things), but instead of going through all of the furniture styles in a row, then doing all of the business stuff, they do Early American Farmhouse furniture in one unit, then switch to a business topic, then they do another furniture style and another business topic in the next unit, and so on and so forth – so basically you get a break from furniture styles, and a break from business stuff, instead of all of each topic being chunked together. I like that a lot, as it just prevents all of the information from getting muddled together. It keeps it interesting – just when you’re maybe getting a little tired of one topic, they switch to another aspect of design.
Another thing that keeps it from getting monotonous is how they mix up the format. As you’re going through each Unit and each topic, the main way it’s structured is written content with pictures and diagrams. But there are also videos and audio recordings mixed in throughout, which is a great break from just reading through the topics. It also feels a little more personal, to hear designers talking about the topics and see them doing things like drafting or visiting a space or showroom. Not all of the videos are amazing, but most I’ve really enjoyed so far.
In addition to the online material, the school sends you a bunch of physical materials that are necessary for completing your projects. First they send the graph paper and measuring tape you need for room sketches and floorplans, and the watercolors you use to work on color basics. Next they sent me a huge package that included all of the materials for the remainder of the course, including a stack of reference books, colored pencils, a T-square and drafting board, and all of the other drafting materials (erasing shield, special pencils, eraser, triangles, drafting brush, scale ruler, door template, etc).
Unit 1 Overview
In Unit 1, they teach you how to start from scratch: meeting a client, sitting down with them, doing a “Room Condition Checklist” (writing down details of the room), and a “Lifestyle Questionnaire,” (to help you understand how the client lives and uses their space). They teach you about the different ways designers charge, and talk about having the conversation about price with clients. Then they teach you how to measure a room and do a room sketch, not to scale -which by the way, is harder than it sounds! You also learn about real estate staging, an interesting aspect of design that I hadn’t thought about before, and color basics. They go over some aspects of picking furniture, such as, is it in harmony with the rest of the room? Is it suitable in terms of budget and function? There’s also some talk about determining the mood of the room – is it modern? Is it traditional…and how choosing furniture has to fit in with that.
For the Unit 1 project you need to make a room sketch of a real living room, which includes all of the measurements of walls, windows, doors, and fireplaces, along with all of the symbols for outlets and light switches and such. You also hand in a Lifestyle Questionnaire for the living room client, a Room Condition Checklist for the living room, and a couple of color exercises where you paint a color wheel and such. You have the option of handing in elevations for the living room, but they aren’t required. The good thing is that they talk you through it all step-by-step, so everything is very clear.
Unit 2 Overview
In Unit 2, you learn how to take a room sketch (from Unit 1) and make a to-scale floorplan from it. Which by the way, is WAY harder than it sounds! Well, for me anyway. You learn how to use all of the drafting materials to do the to-scale floorplan. You also learn about how to make a letter of agreement for working with a client (and how to present it to them), and they delve into the first furniture style being covered: Early American Farmhouse (ladderback chairs, trestle tables, etc). They also talk a bit about antiques and reproductions, and proportion and scale for furniture.
For the Unit 2 project, you build upon your Unit 1 living room by taking that room sketch you did and creating a to-scale floorplan of that living room. You also do a bedroom. So you do a room sketch of a bedroom, along with a Room Condition Checklist for it, and the to-scale floorplan for that. Then you also hand in some more color exercises that have to do with value and hue (really interesting, actually), and you hand in some sort of quiz about Early American Farmhouse furniture (I haven’t gotten to that yet). So as you can see, each Unit builds upon the last.
Things to Note:
When I first started the program I was slightly perturbed to learn that it doesn’t cover any computer programs like Autocad, Sketchup, or InDesign, which as far as I know are standard for designers today. However, it didn’t take me long to understand that to learn those would require courses in and of themselves (and interestingly, NYIAD recently started offering a separate Autocad course). Those programs are beyond the scope of the course, and what they’re really teaching you here are the basics – drawing and drafting a room from scratch, by hand. I think you need to understand those fundamentals in order to function and later move on to utilizing programs like Autocad.
A great aspect of the course is that it deals with both design basics and practical concerns, such as how to charge, how to write a letter of agreement, and how to talk to clients. It’s very real-life, job-oriented, which makes it feel immediately useful, versus just being theoretical.
Another good aspect: Your advisor is just an email away and I found that they answered questions I sent via email very quickly. I also received the feedback for my Unit 1 Project promptly.
One thing I wish is that they didn’t actually grade you. Since the course isn’t for credit, the grade doesn’t matter, and I find it more discouraging than anything else. I like getting the feedback and the constructive criticism but I would prefer not to be graded…that’s just my opinion!
My Feelings on It
So far the biggest thing I’ve realized from this course is how much I don’t know about design, and how much I have to learn! Which is really exciting for me. However, I do vacillate between feelings of enjoyment and frustration while going through this. I love what I’m learning, but I am struggling with feelings of frustration when it comes to the drafting. It’s just really not in my wheelhouse – I have a lifelong hatred of math, and I’m just not good with measurements and numbers. I find the measuring to be a bit boring and the drafting makes me stressed because every line and measurement has to be so precise. I’m trying not to let it get to me though…and not to let it make me feel like this is something I shouldn’t be pursuing. I don’t think anyone gets into design because they love math and measuring, right? I’m looking forward to working on the actual decorating part.
But, as much as I don’t like the drafting, I really appreciate that the course is making me learn the fundamentals. This is the groundwork. You can’t decorate if you don’t have measurements, and you can’t communicate with contractors and other professionals in your field if you don’t understand floor plans and elevations. I think I wouldn’t mind the drafting as much if I was better at it, but practice makes perfect so I just have to keep pushing.
The course is totally self-guided, no deadlines or anything, so it’s totally on me to stay motivated and put the time in. That can be a bit of a challenge as I’m usually really tired after work, but since the course is overall enjoyable (aside from the dang drafting!), it’s not too hard to set aside a few hours on weekends to devote to it. At times, it can feel hard sacrificing time to something when I’m not sure if it’s going to actually result in any positive outcome. But I try to remind myself, there is no guaranteed outcome for this…and that’s okay! It’s more about learning so much valuable information, and less about whatever’s going to happen at the end. Whoever knows what’s going to happen with anything? Trite though it may be, in this situation, it’s true: it’s more about the journey than the destination. No knowledge is ever wasted, and the more I know about design, the better!
Any questions, leave ’em in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer! (2019 update – click here for my follow-up post and answers to FAQS!)
UPDATE 11/2017: The New York Institute of Art and Design recently started a referral program – use code AAAEZBDBBGD when you sign up and save $50!
Thanks so much for posting this, Jackie! I was one of the ones asking about it so I appreciate the in-depth review. I made a career switch about 2 years ago and work for an interior designer. It’s been difficult to find the right classes/programs that aren’t full-time and super intensive.
If there are any referral codes that would help you (or me!) feel free to pass them along 🙂 I’m actually thinking of signing up for either the Interior Design or AutoCAD course soon.
You’re welcome! So great that you work for a designer – you’re probably already familiar with many of the topics taught in the program. And thanks for asking about referral codes, that’s so nice of you. I did see on the site that if you sign up for two courses at once, you get 25% off both so that’s something to keep in mind!
I loved all the insights that you gave about the entire program and how you broke it down! Im really interested in pursuing this career bc im really passionate about interior design! However the only question that i have about this certificate program is, do you need to take any extra classes like you do in college, like english, science, math and etc?
You do not! 🙂
I also asked about this–love this post and all the detail. I need to get my act together and sign up! (I also bought Habitat–SO good!
So glad you liked the post. Habitat is the best!
What is habitat? Thanks! Excellent post!!
I signed on to your blog today specifically to re-read your initial post about the course. So, this was perfect timing!
I’m currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kosovo, and I’m looking for projects to work on during the long, cold, mountain winters. $1,200 is more money than I can really spend at the moment, but I will definitely keep this is mind for the future!
The $1200 can be broken up into affordable monthly payments. I pay $49/month.
Oh, sounds fun (and challenging)!
I love design of all sorts, but I really don’t know how good I am at interior design.
One of my favorite books for design inspiration is Erin Swift’s “French Accents”. I love flipping through it =)
Have fun with your course!
Megan @ http://www.blingelegance.wordpress.com
thanks so much for sharing your experience so far with us. I am 100% with you on the drafting + math; it makes me question whether I should go into ID, as well. Hang in there! 🙂
I hope you enjoy the course and can learn many new things.
great job with the pictures, the post, and your floorplan.
Is the RIDQC certification only available when you register for $495. Or is this offered upon completion as well? And from what you have learned, is this necessary? Thank you!
I’m pretty sure you have to pay $495 to take the test and become RIDQC certified – taking the NYIAD course qualifies you to register, but the price is separate (unfortunately). In my opinion it is 100% not NECESSARY, per-se, but I think it is always great to have a credential and some sort of certification to back up your skills. So basically not needed, but certainly doesn’t hurt!
Im an Architect and im thinking of enrolling for an online ID course, NYIAD is one of my options. I previously enrolled in The Institute of Interior Design San Francisco but I find it too basic and boring. So I want to switch to NYIAD.
Do you have the prospectus of the whole course? Can you send me the copy? Just an outline of the what I can learn.
How long was the shipping before you got your learning materials? Im only in US until Sept 19, so Im not sure if they will be able to send it to me in time.
I hope you respond. Thanks.
Hi JP, happy to help! Just shoot me an email: jclair24 [at] gmail dot com. Thanks!
I am curious to hear your thoughts on the learning materials, that is if you got a chance to review it?I am an architect as well and I am considering taking this course but have the same concerns you had about it being potentially too basic or boring. Thanks
HI,I happened upon this blog and so happy I did. I’m very very interested in interior decorating. The math and drafting info is a little scary but I won’t let it deter me. I’m looking for a career change and I really feel this is it!! Thank you for the very detailed write up and best of luck to you?
You’re very welcome! Good luck to you with your career switch and I will keep updating about my experience with the course!
Hi, did you purchase the hard copies of the material? I am wondering if it’s necessary or is it something I can just print myself.
From what I can remember, I did not purchase the hard copies. I don’t think it’s necessary, and they do send you several books as part of your course materials anyway.
I was wondering the same thing in regards to the books. I am enrolled and when I had mentioned it to the staff they said for books it will $250.00 on top of the course cost. I didn’t get sent any books as shown on the pic for free. Are the books shown just your fave in regards to interior design? If so may I please know which ones they are so i can look for them. Thank you!
I graduated from NYIAD in June of 2015. I thought the school and the design program were excellent. I was a very dedicated student and even though I work full-time I completed the course in 11 month to the day. I got an A+ on my final project and I won a design excellence award from NYIAD. I was very proud of myself! NYIAD also filmed my final project and added it to the revised curriculum.
I’ve done well since graduation. I am actually working on a multi million dollar senior living project. My education has really paid off!
That’s wonderful Leslie, thanks for telling us! Great to hear a success story come from taking the course.
Congratulations on your success! To land your deal; did you have other educational credentials to back you up or was it strictly based on you interior ed at NYIAD?
Hello, am very interested. .am enrolled in the program newly started,looks fun,using my tablet and libraries to study, going thr limited resources in a year,last year ! Designing it’s in my blood decorating, vrafts,design,cooking.,my mom florist,cake making and decorative cakes.,my brother and nephew art painter! wondering is you could send me names of books so I can purchase used.
This helps! I always have been super creative. Drawing, cooking, design, so on. I’m currently full time and I spent a lot of money at art schools and a cooking school getting certificates in things I’m not using…the price doesn’t sound bad at all and if it’ll give me knowledge I don’t know yet, that sounds super helpful!
Hopefully good things come to both of us for signing up for this! 🙂
Thank you so much Jackie for the wonderful informative information. I have always had a love for design and I always wanted to go to school for this field but I had babies young and old..LOL Now that my youngest is 16 I can move forward with my career. I have worked as a teachers aide for the last 20 years so I could be home when my kids were home….Now it’s ME time….
So glad to hear that Veronica! Best of luck to you with your new adventure 🙂
Hi. Thanks for a nice detailed review. I wanna ask that if we r from some other country even then they will send us the material? Or is it only for new yorkers?
Thank you so much for your detailed info on the school! Greatly appreciated!
You’re very welcome!
I would like to know if there was any kind of delays in the program are assignments are materially not getting anywhere on time cuz I have plan on wanting to go to this to go but I live overseas so I’m kind of scared that I will not pass because things get delayed I don’t get there on time
I would like to know if there was any kind of delays in the program are assignments are materially not getting anywhere on time cuz I have plan on wanting to go to this to go but I live overseas so I’m kind of scared that I will not pass because things get delayed I don’t get there on time please write me on my email address that would be email@example.com
Hey Jackie! How far through the course are you? Are you done already? Just want to check if your feelings have changed by now about it… I applied yesterday, seeking a carreer change and want to know if I’m doing the right move! Thanks!
Hi Marina! I’m not done, still working on it! Feeling the same so far but sadly haven’t had much time to work on it. When I progress further I’ll be sure to post an update! xoxo
What is the percentage of people getting a job after they graduate from this program?
I’m not sure but if you email the school they can probably tell you!
APPLING THE COURSE
Thank you so much for this review! I do have a question – how long does it take to finish? I know they give you 18 months, but do you foresee it taking that long?
You’re welcome! 18 months sounds about right to me. The workload wasn’t too heavy in the first two units, but it really all depends on how much time you have available to dedicate to it.
Thank you for taking the time to write such a helpful review! I’ve been considering taking this course for a few years. I’m not looking to become a professional, but to improve my game significantly on my house and an apartment we have overseas. And the process of learning is always fun, and who knows, maybe the course would inspire me to think bigger about future possibilities. It’s easy to get skeptical about online courses, but this sounds very legit, useful and worth the money. All the best to you as you go through the course!
Thanks Deb! Good luck with it 🙂
HI! I am torn between doing this course or one at Rhodec. Does anyone know anything about Rhodec?
I am interested in this online interior design course. I want to mention that I am not from United States. I am living in Europe ( Romania more precisely). I want to know if it possible for me to take part of this course and if they can send me all the materials considering I am not from United States.
I would email the school and ask! The contact info is on their website.
Im from Hungary. I study in the US, but would like to apply to this course this summer (from home). I called them and asked if it is possible. They said yes, but extra at least 100$ the shipping.
Yes, Jackie. Thank you so much for your time; very informative, esp since their aren’t many reviews to reference. I’m strong considering. I already do a few odds and ends for clients; but I want to expand my knowledge as interior designing is my passion by far and start my personal small business.
May I ask; how have your put your credentials to work since you’ve finished the course?
Thanks again of your time.
I’m still working on the course!
I need text book names,really can’t afford books,only used!! Please help its the interior design program. Mylifeinjersey at g mail. Please that would be a blessing..
Hi Natasha – you can do the course without any books. It’s all online.
Thank you so much for this detailed review. I have been wanting to study Interior Design but have 2 young kids at home with me, so I thought doing it online is quite possible. I am gonna go ahead with this decision and start a new journey.
Thanks for your time.
You’re welcome Ridhima. Best of luck to you on the course!
Hi, what is required to get into the certificate program and can we start classes at anytime in the school year?
Congrats on your course!! I have a silly question… Do you have to be really good at drawing for this career?
Hi Christina! It’s not a requirement at all, no. I’m terrible at drawing. Of course I’m sure it wouldn’t be hurt, but a lot is done on computers nowadays.
I’m glad you asked that Christina! Same!! Good to hear. Thank you for you’re detailed experience Jackie… you have no idea how much this forum helped!
So happy to hear that, Shirley!
Thank you for this!
You’re very welcome!
Thanks so much for posting this; thinking about registering and it is really great to hear someone’s experience with it.
Thank you so much for this Review… I am an Architect with more them 15 years of experience in Trade Show business, and I hate when people ask me to make a project of a Interior Design… “That’s not my kind of job, sorry…” is always my answer. So I was looking for a Interior Design specialization and fond NYIAD… Your Review is by far the best one I’ve found, thanks for that. I don’t think drafting will be a problem for me, and I REALLY need to learn more about different styles and how to put things together with harmony. Lets say that I’ve been working so far with my “instinct”, and now is time for real learning.
Thank you, and best of luck.!
Sounds like you will love it – I wish I had your skill with drafting! A big focus of the course is “harmony” in design, and learning about different styles. Good luck to you!
Thank you so much for this review! This seems like the best online program but your review gave me the info I wanted to feel confident about it!
You’re welcome Eva!
Finding you blog & review on this program was SO helpful! I attended 3 years of college pursuing a bachelors in interior design at an accredited school, and decided at that time in my life other things were more important (ugh) and have regretted not finishing ever since. Unfortunately I do not have the money to finish, but this program sounds perfect for wanting to be more on the decorating side anyways! I have taken many drafting and autocad classes and it’s not really my thing either – I more want to know how to meet with clients and what to charge, etc. Is this a large part of the course do you think? I still want to call myself a “C.I.D” and wondering if I should just do their program to be able to call myself that, or pay more to have that certification but still have the knowledge from NYIAD. Yikes thats confusing. haha! Thanks 🙂
How to work with clients and what to charge is a HUGE part of the course. They’re highly focused on the practical and business side. I don’t think you can call yourself a CID unless you graduate with the Bachelors in Interior Design? But I could be wrong on that. Either way you’ve already done so much of the education, which is amazing, and this program could probably be a good next step! However, I’m thinking some of it might be repetitive from your earlier education? Might be a good review though – let me know what you decide! xo
This is where you get your CID. They also offer their own course, but it didn’t have a great reviews so I myself went with NYIAD.
Hope this helps.
Thank you very much about your comments on course. I’ve been very interested and even checked out local tech college offering electrician course. Always felt interior design combined with electrician knowledge would be great. They cancelled that course just recently. There is nothing locally with interior design and even gave thought to architecture class instead. I really feel with my schedule, though, that this course is best fitted to me.
Thanks Karen. Hope the course worked out for you (or another course). Definitely helpful to have the electrician background, I would think!
Omg thank you so much for this! I am changing careers and want to go into interior design. I’m in southwest Florida and the only school near me is 40 minutes away and is charging me 35k for only an associates! This would work much better than a student loan on my head for the next 10 years. And I’m so glad that you were very transparent on your thoughts. Thank you!
You’re so welcome! Ugh programs are SO dang expensive! This is a much more affordable option, hope it works for you! xoxo
Thank you so much for making this review. I have been contemplating, for the longest time, if I should push through with this course. Your review is so detailed and was very helpful. I have decided to finally do it next month. You provided me with answers to questions I haven’t even thought of asking (does that make sense?)
I currently live in Turks & Caicos Islands (somewhere in the Caribbean) and one of my concerns was where to buy the materials for the course. This is a very small island country where most, if not all, of the stuff on island are imported. Thank you so much for providing so much information about the course. I have decided to enroll this coming May 2017. God bless you! I wish you all the best in you endeavors.
You’re very welcome. I hope the course is going well for you April!
I have been on the hunt for a long time now for a flexible online program in Interior Design, the idea of a 4 year program where I would potentially have to take BS classes like english 101 and history 101 (again) and pay out the wahzoo, really turns me off. I have come across this program a few times but often wonder how accredited it is. I don’t see that is accredited by CID, which in some states means that you can’t take the test to become a licensed Interior Designer. Which has been my only reason for not jumping on the gun and doing the program (everything about it sounds great but I struggle with the fact that companies may not take it seriously when I am looking for a job after the course) My main question is, what do you plan to do with the knowledge you learn once you finish the program, and how likely do you think you are to get a job in Interior design without a 4 yr. program degree (if you dont already have one)? I hope all this makes sense. I have been to college before but never finished due to different circumstances and I just hate to think I will be waisting my time and money on classes that don’t actually have anything to do with design. Thank you! This article made me want to do the program more then ever, but I still get nervous to pull the trigger!
I am going through the exact thing you went through. I really want to enroll into NYIAD but am still nervous about pulling the trigger due to the outcome of getting a job or pursuing my career. I do not want to attend a university and have to retake courses I’ve already taken, seems like it’ll be time wasted. With this being over a year ago, what did you decide to do? Did you find something different, or went with the course? Thanks!
Thanks so much for your detailed review on NYIAD. I have found my purpose in life and I would love to start pursuing it. Your response made me want to do it even more , I was so excited while reading it. Did you happen to get the chance to finish it? I’m just very interested in reading more.
Thank you so much,
Loved your review! I’m looking into taking the NYIAD Interior Design course in my spare time, as I already have a full time career. Between nights and weekends, how long do you anticipate this will take me?
Separately, do you think the next step after completing this program and becoming RIDQC certified will be taking an AutoCad/other technical class and THEN you’ll be qualified to work in design? I’d love to know the generally accepted timeline for this type of career.
Hi Olivia! The fact is, being “qualified” to work in design is subjective. It depends what you want to do in the industry – some of the most successful designers I know have no formal design education. Personally, I am going to take an Autocad course because I think it will be helpful for me.
As far as how long it will take you to do the course, it honestly just depends on how much time you want to put into it. If you want to really devote hours to it each week, I don’t think it will take very long. Good luck!
Thank you for your review! I was so hard to find anything on this course.
I started in December and had a slight set back, but just finished Unit3.
I agree with you on drafting and math(hate!!!) 🙂 I’m also not crazy about color excercises, lol.
Everything else is great! Very helpful.
I am self thought Interior Decorator, already working for myself and having fun! I wanted this course to help me with my business.
Good luck everyone!
I had some setbacks as well but kept going! I’m glad the program is going well for you Sandra!
Hi Jackie! Thanks for sharing! I heard about NYIAD was looking for reviews and found yours! 🙂 How is it going so far? Still loving it? X
Still going well! xo
Hi, Jackie! Thanks for your review! It really helped me to make my decision about doing the course. Are you planning to do the Auto CAD course later? Do you miss it today?
You’re welcome! I’m definitely still planning to do Autocad as soon as I finish this course.
I am SO THANKFUL that I stumbled on your review!! I was also questioning the fact that there were not that many reviews on NYIAD even though the ones out there were mostly positive. I’m currently an adult back in school and working full time as well…nothing at our school is offered online aside from the basic classed like English etc. This would make life so much easier to be able to learn from home with my current schedule! I have a few questions for you….are the supplies and books extra/are they yours to keep or do you send them back? Is the tuition a one time deal or are there hidden fees? It just seems to good to be true price wise whether you pay in full or the monthly payment plan! So much more affordable that “traditional” schooling.
So glad it was helpful! The supplies are yours to keep, and the tuition is actually a one-time deal, no hidden fees that I’ve encountered. If you take longer than 18 months to finish, you get a complimentary 6 extra months, but after that they would charge more. Definitely more affordable than regular school!
Is this the right course for wanting to go into interior decorating instead of interior design? Also…what is Auto CAD?
Auto CAD is a drafting program on the computer, and I think this is a good course for either decorating or designing…although I would say it’s more a broad overview of both, rather than a detailed exploration of either one particularly.
Great review. My name is Ana , and I ‘m thinking on taking this course. Do you have to pass the final protect for the unit in order to open up classes for the next unit?there is any interaction between students at all.?
Hi Ana. You don’t have to wait on the units – they’re all available from the outset so you can go in any order you want. There is a forum for students to interact within the course.
Thank you so much for your informative review! I am considering to follow my heart and change my career to interior design. I was doubting between the interior design institute and the NYIAD, but your review helped me decide!
A question: what is more useful for an interior designer, Sketchup or AutoCAD?
This post made me feel so much better about this course. I have been researching online accredited schools because I work full time and wouldn’t make it living in New York if I didn’t.
It’s easy for online programs to get lost in the ads of others that are not accredited. I did my research but was still skeptical and then I found your blog.
I wanted to be 100% sure that this was the right education to eventually begin an interior design career… so thank you for your honesty about it!
I think I may just enroll!
Thanks Alyssa! So glad it was helpful. I agree, online programs with so many ads can seem sketchy and overwhelming, and the NYIAD does put out a lot of ads which is sort of tacky, but once you get past that it is a great program I think. Good luck to you!
Thank you so much for this review!! It’s exactly what I needed to know!! I hope everything is going well with you !!
Thank you for taking the time to write this review. It has been incredibly helpful to read through and has offered me encouragement to pursue the course. I have wanted to take it for a while but couldn’t really find anything online about it that wasn’t published by the school, so it’s so nice to learn from someone who’s in the class. I’m hoping that with my background in furniture and my obsession to be and interior designer this will be a great step in the right direction.
You’re welcome Kaylee. I encountered the same difficulty in finding reviews so I’m happy to get one out there!
Thank You so much for your feedback. I am an architect in my country and I was looking for interior design here. I want to know if I sign up, can I start classes anytime? Or they have specifics dates? I’m talking about online classes.
OMG this is awesome!
Don’t worry, drafting is the WORST. I hated it. I think most people I know hated it. So that’s normal. I think it’s great you’re investing in yourself and doing something you’ve always loved. That’s worth something!
Thanks so much Sam! Makes me feel better to hear that!
I loved your insight as to what you thought of this of the school and really appreciated your detailed experience of each course. I thank you so much for this and it has greatly helped me in making a decision in where I should go to get my education in interior design.
You’re so welcome and I’m so glad it was helpful! Best of luck to you Kim 🙂
Thank you for your candid assessment of the NYIAD, interior design course. I studied at The New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) here in New York and felt that it was an expensive waste of time. I felt very discouraged about my design future.
After reading your blog, and relating to your struggles with drafting, I am encouraged to persevere.
Again, I thank you!
Thanks for your comment Lisa. Wow, I’m shocked to hear that about the NYSID. To be honest, I’ve been feeling a bit inadequate lately as I’ve met some people who have studied there and I felt like, wow I wish I could go there. I’d be curious to know more details on why you felt it wasn’t a great education if you’d like to share. Thanks again!
Thank you for such a detailed explaination of the beginnings of the course. It was very helpful.
You’re very welcome!
Thank you for this review. I am still undecided in my search for a career, but you make this program sound like a great fit for my lifestyle and interests.
Glad it was helpful, Chloe!
Hi Jackie! Thanks so much for this review!
I was wondering if you could tell me if you signed up to be RIDQC certified for the $495 while registering for the course. I’m interested in signing up, but I read that you can only get this price upon registration (otherwise its $1,895.00 through DSA independently). I’m asking because I know it’s not *100% necessary* but perhaps you think it is worth it now that you’ve completed a decent percentage of the course?
Thanks in advance!
You’re welcome Maria! At this point I’m leaning towards no on the RIDQC thing. I don’t think the certification means much (like if I tell people, “I’m RIDQC certified”, I don’t see it having much of an impact or changing anything)…whereas having gone to school/taken courses does seem to mean something, from my experience. I think the most important things overall are 1. Taking a course proves to the outside world/a potential employer or client that you’ve taken definitive steps towards this career and thus are truly interested in it and willing to put work in to educate yourself, and 2. The things I’m learning in the course are invaluable in terms of background knowledge that you need in order to make a go of it in this industry. If I were stepping in with literally no experience in drafting or with furniture styles, etc, I would feel that I was looking like I didn’t really care or just didn’t have any clue what I was doing. Sorry for the novel…overall I think education is most important and a certification not as much!
Thank you so much for your blog! I am hoping to register for this course within the next week simply because of my passion for decorating. I completely agree with the drafting aspect, not sure how I will handle that part… but I am glad to hear you love the course, you are continuing to learn & that it’s a great program to invest in. I will be following your blog for updates! Thank you again!
You’re very welcome!
Thanks so much for writing this post! I was on the fence about the NYIAD Interior Design program, but after reading your post, it’s helped me to be even more interested. I’ll be 47 in less than a month, and have always loved (and had a very good eye for) decorating & colors. I’ve been in IT for ages, and am ready for a much more creative, fun career.
I too completely suck at drawing, but as you said I would not let it deter me from getting to the long-term goal of being an Interior Designer. Thanks again!
Jackie thank you so much for your honest and well described information about the course!
Hey there!! I too am a student in NYIAD for Interior Design. I’m in the beginning of unit 4! I wish you all the best in the course!!
HI Gabriella , How was it so far? Im in Unit 2 by the way 🙂
I came across your blog looking into that online course myself.
I’m assuming that since you started it in 2016, you’ve now finished the course, and I was wondering about the grand finale: Was this course mainly something you did for fun and out of interest or have you turned this new acquired knowledge into a profession? Also, and this might be a bit of a stretch, but have you heard anything about the event planning course that NYIAD offers by any chance?
Hi Olivia! I’m actually still working on the course (I took a 6 month extension), and I’m currently doing a design internship, so there’s a possibility that it may become a career or perhaps a side career or something…not totally sure! But what I’ve learned has certainly helped in terms of knowing a little bit more while doing the internship. I don’t know anything about the event planning course, sorry about that!
Hi Jackie, how did you able to acquire internship? Did the school helped you?
Hi! Nope, the school didn’t help – as far as I know that’s not something they do. I got the internship on my own by reaching out on social media to a designer I followed.
I am interested in NYIAD Staging Course. I love decorating and am ready to move forward with my passion to decorate for people homes or businesses. How many hours per day do you spend on your training/studying? I plan on keeping my day job until I complete the course. I like to build my portfolio. Any suggestions? Currently I have done 5 spaces that include painting.
I would say that the hours per day that you spend on it are totally individual, depending on how quickly you’re looking to finish!
hey! so happy l found this review, Im very interested in taking this course, but currently living overseas so l was wondering if you had any issues/troubles/delay with the assignments since l have read that you have to mail them…? Thx!!
Im thinking of doing the same and Im also overseas. I wonder if they have certain arrangements for students overseas.
I would email the school and ask – I’m sure they can make accommodations for overseas students!
That you so much for your feedback I am considering enrolling.
Would love to find someone who successfully graduated this course and contact him to help me with every unit project.
Love this review. It’s one of the top reviews of the program when you Google it. It was one of my deciding factors to join the program back in September. How are you doing with the program? Did you finish? At this point how differently do you look at design now versus before you began the program?
Hi Kurt! I haven’t finished due to personal reasons and I definitely see design a little differently from when I started! I’ve learned a lot about what design is really like from both the course + an internship I did, and overall I think the biggest thing I didn’t realize before is how little time designers spend actually designing! There’s so much more that goes into it – project management, client relationships, budgeting, accounting, dealing with vendors, etc. It’s been eye-opening!
How long has it taken you to do the course? If you have finished, how long did it take you in total?
I haven’t finished yet, due to personal reasons, but honestly it’s up to the individual. If you wanted to finish in six months I think that would be totally doable. Or a year! It’s really not TOO intense of a course so I think if someone wanted to power through quickly they definitely could.
I’m also interested to join NYIAD.
Did you buy any other materials, or all of them are being provided by the school?
For clarification, the drafting board that was shipped by the school is the drawing board. Am I correct?
All of the materials were provided by the school – drafting board included!
Thank you for your honest insight! I too hate math and found it reassuring that I’m not alone. After reading your critique, I am less scared to jump in. Thanks 🙂
You’re very welcome!
I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been on the fence about signing up for an online interior design course. I’m so weary of the cost and scam potential, but I feel so much more at ease after your review so far. I think I’m going to take the plunge! I hope you’re still finding it helpful.
I hope it goes well for you!
Any updates on your course? About to take the leap. Thanks!
So sorry, I’ve been meaning to write an update for ages and still hope to get to it. Hope it goes well for you!
You are the only real-life review I’ve found, thank you! I totally agree with your insights- I’m a little hesitant about trying this course simply because I don’t know what will come out of it since there isn’t an actual Bachelor’s or Masters degree at the finish line of it. BUT I’m anxious to try something new and see what comes. There will definitely be more opportunity having taken this class rather than not taking it! Best wishes.
You’re so welcome Dani! I’m really glad this was helpful and what you said is exactly right!
Enjoyed your review very much and well I’ve noticed how you didn’t get graded for anything because the course isn’t a college credit. However, can you still receive the same jobs an interior designer who has a bs degree? I’m eager to take the course but I’m worried that once I finish I won’t be able to find work because the certification won’t be valued at certain design firms. Have you applied for work anywhere with have taken the program? Appreciate your help! 🙂
I don’t think this course can guarantee you the same job opportunities as someone with a Bachelors in design, no. That said, many designers are incredibly successful with no design degree at all, so also something to keep in mind. I did intern somewhere and as far as I could tell, this course was not regarded as highly as a design degree from Parsons or NYSID – then again, those courses are also incredibly expensive, so just more things to keep in mind! Hope that helps!
Hello there, thank you for this great and detailed review!
I am an architect with ten years experience, but I never (rarely) worked on interiors… I started working in the field lately and feel there is so much I don’t know! So… I would like to take this course but I fear it might be a bit basic given my background. Do you have any suggestions? I feel there is nothing like this program out there content and price wise, but before committing I would like to be sure :)!
Hmm, that’s hard for me to say as I don’t know much about architecture, but honestly, this course didn’t cover much architecture as far as I could tell, so there might not be all that much overlap. The drafting part will certainly be easier for you, I would imagine. Hope that helps!
Hi thanks for review.. I was thinking to join this course, I have an arcitecture degree from India and I am looking forward for a career something related to design in US but was not sure of which course could pave me a way, I am already good with AutoCAD do the course still want me to manually draft the projects? Is it a requirement?
Hand-drafting is a requirement for the course!
Hi Jackie, is this acknowledge in Canada?
I like to enroll the home staging course.
I’m not sure but I think so! I would email the school and ask!
Thank you very much for the information. I was thinking about taking the Interior design class, but I have some doubts… Hope someone can help me. I’m an architect from Israel and just moved to New York. I’m looking for some class that can help me to adapt my knowledge. Everithing is very different here…I know that the plan layouts are very different, and sometimes I find myself staring at the plan and have no idea what is the size of the room…it’s a weird filling after 5 year practice)))
Another thing that is really a problem for me is the official letters,terminology, how to talk with constructors and with the client himself.
I would really appreciate if someone could tell me if this class can teach me those things. Or any other suggestion…
Thank you !
I know this post is from a few years ago, but I came across this amazing review and wanted to know if your feelings have changed . Was it still worth it 2 years later? Thanks in advance
Stay at home mom looking to fulfill my dreams.
Hi Kerrin! The course was a great intro to the overall concepts of design – if you think it’s something you’re interested in pursuing, I think it’s a great way to take a first step into it. Good luck!
Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts about this online course. It help me to decide about taking the classes online, it seems safe and legit.
I realize your post is from a couple of years ago but I happened to stumbled across it when looking for reviews about NYIAD. This is exactly what I was looking for and it has been truly helpful. My husband and I have started a home renovation business and we want to take it to the next level by having an in house interior designer for our clients, if needed. So I’m looking into becoming a designer not only for the business but because I’ve always loved interior design. We have 4 children and time and money are definitely factors and we didn’t want either to be wasted on a program that isn’t legitimate. So thank you so much for the post it has helped to guide me in my decision to enroll in NYIAD’s interior design course.
I would really like to know some feedback on what you think of the course. I have taken many college classes for Interior design and have about a year to finish with a bachelors. Would this be a good avenue to take instead of finishing my degree.
Thank you so much for this detailed review. It has been a year ago that you had posted this. Have you finished the course? Did you get the certificate? Please let me know how you felt about this course at the end. Awaiting your response..
You’re very welcome! I did not finish the final project for personal reasons but I still feel it was a really helpful course and I learned a lot!
This blog is absolutely awesome- thank you so much for the information to someone who is so curious about this program! I do have a couple of questions that I hope you may know- since they do grade you on your unit projects, do these grades go towards anything at all? If you are graded badly, can you still graduate? What is the defining factor in someone graduating and completing this course? Also- have you taken the RIDQC yet?
I’m so glad it was helpful! The grades don’t go towards anything except that you need good enough ones to be able to move on to the next section. So basically they won’t let you move on until you fix it up and are successful on each section, which is good I think. As far as a defining factor, I’d say just the interest and enthusiasm should be enough to get you through! I have not personally taken the RIDQC.
This was SOOO helpful for me, as I am starting to start my career in ID and have looked into courses at NYSID and felt discouraged by the cost. It is great to know that you get good about this course and it was helpful in learning the basic fundamentals. I definitely think I am going to invest in this course. I work for a company in which I am surrounded by inferior designers so i will also try to use them as a source of help on the Autocad. Great blog and very informative. Thank you so much!
You’re so welcome Alyssa! It sounds like a good course for you and I hope it goes great!
I am currently attending school for a Bachelor’s in Interior Design. I feel like I have already sunk so much money into my degree I need to finish but at the same time if I can finish this in a year and get certified that is really what I need. I am older and want to make a career change now. I just want to make sure this is legit.
Hi Gwen. I can’t tell you what to do in terms of your Bachelors or this course, but I can tell you that this course is “legit” in terms of learning a lot of useful things! A Bachelors will be a totally different ballgame from this certificate I would think, but again I’m not an expert on the paths that interior designers take. I would try speaking to a designer you admire and seeing if they can give you any guidance. Good luck!
Hi, thank you for sharing this informational post. I’m still pretty young and figuring out my career path, and recently decided interior design is the road I want to take. I’ve been a bit skeptical on whether this course is worth taking or if I should spend my money on getting a bachelors degree, but you’ve convinced me that this route is an effective way to go! Luckily I graduated with an economics and business degree at a major university, so the drafting and math portions should hopefully come naturally to me! One question I have is how much sketching and creating a real room layout do you learn in this course? Asking because I’m unsure if I should also register in Autocad as well?
Thank you for this! Very helpful with helping me make my decision on enrolling. Good luck to you!
I too am just finishing Unit 2. I also hate the drafting with the same passion that I love creating interiors.
Let’s just keep moving forward and keep the prize in sight! Unit 3 – finally – fabrics.
Loved reading your comments.
I will be 72 in May, so very nerves about signing up for this course. I once read that if you walk into a room and redo it in your mind, interior design might work for you. I liked what you had to say about the course. So will do some soul searching. Just hope my brain can take it all in.
It sounds like the course could be great for you – good luck!
I just wanted to thank you for posting this. I have loved interior design probably my whole life, but have been too afraid to take the plunge and go back to school for it. I found this online course and was really not sure about it because it seemed too good to be true, but your post really helped clarify it for me. I have been going back and forth on what to do to further my education and I think the courses offered by NYIAD are a perfect jumping off point for me so THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing!
Thanks for writing this!
After this course do you believe you will be set up to begin working? I only hesitant because my purpose in doing this course would be to hopefully work in this field.
I address that in my follow up post here! https://yorkavenueblog.com/nyiad-complete-course-in-interior-design-follow-up-and-faqs/
Now that I’m assuming you’ve finished the course. Has anything yet come of getting your certificate? If so what and what actions did you takers get there?
Follow up post is here! https://yorkavenueblog.com/nyiad-complete-course-in-interior-design-follow-up-and-faqs/
Thank you for sharing this is a true blessing. Since this pandemic this has changed everything. We at looking at my daughter going into fashion. She desires a fashion stylist. She has always been good at it. Not spending $200,000 for some school in LA. I want to know do you know anything about the fashion stylist program at this school. We appreciate you so much. Michiel
Does the completion of this certification design course give you the credentials to apply for a trade discount at wholesalers and allow you to become a ‘to the trade’ /wholesale purchaser?
Or do you think the full design degree is required?
Btw, thank you. This was a very helpful summary!
This was very informative and helpful for me as I am considering doing the interior design course as well as Sketchup. Did the course talk at all about how to market yourself and get working?
I have the same concerns as the architect that asked you this…Do you have the prospectus of the whole course? Can you send me the copy? Just an outline of the what I can learn.
I currently work as an interior designer already but wanted to sharpen my skills like drawing etc but want it to be informative and not too remedial. I look forward to this information and your personal feedback.
Hi there! I’m currently considering dropping out of my Bachelor of Illustration program to take this course. Could we email so I could ask you more about this course? This is a huge decision for me and I’m looking for complete honesty before I make a crazy decision haha. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for all the info. I just enroll in the course and used your discount code 🙂
Hi, thanks for the detailed review. I wanted to ask do You have to pay extra for the materials you receive ? As I have only taken online course so I don’t get any of the materials ?
Thanks for this! I read on other reviews that the course material especially the videos are outdated/impersonal and there are typos throughout. I’m wondering if this is your experience?
I’m very happy that you waste some of your time and talk about this course, I was unsure and now I decide! thanks 😊
Do you know if there are any resources for a used printed manual of the course?
Thank you for your article! I feel better knowing the struggles of another student. Good information
Thank you for sharing! Did you pay for the materials (tape measure, graph paper etc.)? I signed up last month and have not received anything from them except a student card.
HELLO, NICE POST! IT REALLY HELPS ME. I’D LIKE TO KNOW IF I NEED EXPERIENCE IN ORDER TO TAKE THIS COURSE.
I’m currently thinking about pursuing this certificate but i have few questions-
1) seems like there is no software based (autocad, revit, sketchup) work in whole course so, is this course beneficial for job point of view?
2) what is your experience about projects that you did in this course?
3) how did you make your portfolio strong enough for further job opportunities though, course hasn’t mentioned for software related work in syllabus?
4) It seems like they are not giving you any credits or grading after completing each unit, on what basis you should move to the next unit or so?
5) Will there be exams after each unit?
6)Will there be group discussions, designer/student interaction?
7) Will all the videos available to students at once?
8) Will they provide you with complete material for the whole course at once?
This was really helpful! I realized my passion for decorating when I was asked to buy and set up decorations for our coffee shop the fall season, and now I love moving furniture around in my house and using seasonal decorations. I didn’t realize that interior decorating was so complex; honestly, I thought that the architects do all of that work! I’m still not sure if I just like decorating or if this kind of work is something I really want to into, contemplating my career. Putting up tapestries and placing flower vases in just the right places is nice, but this sounds like hard work! Thanks for the insight! I have a lot of interests and I’m trying to find one that would work well as a lifetime career for me.
With this certificate, can you become an interior designer right away?
“Love everything you write!
This is the kind of blog that I really enjoyed reading. You got me really interested on reading more about interior design topics.
How much were you able to spend on studying this course?
Such a great piece!”
This was a great read! Ive been wanting to get started on some smaller interior design projects for a while.