The New York School of Interior Design is devoted to preparing students for the profession, and its breadth of instruction makes its raison d’être clear. Located between Lexington and 3rd Avenues, the school offers four undergrad programs, from one to four years. In Basic, students develop a portfolio, while a BA in the history of interior design hones skills for careers in museums or design journalism.
As well, NYSID houses five grad programs, which DesignIntelligence gave top marks in its U.S. rankings for 2015. In the two MAs dedicated to working designers, candidates choose an area of focus: healthcare interior environments, sustainable interior environments or interior lighting design. “No other college offers degrees in all of these specializations,” says associate dean Barbara Lowenthal. Alumni can confidently dive into new careers; the job placement rate is well into the 90 per cent range.
The curriculum engages students in real-world projects, too. One class is at work on an exercise area for the rooftop of Gracie Square Hospital in New York. Online learning is also available, as part of a joint program with Sotheby’s Institute of Art, as are study-abroad trips. Last summer, MFA students went on a two-week charette to Yunnan Province in China, where they embarked on the design of dormitories and outdoor spaces for a local high school.
For Anne Aristya, who graduated from NYSID last year, the small class sizes were key. “You get a lot of one-on-one time with the instructor, which leads to more in-depth learning,” she says. Aristya now works for Gensler in Singapore.
Location: 170 East 70th St., New York
Programs: BA, BFA, MA, MFA and MPS
Tuition: $US915 per undergrad credit, $US15,520 per semester for MFA
Job placement rate: 92-94%
Notable alumni: Susan Nagle (Bentel & Bentel), Yiannos Vrousgos and Brooke Lichtenstein (Input Creative Studio), Yuan Yuan Ma (Tony Chi and Associates)
For more information about education in architecture, industrial design, interaction design, interior design and landscape architecture, visit our Top Schools section.