First Master’s Degrees Awarded in Interior Design

First Master’s Degrees Awarded in Interior Design

Interior design student working on a project outside

Program enrollment has doubled since launching as a fully online degree in 2019.

It’s an online program that’s as close to the in-class experience as possible. Everything we do is live and interactive. Students have a lot of connection.

— Robert A. Hardy, ASID, IDEC, NCIDQ, program director and independent interior designer

During Fairfield University commencement ceremony on May 21, 2022, the College of Arts and Sciences' online Interior Design program awarded its first eight master’s degrees.  

“They are very accomplished,” said Robert A. Hardy, ASID, IDEC, NCIDQ, program director and independent interior designer, who has more than four decades of industry experience. “Several of these students started by completing our professional certificate first, and then returned to finish the master’s degree.”

Students in the Interior Design master's program are encouraged to work in the field during the program and all of the graduates leave Fairfield with job prospects.

“Two of our graduates work for a company, and the rest have their own businesses as independent designers,” Hardy said. “They’re all doing really well.”

The Interior Design master’s degree program was launched as a fully online, part-time course of study in 2019. Since then, the program’s popularity has grown, enrollment has doubled, and out-of-state students have joined the online cohorts.

“What’s unique about our program,” Hardy noted, “is that it’s an online program that’s as close to the in-class experience as possible. Everything we do is live and interactive. Students have a lot of connection.”

Over the course of their 63-credit studies, which takes approximately 36 to 48 months to complete, interior design students are given the opportunity to develop a robust portfolio of design work. Students also hone their eyes for detail, learn about fundamental construction and safety requirements, and receive individualized training from experienced faculty members. There are seven instructors, and students take courses in everything from business basics to sustainability and hospitality design.

"This program has given me the confidence to start my own business," said Kaitlin Smith MA'22. "I think most other programs rely heavily on CAD right from the beginning, but Fairfield's approach provides students with a great foundation to really understand the concepts of interior design."

Tim Beaupre MA'22 recently took a post in Greenwich, working for a small firm that specializes in designing kitchens and bathrooms; he credited the dedication of the professors for his success with the program. 

"The instructors are all great, especially Rob," Beaupre said. "There are few people as kind as Rob [and he's] always there for his students. Rob loves to talk and tell stories about his long career (they are often very entertaining and funny). From them, I have learned so much about what to expect, more than I ever could from a textbook. I feel very confident about my professional future."

Students also have the opportunity to become NCIDQ (National Council of Interior Design Qualification) certified and to become members of The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) or the International Interior Design Society (IIDS). Additionally, students are able to earn a residential or professional interior design certificate while working toward their master's degree.

To learn more about Fairfield University’s master’s degree in interior design, please visit fairfield.edu/design.

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Tags:  Top Stories,  College of Arts & Sciences

Last modified: 06-14-22 11:50 AM

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