Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the exciting changes coming this fall…
New Semester-based Interior Design Certificate (IDC) program beginning on September 27th, 2021!
We are very excited to announce that AIID has been approved to be a 100% online school beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year!
So that means AIID will not be opening the physical classroom again?
Correct. Covid-19 has presented many challenges for our school over the past year, but one of the bright spots is that we have transitioned to a 100% online school. This allows us to serve more students who were previously unable to attend our classroom program in Fountain Hills, AZ during the day. Many potential students have asked us to create an online program that would allow them to attend from the safety and convenience of their own home.
Is there any downside to not being in the classroom?
We don’t really think so! The obvious first thing that comes to mind is that we will not have a physical classroom for students to attend and interact with their fellow students in person. However, we will still have live lectures and discussion boards for students to interact and network with each other as they complete the program. AIID has always been a community of designers, and this will not change. Students will still be able to meet and network with fellow students, instructors, guest lecturers, and employers as they prepare for a career in Interior Design.
What other coursework has changed in order to deliver a 100% online program?
The biggest change has been our Drafting & Space Planning course. It used to be hand drafting using pencil and paper, and now is computer-based using SketchUp. Our new SketchUp class has gotten amazing reviews and is truly the way forward for the modern career in Interior Design anyway. CAD skills are very important to employers, and customers will love that our students are able to draw and share amazing designs in CAD. The other main change is that our students build digital presentations for mood and color boards, instead of assembling a physical board. Again, we view this as the modern way to practice design and is definitely easier to share with your clients and other project stakeholders!
What is the structure of the new Interior Design Certificate (IDC) program?
We will have 10 courses that are 3 semester credits each (30 semester credits total). Our courses will be offered in 15-week semesters beginning on September 27th, 2021, and you can take up to 5 courses (15 semester credits) per semester. The entire 30 semester credit program can be completed in 30 academic weeks (2 semesters). The following semester is scheduled to begin in February 2022.
In the past your program at AIID was only a full-time option...can I take classes part-time instead?
Yes! You can take up to 5 courses per semester, but as few as 2 courses per semester if you like! This allows flexibility for students who would like to work while attending school.
For the new semester-based IDC program, will I need to attend classes live from 8:30AM-2:30PM as in the past?
No. We are building an Asynchronous program, which is a fancy way to say that our new program will be flexible so that students can complete their schoolwork when it is convenient for them. We will still have some live guest lectures and discussions, but they will be recorded so that students can watch them when convenient for them. Students will even be able to work during the day and still attend our online program. Our instructors and TA’s will be available regularly to answer questions and review lessons. Students are expected to maintain significant and ongoing contact with instructors and learning coaches during their studies.
What is the cost?
IDC program cost for 2021-2022 academic year:
- Tuition per credit: $430 (billed each semester for registered courses)
- Additional Per Course fees:
- The Total Program Cost is $13,160 for completion of all 30 semester credits, spread out over the semesters attended.
What are the payment options?
We still have Financial Aid available for those who qualify. For students unable to receive federal student aid (or to supplement available financial aid), school tuition and fees will be payable using an interest free payment plan that allows students to pay in 3 monthly payments at the beginning of each semester. Please see the “Financial” section of the School Catalog for more information.
Do I need to be an Arizona resident to enroll?
Currently, yes. We are working on getting approval from the state of California as well as all other states in the US. There is a chance that we may be approved by other states before we launch the new semester program in September 2021, so please check back with us for updates! By the way, students living in countries other than the United States are eligible to enroll at any time!
When can I apply for the new program?
Application for admission for the Fall semester began on July 1st, 2021. We recommend completing the application no later than September 15 to allow sufficient time to process the application. The application can be found on our website at: https://www.aiid.edu/admissions- application/
How “Tech Savvy” do I need to be to participate?
You definitely need to be comfortable using a computer, building digital documents, uploading/downloading, organizing computer files, navigating websites, etc. We will be providing an Orientation course prior to starting classes that will review some of the key things to know, as well as a technology assessment tool called “SmarterMeasure” to let you know your tech aptitude during the admissions process.
Will I be able to take the new online program on my phone or tablet?
No! You will need a laptop computer (Windows or MacOS) with an external monitor and mouse with scroll wheel for using SketchUp.
I heard AIID is working on developing an Associate’s Degree program in Interior Design. Will credits from the certificate program transfer into the upcoming AA degree program?
Is AIID accredited by CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation)?
No. CIDA only provides accreditation for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in interior design and architecture. AIID is institutionally accredited by ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges).
Am I able to join American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) as a student?
Yes. Current AIID students can apply for Student membership to ASID, and there is even a path to Allied membership after graduation.
Will I be eligible to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as a graduate of the CID program?
No, not with the IDC certificate alone. Our IDC program is not designed to provide training to pass the NCIDQ by itself. The NCIDQ is a professional level certification that requires a minimum completion of an Associate’s degree in Interior Design from an accredited institution IN ADDITION to several thousand hours of qualified work experience in Interior Design. However, we are planning to address NCIDQ eligibility when we release our upcoming Associate’s degree in the future. Stay tuned!
Here is a list of questions we get asked a lot…
What is the difference between an Interior Decorator and an Interior Designer?
A decorator assists clients with selecting and placing accessories, such as pillows, wall art, lamps, area rugs, paint; and even in selection of fabrics and/or furnishings for rooms. But a designer would have the added ability to change the curve of the arm on a sofa, drastically change the appearance of a chair by adding or eliminating detail and surface refinements. He/she would be trained for, able and inclined to add, eliminate or alter architectural elements and proportions in a space and be able to design custom pieces to to meet challenging aesthetic and practical needs in ways that are creative and unique. The designer is familiar with historic, proportional, structural and material elements, and therefore can (by rule, intuition and skill) diminish, disguise or eliminate problem areas and to enhance, establish or properly showcase the finer features of the space in question.
To put it as simply as possible; the decorator adds things to a space to improve the look, the designer alters the space itself and incorporates a comprehensive vision into the room that includes more than just accessories and fabrics.
(We will teach you both, by the way!)
Do you help with job placement after graduation?
Can I learn what I need to know in only 30 weeks?
Yes, because we only teach interior design! We don’t waste time with Math, English, or Psychology. As our founder likes to say: “We don’t teach scuba diving and we don’t have a football team!” Since we are a career-focused school, you will learn only practical information and skills that will be of immediate benefit to your new career as an interior designer. We will teach you how to make money in design.
Can I take individual courses instead of going through the entire program?
Absolutely. Any course can be taken individually or in combination. The cost is a prorated amount of the normal full program tuition, currently $430 per credit hour. Note that financial aid is not available to students taking individual courses. You must be enrolled full-time in the Interior Design program to be eligible for financial aid.
What if I take a single course and then decide I love it so much I want to take the entire program?
No problem. We will transfer your credits over to the full program and you are free to continue. Your tuition bill is credited for the amount already paid and you are on your way!