FYI, many "Floridian" interior design professionals will have many views on which is the best interior design school in Florida to attend. Each school has a slightly different approach in teaching design as each school may focus more on corporate design, residential design, hospitality design, fine art design or interior decorating. So you will need to ask yourself what type of design do you want to pursue? Do some research on each design program and go visit the school and see students' work to see if the program is a good fit for you. If you want to go into commercial design as a career (corporate, hospitality, retail, industrial) you need a four year bachelor degree. If you want to get a degree in steps; some community colleges offer AA degrees in design that also mirrors the two years of a four year program(s) that you could transfer into.
The other thing to consider is the overall cost of the degree; a public university / college will be cheaper than a private college or "for profit" degree program(s). Unless you can afford it, you want to avoid going to an expensive program then having to pay back student loans when your in the early years of a career. After considering all these factors you may go into a program that best matches your financial resources but has a design teaching philosophy that is not your first choice, but that's still ok. Each school will teach you basic design skills and design concepts which gives you need a solid base to move into your interior design career.
As of this writing here are some Florida schools to consider and please refer to the website www.stateoffloria.com. Florida Public Universities (Florida State, University of Florida); AA design degrees (Hillsborough Community College, Miami Dade College); Florida Private colleges (Ringling School of Art and Design, Miami International University of Art & Design, University of Miami, The Art Institute of Tampa). Please do more research as I may have not listed all the design schools or programs in Florida.
Dwayne recommends the following next steps:
- What type of design to you like; Residential, Commercial? Also what specialized design field do you like; corporate design, lighting design, retail design, hospitality design, industrial design?
- Do research on all four year design schools in Florida including AA design programs.
- Go visit in person the final two design schools you are considering and see student work.