Art Institutes

Interior Design Major

Build a better future.

There’s always a demand for those can make things that are smarter, simpler, and better—from the tools people use to the places where they live and work.


The mission of the Interior Design Bachelor’s Program is to prepare students to obtain entry-level positions in their field and function as trained professionals. Students conceive and develop viable design solutions within the interior environment utilizing creative, critical, and technical methodologies. They are prepared for the purpose of improving the quality of life, increasing productivity, and protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of the public by incorporating function, aesthetics, and environmentally sustainable products. By meeting the educational goals, students should develop an attitude of flexibility and a desire for life-long learning necessary to meet the changing demands of the interior design profession.

Student Achievement Data

Program Areas

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division Interior Design Degree Programs

Interior Design

You can develop the technical and creative skills to design attractive interior spaces that meet strict requirements for safety, accessibility, and sustainability.

Kitchen & Bath design degree at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division

Kitchen & Bath Design

You can gain technical, aesthetic, and business skills while exploring everything from cabinet construction and color theory to building codes and project bidding.

Meet Our Faculty

  • Chris Priest

    Chris Priest, Ed. D.

    Interior Design

    "If you can imagine it, you can create it."

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    Chris Priest, Ed. D.

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I’ve always been artistic, so I just assumed a creative career would be in my future. Art was interesting, but I had a fascination for design—I enjoyed pairing function with aesthetics. While I was working in construction, I pursued my interest in design, developing talents in technical illustration to help me share those concepts graphically. It’s rewarding to have my own creative ideas and also to be able to illustrate those of others.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    Sharing my professional experiences brings a sense of reality into the classroom and helps students relate the material to their future career. It’s also important to foster professional connections, maintain certifications, and join industry organizations to stay current with emerging ideas, movements, and technologies.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    Sketching assignments are a key aspect of my courses; they help students express their thoughts and develop their creativity. I urge them to sketch constantly, even outside of the classroom, and to never stop at just one sketch or think their first idea is the right solution. Creativity is problem- solving using artistic, inventive, and imaginative ideas.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Designers don’t design in a bubble, they design for people. They to work together with a variety of specialists to develop the best design solutions. It’s important to be able to work closely with others who may have expertise in different areas, and apply all that talent to solve the problems at hand.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    If you can imagine it, you can create it. Creativity isn’t something everyone is born with. In those who are more technically minded, it can be nurtured through education, experience, and practice.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    My passion is helping students discover their talents and develop their creative skills.

  • Lisa Tucker

    Lisa Tucker Cross

    Interior Design

    "Never stop learning."

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    Lisa Tucker Cross
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    My mother inspired me with her endless creative energy. When I was very young, I worked side by side with her as she transformed interiors and crafted beautiful objects. A major defining moment for me was the day I presented my final design compilation and fashion show in college. An art professor told me it was the best compilation he’d ever reviewed. That meant so much to me, because he was one of the most respected and toughest professors in the department.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    It’s so important to integrate personal and professional experiences into the learning experience. I give students examples of my work, along with samples from other professionals, to motivate them to strive for excellence and prepare them for the real world. Students also engage with local professionals to complete projects and get a taste of life in the design world.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring—and how do you do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    In Thesis Development, students develop their own thesis based on a unique interior design problem; they present their thesis to a live review panel of professionals. Then they take it to the next studio course and turn it into a full-scale interior design project. That’s one of the most significant elements in their portfolios—it defines them and their talents as interior designers. I hold the students to high standards while guiding them through their challenges.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    Students need to interact with one another in order to dig deeper while exploring new ideas and think critically through solutions. That’s how they’ll work in the interior design industry.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Never stop learning. Always, always, always apply critical thinking skills to every project and potential client. And develop positive people skills.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Life is too short to live in a boring environment. Read More...

Latest Happenings

Interiror Design thumbnail Interior Design
Professional Organizations for Interior Design Students at The Art Institute Online

Joining a professional organization is the first step for an interior design student to gain exposure to the profession, keep current with latest design trends, help with networking and find local career opportunities.

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Home Decorating Ideas from Trash Bin Interior Design
Home Decorating Ideas from the Trash Bin

Everyone understands the importance of recycling and the adage "Waste not, want not" and you may have items around the home that you don’t want to get rid of or throw out but are not sure what to do with.

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Andrya Huntsman Interior Design
Alumni Spotlight: Andrya Huntsman

While many Millennial's are facing challenges finding work, I wanted to share a story of an online student and how she was able to find her first position in the Interior Design field.

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