Online Learning FAQs

We offer two types of online learning experiences:

SELF-PACED: The individual classes and Basic Interior Design certificate, and Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design are self-paced. You can sign in whenever you can to watch pre-recorded lectures and get weekly assignments. Weekly log-in participation is required.

REAL-TIME: For the MPS in Healthcare Interior Design and MPS in Sustainable Interior Environments programs, you join your instuctor and classmates via videoconferencing for discussions in real time. Read the MPS Online Learning FAQs here.

What are the advantages of the self-paced online class?

Convenience and Flexibility: Convenience and flexibility are the most obvious advantages. Students can log into the course throughout the week, on any computer, and study when it’s convenient. The self-paced online courses are all prerecorded, and there are generally no set required meeting times throughout the semester.

Freedom to travel while you study: Courses can be taken from anywhere you have an internet connection, so business trips or vacations do not have to mean missed classes.

Great courses, just like onsite: In NYSID’s online courses, we have created an atmosphere of learning and sharing that is as close as possible to the actual classroom experience. In many cases the courses are taught by the same faculty teaching onsite.

You can take a combination of online and onsite courses: Students matriculated in the onsite Basic Interior Design (BID) certificate (with the exception of international students) may take up to 9 credits in the online format; students matriculated in the online BID may take up to 9 credits in onsite courses. Any academic credits earned online will directly apply to future degree programs. International student requirements are listed here.

How do the self-paced online courses work?

Structure: Typically, there is a lecture each week, with required assignments to complete and post. Additionally, students interact with each other in the discussion forums, where they respond to questions and post comments. Students have a good deal of flexibility in terms of when or where they study but, should expect to have due dates for assignments that require them to participate in the online course throughout the week. Some classes will have scheduled conference calls or video conference options, these will be identified in the course syllabus.

Schedule: Each for-credit course is 15 weeks long during the regular semester, and 8 weeks long during the summer – the same as the Academic Calendar. Students typically have several due dates a week where they post a response to a question, submit an assignment, or take a quiz.

Time commitment: The time that you spend in classes will vary based on the number of credits and assignments. Total expected time each week is the same that a student would likely spend if taking an onsite course.

Relationship building: There are lots of ways in which students interact with their instructor and fellow students. Students discuss topics in the discussion board, where their instructor and peers provide insight, guidance, and feedback. Students’ personalities definitely come through their postings and class contributions, and they really get to know each other well. Students and the instructor also communicate through private assignment correspondence within the course site or via e-mail. Sometimes instructors arrange for a class chat, either using a conference call or an instant message system.

What about exams? Some courses do require midterm and final exam proctoring. This will be listed in the course description. There is an additional fee for the proctoring, and students will need to have access to a webcam during the exam.

What do I need to be successful?

Hardware/software: You will need a computer or laptop and access to the internet. The web-based instructional system is compatible with both PC and Macintosh computers. Be sure that your computer or laptop has a camera and microphone, and internet capability.  You don’t have to be a computer expert to enroll in online classes, but you should be comfortable using a computer and know how to use the internet for coursework.

When can I start?

Courses are offered according to our Academic Calendar: We have a fall, spring, and summer semester schedule that all of for-credit courses follow. In addition, we have the 6 week Introduction to Interior Design course that runs twice during the fall in spring semesters, and once in the summer. See Institute for Continuing and Professional Studies registration page for current online courses.