Interior Design is both an art and a science. As the discipline that interfaces between architecture and the user, its purpose is to enhance the quality of life and facilitate human activity within the built environment. The Interior Design baccalaureate curriculum combines the critical thinking skills and broad, cultural knowledge inherent in the liberal arts with the creative, technical, and professional skills necessary for interior design practice. Coursework focuses on issues relevant to current design practice, including: environmental concerns, the use of sustainable materials for “green design,” the needs of special populations, and changing technology.
Students in the Interior Design baccalaureate program begin with the foundations of interior design as well as traditional art in courses focused on drawing, color, and 2-D and 3-D design. Their study continues with the design process and how to apply the elements and principles of design to the development of interior space. As students expand their skills and have the opportunity to learn how interior design affects human behavior and the natural environment, they begin to see the impact interior designers have on the lives of others by creating spaces in which people live, work, and play. They have the opportunity to learn to develop and carry out a design concept from space planning to selection of materials, finishes, color, and furnishings.
Throughout the program, students have the opportunity to explore methods of visual communication necessary to convey design ideas in manual and computer-aided drafting and rendering courses. These students have the opportunity to focus on the relationship of interior space to architecture in courses about interior detailing, building systems, lighting, and codes and regulations. Industry-experienced faculty guide students as they hone their skills to create a portfolio to show prospective employers and clients. Students have the opportunity to make valuable contacts with professionals in the field through professional organizations and internships.
Graduates are prepared to seek entry-level positions with interior design or architecture firms or companies specializing in facilities or space planning. After gaining additional on-the-job experience and passing the NCIDQ exam, graduates may become registered interior designers as independent consultants or open their own firms.