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Interior Design

Bachelor of Arts

The philosophy of the interior design program is based on a concern for human beings and the creation of interior settings that support human activities and values. Through the integration of design, research, and theory, interior design contributes to the betterment of the human condition from the individual to the global community. As such, we recognize and respect the interdependence of natural, social, and economic systems in framing design problems.

The Interior Design program provides a progressive professional education focused on positively impacting the human condition within the built environment. Our mission is to facilitate an academic culture committed to teaching, creative discovery, research, and service where students and faculty are inspired to engage complex  issues and envision creative design solutions addressing the unique problems of our time.

The four-year Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design degree offered at the School of Design and Construction is accredited by the Council of Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).  Graduates are prepared to enter professional practice and make meaningful contributions from day one. Along the way, you will be immersed in an experiential based curriculum featuring the design studio.  This collaborative and creative environment seeks to understand what makes great design and how to create it. Supportive coursework provides a broad foundation of design and construction along with disciplinary focus in materials, lighting, history, practices, and theory.

You will learn on your feet, with opportunities for travel and study tours, community engagement, job shadows and internships. Unique to Interior Design is the Senior Experience: offerings include  study abroad in Italy, professional internship, or community-based studio. Many interior design students choose to minor in one of the allied SDC disciplines, expanding their options for practice and graduate education.

The backbone of the interior design curriculum is the studio experience. First-year projects focus on applying the basic elements and principles of design in two and three dimensions. The second year focuses on residential and small commercial design along with technical courses such as materials. Upper-division courses continue to merge design with technical issues through a variety of projects ranging from residential spaces to large commercial firms.

Computer and hand skills are threaded throughout the curriculum. Design studios allow students to receive individualized hands-on training. Computer-aided design is an integral part of the course work. AutoCAD, Revit and other digital programs provide a strong graphics base. An up-to-date materials resource library provides students with samples for project work and information on current material technology and performance.

Schedule of Studies

Go to the WSU Catalog to view a sample schedule of studies for the Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design program, including information about certification requirements and procedures. Access the Interior Design Advising Guide (PDF). The sample plan is a suggested path to completion of the BA degree (120 credits). Students will meet with an advisor each semester to confirm academic schedule and monitor progress towards graduation. In all major courses required for the degree, a grade of C or better must be earned.

Beginning fall 2020, the terminology will change: students will be “admitted to a major” rather than “certified in a major.” Visit this post to review the revised admission to the major requirements or access Admission to Major Requirements (Effective Fall 2020) (PDF).

Articulation Agreements

Spokane Falls Community College AAS-T Interior Design.

Clover Park Technical College AAS-T Interior Design.


Contact Academic Program Manager Jaime Rice.

Career Opportunities

Interior designers work in a wide range of settings, both commercial and residential. A majority of interior designers practice at least part of the time in both the residential and commercial areas. Most commercial interior designers concentrate within design specialties, such as designing for the hospitality or health care industries. Some specialize further by designing restaurants, residential kitchens and baths, interiors for airplanes or yachts, or historic conservation or restoration.

Graduates of the B.A. Interior Design program are educated to:

  • Analyze client’s needs, goals, and life safety requirements.
  • Integrate findings with knowledge of interior design.
  • Formulate preliminary design concepts that are aesthetic, appropriate, functional, and in accordance with codes and standards.
  • Develop and present final design recommendations through appropriate presentation media.
  • Prepare working drawings and specifications for interior detailing, fixtures, and furnishings in compliance with accessibility guidelines and applicable codes.
  • Collaborate with professional services of other licensed practitioners in the technical areas of mechanical, electrical, and load-bearing design as required for regulatory approval.
  • Prepare and administer bids and contract documents as the client’s agent.
  • Review and evaluate design solutions during implementation and upon completion.

As an advanced degree, the Master of Arts in Interior Design positions students for successful careers in a wide array of settings. Graduates provide design services as interior design educators, and pursue research in the field of interior design. This graduate degree also provides a strong interdisciplinary knowledge and practice background for those working toward doctoral studies.

Go to the Master of Arts page for program requirements, application information, and more.

NCIDQ Pass Rates (CIDA Programs)

The NCIDQ Examination is founded on education and enhanced by experience. NCIDQ Certification assures interior designers are competent to meet industry standards not only for aesthetics but also for public health, safety and welfare. Washington State University’s pass rate is consistently higher than national averages:

  • 2016 IDFX Passing Rate: WSU (100%), National: (71%)
  • 2016 IDPX Passing Rate WSU (75%), National (59%)
  • 2016 Practicum Passing Rate: WSU (100%), National (62%)

Go to NCIDQ to learn more.