School of Family and Consumer Sciences


Interior Design

The four-year undergraduate program in interior design is a comprehensive program of study located in a publicly assisted open-enrollment urban university. The program is located in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences and within The Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences. The program provides a balanced broad general education with specialized content integral to the interior design profession. The program seeks to develop students’ understanding of the role of the interior designer in serving individuals and families in the built environments in which they live and work.

To learn about interior design and our CIDA and NASAD accredited programs visit their websites at and

Program Mission

The four-year Bachelor of Arts in interior design degree strives to provide a comprehensive program of study that promotes and maintains high standards of student and program performance. It works to promote scholarship and advancement of the profession. The interior design graduate is an entry-level professional who has the foundational skills to synthesize information, analyze problems, and respond and/or adapt to changes in the profession and society. The interior design graduate has the academic preparation to enhance the function and quality of interior spaces for the purpose of improving the quality of life, increasing productivity, and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

Program Goals

1. To provide a broad-based general education by requiring a broad-based core of liberal arts and sciences course which develop the skills and knowledge essential for all graduates of four-year baccalaureate programs.

2. To provide a common core in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences by requiring a broad-based core of family and consumer science courses which provide the common knowledge-base for understanding the role of serving individuals and families in the environments in which they live and work.

3. To provide a common body of knowledge of interior design by requiring a core of courses which reflects the common body of knowledge required in professional level programs of interior design.

4. To maintain high-quality standards for interior design education through professional accreditation.

5. To promote an agenda for scholarly and creative activities.

6. To promote advancement of the profession through NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) certification.

Interior Design Program

This accredited professional four-year Interior Design Program at The University of Akron is an open enrollment program. There are no additional requirements for entry other than those required for admission to the University itself. Interior design is very much the combination of art and science, that is, both creativity and technical application or systems. While it is helpful for the student to have artistic abilities, it is not necessary. All essential aspects of interior design are taught. With dedicated application of the instruction, the student will succeed.

Students gain basic knowledge and skills in the understanding and application of the design process; of programming and space planning; of furniture selection and layout; of design and decorative elements; of building and other regulatory codes, regulations, and barrier-free requirements; of building, environmental, and furniture systems; of the profession itself; of environmental concerns; of universal design; of computer applications applicable to interior design; and of the selection and application of lighting and color. Students also develop drafting, communications and presentation skills, and study the basic and creative arts. Methods of instruction include lecture, site visits, speakers from industry and the profession, as well as studio work.

The program works to emphasize breadth and depth in design education, drawing on a variety of disciplines and programs within the University including Fine Arts and the technical college, Summit College, as well as courses within Family and Consumer Sciences.

In the spring semester of the sophomore year students do submit a portfolio of their freshman and sophomore design work for entry permission to junior-level work. A faculty panel reviews the work to determine the student's readiness to proceed and to help ensure ultimate success in the program.

Course Sequencing
Course Prerequisites

Admission to the Interior Design Program

Incoming freshmen will be designated as Pre-interior Design Candidates and will remain in the category until the following requirements have been met:

●    Successful completion of the following courses:

      7100:144   Foundation 2-D Design

      7100:491   Architectural Presentations I

      7400:158   Introduction to Interior Design

●    Completion of application to and acceptance by Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences as an Interior Design Major.

Upon admission into the program, students sign an Interior Design Program Agreement and must maintain a grade-point average of 2.50 in all courses in the interior design core. Interior Design core courses must be taken in the prescribed sequence.  Students must qualify for and sign the Program Agreement before taking any Interior Design courses beginning in the third year of the Interior Design course sequence.

Transfer students from non-CIDA accredited interior design programs will be designated as Pre-Interior Design Candidates.  Transfer students from CIDA accredited programs will be admitted directly into the program if they have an overall grade-point average of 2.50 and Program Director approval of a submitted portfolio.

Post-baccalaureate students seeking an additional degree must have an overall grade-point average of 2.50 in all previous college-level work and meet with the Interior Design Program Director prior to enrolling in any Interior Design course.

Because of the professional nature of interior design, students must earn a grade of C- or better in all interior design core courses and electives. Grades below C- in these courses will not be accepted for graduation.

Interior Design Majors are required to follow the program sequencing of courses as published due to prerequisites and course content sequencing requirements. There is no foreign language requirement.

Transfer Credit

Incoming transfer students from CIDA accredited or other interior design programs who seek transfer credit must supply prior course bulletin descriptions, syllabi, and their resultant student effort (the portfolio of completed interior design and art work) to the interior design advisor for evaluation along with the accepted transcript.

The Interior Design Internship course provides a real-world work opportunity for students at the conclusion of their third year in the program. This field experience, involving interior design business and the related industry, extends students' formal education and is further preparation for successful completion of their capstone senior studio coursework as well as preparation for entry-level positions in interior design.

Two senior courses in particular help the student with the reality of preparing for employment in the field. One necessity is the creation of the portfolio which documents the student's past work in a physical format that is understandable to prospective employers/clients. Senior Portfolio Review accomplishes this. The other course, The NCIDQ Examination, prepares students with a mock test for some understanding and experience when later taking the real exam after the required work experience. The NCIDQ exam is the basis for states' interior design license requirement and professional-level membership in professional associations.

Additionally, each spring the Program holds Senior Showcase which presents graduates and their work to potential employers as well as friends, family, alumni, and the public. This event is also good opportunity for students interested in interior design and the program to see student work and to speak with graduates.

For more information about the Interior Design Program at The University of Akron use the contact noted below:

Interior Design Program
215 Schrank Hall South
The University of Akron
Akron, Ohio 44325-6103
Telephone: 330-972-7721

The University of Akron

Akron, OH 44325
Phone: 330-972-7111
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