Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design
The professional interior designer is qualified by education, experience, and examination to enhance the function and quality of interior spaces for the purposes of improving the quality of life; increasing productivity; and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
This accredited four-year professional program prepares students for entry-level positions in the fields of residential and non-residential interior design.
The program provides an 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 in 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 interior design curriculum provides an internship experience for students at the conclusion of their third year in the program. This field experience, involving business and industry, extends students' formal education and is further preparation for completion of the capstone senior studio coursework as well as preparation for entry-level positions in interior design.
Each spring the Program holds this event which presents graduates and their work to potential employers as well as friends, family, alumni, and the public. This milestone is also good opportunity for students interested in interior design and the program to see student work and to speak with graduates. Click here to see Showcase 2010 .
Successful Students and Alumni
Students at The University of Akron are bright, hardworking, and highly motivated to succeed. Most have part or full-time jobs, and develop excellent time management skills due to their demanding schedules. Accordingly, the design program attracts University Honors Program students and students returning to earn a second baccalaureate degree.
Graduates of the program have obtained positions in interior design firms, architectural firms, office furniture dealerships, and firms specializing in healthcare design, retail store design, office design, residential design, kitchen and bath design, and also with manufacturers or companies in the retailing or wholesale sales of interior design products.
80% of the students enrolled during the 2012 spring semester returned for the Fall 2012 semester.
33% of the students from the class of 2013 who entered upper division courses (junior) graduated in 4 years. The average time to obtain a degree was 5.25 yrs. (The majority of students who attend the University of Akron work part-time to help pay for their degrees).
Job Placement Rates
50% of the students that graduated in May 2012 were employed in interior design positions by December 2012.
Accepted into Graduate Programs
100% of student that applied to graduate school from the 2012 graduating class (one of the graduates of 2012 entered a M.A. program).
"Being a part of the Interior Design program at the University of Akron helped me to grow as a person as well as a student. As a non-traditional student going to college was a bit daunting yet the instructors and staff showed support at every turn. They gave help and advice when needed yet gave me the space to find things out for myself. I was encouraged to participate in professional interior design organizations, introducing me not only to professional interior designers, but people who eventually became dear friends. The program offered trips abroad which enriched and enlightened my undergraduate experience, helping me to think globally and appreciate the rich cultures found throughout the world. Throughout the coursework the instructors emphasized green design, influencing how I think about sustainability as a whole. My time as an undergraduate encouraged me to branch out and explore different possibilities on the direction of my life. I am currently working towards my master's degree in the University of Akron's School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Clothing, Textiles, and Interior Design Program with a certification in environmental science. My experience in the program opened doors of opportunity and offered new ways of thinking, giving a new dimension to my life that I never thought possible."
Suzanne, Kroll, Interior Design Graduate 2012
Attending Graduate School, University of Akron, Family and Consumer Sciences
"The small class sizes allowed me to build relationships with my professors and my fellow students that were very similar to a typical design career environment. The class sequencing was organized in an appropriate and understandable way for a student transferring into the program."
Jillian Gerbasi, Interior Design Graduate 2011
Store Planning Coordinator, Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Stores, Inc., Hudson, OH
"Great program that provides you with the support, resources, and information to create a strong foundation in the design industry."
Stephanie Black, Interior Design Graduate 2010
Lighting Design and Sales, Sommer Electric Corp, Canton, OH
"The design program at the University of Akron provides a well-rounded education. The program is accredited, and the opportunity to succeed in this environment is tremendous due to the balance of professor support and personal drive."
Laura Wack, Interior Design Graduate 2010
Architectural Designer, Diebold Incorporated, North Canton, OH
"This was a great program, the knowledge we gained as design students from a CIDA accredited program helped me land an internship with a prominent firm in Akron. The on the job experience from the internship helped me gain my employment currently."
Kayla Ciraco, Interior Design Graduate 2010
Internship at Schumacher Design, Akron, OH
Professional Activities and Cultural Tours
Students of all majors, family, friends, non-students, and everyone can participate in an exciting array of cultural and professional activities. Professional meetings, presentations, and guest lecturers are offered across academic disciplines throughout the year. There have been opportunities to tour Europe, New York City, Toronto, and Chicago. In May 2013 the Program took a Cultural Study Tour to Spain, to Costa Rica in 2012, in 2011 to London, England, and to Italy, Greece and Turkey in 2010.
In addition to the several Family and Consumer Sciences scholarships available to interior design students, see the following:
The Akron-Canton Chapter and The Cleveland Chapter of the Construction Specification Institute (CSI)
The Akron–Canton Chapter and The Cleveland Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) usually offer two one-year scholarships each for college students who are enrolled in an accredited college or university serving the construction and interior design industries in the northeast Ohio area, and desire to pursue a career in the construction and interior design industries. Scholarships are for the academic year starting in fall.
Home Builders Association Serving Portage and Summit Counties
The HBA serving Ohio Portage and Summit Counties offers scholarships in July for the coming academic year. That information will be posted when available.
The 2014 Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship in Interior Design
Find information at 2014 Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship. The firm will consider top students of not-for-profit CIDA-accredited interior design programs for academic scholarships and paid summer internships in a Gensler regional office. To be considered by the scholarship jury, two students must be formally nominated by the academic institution as follows:
1. Applicants must include a formal letter of nomination from the Chair/Head of the program with submission materials.
Submission Deadline: December 2014
Students may download the scholarship brochure, complete the online application, view a gallery of previous winners, and email questions to the scholarship team at: http://www.gensler.com/scholarships.
Gensler looks forward to working with you to select the best talent from UA to pursue this prestigious opportunity with Gensler. Should you have any questions about this program, please do not hesitate to contact them at email@example.com.
Interior Design Program
215 Schrank Hall South
The University of Akron
Akron, Ohio 44325-6103