• Interior Design Educator
  • Lighting Consultant
  • Kitchen and Bath Designer
  • Design Consultant
  • Business Owner
  • Art Director
  • Design Manager

For individuals who

Want to research and creatively solve problems relative to the function and quality of people's interior environments.

Looking for

Coursework in design, visual and technical communication techniques, as well as hands-on field experience in professional settings and the opportunity to study abroad.

To become

  • Interior Designer
  • Marketing and Design Specialist
  • Retail Merchandiser
  • Production Designer
  • Project Manager

Background Information

The program focuses on improving the quality of life and protecting human health and safety through design of the interior environment. Students study design fundamentals, theory, process, communication, research, and technology to identify and solve problems for a wide range of physical interior environments for all individuals.

The Program

The Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Interior Design, and Hospitality Management offers an accredited undergraduate degree program in interior design. The first two years of the program introduce the fundamentals of design, visual and technical communication techniques (including drafting, perspective drawing, model building, rendering, computer-aided design), and theoretical and practical applications (including anthropometrics, ergonomics, inclusive design, interior design technology, and color theory). Each student becomes aware that the interior design profession is exceedingly complex, and collaborating with design professionals and related disciplines in a team approach to problem-solving is routine practice.

Beginning their first year through their final semester, students interact with professionals during industry tours, critiques, and guest speaking events providing a direct connection to the interior design profession. Upper-division course work is focused on a series of integrated studio experiences and supporting courses including history, evidence-based design, interior materials, professional practice, building information modeling and interior systems. The studio experience culminates in a senior capstone project. Studio experiences require that each student be exposed to a variety of projects at several different levels of complexity and different client project goals.

Field Experience

North Dakota State University interior design students are required to complete a field experience between the third and fourth year of the program. Students accept a variety of positions throughout the United States and abroad. Students have completed field experiences in places such as Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Denver, Florida, New York, Ireland, and Shanghai (China).

Selective Admission

Admission into the second year professional program comes at the conclusion of the first year of the pre-professional program and is based upon demonstrated professional interest and involvement, a 3.0 institutional cumulative GPA, a minimum grade of C in all major core requirements, and a student portfolio. Students must maintain the 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA requirement and a grade of C or better in all major core requirements throughout the remainder of the program.


All students are required to purchase a laptop computer prior to starting the program. Students must be in compliance with the computer requirements posted on the program website. Computers failing to be in compliance will not be supported.


The interior design program at NDSU is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and received re-accreditation in 2016. The program is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NSAD).

Career Opportunities

Three main career paths are typically chosen by the design professional include residential, commercial, and specialized design. Residential design includes kitchen and bath design, renovation for physically challenged, model homes or historical restoration. Commercial design includes corporate and executive offices, healthcare, retail facilities, institutional transportation, and hospitality and entertainment venues. Other areas of specialty design include lighting, codes, universal design, adaptive reuse, product design or product representation.

Opportunities for NDSU graduates vary according to the geographic area of practice and the responsibilities of specific positions. Recent graduates have accepted entry-level positions with starting salaries as high as $50,000 (Minneapolis).

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

NDSU students participate locally in the student chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Students also have the opportunity to participate in the North Dakota Interior Designers (NDID) organization. A number of professionals visit campus each year to present programs and informational seminars to students. Trips are planned to design studios, architectural firms and product markets to supplement course work. NDSU interior design students are encouraged to enter design competitions and have experienced a very high success rate.

The Facilities

NDSU facilities and instructional amenities are among the finest in the Upper-Midwest. The Interior Design Resource Center is well equipped with current samples and a virtual product library. Studios provide individual workstations and tools necessary to complete successful design solutions.

The Faculty

NDSU faculty hold terminal degrees in interior design or related fields and have been selected because of their individual and collective experience as interior designers and their commitment to teaching. All hold memberships in professional design-related organizations.

Introductory Curriculum

A suggested curriculum is provided. Other general education combinations are possible, but the eight sequential semesters beginning with the fall term of interior design courses cannot vary from this plan. Students who plan to transfer to NDSU should contact the Interior Design Program Coordinator for guidance in selecting courses before or during the first-year sequence.