A professional interior designer is one who is qualified by education, examination, and experience to identify, research and creatively solve problems relative to the function and quality of people's interior environments. The course of study in interior design leads to a first professional degree.
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 Department of Apparel, 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.
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).
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, and a minimum grade of C in all major core requirements. 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 web site. 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).
Three main career paths 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, 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.