Interior designers are professionally trained to create spaces that are safe, functional and attractive. The Bachelor of Science in Interior Design degree at Appalachian State University prepares students to enter the interior design profession and positions them to seek professional status through the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as state‐specific licensure.
Appalachian’s interior design program places particular emphasis on environmental responsibility, community service, global issues and universal design (design that accommodates people of all abilities) in order to prepare students for the challenges of the ever-changing profession. Its curriculum integrates theory and application and prepares students to work in either residential or commercial design.
In this multidisciplinary program, students develop a strong foundation in building science and construction methods as well as aesthetically appropriate design. The program is located within the Department of Applied Design.
Employment: Students find entry‐level positions in interior design within a variety of career paths in either residential or commercial design, with specializations including environmentally sensitive design, corporate/office, retail store planning, showroom, hospitality, kitchen and bath, health care facilities, design for the elderly, institutional design and historic preservation.
Opportunities within a commercial-oriented career path are found in commercial design, architectural and interior architectural firms, corporate facilities departments, commercial furniture dealerships, product distributor showrooms, manufacturers and other related types of firms. Students who have a strong business orientation have pursued careers in design‐related sales and management.
Opportunities within residential design include work at small design studios or in a retail furniture environment, positions within the furniture industry or at trade showrooms or the real estate industry.
Graduate School: The program encourages students to seek practice experience before applying to graduate school. Those who have continued their degrees have gone to UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, Virginia Tech, N.C. State University, and Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at The George Washington University. Some graduates in recent years have been accepted into master’s programs for architecture.
Interior Design (BS) is a first‐professional degree program and requires a four‐year sequence of courses. Interior design majors must start in their major courses during the first semester of their freshman year. Completing core curriculum first and then taking major courses is not suggested within this professional degree program. If students choose to do so, they will not be able to complete the degree in four years.
The program consists of 78 semester hours, which includes 12 hours of introductory coursework, 53 hours advanced coursework, and 13 hours of interdisciplinary coursework, plus electives.
A minor is not required. Options students have explored in the past include:
- Apparel Design and Merchandising
- Business - Marketing
- Business - Entrepreneurship
- Business - Management
- Building Science - Architectural Technology and Design
- Commercial Photography
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Interior Design Club (IDC) - a student organization that hosts professional lectures, films, field studies, portfolio exhibits and more.
Student Ambassadors - students who annually help the program with internal and external events and program goals; must maintain a minimum grade point average.
Related professional organizations are the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and the NEWH - The Hospitality Industry Network.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
A globally focused Interior Design Studio provides an in‐depth opportunity for students to make local to global connections literally through Skype and figuratively through analysis work. The program also has a strong relationship with Lorenzo de Medici (LdM) in Florence, Italy, where many students spend the fall semester of their third year.
Short‐term faculty‐led study abroad trips through Interior Design or allied programs such as Building Science and Industrial Design go to England, France and Costa Rica.
A portfolio is not required for admission to the program; rather, the student is required to complete the Freshman Portfolio Review at the end of the first‐year coursework or the accelerated summer session foundation (if available). Admission to Appalachian State University allows the student admission into the first‐year foundation courses.
To support the professional orientation of the interior design major and to assist the student in an appropriate career choice, all interior design students must participate in the Freshman Portfolio Review for admittance into the upper‐level courses and to complete the interior design curriculum.
Interior design students will complete the following sequence of courses for the interior design major before the Freshman Portfolio Review:
- INT 1001 Visual Literacy I
- INT 1002 Visual Literacy II
- INT 1100 Interior Design Studio I
- INT 1300 Design and the Built Environment
- IND 1010 CAD I: Imaging
- The program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and by National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
- The program maintains strong ties to the professional design community, and guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds visit the classroom regularly.
- Students participate in field trips to local and regional design firms, corporate design departments, showrooms, fabricators, other new interior architectural and design installations, and the furniture manufacturing.
- There are opportunities for field studies, trips or conferences to Europe, Costa Rica, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago/NeoCon - The Merchandise Mart, the High Point Furniture Market, New York and Washington D.C.
- Faculty members have strong backgrounds in commercial, residential, healthcare, hospitality and retail design, architecture, lighting design, store planning, historic preservation and environmental psychology, which provides students with a well‐rounded education.
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
On campus only
- Capital Office, Anchorage, AK
- Herman Miller, NY, FL
- CBI, Charlotte, NC, Raleigh, NC, Charleston, SC
- HOK, Dallas, TX
- Chada, Sydney, Australia
- Holder Construction Company, Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC
- Crossville Ceramics, Charlotte, NC
- ID Collaborative, Greensboro, NC
- Davis Square Architects, Somerville, MA
- Waterworks, New York, NY
- Design Within Reach, Charlotte, NC
- Knoll, Charlotte, NC, Philadelphia, PA, Nashville, TN
- Don Duffy Architects, Charlotte, NC
- Lambert Architects, Winston-Salem, NC
- Duda Paine Architects, Durham, NC
- Little, Charlotte, NC, Raleigh, NC
- Duke Medical Facility Planning, Durham, NC
- LS3P, Charlotte, NC
- Four Hands, Austin, TX
- MKDA, New York, NY
- Gensler, Charlotte, NC
- Pierre-Yves Rochon (a division of Perkins+Will), Chicago, IL, Charlotte, NC
- Global Seating, Charlotte, NC
- Planning Interiors Limited, Nairobi, Kenya
- HBF Textiles, Hickory, NC
- Storr Office Environments, Raleigh, NC, Greensboro, NC
- Pursley Dixon Architects, Charlotte, NC
- T2PM, Winston-Salem, NC, Wi
- Redline Design Group, Charlotte, NC
- Takara Belmont, CA, HI
- Robert Johnson Architects, Charlotte, NC
- TotalOffice, Boston, MA
- Roughton Nickelson De Luca Architects, Raleigh, NC
- Sotheby’s Mountain Properties, Banner Elk, NC