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Department of Interior Design / Undergraduate

The Undergraduate Program

The department of interior design offers the Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Arts degrees. Both degree programs are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and the National Association of the Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The major curriculum of study is the same for both degrees except those seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree must fulfill additional humanities and language requirements. The Department of Interior Design does not offer a minor, although several courses may be taken by non-majors (Survey of Interior Design, Creative Problem-Solving, Social-Psychological Aspects of Design, Sustainable Design and Construction Systems... contact Tony Purvis at to register.)

View examples of Student Work.

View a listing of Undergraduate and Graduate textbook requirements for the coming term.

Admission Requirements

Interior Design at FSU is a "limited access" program.  Students admitted to the University may declare a conditional major in Interior Design. There is no entry portfolio requirement to apply to FSU or the Interior Design program. Students are formally accepted into the program after taking three specific courses in the major: Survey of Interior Design, and Design Fundamentals I and II. At the end of the Spring Term a First Year Review will be held. From among the students who apply for this review of the work from these three classes, the top students will be chosen to proceed to the second year and beyond of study in Interior Design and will be accepted majors. Only 40 students from first year (Fall, Spring, and Summer) are formally accepted into the major for the second year of study.

Transfer students, or beginning students not starting the major in the fall, may take all or part of the required first year Interior Design course work during the Spring or Summer Terms. A second First Year Review will be held at the end of this term.  After applying for admission to FSU, transfer students must contact the department Career Counselor (Tony Purvis, in the Fall term prior to beginning the Summer session in order to reserve space in the needed classes. Transfer students who successfully pass the First Year Review can complete the full sequence of study in three years after the initial Summer session. These diagnostic classes are only offered at FSU and cannot be taken elsewhere. A transfer student need not enter with any interior design coursework completed.

The Program of Studies

The undergraduate program of studies consists of sequential learning that provides training in all critical aspects of interior design. Studios focus on residential design as well as healthcare, office, retail, mixed-use and low income housing, and a capstone hospitality studio.  The program consists of 75 (seventy-five) semester credits of required courses beyond the liberal studies. However, candidates are urged to consider additional elective studies that will enhance portfolio performance. A total of 120 credit hours is required for graduation and combine the interior design coursework with the university liberal studies requirements.

Internships are available with local interior design and architectural firms, as well as a number of other cities in Florida and throughout the U.S. The internship is highly recommended and essential in linking students with careers after they graduate. 

View the program Course Sequence.

Summer Study in the Restoration of the Historic Decorative Arts

In cooperation with the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, our interior design program runs a summer 1-week intensive study on the restoration and preservation of the decorative arts. Centered on the extensive restoration of the Ca d'Zan, the 1920s winter home of John and Mable Ringling, students are able to study with the curators, art historians, and craftsman that made this museum house a reality. The course, led by Associate Professor Karen Myers,, is open to undergraduate and graduate students for elective credit.

Check out the July 2008 article from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on our Sarasota Summer Program.

International Study Programs

The program also offers the opportunity to study abroad. During the summer term interior design students have the opportunity to visit some of the leading design centers in Europe. Current Interior Design study abroad courses have been offered in Florence, Italy, through Florida State University's Study Abroad program. A global experience has become an increasingly vital part of a student's education.

For more information on FSU's international programs, please visit

Computer Requirements

All Interior Design students will need to purchase a laptop computer by the middle of the Fall semester of the Sophomore year. This allows students to work on their own computer in studio classes and computer graphic labs. It is strongly advised NOT to purchase a new computer with the requirements needed for the program ahead of the recommended time, as requirements constantly change with software needs and technology improvements. Our current advice for laptop purchase would include the following minimum requirements:

  • Intel Quad Core i5 or i7
  • Dedicated 512 MB or higher Video Card (1GB preferred)
  • 4 GB of RAM (8GB preferred)
  • 250GB+ Hard Drive
  • Windows 7 for 64 bit machines (Windows 8 is also acceptable)
  • 15" screen or larger
  • 1280 x 800 or higher display resolution
  • 802.11n WiFi
  • External mouse with at least 3 buttons

If purchasing an Apple computer, you must still meet all of the above requirements, including purchasing a copy of Windows 7. You will need to have your computer setup with Boot Camp to be able to boot into Windows and utilize the AutoDesk software. Parallels or VMWare Fusion may work, but Boot Camp is the most reliable and preferred method.

We advise students not to purchase software required by the department until fully accepted into the program (after a successful First Year Review). Initial classes require only Microsoft Office software: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. We will prompt you prior to enrollment in CAD I to purchase the latest release of Adobe Creative Suite.
Students are strongly advised to purchase a color printer.

More information on the Interior Design Program can be found in the University Bulletin.