Admission to the Interior Design Program

Interior design is very much the combination of art and science, that is, both creativity and technical application or systems. While it is helpful for the student to have artistic abilities, it is not necessary. All essential aspects of interior design are taught. With dedicated application of the instruction, the student will succeed.

Students gain basic knowledge and skills in the 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 applicable to 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 program works to emphasize breadth and depth in design education, drawing on a variety of disciplines and programs within the University including Fine Arts and the technical college, Summit College, as well as courses within Family and Consumer Sciences.

  1. Freshman Students with high entrance scores can be directly admitted into the interior design program in the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS).  If not directly admitted, students can declare their intent to be interior design majors, but must complete 30 hours of course work, including English and Math requirements, with a 2.3 or better grade average before they can transfer into BCAS.
  2. To be admitted to the upper-level studio courses of the junior and senior years, students must have completed 31 credits of the University General Education courses and 33 credits of the Interior Design core requirements, with a grade of C- or better in all interior design core courses.  They must also receive a successful Portfolio Review of their studio work at the end of their sophomore year.
  3. Acceptance into the Junior/Senior studio course sequence will be based on the grade point average (GPA) for the freshman and sophomore years, completion of
    7100:144   Foundation 2-D Design
    7100:491   Architectural Presentations
    7400:158   Introduction to Interior Design 

and on a successful evaluation of the portfolio.  With advanced studio space limited, the best prepared students will be accepted into the last two years of the program.  An Interiors Merchandizing option, also leading to a B.A., is available to junior and senior students as an alternative.

Course Sequencing
Course Prerequisites

Transfer Credit

Transfer students from non-CIDA accredited interior design programs will be designated as Pre-Interior Design Candidates.  Transfer students from CIDA accredited programs will be admitted directly into the program if they have an overall grade-point average of 2.50 and Program Director approval of a submitted portfolio.

Post-baccalaureate students seeking an additional degree must have an overall grade-point average of 2.50 in all previous college-level work and meet with the Interior Design Program Director prior to enrolling in any Interior Design course.

Incoming transfer students from CIDA accredited or other interior design programs who seek transfer credit must supply prior course bulletin descriptions, syllabi, and their resultant student effort (the portfolio of completed interior design and art work) to the interior design advisor for evaluation along with the accepted transcript.

Two senior courses in particular help the student with the reality of preparing for employment in the field. One necessity is the creation of the portfolio which documents the student's past work in a physical format that is understandable to prospective employers/clients. Senior Portfolio Review accomplishes this. The other course, The NCIDQ Examination, prepares students with a mock test for some understanding and experience when later taking the real exam after the required work experience. The NCIDQ exam is the basis for states' interior design license requirement and professional-level membership in professional associations.



In addition to University 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. Learn more here.

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 Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship in Interior Design

Gensler is committed to the education of emerging design talent. The firm has awarded nearly $260,000 in academic scholarships to students and graduates over the last 19 years. Gensler offers two U.S. scholarship opportunities annually. Learn more at