Interior Design


Bachelor of Fine Arts | College of Creative Arts

What is Interior Design?

Interior Design involves the study and creation of interior environments. Interior designers use their knowledge of visual aesthetics, spatial perception, human factors, design history and theory, and building technology to create functional and pleasing interior environments. Miami's four-year professional degree program qualifies students to enter the interior design profession or to pursue graduate programs in interior design, architecture, or related disciplines.

What are the features of Miami’s program?

Interdisciplinary approach

Miami's program in Interior Design is one of a small number of programs administratively aligned with the major in architecture. This partnership within the department reflects the strong association between interior designers and architects in current practice and reinforces the interdisciplinary nature of design education. The program also draws on the strength of Miami's liberal arts education tradition by requiring coursework from several related programs across campus.

Professional preparation

The Interior Design program provides a strong professional education, preparing graduates to enter the field or to pursue additional education at the graduate level. Practicing interior designers are involved in the program in a teaching, lecturing, and design-review capacity.

Studio work

Miami's program is unique because it is centered around the design studio. There, students integrate knowledge and solve interior design problems. Unlike similar programs, students are taught largely by full-time faculty, and student/teacher ratios rarely exceed 15:1.

Study abroad

Off-campus study opportunities for architecture and interior design majors include the Washington D.C.-Alexandria Center for seniors, the Miami University Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Honors Studio, the interdisciplinary summer workshop for architecture, interior design, and graphic design in Milan, Italy, and the department's ongoing program of service learning and research in Ghana, West Africa.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

Yes. The Department requires submission of a creative portfolio in order to be admitted to the majors in Architecture or Interior Design. The portfolio is submitted directly to the Department by the application deadline and is reviewed in conjunction with academic qualifications. For information on portfolio format and suggestions of what to include, see Portfolio Requirements.

What courses would I take?

During your first year in the program, you will gain a strong foundation in design principles and graphic communication. You will also concentrate on the Global Miami Plan, a well-rounded course of study that provides you with an excellent liberal arts education. Through the Global Miami Plan, you will get a solid base in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, fine arts, and formal reasoning.

The second and third years introduce you to history and theory, computer-aided design, human factors, materials, and furniture design. These support the design studio courses that you will be taking. During the summers following these two years, you may pursue for-credit internships and gain practical experience.

Your fourth year becomes more self-directed. In the fall, you will take a comprehensive studio where you undertake a single, semester-long project where you handle all of the phases of a job and bring the project to completion. In the spring semester, you will take a senior thesis studio where you concentrate on a project of your own choosing. This may be a real-life project in conjunction with a firm or a community organization.

Full program requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design»

What can I do with this major?

Most graduates work in commercial interior design firms, architectural firms, or furniture dealerships. Other graduates choose to pursue careers in facilities management, historic preservation, retail sales, or teaching.

Who can I contact for more information?

Department of Architecture and Interior Design 101 Alumni Hall
Oxford, OH 45056