BFA in Interior Design
Students interested in studying Interior Design sign up for the Interior Design Pre-Major. A portfolio examination is held at the end of the first year in the program. Successful passage of the review is required in order to declare the Interior Design major and move forward to second year courses. The Interior Design major is a 4-year lock-step program.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior design requires 68 semester hours in interior design courses, including:
- A first-year portfolio examination that is required before advancing to the second-year major courses.
- 39 semester hours taken at the upper level.
- A summer interior design internship between the junior and senior years.
See the course catalog for a complete list of course offerings and descriptions.
TCU interior design majors learn how to shape our environments — where we live and work. Through interior design theory and practical, hands-on projects, you’ll develop the creativity, knowledge and design skills to envision and construct great spaces. At TCU, our faculty composed of industry professionals teach you principles and elements of design, drafting techniques, concept development, computer modeling, space planning, lighting and visual presentation skills.
At TCU, you’ll learn by doing, stepping outside the classroom to turn your ideas into action. All interior design students complete an internship between the third and fourth year in the program, and many are hired at the companies where they interned. Examples of internship placements for interior design students include:
- HKS Architects
- Wilson & Associates
- Joseph Minton
- Mark Hampton by Alexa Hampton
- Mark D. Sikes
From understanding the principles of lighting and indoor air quality to working in teams and communicating your design ideas effectively, you’ll be prepared for successful careers in manufacturing, furniture production, design showrooms, retailing, real estate and facilities management.
Interior Design State Regulation
In the United States, regulation of Professional Interior Design Practice varies by state. ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers has prepared a comprehensive map outlining Interior Design Registration Laws by state:
Advocate by Design – State Policy
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) advances the interior design profession and communicates the impact of design on the human experience.
Academic Accreditation – CIDA – Council for Interior Design Accreditation
The recognized North American accrediting body for Interior Design programs is CIDA. TCU’s program has been continuously accredited by CIDA (formerly FIDER – Foundation for Interior Design Education and Research) since 1978.
Professional Examination – NCDIQ – National Council for Interior Design Qualification
Interior Design graduates may apply to take the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) exam through the pathway for CIDA-accredited programs as outlined in NCIDQ’s “Examination Eligibility Paths” https://www.cidq.org/paths. Due to CIDA accreditation, TCU’s Interior Design program meets the educational requirements to apply to sit for the NCDIQ exam. In addition to graduation from a CIDA-accredited program, the application for the exam specifies minimum number of hours of verified work experience under a direct supervisor and/or sponsor as defined in the CIDQ paths link. For states where Interior Design is a regulated profession, passage of the NCIDQ exam is required for licensure or certification. Some states have additional requirements.
Here are some resources by CIDQ (The Council for Interior Design Qualification), ASID (The American Society of Interior Designers) and IIDA (The International Interior Design Association).
What Does an Interior Designer Do?
CIDQ Credentialing Information
The Case for Reasonable Regulation
The TCU interior design program is accredited by The Council for Interior Design Accreditation. CIDA has continuously accredited the curriculum since 1978. The CIDA-accredited program prepares students for the opportunity to complete the necessary steps to obtain state licensing or registration. This major is for the student planning a career as a licensed or registered designer with interior design and/or architectural firms.
The interior design program leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, www.accredit-id.org, 206 Grandville Avenue, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503.
The CIDA-accredited program prepares students for entry-level interior design practice, for advanced study, and to apply for membership in professional interior design organizations. The BS in Interior Design granted by Texas Christian University meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam). For more information about NCIDQ Exam eligibility visit: https://www.cidq.org/eligibility-requirements.
What is TCU’s interior design portfolio examination?
Similar to review procedures commonly used in interior design programs across North America, TCU conducts a qualifying portfolio examination in the spring of the 1st year in the program. Interior design pre-majors submit pre-designated projects from the first year interior design courses. This series of projects constitute “the portfolio”. This procedure provides assessment of the body of work as a whole, outside of the grading processes in individual courses. Through the portfolio review process, the Interior Design faculty assess the skill sets to determine a student’s aptitude for success in the interior design program. Skill sets assessed are listed in the Portfolio Review Rubric.
What is the purpose of the portfolio examination?
The first year portfolio examination insures a competitive, high-quality program of serious, motivated individuals. It is critical for TCU’s interior design program to maintain a strong reputation amongst the professional design community from which our graduates are placed in internships and hired post-graduation. High standards set and maintained for the program elevate the value of the TCU interior design degree. Choosing to participate in the portfolio review will assist in discovering a student’s level of aptitude for a highly competitive profession, before committing an extraordinary amount of time and credit hours to the interior design major. Only students who participate in and pass the portfolio review may enroll in the 2nd year interior design courses.
Why can’t anyone who wants to be an interior design major continue to the 2nd year of studies in the program?
Successful passage of the portfolio examination ensures students are prepared for advanced-level studio coursework. Studio coursework is at the center of an interior designer’s education. For interior design majors, the work produced in the design studios provides the entry point to internship and full-time employment. Therefore it is critical to set up the studio environment for the best possible student learning outcomes in upper level design studios. Considering that development of design solutions requires significant one-on-one work between faculty and student during each class meeting, appropriate class sizes are established and maintained for optimal student learning.
After they have been accepted to the University, students wishing to transfer credits from another Interior Design program to TCU’s Interior Design program must submit a comprehensive portfolio including all syllabi, project/assignment descriptions from their previous institution, and studio project work to the attention of the Interior Design Program Coordinator. Once the materials are provided to the department they will be reviewed and assessed by interior design faculty. All transfer decisions are final.
Upon successful passage of the portfolio examination, students are required to purchase a PC laptop based upon specifications which are updated annually. A computer is not required for the first year in the program. Refer to the posted laptop policy. This policy will be updated annually in late spring with detailed system specifications, software requirements and program policies. Enrolled students are required to have a PC laptop computer and legally licensed CAD, 3D modeling, presentation and productivity software for use in their interior design courses.
The TCU interior design program does not endorse any particular computer manufacturer, brand or vendor. The specifications for interior design emphasize performance over any particular brand, but it must be a PC computer. Interior design courses will teach the software programs from the Microsoft Windows platform. Students will be responsible for resolving their own laptop technical issues.