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The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington



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What is the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Interior Design?

The Bachelor of Science in Interior Design is a four year professional degree consisting of 128 credit hours.

Upon completion of 25 credit hours of architectural basic studies and 41 credit hours within the core curriculum, the student is eligible to declare in the interior design major and start the required interior design coursework, providing the student has also met the minimum basic GPA requirements.

Declared majors in Interior Design may complete their required coursework in their third or fourth year in the program. A minimum 2.8 GPA is required within the major studies courses a minimum 2.8 GPA overall at UT Arlington is required for graduation.

How hard is the program?

The program is hard, intense, challenging and great fun. But so is professional life.  This is not an interior design program you can “coast” in. It’s competitive and demanding.

Are there any books recommended for Interior Design students?

  • 101 Things I learned in Architecture School
  • Drawing with the Right Side of your Brain
  • Becoming an Interior Design: A Guide to Careers in Design

What is the definition of design?

Design is a plan for order. Design utilizes the elements of point, line, and plane that are combined through the principles of unity, variety, balance, hierarchy, rhythm, proportion, and scale. When these elements and principles come together in architectural design, they create space.

Peter Zumthor, Swiss architect and winner of the 2009 Pritzker prize in architecture defines design in this way; “Producing inner images is a natural process common to everyone. It is part of thinking.

Associative, wild, free, ordered, and systematic thinking in images, in architectural, spatial, colorful, and sensuous pictures – this is my favorite definition of design.”

What does an Interior Designer do?

Interior Designers make interior spaces that are functional, safe, and beautiful for their users.

What qualities are important for an Interior Designer to possess?

There are three main keys to success for the Interior Designer; artistic skill and technical knowledge, skill in interpersonal communications, and management of effective business practices. ( The Interior Designer is a creative person that is able to communicate his/her vision to the client and is able to guide the interior design project through to completion with its associated budget and time constraints.

How does an Interior Designer differ from an Interior Decorator?

The Registered Interior Designer is a professional licensed by the State to provide interior design services. An interior designer performs all the services of an interior decorator but in addition possesses a tested knowledge of interior building issues & building systems that affect the health, safety, and welfare of the building users.

An interior decorator selects finishes, furniture, and accessories, for commercial or residential clients. Interior decorators are not required to have any specific educational requirements to perform their work. As a result, they may be less skilled in planning and shaping space, and less knowledgeable about construction methodology and technical aspects of creating interior environments.

How does Interior Design differ from Architecture?

The main difference between architecture and interior design is typically the scale that they work at. Interior design tends to "zoom-in" at the scale of the individual user. An interior designer may design a furniture plan for a large office building or he/she may customize the cabinetry and hardware for a master bathroom. Architects may work at this increased scale when they are designing a detailed private residence, but the focus may also "zoom-out" to include large complexes of buildings or even urban design problems, such as the design of neighborhoods.

Architects and interior designers are licensed to guarantee the health, safety and welfare of building occupants. The responsibility of the architect includes the adequacy of the building structural system, whereas interior designers are not licensed to provide structural services.

What can I do with a degree in Interior Design?

  • Interior Design
    •    Residential Design
    •    Commercial Design
    •    Hospitality Design
    •    Lighting Design
    •    Furniture Design
    Specialty Design
    •    Bath Design
    •    Kitchen Design
    Furniture or Interior materials sales
    •    Fabric
    •    Plumbing fixtures
    •    Floor coverings
    •    Building code
    •    Accessibility
    •    Sustainable Interiors

Why study Interior Design at the University of Texas at Arlington?

In 2012, only four universities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area offer an accredited degree program in Interior Design. UT Arlington is the only local university to offer a four year professional degree, the Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, within a School of Architecture.

UT Arlington Interior Design students share a degree program that is almost identical to the architecture students in the first two years of their study. As a result, our graduates have an architectural approach to Interior Design and upon graduation are valuable contributors to architectural and interior design projects requiring collaboration across multiple disciplines.

Another benefit to study within the School of Architecture is the availability of graduate programs. Several past graduates of the Interior Design Program have entered graduate school at UT Arlington to pursue a Master of Architecture or Master of Landscape Architecture degree.


What is the benefit of graduating from an accredited Interior Design program?

The UT Arlington Program of Interior Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

An accredited school undergoes periodic reviews by outside faculty and professionals to ensure that its educational programs are taught by qualified faculty, housed in appropriate facilities, and offer the student a degree that is consistent with the professional standards of the Interior Design industry.

An accredited degree is an assurance to future employers that a potential employee has been appropriately trained for the demands of the profession.

After graduation, what do I have to do to become a Registered Interior Designer?

In the State of Texas, in order to use the title of Registered Interior Designer one must be qualified through education, extensive work experience in interior design and by passing the NCIDQ registration exam.

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) establishes the eligibility requirements to take the licensing exam. The exam itself is administered by each state in accordance to the state laws governing professional licensure.

Websites for Interior Design students: