Interior Design

Major: Interior Design
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 186.0
Co-op Options: One Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 50.0408
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
27-1025

About the Program

The undergraduate interior design program explores the behavioral, technological, environmental and aesthetic aspects of interior design within the context of increasingly more complex design projects. Combined with art and art history and general education requirements, a core of interior design courses creates a unique education at the forefront of design. Through academics grounded in problem-solving design studios, cooperative employment, and a dedicated faculty, the Interior Design program prepares students for leadership positions in the industry. The Interior Design program is consistently ranked among the top programs in the country, and in the survey by DesignIntelligence of "America's Best Design Schools."

The BS interior design program is CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation) and NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art & Design) accredited. 

Program Philosophy and Mission

The mission of the Interior Design program is to prepare students to enter the field of interior design as skilled designers, creative thinkers, professional leaders and responsible citizens. We cultivate students who acknowledge their responsibilities to the safety and well-being of the public and the stewardship of the environment to lead a multifaceted profession in an ever-changing world. The curriculum combines a studio-based design sequence with broad liberal arts study and experiential learning. Paired with a well-established professional co-op, the coursework is structured to build upon the fundamentals of interior design and to anticipate and reflect change in a continually evolving industry. The program encourages exploration and experimentation that fosters life-long learners who will contribute to the profession and the discipline’s body of knowledge.

For more information about this major, visit the College's Interior Design page.

Degree Requirements 

General education requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
PHYS 182Applied Physics I3.0
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Required Arts and Humanities-students elect a minimum of 9 credits9.0
Required Natural Science-students elect a minimum of 4 credits4.0
Required Social Science-students elect a minimum of 6 credits6.0
Free electives *24.0
Visual studies requirements
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
VSST 201Multimedia: Performance4.0
or VSST 202 Multimedia: Space
VSST 203Multimedia: Materials4.0
VSST 301Painting I4.0
or VSST 311 Sculpture I
Interior design requirements
INTR 160Visualization I: Computer Imaging3.0
INTR 200History of Modern Architecture and Interiors3.0
INTR 211Textiles for Interiors3.0
INTR 220Visualization II: Orthographic3.0
INTR 225Environmental Design Theory3.0
INTR 231Structure4.0
INTR 232Interior Studio I4.0
INTR 233Interior Studio II4.0
INTR 241Visualization III: Digital3.0
INTR 245Visualization IV: 3D Modeling3.0
INTR 250Interior Materials3.0
INTR 300 [WI] Visual Culture: Interiors3.0
INTR 305 [WI] Visual Culture: Furniture3.0
INTR 331Residential Design Studio4.0
INTR 341Visualization V: Methods3.0
INTR 350Interior Detailing3.0
INTR 351Interior Lighting3.0
INTR 430Commercial Design Studio4.0
INTR 441Furniture Design4.0
INTR 442Hospitality Design Studio4.0
INTR 445Contract Documentation for Interior Design3.0
INTR 450 [WI] Professional Practice3.0
INTR 451Interior Systems3.0
INTR 491Senior Project I3.0
INTR 492Senior Project II3.0
INTR 493Senior Project III3.0
Total Credits186.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.


Sample Plans of Study 

Interior Design: Cycle A

(See Below for Cycle B plan of study)

Term 1Credits
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 2
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
Arts & Humanities Elective3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 3
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
INTR 160Visualization I: Computer Imaging3.0
INTR 200History of Modern Architecture and Interiors3.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 4
INTR 220Visualization II: Orthographic3.0
INTR 225Environmental Design Theory3.0
INTR 231Structure4.0
INTR 250Interior Materials3.0
Free Elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 5
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
INTR 232Interior Studio I4.0
INTR 241Visualization III: Digital3.0
INTR 300 [WI] Visual Culture: Interiors3.0
PHYS 182Applied Physics I3.0
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 6
INTR 211Textiles for Interiors3.0
INTR 233Interior Studio II4.0
INTR 245Visualization IV: 3D Modeling3.0
Natural science elective 4.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 7
INTR 305 [WI] Visual Culture: Furniture3.0
INTR 331Residential Design Studio4.0
INTR 341Visualization V: Methods3.0
INTR 350Interior Detailing3.0
VSST 202
or 201
Multimedia: Space
Multimedia: Performance
4.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 8
INTR 351Interior Lighting3.0
INTR 430Commercial Design Studio4.0
INTR 451Interior Systems3.0
VSST 203Multimedia: Materials4.0
Arts and humanities elective3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 9
Arts and humanities elective3.0
Social science elective3.0
Free elecives9.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 10
INTR 442Hospitality Design Studio4.0
INTR 445Contract Documentation for Interior Design3.0
INTR 491Senior Project I3.0
VSST 301
or 311
Painting I
Sculpture I
4.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 11
INTR 441Furniture Design4.0
INTR 450 [WI] Professional Practice3.0
INTR 492Senior Project II3.0
Free electives3.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 12
INTR 493Senior Project III3.0
Free electives6.0
Social Science Elective3.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 186.0

Interior Design: Cycle B 

Term 1Credits
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 2
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
Arts and humanities elective3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 3
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
INTR 160Visualization I: Computer Imaging3.0
INTR 200History of Modern Architecture and Interiors3.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 4
INTR 220Visualization II: Orthographic3.0
INTR 225Environmental Design Theory3.0
INTR 231Structure4.0
INTR 250Interior Materials3.0
Free Elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 5
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
INTR 232Interior Studio I4.0
INTR 241Visualization III: Digital3.0
INTR 300 [WI] Visual Culture: Interiors3.0
PHYS 182Applied Physics I3.0
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 6
INTR 211Textiles for Interiors3.0
INTR 233Interior Studio II4.0
INTR 245Visualization IV: 3D Modeling3.0
Arts and humanities elective3.0
Natural science elective 4.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 7
INTR 305 [WI] Visual Culture: Furniture3.0
INTR 331Residential Design Studio4.0
INTR 341Visualization V: Methods3.0
INTR 350Interior Detailing3.0
VSST 203Multimedia: Materials4.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 8
Social science elective3.0
Free electives12.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 9
INTR 351Interior Lighting3.0
INTR 430Commercial Design Studio4.0
INTR 451Interior Systems3.0
VSST 202
or 201
Multimedia: Space
Multimedia: Performance
4.0
Free electives 3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 10
INTR 442Hospitality Design Studio4.0
INTR 445Contract Documentation for Interior Design3.0
INTR 491Senior Project I3.0
VSST 301
or 311
Painting I
Sculpture I
4.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 11
INTR 441Furniture Design4.0
INTR 450 [WI] Professional Practice3.0
INTR 492Senior Project II3.0
Social science elective3.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 12
INTR 493Senior Project III3.0
Arts and humanities elective3.0
Free elective6.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 186.0

Co-op/Career Opportunities

Interior design is a multi-faceted field and includes careers with interior design firms, architectural firms, and facilities management organizations; in governmental agencies; and in the furniture and textile industries. Full-time paid employment in the profession is an integral component of the program at Drexel. The six-month co-operative education, undertaken in the junior year, provides project-based experience as well as the daily operation of a design firm. Students may opt to do their co-op in Philadelphia or in another location of their choosing. Through a required course and career advisement services offered by the Steinbright Career Development Center, students develop the ability to market themselves and obtain jobs in leading firms, worldwide. 

Co-op Experiences


Some past co-op employers of interior design students include:

  • Ballinger 
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Facilities
  • Daroff Design
  • DAS
  • Disney
  • Eberlein Design Consultants
  • Ewing Cole
  • Floss Barber Inc.
  • Gensler
  • Hillier Lewis
  • Herman Miller
  • HOK
  • Jacobs Associates
  • Knoll International
  • L2 Partridge
  • Marguerite Rogers
  • Nelson
  • Perkins Eastman
  • RJMJ
  • Stantec
  • University of Pennsylvania 
  • West Chester University 

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.

About the Accelerated Degree Program

Qualified students in Interior Design have the option of continuing into the graduate Interior Architecture + Design program to obtain a dual BS/MS degree. This program allows highly motivated students to graduate with both degrees in a total of five years. Students apply for this accelerated program when they complete 90.0 credits of coursework, and before completing 120.0 credits.

Additional requirements for acceptance into the Dual Degree Program:

  • Overall GPA of undergraduate coursework – 3.2 minimum
  • Overall GPA of interior design studio coursework – 3.5 minimum
  • Portfolio Review: interior studio work and foundation visual work
  • Essay: reason for application, professional goals and leadership qualities you possess
  • Two letters of recommendation speaking to your work ethic and leadership skills

Evaluation Process

A committee of interiors faculty reviews the applications and discusses the merits of the student to undergo the intensity and rigor of the final two years of the program. The Committee consists of no less than three members – Director of the Interiors programs, Associate Director BS Interior Design program and the Associate Director MS Interior Architecture & Design program. 

Students should visit the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design for more information.

Facilities

The Interior Architecture program is housed in URBN Center, an original Venturi Scott Brown building enhanced by an award-winning retrofit by MS&R Design, including a skylight covered atrium, exposed beams and open spaces. There is a dedicated 24-hour graduate student studio, with storage space, computers, and a small lounge area. We have a materials library that is continually updated with samples from major manufacturers and local design offices and showrooms; two computer labs and in-house printing for the use of our students; a Hybrid Making Lab with laser cutters, 3D printers, a CNC router and small-scale power tools for student use; and a larger shop facility which offers larger wood, metal, casting, CNC, and fabrication equipment.

The URBN Annex houses a black box theater, screening room and the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery. Additional studio and classroom space in the Academic Building and the Design Arts Annex accommodate photography, basic design, painting, sculpture and a full woodworking shop with industrial-quality equipment. 

Philadelphia, one of the nation's major design centers, gives interior design students the vitality of the contemporary arts at local galleries; easy access to many museums, libraries, renowned buildings, as well as design centers located in Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C.

Interior Design Faculty

Graham Bailer, RA MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Adjunct Instructor. Graham Bailer Architecture. Technology and foundations.
Rena Cumby, BArch, MS (Drexel University) Department Head, Department of Architecture & Interiors. Associate Professor. Interior designer; foundation studies and design education.
Eugenia Ellis, RA, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic State University). Associate Professor. Extended-care facilities design, research on spatial visualization, perception and imagination.
Jeff Fama, MArch (State University of New York at Buffalo). Adjunct Instructor. Retail, entertainment, and theater design.
Susan Feenan, BArch (Temple University). Adjunct Instructor. Institutional and commercial architecture.
Gary Garofalo, BS Arch Eng (Pennsylvania State University). Adjunct Instructor. Principal Lighting Design Collaborative; lighting expert, lighting design.
Alan Greenberger, FAIA, BArch (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) Department Head, Architecture, Design & Urbanism, Distinguished Visiting Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation Fellow. Distinguished Teaching Professor. Urban planning and policy.
Carla Heikiin, MS (Drexel University). Adjunct Instructor. Workplace Strategy.
Peter Johnston, RA, AIA, MArch (University of California). Assistant Teaching Professor. Hospitality and institutional architecture and interior design.
Nicole Koltick, MArch (University of California) Director, Design Futures Lab. Assistant Professor. Researching possibilities for architecture and design through the use of unexpected and innovative interdisciplinary models. Foundation design studios, fabrication and technology seminars.
Maria Kuttruff, MS (Drexel University). Adjunct Instructor. Owner/Principal, Viola Interior Design, LLC. Residential interior design.
William Mangold, NCIDQ, MPhil (City University Graduate Center, NY) Associate Director MS Interior Architecture & Design. Assistant Teaching Professor. Research on theories of space and place.
Diana S. Nicholas, RA, AIA, NCARB, MFA (University of the Arts, Philadelphia) Director of MS Design Research. Assistant Professor. Coordinator, Sustainability in the Built Environment
Karen Pelzer, NCIDQ, BS Interior Design (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. President, Karen Pelzer Interiors; hospitality design.
Debra Ruben, MS, IDEC, LEED AP, NCIDQ, MS (Drexel University) Director of BS and MS Interiors Programs. Associate Professor. Research on user participation and the design process.
Eric Rymshaw, RA, BArch (Drexel University). Adjunct Instructor. Vice President and Design Principal of Fury Design, Philadelphia.
Elena Sabinson, MS (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Technology and visualization methods.
Frances Temple-West, RA, AIA, MArch (Virginia Tech). Adjunct Instructor.
Ada Tremonte, NCIDQ, BS (Drexel University) Associate Director, BS Interior Design. Associate Teaching Professor. President, ada Design Associates; corporate/commercial design.

Emeritus Faculty

Sylvia Clark, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Professor Emeritus.
Marjorie Kriebel, BArch (University of Pennsylvania). Professor Emeritus.
Karin Kuenstler, MS (Bank Street College of Education and Parsons). Professor Emeritus.
Marilynne L. Rose, NCIDQ, MS (Drexel University). Professor Emeritus.
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