What Are the Core Courses for an Interior Design Major?

If you major in interior design, you'll most likely take core courses in design, drawing, color and lighting. Read on for more information about the courses you might take in an associate's or bachelor's degree program in interior design.

Preparing for a Career in Interior Design

The job of an interior designer includes making residential, commercial and institutional spaces functional and safe, as well as aesthetically pleasing with the use of textiles, furniture, accessories, lighting and color. An interior designer can read blueprints and is informed about building codes and safety regulations.

Many programs in interior design include similar core courses. These courses typically cover a wide variety of topics pertaining to interior design, including aesthesis and history. The following chart contains key information on core courses you would likely encounter in an interior design program.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Degree levels Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in interior design
Online AvailabilityDegree programs offered 100% online
Continuing EducationVoluntary certification in a variety of specialties available
Possible CareersHealthcare designer, sustainable designer, kitchen and bath designer, corporate designer
Median Salary (May 2018)$53,370*
Job Growth (2016-2026)4%*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Principles of Interior Design

This course covers the basics of interior design. You'll learn how to create a design from concept to implementation. You may also learn to construct a design using principles of space, scale, color and light.

Drawing and Perspective

Interior design majors usually take at least one course in drawing and perspective. You can learn to draft drawings for interior plans and render perspective. This course prepares you to manually communicate design ideas.

Computer-Aided Drafting

Computer and drafting systems are used to develop designs and construct architectural drawings that will be presented to clients. Computer-aided drafting (CAD) courses teach interior design majors how to use these systems.

Architecture History

Most interior design majors take a course that reviews the history of architecture and the decorative arts from ancient civilizations to contemporary times. You'll study classical forms, furniture styles and the use of motifs and decorations throughout the ages.

Designing Interior Lighting

This basic lighting course teaches the principles of light. You'll also learn how to develop specifications for residential and commercial lighting applications.

Use of Color

Programs for interior design majors often include a course on the theory and application of color. Complementary and analogous colors and the principles for harmonizing colors are among the focuses of the course.

Professional Practice Courses

In addition to specialized courses like those described above, students pursuing a bachelor's or associate's degree in interior design may also take courses that prepare them for the professional aspects of the career field. For example, students in Marylhurst University's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program take communications courses, in addition to the required studio design courses. Internships are also required for many interior design degrees.