BFA Interior Design
Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program are immersed in an educational environment that prepares them for becoming design professionals. They will join a community of established, progressive designers who will mentor and guide them through their studies. Design students will be introduced to numerous media companies, non-profit organizations, design studios, government agencies in Washington, D.C., and beyond.
This 120-credit Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program begins with a strong foundation in design principles and digital technologies, then progresses to more specialized courses of study within the realm of interior design. With experienced, professional designers as faculty and mentors, students are taught current design industry practices and will engage in a dialogue about the role of design in contemporary society, culture, and business, culminating in a two-semester thesis project in the senior year.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program is designed for students seeking to channel their creative talents toward the built environment. The program addresses aesthetics and function, striking a balance between the historical roots of interior design and modern, forward-thinking interior architecture.
In the First Year Experience, the program focuses on the dynamics of people and space, in tandem with the fundamentals of design. Upper-level courses prepare students to enter professional practice competitively with advanced technological skill-sets and an inquisitive approach to complex design issues, which includes ecological, socio-economic, cultural, and human variables.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program provides a successful path to the professional interior design industry as well as flexibility within the curriculum for students to explore the Corcoran's additional offerings in fine arts, photography, and design. Students study commercial and residential design, while gaining an equally strong background in the humanities, including the essentials of the history of art and design.
The program provides the opportunity for students to fulfill the education requirement that qualifies graduates to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) professional certification exam under "Route 2." However, it is ultimately the students' responsibility to meet this requirement through course selection and successful degree completion. Qualification is at the discretion of NCIDQ.
The majority of design courses in this program take place on the Corcoran's campus in Georgetown, one of Washington, D.C.'s most historic neighborhoods. In addition to benefiting from a top-notch educational opportunity, Corcoran students are surrounded by Georgetown's 18th and 19th century federalist architecture, boutique design firms, galleries, shops, parks, and a wide range of historic and contemporary sites. The Corcoran's Undergraduate Design Department student body is international, with students from South Korea, Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Latin America, and Sweden. Our American students are from the west coast, east coast, and mid-west. This international student body learns and develops together in an intimate and collaborative studio educational environment.
As in other undergraduate design programs at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, the curriculum focuses on design processes, methods, communication strategies, and professional skill sets.
Year 1 Courses
• Art History I + II
• Writing I + II
• Design Fundamentals I + II
• First Year Studio I + II
Years 2, 3, and 4 Courses
• Interior Design Sophomore and Junior Studios I, II, III, + IV
• Interior Design Senior Thesis I + II
• Perspective and Interior Rendering
• Digital 3D Design
• Interior Lighting Design
• Materials, Finishes, Methods
• 20th Century Art
• History of Architecture and Interior Design
• History of Design
• Humanities I + II
• Professional Practices for Interior Design
Sample Studio Elective Courses
• Color Theory for Interiors
• Selected Topics: Restaurant Design
• Resume + Portfolio Design
• Interior Design Internship
Courses subject to change.
Careers and Internships
The field of interior design offers a wide range of professional opportunities for transforming inhabitable space, allowing for truly unique careers paths. Additionally, the unique skill set of designers, specifically the use of design processes and "design thinking," allow our students to expand the bounds of their career opportunities to additional markets and industries. 'Design thinking' is a thought process able to address complex issues through human-centered thinking, iterative exploration, and problem solving.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program students compete for and achieve highly desired jobs and internships at established companies, including Gallagher & Associates, District Design, LLC, Huntley & Company Interior Design Inc., Alter Urban, LLC, Alliance Architecture, and HVS Design.
• Corporate Office Designer
• Hospitality Designer
• Healthcare and/or Assisted Living Designer
• Transportation Facility Designer
• Retail Designer
• Government Facility Designer
• Educational Facility Designer
• Residential Designer
• Transportation Facility Designer
• Cultural Facility Designer
• Lighting Designer
• Set Designer
• Furniture Designer
• Product Designer
• Exhibition, Event, or Temporary Space Designer
• In-House Designer
• Environmental Designer or Wayfinding Specialist
• Historic Preservation or Adaptive Reuse Specialist
• Hand Rendering Specialist
• 3D Renderer
• Drafting Specialist
• BIM (Building Information Modeling) Expert
• Project Manager
• Specification Writer
• Purchasing Agent
• Sales Representative
• Interior Design Educator
• Art Consultant
• Facility Manager
• Interior Design Writer or Blogger
Interior Design Faculty
Visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Media
Associate Professor, Interim Chair of Undergraduate Design, Graphic Design, and Digital Media Design
Assistant Professor; Interior Design Director of Advising
Camden M. Richards
The Undergraduate Design Department is a cultural laboratory of critical discourse and inquiry into contemporary design issues. Students engage in topics ranging from social issues, sustainability, human factors, and theory to current market and industry trends, design as an "agent of for social change," and professional practices and skill sets.
The College's studio culture provides a collaborative experience, allowing design students to become part of a community of professional designers and educators. Faculty members—professional designers, themselves—serve as mentors, teachers, and creative directors to students throughout their undergraduate studies. The studio spaces offer an immersive work environment through instruction, demonstration, discussion, critique, and visiting designers lecture series.
Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program form constructive relationships with their peers and faculty as class sizes remain intimate with 18 students or less.
Students are also encouraged to join student groups in professional design organizations, which assist students in developing professional networking opportunities and industry connections. These groups include the AIGA DC Student Chapter, the United States Green Building Council Student Chapter, and the American Society of Interior Designers Student Chapter.
Undergraduate Design Department Visiting Designers
Design students have the opportunity to meet well-known and established designers through the Visiting Designers Series, a curriculum-integrated lecture series where professional designers visit our department. Visiting Designers discuss their design studio projects, practices, and methods. In addition to lectures, Visiting Designers serve as Senior Thesis critics, providing individual portfolio critique sessions and professional advice to students working toward graduation.
Recent visiting designers include:
• Gail Anderson
• Nancy Skolos and Tom Wedell
• Justin Cone of PSY/OPS
• Jeremy Mende
• Lucille Tenazas
• Rick Valicenti of THIRST
• Seymour Chwast
• Marian Bantjes
• Chris Pullman
• Mike Jakab of Agency Collective
• Kenya Hara
• Elizabeth Emerson - E/L Studio
• Lisa Adams - Adams Design
• Keith Fritz - Keith Fritz Fine Furniture
United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Student ChapterThe Corcoran's Interior Design programs host a student organization of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students build their resumes and peer relationships by holding positions on the board or by participating as a general member of the group. The USGBC Student Chapter hosts professional symposiums, panels, and information fairs related to sustainability. It also serves as a study group for students pursuing the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) exam. For more information about USGBC, go to: http://www.usgbc.org/.
American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Student Chapter:The Corcoran's Interior Design programs host a student organization of ASID. With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students build their resumes and peer relationships by holding positions on the board or by participating as a general member of the group. The group actively engages in community service projects and provides networking opportunities through organized tours of local design firms and newly designed spaces as well as by hosting guest lectures. For more information about ASID, go to: http://www.asid.org/.
The Undergraduate Design Department hosts annual professional events for all students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts programs, including those in graphic design, digital media design, and interior design. Annual exhibition events include OPEN, NEXT at the Corcoran, and BY DESIGN.
OPEN is an annual design exhibition hosted by the Undergraduate Design Department showcasing graphic design, digital media design, and interior design student work. This event is held at the Georgetown campus at the end of the fall semester. The exhibition is open to the entire Corcoran community— current students, design alumni, faculty, staff, and students' families. This event features work by freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior students, and is a time to see the progress design students are making in their respective areas of study. Professional designers from the Washington, D.C., design community also attend this event to connect with design students about potential internships and job opportunities.
NEXT at the Corcoran is the annual student thesis exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Undergraduate Interior Design seniors exhibit their thesis projects alongside those of seniors in other departments. This event showcases undergraduate and graduate thesis projects in the Beaux-Arts galleries of the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
The BY DESIGN exhibition is an annual professional practices event for undergraduate design students, which includes graphic design, digital media design, and interior design. Held at the end of the spring semester, this professional practices event invites numerous Washington, D.C. design professionals to connect with design students for internships and job opportunities. Current Bachelor of Fine Arts design students, design alumni, faculty, and student families attend. The exhibition showcases portfolios of current design seniors and is a valuable professional networking opportunity as students prepare to graduate.