Bachelor of Fine Arts In Interior Design & Pre-Architecture

"The interior design program gave me an incredibly strong foundation of design skills, which helped me excel in my career," said Stacey Lyons ‘06, an interior design/space planning specialist for PepsiCo’s global real estate department. "Whenever anyone asks me where I went to school, I proudly say the University of New Haven."

Explore the art and science of great design

The average person spends up to 90 percent of their time indoors, so interior environments have the potential to make a big impact. Our surroundings can affect our thoughts, feelings, behavior, and productivity. It’s an interior designer’s job to consider how color and contrast work alongside acoustics and lighting to create ideal environments in which to live, relax, and work.

As a University of New Haven interior design major you will learn to create beautiful, functional spaces that meet the needs of both individual and business clients. The knowledge and skills you acquire in the program and the opportunities offered include:

  • Successfully mastering the rules of proportion, scale, balance, contrast, color, texture, rhythm, and harmony
  • Learning to manipulate architecture to create a more effective use of space
  • Focusing on issues of sustainability and universal design
  • Developing an understanding of environmental factors including acoustics, lighting, the use of space, and temperature control
  • Becoming proficient at CAD (Computer-Aided Design), 3D modeling, rendering, and other computer skills and presentation techniques that help clients visualize ideas
  • Gaining a solid foundation in architectural drawing, building construction, color theory, textile design, and the history of interior design
  • The opportunity to study abroad in Italy
  • Benefiting from the University’s working relationship with local interior design resource centers, design firms, and architects
  • Having the option to choose a pre-architecture concentration that meets the requirements for graduate school in architecture

Recommended Computer Specifications


Of graduates employed in interior design or attending graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2020)


Students graduated in four years (Class of 2020)


First-year students retained for second year (Class of 2022)

Learn from professors who are dedicated to your success.

Our faculty are leaders and innovators in their fields, bringing both deep professional experience and academic rigor to the classroom.


Envision Your Future

The information below is designed to show the many possible careers you could pursue with your major. The research is provided by Encoura, the leading research and advisory firm focused exclusively on higher education. It includes median national salaries and industry growth projections over the next decade. Click here to view the full report.


Lighting Designer

7% Growth 2017-2027


Territory Sales Manager

9% Growth 2017-2027


Sales Representative

9% Growth 2017-2027

Selected Courses and Programs
  • This course surveys the use of lighting, both natural and artificial, as a design element in planning residential and commercial interiors. The impact of perception, psychology, brightness, color, and daylight are discussed. Interior lighting products including incandescent and discharge lamps are studied in detail along with auxiliary equipment, light controls, photometrics, electricity, and luminaries. Laboratory fee.

  • This course advances the student’s basic drawing and illustrative skills through the exploration of quick sketching and rendering techniques for architectural and interior spaces. A variety of media will be studied including markers, pastels, color pencils, watercolor, pencil, pen, etc. Focus is on the application of the media to create visual expression of the exterior and interior elements.

  • This course introduces students to all elements of the preparation, development, and production of a complete set of construction documents for residential and commercial interior spaces including project evaluation and an in-depth understanding of document requirements, method applications, blueprint reading, specification writing, drawing nomenclature, and millwork requirements. An emphasis is placed upon the development of accurate descriptive drawing notes, specifications, dimensioning, and symbols within the construction documents. Building codes and ADA issues are explored as applicable to individual projects.

  • This course explores the design and construction requirements for interior building elements and environmental systems. Issues related to interior finishes, sustainability resources, and green design are explored. Building codes, fire codes, and ADA compliance relative to the built interior environment are studied through the use of construction documents and study models.

  • The University of New Haven offers a wide variety of in-depth courses that create a transformational educational experience for our students. To view the complete list of courses you'll take while pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design & Pre-Architecture, check out the Academic Catalog:

    Interior Design, B.F.A. - General Concentration

    Interior Design, B.F.A. - Pre-architecture Concentration

    Interior Design Minor

Charger Advantage

Get an inside look at what differentiates the University of New Haven and how your experiences as a student will prepare you for success.

Nationally Recognized Center for Career Development

All University of New Haven students have access to the many resources available through the University’s Career Development Center, which has been named one of the best in the nation by The Princeton Review.

From career assessments, networking, and job shadowing to on-campus interviews and salary negotiation, the Career Development Center provides the skills and connections to identify a meaningful career and an opportunity to pursue your passion.

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CIDA logo

Council for Interior Design Accreditation

The University of New Haven has earned the prestigious Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). This designates the University's B.F.A. in Interior Design as the only CIDA-accredited interior design program in the state of Connecticut!

Over 18,000 students in over 170 CIDA-accredited interior design programs worldwide benefit from CIDA standards and quality assurance. CIDA-accredited program graduates hold many successful positions in both education and practice, and overall perform stronger on the NCIDQ exam. CIDA provides future-focused knowledge, industry forecasts and a valuable return on educational investment. Over 65% of graduates from CIDA programs believe that accreditation has positively impacted their ability to get their first job.

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National Association of Schools of Art and Design logo.

National Association of Schools of Art & Design Accreditation

The University of New Haven has achieved the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) accreditation. This mark of excellence designates the University's B.A. in Art and B.F.A. programs in Graphic Design, Illustration, and Interior Design as nationally accredited programs.

Founded in 1944, NASAD is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities with approximately 360 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for art and design and art/design-related disciplines, and provides assistance to institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational, and other art/design-related endeavors.

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Upcoming Events

Sunday, December 11

Various Dates

Next Steps
  • Whether you're still in high school or are transferring from another college, we offer full- and part-time opportunities for undergraduates from inside the U.S. and abroad. The admission process can begin as early as the end of your high school junior year.

    The Application Process

  • We offer a comprehensive financial aid program, with students receiving assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, student loans, and part-time employment. Funds are available from federal and state governments, private sponsors, and from university resources. More than 85 percent of the University's full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance.

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Licensure and Certification Information

In the University’s BFA in Interior Design program students can start the path towards becoming a Certified Interior Designer. Specific education and work experience requirements exist to be eligible to sit for the NCIDQ Examination. Students that complete this are eligible to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination.

For the BFA Interior Design program:

  • Our curriculum meets the educational requirements for Interior Design licensure in LA and NV.
  • Our curriculum meets the educational requirements for registration as an Interior Designer in AL, AR, CA, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, ME, MD, MN, MS, MO, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OK, PR, TN, TX, UT, VA and WI.
  • We have not yet made a determination if our curriculum meets the Interior Design licensure requirements in AS, GU, MP and VI.

The following states do not regulate Interior Design licensure: AK, AZ, CO, DE, HI, ID, KS, MA, MI, MT, NE, NH, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, VT, WA, WV and WY.

Please note that we are currently working through the states' requirements and will update this information as we make the determinations. Students who are interested in working in any of these states are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate state board to confirm that jurisdiction’s requirements.

Click the link below for contact information on State licensure boards.

Licensure Information

Click here for more information on Licensure & Professional Certification Disclosures.