Interior Design

Major: Interior Design
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 187.0
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 in 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 lifelong learners who will contribute to the profession and the discipline’s body of knowledge.

Additional Information

For more information about this program, visit the College's Interior Design webpage.

Degree Requirements 

General education requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
PHYS 175Light and Sound3.0
PHYS 176Computational Lab for Light and Sound1.0
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 3 credits3.0
Required Social Science-students elect a minimum of 6 credits6.0
Free electives *24.0
Visual studies requirements
ARTH 101History of Western Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ARTH 102History of Western Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ARTH 103History of Western 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 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 340Community 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 Credits187.0

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)

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARTH 1013.0ARTH 1023.0ARTH 1033.0VACATION
ENGL 101 or 1113.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0CIVC 1011.0 
MATH 1014.0UNIV A1011.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
UNIV A1011.0VSST 1024.0INTR 1603.0 
VSST 1014.0VSST 1103.0INTR 2003.0 
 Arts & Humanities elective3.0VSST 1034.0 
 15 17 17 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
INTR 2203.0COOP 101*1.0INTR 2113.0INTR 2453.0
INTR 2253.0INTR 2334.0INTR 3314.0INTR 3053.0
INTR 2324.0INTR 2413.0INTR 3413.0INTR 3404.0
INTR 2503.0INTR 3003.0Natural Science elective3.0INTR 3503.0
Free elective3.0PHYS 1753.0Free elective3.0VSST 202 or 2014.0
 PHYS 1761.0  
 SOC 1013.0  
 16 18 16 17
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCEINTR 3513.0Arts & Humanities elective3.0
  INTR 4304.0Social Science elective3.0
  INTR 4513.0Free electives9.0
  VSST 2034.0 
  Arts & Humanities elective3.0 
 0 0 17 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
INTR 4424.0INTR 4414.0INTR 4933.0 
INTR 4453.0INTR 4503.0Free electives6.0 
INTR 4913.0INTR 4923.0Social Science elective3.0 
VSST 301 or 3114.0Free elective3.0  
 14 13 12 
Total Credits 187

Interior Design: Cycle B 

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARTH 1013.0ARTH 1023.0ARTH 1033.0VACATION
ENGL 101 or 1113.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0CIVC 1011.0 
MATH 1014.0UNIV A1011.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
UNIV A1011.0VSST 1024.0INTR 1603.0 
VSST 1014.0VSST 1103.0INTR 2003.0 
 Arts & Humanities elective3.0VSST 1034.0 
 15 17 17 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
INTR 2203.0COOP 101*1.0INTR 2113.0INTR 2453.0
INTR 2253.0INTR 2334.0INTR 3314.0INTR 3053.0
INTR 2324.0INTR 2413.0INTR 3413.0INTR 3404.0
INTR 2503.0INTR 3003.0Arts & Humanities elective3.0INTR 3503.0
Free elective3.0PHYS 1753.0Natural Science elective3.0VSST 2034.0
 PHYS 1761.0  
 SOC 1013.0  
 16 18 16 17
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
Social Science elective3.0INTR 3513.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
Free electives12.0INTR 4304.0  
 INTR 4513.0  
 VSST 202 or 2014.0  
 Free electives3.0  
 15 17 0 0
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
INTR 4424.0INTR 4414.0INTR 4933.0 
INTR 4453.0INTR 4503.0Arts & humanities elective3.0 
INTR 4913.0INTR 4923.0Free electives6.0 
VSST 301 or 3114.0Social Science elective3.0  
 14 13 12 
Total Credits 187

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.
  • Fury Design, Inc.
  • Gensler
  • Hillier Lewis
  • Herman Miller
  • HOK
  • Jacobs Associates
  • Knoll International
  • L2 Partridge
  • Marguerite Rogers
  • Nelson
  • Perkins Eastman
  • Princeton University
  • RJMJ
  • Stantec
  • University of Pennsylvania 
  • West Chester University 

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

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, which includes a skylight-covered atrium, exposed beams, and open spaces. There are dedicated 24-hour undergraduate and graduate student studios 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, 3-D 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 and easy access to many museums, libraries, and renowned buildings, as well as design centers located in Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

Architecture & Interiors Faculty

David Ade, AIA, LEED A.P., NCARB, BArch (Drexel University). Adjunct Associate Professor. Principal, SMP Architects, sustainable design
Ulrike Altenmuller-Lewis, AIA, Dr.-Ing. (Bauhaus Universitat Weimar). Associate Professor. Research on educational environments; translations of architectural theory texts.
Stephen Bonitatibus, AIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Adjunct Professor. Principal, Bonitatibus Associates; traditional residential architecture.
Anthony Bracali, AIA, LEED A.P., BArch (Drexel University). Adjunct Associate Professor. President, Friday Architects; civic, non-profit and community-based architecture.
Mark Brack, PhD (University of California at Berkeley). Associate Professor. British and American architecture from 1700 to the present; Hispanic colonial architecture in the American Southwest; vernacular architecture; historic preservation.
Daniel Chung, RA, PE, MArch, MSE (Yale University, Princeton University). Associate Professor. Building performance and exterior envelope systems.
Jon Coddington, AIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Professor. Architecture, urban design and planning.
Rena Cumby, BArch, MS (Drexel University). Associate Professor. Interior designer; foundation studies and design education.
John DeFazio, AIA, BArch (New York Institute of Technology). Adjunct Professor. Architecture in film.
Katherine Dowdell, AIA, BS Interior Design (Drexel University). Adjunct Assistant Professor. Principal, Farragut Street Architects; historic preservation
Eugenia Ellis, PhD, AIA (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Professor. Natural and electric light sources and effects on biological rhythms and health outcomes; ecological strategies for smart, sustainable buildings of the nexus of health, energy and technology.
Dyer Alfred "Lyndsay" Falck, RA, ARCUK, ARIBA, NCARB, M.URP (University of Capetown, South Africa). Adjunct Professor. Building technology
Jeff Fama, MArch (State University of New York at Buffalo). Adjunct Associate Professor. Retail, entertainment, and theater design.
Susan Feenan, BArch (Temple University). Adjunct Assistant Teaching Professor. Institutional and commercial architecture.
Gary Garofalo, BS Arch Eng (Pennsylvania State University). Adjunct Assistant Professor. Principal Lighting Design Collaborative; lighting expert, lighting design.
Alan Greenberger, FAIA (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) Department Head, Architecture, Design & Urbanism. Distinguished Teaching Professor. Urban planning, economic development, urban governance
Don Jones, FAIA, LEED DD+C, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Adjunct Professor. Principal, Director of Sustainable Design, Ewing Cole; sports venues.
Tim Kearney, AIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Adjunct Professor. Principal, CuetoKEARNEY design; sustainable design
Nicole Koltick, MArch (University of California, Los Angeles) Director, Design Futures Lab. Associate Professor. Researching possibilities for architecture and design through the use of unexpected and innovative interdisciplinary models; computational design, digital fabrication, contemporary form making, design research, philosophy and theory of design, speculative design
Jeffrey Krieger, AIA, LEED AP, MArch (Carnegie Mellon University). Adjunct Associate Professor. President, Krieger and Associates Architects; residential design.
Karin Kuenstler, MS (Bank Street College of Education and Parsons) Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. Associate Professor. Interior design for corporate and commercial facilities.
Maria Kuttruff, MS (Drexel University). Adjunct Assistant Professor. Owner/Principal, Viola Interior Design, LLC. Residential interior design.
Robert Nalls, AIA, NCARB, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Adjunct Professor. Principal, Nalls Architecture Inc.; institutional and educational buildings.
Diana S. Nicholas, RA, AIA, NCARB, MFA (University of the Arts, Philadelphia) Director of MS Design Research, Coordinator, Sustainability in the Built Environment Minor. Assistant Professor. Coordinator, Sustainability in the Built Environment Researching Health in residential urban environment and interprofessional collaboration
Jacklynn Niemiec, LEED BD+C, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Teaching Professor. Graphic representation
James Rowe, AIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Adjunct Associate Professor. Principal, Studio Agoos Lovera; institutional, recreation, corporate, civic and residential design.
Debra Ruben, NCIDQ, IDEC, LEED AP, MS (Drexel University) Academic Associate Dean; Interim Associate Dean, Graduate Studies. Associate Professor. Interior design
Paul Salvaggio, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, BArch, BS Arch (Pennsylvania State University). Adjunct Assistant Professor. Principal, Arcus Design Group; residential architecture.
Rachel Schade, AIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania) Program, Architecture, Associate Director for Student Placement. Associate Teaching Professor. Principal, Rachel Simmons Schade Architect. Work-study placement; residential, graphic representation.
Harris Steinberg, FAIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania) Executive Director, Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation. Distinguished Teaching Professor. Urban design and civic engagement.
Frances Temple West, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA, MArch (Virginia Tech). Assistant Teaching Professor. Principal, Frances Temple-West Architect; Retail, Corporate/Commercial, and Residential design
Frances Temple-West, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA, MArch (Virginia Tech). Assistant Teaching Professor. Principal, Frances Temple-West Architect; retail, corporate/commercial, and residential design
Simon Tickell, AIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Associate Teaching Professor. Principal, Simon J Tickell Architect; educational and museum buildings, residential design
Nancy Trainer, FAIA, AICP, LEED, AFAAR, MArch (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Vice President of Design & Planning at Drexel. Adjunct Teaching Professor. Planning, institutional design.
Ada Tremonte, NCIDQ, IDEC, IIDA, MS (Drexel University) Director, BS Interior Design. Teaching Professor. President, a d a Design Associates, Inc.; educational and corporate/commercial design

Emeritus Faculty

Judith Bing, MArch (Yale University). Professor Emeritus. Research on traditional architecture of the Balkins and Anatolia
Sylvia Clark, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Professor Emeritus.
Paul M. Hirshorn, FAIA, MArch, MCP, (University of Pennsylvania). Professor Emeritus.
Marjorie Kriebel, BArch (University of Pennsylvania). Professor Emeritus.
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