Through an interdisciplinary and experiential approach, Marylhurst’s interior design curriculum provides our Bachelor of Fine Art (B.F.A.) students with design background knowledge and professional career skills. Throughout the interior design degree program, you will practice a design approach with sensitivity to the human experience, considering the needs of built environments influenced by ergonomics, age, geographic location and culture. The interior design curriculum will bring to life the principles and ethical best practices that influence spatial composition before diving into regulatory codes and building technologies that affect the design of interiors, the integration of structure, lighting and building systems. Unite with peers in the pursuit of sustainable interior design, to further a shared mission to protect the health, life, safety and welfare of the public through built environments.
Design studios encourage the application of critical thinking and creative design processes to solve interior design problems prevalent within industries, including hospitality, restaurant, education and hotels. Throughout your final year of study, you will commit to the development of a thesis and apply your acquired knowledge and professional communication skills towards the resolution of a self-directed design problem that enhances and advances the discipline of design.
Interior Design Curriculum and B.F.A. Degree Requirements
To earn your B.F.A. in Interior Design you will complete 180-quarter credits (through a combination of courses and by transferring in credits) within three main areas:
Major requirements (108 credits)
The interior design curriculum includes (but is not limited to) the study of sustainability, materials theory, structures and building systems, the history of furniture and art, construction drawing and digital documentation. As a student, you will strengthen your interior design capabilities through complementary coursework in 3D digital modeling, lighting, materials and color. And because Marylhurst is an applied liberal arts university, you will enjoy hands on learning opportunities through studio coursework, field trips, internships and thesis work.
- Foundation & Intermediate Studios: Tackle known interior design challenges through hands-on coursework that grants practice in the art of methodical problem solving, beginning with identification, research, analysis and design development.
- Internship: Develop professional context and accrue direct experience within the interior design field through internship, readying yourself for a successful transition into the interior design workforce.
- Thesis Studios: Advance the discipline of design by developing a self-directed thesis design problem from program development & site selection through
Marylhurst core requirements (40 credits)
Fundamental coursework focused on the applied liberal arts such as communication skills, critical thinking, writing, problem-solving and leadership.
General electives (32 credits)
In support your specific career goals, choose courses outside of the interior design arena from Marylhurst’s diverse undergraduate programs.
Afternoon and Evening Classes
To make this interior design program more accessible for working professionals, we now offer multiple interior design classes in the AFTERNOONS and EVENINGS. Enjoy the flexibility to continue working, while you complete the Interior Design (B.F.A.) program.
Transfer in Your Previous College Credit
The majority of Marylhurst’s incoming students transfer in college credit from either community colleges or another four-year institution. The B.F.A. in Interior Design is in total, a four year program, comprised of interior design studio coursework and Marylhurst’s applied liberal arts core. Most students however, complete the degree sooner with transfer credits. The average credits transferred is about 45-to-50 credits and students often enter the university with the majority of their MU Core requirements completed or an associate’s degree in interior design.
To learn more, contact an admissions counselor to receive an official transfer credit analysis.
Interior Design Transfer Partnership with PCC
The B.F.A. in Interior Design program at Marylhurst has established a partnership with the PORTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE interior design program. Through this partnership, you may transfer credits from PCC to Marylhurst and benefit from an advanced start in studio design courses; saving time and money. As a participating student, you are encouraged to co-enroll and begin the Marylhurst interior design studio sequence while studying at PCC.
For additional information and to preview a list of classes included in this partnership, please contact our Office of Admissions.
Marylhurst is a degree completion institution meaning most of our students enter our university with some previous college credit; saving time and financial resources necessary to earn a degree.
Whether you plan to transfer credits from a community college, four-year university, or if you already hold an AAS in Interior Design, Marylhurst will help you expedite the completion of your B.F.A. in Interior Design by applying the work you’ve already performed.
- Two-year major pathway: Apply your associate degree (AAS in Interior Design) towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts and complete a two-year sequence of interior design coursework at Marylhurst.
- Three-year major pathway: Transfer in credits earned elsewhere to satisfy interior design or Marylhurst core requirements, before completing a three-year sequence of classes at Marylhurst.