Program details

The professional Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interior Design is a four-year degree program that provides the foundation for becoming a registered interior designer. Students develop competency in areas such as creative problem solving, ergonomics, lighting, history, structures, color, materials, building and fire codes, as well as an understanding of people and the way environment affects behavior.

The interior design program annually admits 60 students into the professional program.

  • $52,000

    average interior design starting salary


All incoming undergraduate students first complete the Core Design Program, then apply for admission to the professional BFA in Interior Design degree program.

Our curriculum emphasizes a broad spectrum of learning experiences covering topics from modern building systems, sustainability and environmental responsibility to human factors, and universal design and public safety. Beginning with sophomore classes that focus on small and large residential projects, through junior studios in office, retail and institutional design, and finally, cross-disciplinary investigations into urban hospitality projects at the senior level, our students work on genuine problems and offer unique solutions for real clients. These service-learning opportunities give you the chance to experience the full range of interior design as it is practiced today.

Recent Student Work

  • Students Presenting in DSN 102

    Core Design Program

    The undergraduate curricula in design are divided into two phases: the Core Design Program and the professional or general degree program. Classes in the Core create a shared experience and community that exposes students to all nine majors within the College of Design.

Iowa State’s undergraduate Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interior Design degree program is nationally accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). This degree also meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam).

The College of Design offers or participates in eight undergraduate minors that are available to all undergraduate design students. In addition, many minors throughout the university can be combined with a design degree program.

View College of Design minors
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Beyond meeting the minimum requirements for admission to Iowa State University and the College of Design, students who plan to enter the professional Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design degree program are encouraged, but not required, to take courses in art, drafting, speech, wood technology, computer-aided design, computer science and other courses that emphasize problem solving.

Two students conversing in the College of Design atrium.

Success in Design

Students graduate career-ready with internships, capstone projects, professional practice and portfolio classes integrated into the Design programs, and support from the Design Career Services Office. The college also hosts an annual Design Career Fair focused only on design majors. It attracts more than 125 firms recruiting for jobs and internships, with College of Design alumni making up more than half of the recruiters in attendance.

Possible career paths

As the 7th “Most Hired From” interior design program in the country, we make it easy for students explore career opportunities. Some recent graduates of Iowa State’s interior design program have pursued careers in the following:

  • Contract (commercial) design
  • Design project management
  • Facilities design and management
  • Furniture design
  • Health-care facility design
  • Hospitality design
  • Interior design business management
  • Interior illustration or photography
  • Kitchen and bath design
  • Office systems design and sales
  • Product manufacturing sales
  • Residential and retail design
  • Sustainable and adaptive re-use design
  • 175

    different companies recruited our students since 2018.

Interior design student working on project blueprints.

A Designer in the Making

Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.