Interior Design Program

The Interior Design Program at WCU provides students with broad exposure to all aspects of the practice of interior design. The program is grounded in research-based problem solving in addition to a variety of cultural, environmental, and historic perspectives. The Interior Design program is accredited through the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) and the Council of Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), recognizing the highest academic standards established by the profession.

Interior Design students taking measurements inside historic building


We prepare students for career opportunities in a field that combines creativity, technology and business in a profession that relies on people skills, problem-solving capabilities, and financial awareness. The B.S. degree in interior design includes specialty courses in residential design, commercial design, and kitchen and bath design. It includes a senior capstone project, and an internship experience during the summer between junior and senior year. Additionally, we offer students the exciting opportunity to travel for first-hand exposure to the art and architecture found abroad.

Career Opportunities

Most years, 90-100 percent of the students who graduate from the Interior Design Program find employment in the interior design field within six months of completing the program, and almost all of our students graduate in four years. Employment is available in both residential and/or commercial design markets in full-service design, space planning, decorating, sales, and/or marketing and business management. Both residential and commercial design offers opportunities with design firms as well as in-house designers for furniture stores, office dealerships, architectural firms, manufacturers and builders.

Interior Design Career Opportunities 

  • Job Placement: 100% of the students that graduated in May of 2016 were employed by January of 2017, with 94% employed within the interior design field.
  • Acceptance into Graduate Programs: No graduates from 2016 have applied to graduate programs.
  • Graduation Rates: 98% of the students from the class of 2016 graduated in 4 years.
  • Retention/ Attrition: 92% of all interior design students enrolled during the spring 2016 semester returned in the fall 2016 semester, putting attrition at 8.3%.
  • 100% pass rate for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) for WCU interior design graduates in 2016.


The mission of the Interior Design Program at Western Carolina University is to create an interdisciplinary approach to fundamental design, space planning, design analysis, materials selection and specifications relating to residential and commercial spaces. Our goal is to provide a creative learning environment that delivers a comprehensive curriculum with an emphasis on: design foundations, graphic communication, research and observation, experiential concept development, spatial development and the social aspects of space.

Interior Design Program Facilities and Technology

The layout of each studio space emphasizes our belief in the importance of student-to-faculty ratio in the classroom. While lecture classes may average 28 students, the studios usually have 14 on the average. The Interior Design Program is housed in a 4,000-square-foot area in Belk Building and has wireless technology for accessing the Web and working with CAD software in the classroom.


Traditional and PowerPoint technology offer a variety of lecture formats in the design studios, and workstations allow for mechanical and computer-aided drafting. To take advantage of the new technology available, laptop computers are required for the program. 

lighting studio

The International Association of Lighting Design donated additional equipment for demonstration of different lighting effects. This makes the Lighting Studio up-to-date. 

Other spaces include a sample/resource room with design online websites, a seminar meeting lounge, a computer/plotter workroom, and 18 feet of display window for exhibiting student projects.


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