Jun 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 

Interior Architecture and Design Major (BS)

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Interior Architecture and Design Major - Bachelor of Science (BS)

Please see the UNLV College of Fine Arts - Department of Interior Architecture & Design web page at www.unlv.edu/architecture/bs-iad for information about department programs, faculty and facilities. Degree worksheets and 4/5 year plan for the major are available at https://www.unlv.edu/degree/bs-interior-architecture-design.

Please see advising information at the UNLV College of Fine Arts Advising Center at www.unlv.edu/finearts/advising.


Institution - Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities www.nwccu.org

Program - Council for Interior Design Accreditation accredit-id.org/

Learning Objectives

Global Perspective on Design

  • Entry level designers have a global view and weigh design decisions within the parameters of ecological, socio-economic, and cultural contexts.
    • Student work demonstrates understanding of the concepts principles, and theories of sustainability as they pertain to building methods, materials, systems and occupants.
    • Students understand the implications of conducting the practice of design within a world context and, how design need may vary for a range of socio-economic stakeholders.

Human Behavior

  • The work of interior designers is informed by knowledge of behavioral science and human factors.
    • Students understand that social and behavioral norms may vary from their own and are relevant to making appropriate design decisions.
    • Student work demonstrates the ability to appropriately apply theories of human behavior, to select, interpret and apply appropriate anthropometric data, and appropriately apply universal design concepts.

Design Process

  • Entry-level designer need to apply all aspects of the design process to creative problem solving.  Design process enables designers to identify and explore complex problems and generate creative solutions that support human behavior within the interior environment.
    • Students are able to:
      • Identify and define relevant aspects of a design problem (goals, objectives, performance criteria)
      • Gather, evaluate, and apply appropriate and necessary information and research findings to solve the problem (pre-design investigation)
      • Synthesize information and generate multiple concepts and/or multiple design responses to programmatic requirements.
      • Demonstrate creative thinking and originality through presentation of a variety of ideas, approaches, and concepts.


  • Entry-level interior designers engage in multi-disciplinary collaborations and consensus building.
    • Students have awareness of team structures and dynamics, and the nature and value of integrative design practice.


  • Entry level designers are effective communicators
    • Students apply a variety of communication techniques and technologies appropriate to a range of purposes and audiences
    • Students are able to:
      • Express ideas clearly in oral and written communication
      • Use sketches as design and communication tools
      • Produce competent presentation drawings across a range of appropriate media
      • Produce competent contract documents including coordinated drawings, schedules, and specifications appropriate to project size and scope and sufficiently extensive to show how design solutions and interior construction are related.
      • Integrate oral and visual material to present ideas clearly.

Professional and Business Practice

  • Entry level interior designers use ethical and accepted standards of practice, are committed to professional development and the industry, and understand the value of their contribution to the built environment.
    • Students understand:
      • The contributions of interior design to contemporary society
      • Various types of design practices
      • The elements of business practice (business development, financial management, strategic planning, and various forms of collaboration and integration of disciplines)
      • The elements of project management, project communication, and project delivery methods.
      • Professional ethics.


  • Entry-level interior designers apply knowledge of interiors, architecture, art, and the decorative arts within a historical and cultural context.
    • Students understand the social, political, and physical influences affecting historical changes in design of the built environment.
    • Students understand:
      • Movements and periods in interior design and furniture
      • Movements and traditions in architecture
      • Stylistic movements and periods of art
    • Students apply historical precedent to inform design solutions

Space and Form

  • Entry-level interior designers apply elements and principles of two- and three-dimensional design.
    • Students effectively apply the elements and principles of design to
      • Two-dimensional design solutions
      • Three-dimensional design solutions
    • Students are able to evaluate and communicate theories or concepts of spatial definition and organization.


  • Entry level interior designers apply color principles and theories.
    • Student work demonstrates understanding of:
      • Color principles, theories and systems.
      • The interaction of color with materials, texture, light, form and the impact on interior environments.
    • Students:
      • Appropriately select and apply color with regard to its multiple purposes.
      • Apply color effectively in all aspects of visual communication (presentations, models, etc.)
  • Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment, and Finish Materials.
  • Entry-level interior designers select and specify furniture, fixtures, equipment and finish materials in interior spaces.
    • Students have awareness of:
      • A broad range of materials and products
      • Typical fabrication and installation methods, and maintenance requirements.
    • Students select and apply appropriate materials and products on the basis of their properties and performance criteria, including ergonomics, environmental attributes, and life cycle cost.
    • Students are able to layout and specify furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

Environmental Systems and Controls

  • Entry-level interior designers use the principles of lighting, acoustics, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality to enhance health, safety, welfare, and performance of building occupants.
    • Students:
      • Understand the principles of natural and electric lighting design.
      • Competently select and apply luminaires and light sources.
    • Students understand:
      • The principles of acoustical design.
      • appropriate strategies for acoustical control.
    • Students understand:
      • The principles of thermal design
      • How thermal systems impact interior design solutions.
    • Students understand:
      • The principles of indoor air quality
      • How the selection and application of products and systems impact indoor air quality.

Interior Construction and Building Systems

  • Entry-level interior designers have knowledge of interior construction and building systems.
    • Student work demonstrates understanding that design solutions affect and are impacted by:
      • Structural systems and methods
      • Non-structural systems including ceilings, flooring and interior walls
      • Distribution systems including power, mechanical, HVAC, data/voice, telecommunications, and plumbing
      • Energy, security, and building control systems,
      • The interface of furniture with distribution and construction systems
      • Vertical circulation systems
    • Students are able to read and interpret construction drawings and documents.


  • Entry-level interior designers use laws, codes, standards, and guidelines that impact the design of interior spaces.
    • Students have awareness of:
      • Sustainability guidelines
      • Industry-specific regulations.
    • Student work demonstrates understanding of laws, codes, standards, and guidelines that impact fire and life safety, including:
      • Compartmentalization: fire separation and smoke containment
      • Movement: access to the means of egress including stairwells, corridors, exitways.
      • Detection: active devices that alert occupants including smoke/heat detectors and alarm systems.
      • Suppression: devices used to extinguish flames including sprinklers, standpipes, fire hose cabinets, extinguishers, etc.
    • Students apply appropriate federal, state/provincial, and local codes, and standards, and accessibility guidelines.

University Graduation Requirements

Interior Architecture and Design Degree Requirements - Total: 121-123 Credits

General Education Requirements - Subtotal: 39-43 Credits

First-Year Seminar - Credits: 2-3

English Composition - Credits: 6

Second-Year Seminar - Credits: 3

Mathematics - Credits: 5-6

Distribution Requirements - Credits: 19

Please see Distribution Requirements  for more information.

  • Humanities and Fine Arts: 
    • Automatically satisfied by Major requirements
  • Social Science: 9 credits 
    • One course each from three different fields
      (See note 1 below)
  • Life and Physical Sciences and Analytical Thinking: 10 credits

Multicultural and International

Multicultural, one 3 credit course required
International, one 3 credit course required

These courses may overlap with general education and major requirements.  A single course may not meet the multicultural and international requirements simultaneously. For the list of approved multicultural and international courses, go to: http://facultysenate.unlv.edu/students

Pre-Approved Electives - Credits: 0-5

Total Credits: 120


  1. Social Science:
    Social Science Elective
    Social Science Elective (International Studies)
    Social Science Elective (Multicultural Studies)
    Note: Courses satisfying social science or other requirements may simultaneously satisfy the multicultural and international requirements if they appear on the approved lists. One course cannot, however, satisfy both the multicultural and international requirements. For the list of approved multicultural and international courses visit: http://facultysenate.unlv.edu/students.

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