Interior Design & Pre-Architecture B.A.

In developed countries, people spend about 90% of their daily lives indoors. No wonder interior design is such a popular profession!  But there’s more to it than simply pleasing the eye. Whether we’re at home, school, work, or our favorite cafe, interior spaces affect our thoughts, feelings, and behavior.  Interior design, therefore, is both an art and a science.  Our programs teach both — while giving you a large dose of the real world in this exciting, creative, and super challenging field.

Student Working at Habitat for Humanity Site

Understand what interior designers do.

Interior designers are title registered or licensed professionals who can work independently and often with architects on building projects.  They can actually move and build walls and other interior spaces, manipulating the architecture to create a more effective use of the space and a whole lifestyle experience.  Technical issues such as acoustics, lighting, space utilization, and temperature control also fall within the realm of the interior designer.

Learn Sustainable and Universal Design.

Our programs focus on issues of sustainability and universal design.  In addition to learning about renewable resources, you’ll become a pro on how to design spaces to use less energy and maximize existing resources.  You’ll also become adept at designing spaces that stand the test of time and meet the needs of all users so that they don’t have to be torn down and re-built within a few years.  What’s more, with faculty specializing in various areas relating to sustainability and universal design such as aging in place you can fine-tune your studies.

Choose from two degree programs.

  • The Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design
  • The Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design with a Pre-Architecture Concentration

The Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design with a Pre-Architecture Concentration is a terrific program option at the University of New Haven. It contains the same requirements as the Interior Design program but also includes Calculus, Physics, and Sustainable Urban Planning. With these classes it satisfies the requirements to move on to architecture graduate school, making it a flexible and time-saving option. After receiving their bachelor's degree (four years) in Interior Design with a Pre-Architecture Concentration, students can then pursue a master's degree (three years) in Architecture. Students who get a bachelor's degree in Architecture (five years) plus their internship (two years) spend the same amount of time, seven years total but only have a knowledge base in architecture, as opposed to the dual disciplines of interior design and architecture that is possible here.

Our programs draw a vibrant mix of people, including recent high school graduates, working adults who want to change careers, and international students. No matter which one you are, you’ll quickly become part of a creative and exciting community that thrives on teamwork.

Students in an Interior Design course volunteered to help build a house in New Haven for the organization Habitat for Humanity. "Volunteering was a perfect way to get hands-on experience while helping a family in the community." - Alyssa Blemings & Rachel Lodi '18

Study both theory and technology.

You’ll learn the rules of proportion, scale, balance, contrast, color, texture, rhythm, and harmony. Core courses include: 

  • architectural drawing
  • building construction
  • color theory
  • the history of interior design
  • textile design

As one of the visual arts, interior design also makes brilliant use of the latest technology to help you and your clients visualize your ideas.  You’ll become proficient at CAD (computer-aided design) and all the other computer skills and presentation techniques you’ll need.

Work with the pros.

We have a working relationship with multiple local interior design resource centers, design firms, and architects. There, you’ll work on class projects, collaborating with professional interior designers.  This will be great experience for you, as you’ll get an inside look at everything that goes into an installation.  There’s a lot of detail in interior design, and a great many of those details are at the business end of things.  Think:  keeping billing records, meeting codes, paying furniture makers, hunting down fabric you’ve run out of.  You’ll learn to expect the unexpected and try to anticipate it.

Related Programs

If you are interested in Interior Design, you may also want to find out more about our Art and Graphic Design programs.

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Program Description

Interior Design, B.A.


Interior Design/Pre-architecture Concentration, B.A.