Interior Design at College of DuPage offers students a variety of learning opportunities that match current industry trends and standards. Earn an associate in applied science degree in interior design and one of three certificates in kitchen and bath design, lighting and computer applications.
Taught by experienced professionals, the program provides a range of interior design courses from fundamental through advanced levels. Students begin the program with entry-level courses like drafting, sustainable design, architecture and design history. Intermediate courses include computer aided drafting, space planning and lighting.
Courses culminate in the four advanced studio classes where all skills and information are utilized in comprehensive projects in one of four specialized areas: residential, healthcare, contract (restaurant and retail) and office design. The final courses of Professional Practices and Ethics and Portfolio Review prepare students to enter the interior design industry.
Determine Your Path
The interior design industry is tied to the economy, like many professional career fields. In addition to design and architectural firms, career opportunities include kitchen and bath design, computer-aided drafting and rendering, sustainable design, advanced lighting design and universal/barrier free interior design.
The Interior Design program has a diverse student population in regard to age, prior education and range of employment experiences.
Whether you are preparing for a career in interior design, planning to transfer to a four-year baccalaureate-granting institution or updating your skills, you will find classes with a dynamic exchange of life perspectives. This results in students not only sharing a love of interior design, but also finding other students at similar points in their educational and career journeys. COD offers:
- Dedicated instructors with years of professional experience, certification and licensing.
- Instruction utilizing top-notch facilities, equipment, and resources that creates a “design firm” environment for students.
- Small class sizes that ensure students receive personalized attention from instructors.
- An advisory board made up of respected industry professionals, ensuring a curriculum guided by current and emerging trends, as well as educational support and opportunities in and out of the classroom.
The Interior Design, Associate in Applied Arts degree program prepares students to work in one of the vast array of jobs in the design industry or transfer to a baccalaureate program.
Students in this program are required to complete a minimum of 70 credits of coursework, which includes 52 credits in core program courses and electives and 18 general education credits.
Additional electives are available for those students wishing to broaden their knowledge, update skills, and gain experience for an occupational edge over competition.
The Interior Design department currently offers three certificate programs. These programs are aimed at interior design majors and returning professionals who are seeking advanced skills in specialized areas.
Interior Design Computer Applications
The Interior Design Computer Applications, Certificate prepares students for computer support jobs in the design industry.
The certificate requires a minimum of 23 credits of design prerequisites and a wide array of computer courses including 2D AutoCAD drafting, 3dsMax 3D modeling, Photoshop, Sketch-up, Revit, and 20-20.
Interior Design Lighting
The Interior Design Lighting. Certificate prepares students for a support job in the lighting industry. Students focus on lighting fundaments, new technology, various applications, and graphic communication methods required in the design industry.
In addition to entry-level prerequisite courses, students focus on lighting fundaments, new technology, various lighting applications, and graphic communication methods required in the design industry. The certificate requires 29 credits and it provides an area of specialization when combined with the Associate in Applied Science degree.
Kitchen and Bath Design
The Kitchen and Bath Design, Certificate is accredited by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and prepares graduates with design and business skills necessary for industry professionals.
This certificate program requires a minimum of 43 credits and provides students with a broad range of instruction that builds on fundamental courses within the Associate in Applied Science Interior Design degree.
Studio courses dedicated to the Kitchen and Bath industry ensure that students are prepared for the variety of jobs available in this specialized area.
Interior Design Class Format
Interior design classes are held in the Technical Education Center (TEC), a LEED-certified building. The building includes three studio classrooms, one dedicated computer classroom, a Resource Library and display areas for student work.
Technical Education Center
Other equipment available to students includes an architectural plotter, architectural copier, and large format scanners. All interior design computer software is updated annually to provide students the most up-to-date programs possible.
During the fall and spring semesters, classes meet only once a week. This "block scheduling" works best for interior design project-type classes.
INTER 1110, Introduction to Interior Design
This is the most important class to take first since it is the prerequisite for many other classes. This class is available every semester, including summer.
INTER1125, Sustainable Design
Sustainable principles should be integrated in all areas of interior design. This course was developed to give students a basic understanding of these principles and how they apply to future design problems.
INTER 1212, Computer-Aided Interior Design I
Computer drafting skills are essential for success in future classes and in the professional workplace. Begin developing these skills ASAP.
INTER 1135, Visualization Techniques
This course develops skills to visualize design solutions by using hand drawn techniques and computer software.
INTER1150, History of Interior Design
A survey covering architecture and interior design throughout history and their cultural influences.
For more information on interior design courses, visit the course catalog.
"My goal was to stay home with my daughter during the day and take classes at night. COD was perfect for that – the cost, close proximity to home and ability to take classes that fit my schedule.” - Valerie JardonValerie's COD Story
"Becoming a design student enabled me to find paid internships and part-time jobs in the industry that paid 50 to 100 percent more than what I had been earning before becoming a student.” - Heidi MonteithHeidi's COD Story
"The COD Interior Design program offers in-depth curriculum of both the technical skills and business aspects of interior design. It introduced me to active professionals, one of whom became my mentor." - Jordan GuideJordan's COD Story
"College of DuPage prepared me well with technical knowledge and cutting-edge CAD techniques. That level of precision has been so valuable in helping my clients visualize their spaces before commencing any construction.” - Sheri BoltonSheri's COD Story
"The teachers at COD really go above and beyond for their students. I can’t thank them enough and I know the other students feel the same way.” - Emily BruereEmily's COD Story
Get Started Today
The first step to getting started in interior design is to apply for admission.
Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.
Interior Design Program graduates will
- Develop a comprehensive design concept based on creative problem solving research including viable space planning using industry standards
- Create a full set of design documents for an interior design project
- Using critical thinking strategies generate an appropriate furniture, fixture and materials selection considering applicable codes and sustainability (social responsibility)
- Produce a presentation of a fully integrated design project that utilizes visualization software comparable to professional industry standards
- Compose written justification of project designs and verbally communicate design solutions in presentations in an effective and professional manner
- Demonstrate soft skills including: (1) collaboration, creating a positive impact on the classroom (2) positive attitude and work ethic (3) accepting/applying feedback to project outcome and (4) self-direction and follow-through
College of DuPage has several interior design transfer agreements in place with four-year colleges and universities to save you time, money and make the transfer process easier.
Many of these agreements with other colleges and universities have specific course requirements and a pre-determined course plan that needs to be followed to be eligible to transfer. Contact a program faculty member or academic advisor to learn more as course requirements vary by institution.
Interior Design at COD
Get more information about the Interior Design program and how it provides students with hands-on experience to help provide the highest quality education in the area.