woman from the interior design major

Interior Design Program

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 college or university 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.

Interior Design

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 four-year 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.

National Kitchen and Bath Association Accredited Program

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

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.



COD Stories

Valerie Jardon

"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 Jardon

Valerie's COD Story

COD Stories

Heidi Monteith

"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 Monteith

Heidi's COD Story

COD Stories

Jerome Coloma

"I was lucky to have studied under so many professional, perceptive and engaging teachers with a commitment to my excellence." - Jerome Coloma

Jerome's COD Story

COD Stories

Leen Al Kassar

"I truly feel that the Interior Design program prepared me to be successful in the design industry. From detailed studio courses to internship opportunities, the knowledge and experience that I have gained during my time at COD is invaluable." - Leen Al Kassar

Leen's COD Story

COD Stories

Emily Barry

"The instructors, particularly Shelly Mocchi, work overtime to create connections and opportunities for the students who are willing to put in the work." - Emily Barry

Emily'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.


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Interior Design at COD

student looking at swatches with instructor

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.