Professional interior designers use a balance of analytical and creative skills in combination with a broad range of technical knowledge to shape interior environments that satisfy the functional, spatial and aesthetic requirements of a wide range of end users in all building types. Ultimately, professional interior designers identify, research and creatively solve problems related to the function of interior environments in order to enhance quality of life while protecting public health, safety, and welfare.
Interior designers frequently work in integrated design services teams with other design professionals. Interior designers provide pre-design services such as evaluation of prospective tenant lease space, feasibility studies and programming, which is the development of a program of space needs with descriptions of environmental qualities to guide design decisions.
When developing solutions for interior spaces, interior designers consider a variety of factors, including spatial attributes, construction, material properties and energy consumption, as well as contextual factors such as precedent, building and site location, and behavioral and cultural pattern of use. In addition to determining the shape and other qualities of space, interior designers select, specify and determine placement for materials, fixtures, finishes and furnishings. Designs are communicated through physical and digital models and hand-drawn or digitally produced images.
Interior designers produce construction documents to communicate technical considerations to contractors and others engaged in constructing buildings and their components. At the time of construction or installation, designers are involved with project administration as the client’s agent. Interior designers also frequently conduct post-occupancy evaluations.
The interior design program in the College of Human Ecology emphasizes the interaction between humans and the interior environment. Students are encouraged to become professionals who design interior spaces that are sustainable and enhance user satisfaction, productivity and safety at all stages of life. All students are exposed to design problem-solving through a multi-cultural perspective and gain competencies that allow them to enter the global practice of design in the building industry.
Interior design students take courses in human behavior in the designed environment, interior design, visual communications, building construction, building systems, history of interior design, basic and advanced computer applications, construction documentation, and professional practice. Areas of focused study available to majors are diverse and include lighting, design for special needs, historic preservation and sustainable design.
K-State interior design graduates are frequently employed at a variety of architectural and interior design firms. Many work in multidisciplinary offices that utilize a variety of professionals on the planning and design teams. Other common career paths include positions with systems dealerships or other product manufacturers to the architectural and interior design community, serving as a specification specialists and project managers. Some graduates take their design careers toward specialized areas such as facilities planning, historic preservation, lighting, custom airplane interiors and residential design.
An indicator of the quality of the interior design undergraduate program at Kansas State University is the employment opportunities available to student interns and graduates. Our students complete interior design internships with top architectural design firms from coast to coast. Recently, our students have interned or gained post-graduation employment with firms such as Callison in Seattle, Perkins+Will in Dallas and Washington, D.C., Hersch Bedner Associates in Santa Monica, SOM in Washington, D.C., and Gensler in Dallas and San Francisco. Our students are also employed by leading design firms in other metropolitan areas including Denver, Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, St. Louis and Wichita.
The feedback we receive from employers at the completion of student internships rates the performance of our students very high across all performance factors and indicates that our curriculum is preparing K-State interior design graduates for entry-level positions. Employers frequently note the high level of professionalism and abilities demonstrated by our students and graduates. Interior design program graduates provide feedback that they are well-prepared to start their careers and recognize the strengths and unique contributions that they are able to bring to the multi-disciplinary workplace. You can be confident that your efforts in our program will give you the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the multi-disciplinary design profession of which the interior design is a part.
- Four-year professional program accredited by the Council for Interior design Accreditation (CIDA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
- Students are well served by the program’s unique combination of an emphasis in the knowledge of human behavior in the designed environment and professional competencies in interior design.
- Opportunities in coursework and experience-based learning provide exposure to diverse cultural perspectives.
- Teaching and research facilities include dedicated studios, plotter and printing lab and a comprehensive professional resource library.
- Student may choose to participate in summer internships, study abroad, and a variety of both domestic and foreign faculty-led study tours.
- Student organizations include iDesign, which provides opportunities for leadership and involvement with other interior design students and events held specifically for interior design students. Students are encouraged to participate in two other professional organizations with student chapters at Kansas State University: the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
- There are multi-disciplinary groups of interest to students in interior design including the United States Green Building Council Student Chapter, Women In Design, and Students for Environmental Action.
- Students are successful in winning regional, national, and international design competitions.
What will I study?
The interior design program is a studio-based curriculum specifically structured to integrate learning with related professional courses taken sequentially and concurrently. Students learn how the interior design body of knowledge is developed through research, and how to create spaces that support how we work and live today and tomorrow.
Eight interior design studios are taken sequentially within the four-year program. Students begin with design fundamentals and progress through more complex learning. The content in studios includes design communications, spatial composition and space planning, design and execution of working drawings, sustainability, material specification, universal and accessible design, building and life safety codes. Senior level studios provide capstone projects that are professionally comprehensive. Teamwork is required to prepare students for their future professional lives. The program also includes courses in communication, social and natural sciences, quantitative studies, history, ethics, economics, art, architecture, business, and textiles.
Specific profession courses also include:
- Design Behavior in the Interior Environment
- History of Interior Design I & II
- Construction Methods and Materials for Interior design
- Computer-Aided Visual Communication in Interior design
- Environmental Systems for Interior design
- Interior design Practices and Procedures
- Design for Supportive Environments
Elective professional courses include:
- Advanced Design & Behavior
- Design for Aging in the Modern World
- Interior Design Internship
- Topics in Advanced ID Theory
High school preparation
Students who have completed a college preparatory curriculum are best suited for the interior design program. Preparation or experience in hand drawing, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, geometry, algebra, physical science, world history, and written and oral communications is strongly recommended. Cultural and creative activities and exposure to a wide range of cultures through travel and study are encouraged.
Admission to the interior design program is selective and competitive. Applicants are admitted on the basis of academic performance and enrollment capacity.
Incoming students complete the general university admissions process. Students can apply to the university at www.k-state.edu/admissions/apply. Students need to indicate that they are interested in being considered for admission to the interior design program in the College of Human Ecology. Only individuals who have completed applications (including an official high school transcript, official ACT or SAT scores, and application fee) submitted to the K-State Office of Admissions are considered for selective admission to the interior design program.
Transfer applicants must submit a complete K-State admissions application, including official transcript(s) for all post-secondary courses completed, and the application fee to the K-State Office of Admissions. Transfer students from other design programs who wish to be considered for advanced placement should contact the Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design (ATID) for additional information.
Change of major K-State students must submit an internal application form to the ATID office.
Review of all applications will begin February 1. Applicants who apply after the February 1 date will be automatically placed on a waitlist. After the initial offering of admissions to interior design, the waitlist is used to offer admission until the enrollment capacity is met each year for the fall semester incoming students.
Applicants will be reviewed by the interior design faculty, and in most cases will be notified of their admission status to the interior design program in March. In some instances high school applicants who have been awarded premier scholarships will qualify for early admission and will be notified in January.
Interior design students are required to provide their own laptop computer beginning in the second year of study in the program. Please consult the interior design website for computer requirements. As technology changes, so do the computer specifications. Students are encouraged to verify the most current requirements prior to purchase prior to the beginning of their second year.
Bachelor’s degree requirements