Interior Design Major (BFA)

Interior Design majors study at George Fox, a top Christian college

If you love crafting meaningful spaces for people to inhabit and find yourself interested in architecture, arranging space and considering how people connect with their environment, consider majoring in interior design.

Professional Preparation

George Fox’s interior design program educates students to become creative and responsible interior designers for residential and commercial buildings. The program has been built to prepare students for National Council for Interior Design Qualification certification.

Students receive training through course work that prepares them for each portion of the certification process. Upon graduating and working in the field for the required number of hours, they will be ready to sit for the exam and be fully certified to practice interior design independently. This professional emphasis is a unique offering for those looking to study interior design at a Christian college.

An Emphasis on Environmental Health

The interior design program emphasizes best practices, including concern for environmental issues, LEED certification, ADA requirements, and the construction of holistically considered and relatable environments through problem solving in applied design studios.

With a particular focus on spatial design and space planning, complemented by the application of surface decoration, our students learn to design spaces for living, working, business, health and recreation environments.

Challenging Courses

As courses progress, students are challenged by design problems that increase in size and complexity. They develop an understanding of the influence of sustainable building and reuse on human health, well-being and performance.

Courses include AutoCAD for Interior Design, History of Architecture, Kitchen and Bath Design, Material Resources, Surface and Textile Design, Informed Interior Design (instruction in building codes and requirements), Commercial Design Studio and many others.


Request more information about the interior design major at George Fox University or schedule a visit to begin your education at Oregon's Christian university, ranked as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation by Forbes.

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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

This course is an introduction to industry-standard graphic design applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Additional course fee required.
An introduction to materials, techniques, and theory related to two-dimensional design. Additional course fee is required.
This course focuses on three-dimensional design. Hands-on projects are the primary learning mode. Additional course fee is required.
Art majors given preference. This course is a study of materials, methods, and techniques used for drawing with pencil, ink, charcoal, and other drawing media. Additional course fee is required.
Art and its relationship to a non-Western culture, e.g., African, Asian, Latin American. Specific topic will be dependent on the instructor's area of specialization. Additional course fee is required.
A study of the relationship between art and Christianity in the contemporary world. Designed primarily for studio art majors. Prerequisite: either ARTS 382 Twentieth Century Art or ARTS 384 Contemporary Art Forms. Additional course fee required.

Choose one of the following:

A survey of the elements and concepts of art theory and practice as reflected in culturally and historically significant painting, sculpture, architecture, and other art forms, from 1450 to the present. Additional course fee is required.
Art and its relationship to Western culture of the 20th century. Additional course fee is required.

Complete the following:

This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.

Complete the following:

This course is an introduction to computer-aided design and drafting using Autodesk AutoCAD. Students will use CADD software effectively to create computer-generated plans for commercial space while reviewing Life Safety, ANSI, ADA and regional building codes related to their projects. Additional course fee is required.
This is the first studio in a sequential series of interior courses in which students apply their skills, knowledge and understanding of the design process to living environments. Emphasis is placed on the interrelationship of design elements and principles, spatial organization and sequencing, and conceptual problem solving in three-dimensional space. Open to all students. Additional course fee required.
An introductory course offering a foundation for textile applications in interior design. The course introduces the student to textiles for interior design including fiber properties, manufacture of yarns, fabric identification, fabrication methods, finishes and end-use application for different types of interiors. Students will learn testing procedures, performance classification, safety issues, and related fire codes. Oral and written project presentations and library research required. Additional course fee is required.
Study of materials used in the built environment with emphasis on the interior. Students develop knowledge of material characteristic, selection, application, installation methods, and industry regulations. Students produce product specifications following Master Specification standards. Additional course fee is required.
This course studies the interior aspects of lighting design and application. Emphasis is placed on lighting in the human environment and its effects on the occupants. Students will select lighting fixtures, lamps, and produce specifications. Solutions are applied in studio projects. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: INTD 200 Interior Foundations
A study of 3D graphics, including isometrics and axonometrics. Students render perspective-based drawing in a variety of mediums including watercolor, color markers, pastels and colored pencils as they explore drawing as a tool for communicating visual information, developing presentations, analyzing space, and expanding their design vocabulary. Additional course fee is required.
This course builds on concepts and theories introduced in Interior Foundations and guides students through the complexities of the space planning process addressing both function and aesthetics. Students will complete a series of assignments increasing in size and difficulty designed to develop space planning skills. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: INTD 200 Interior Foundations and ARTS 111 Drawing I
This course will study methods and materials for interior construction. Students will create details and specify materials for interior components, including walls, floors, ceilings, glazing, millwork and cabinetry. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: INTD 200 Interior Foundations
A review of the building constructions systems and their relationship to the interior environment. Specific topics include plumbing, thermal, HVAC, electrical, communications, security and acoustics. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: INTD 200 Lighting for Interiors, INTD 311 Detailing Interiors, and INTD 131 CADD I
This course examines the codes and regulations for the built environments with emphasis on their application in commercial interiors. Students are required to determine occupancy types and loads, means of egress, compartmentalization, and a variety of fire protection systems and their locations. Students apply ADA regulations. Other major industry specific regulations are also discussed. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: INTD 200 Interior Foundations.
A continuation of CADD I. This course includes advanced CAD techniques and introduces Building Information Modeling (BIM) software for 3D modeling interior design. Students learn how to render spaces and use creative suite techniques from Photoshop and InDesign for portfolio purposes. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: INTD 131 CADD I
A survey of the history of decorative arts of western civilization concentrating on architecture, interior design and furniture from mid 1800s to 20th Century and today. Additional course fee required.
A study of the design process involved in a residential space. Students refine space planning skills and develop furniture, finishes, fabric, materials and source knowledge with respect to the residential environment. Students learn and apply residential kitchen and bath principles to projects while working on construction documentation. LEED, Life Safety, Fire, ANSI, ADA and regional building codes related to their projects will be reviewed. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: INTD 300 Space Planning and Programming. Corequisite: INTD 431 Digital Construction Documentation Lab I.
A study of the design process involved in a commercial space. Students refine space planning skills and develop furniture, finishes, fabric, materials and source knowledge with respect to the commercial environment. Students learn and apply commercial kitchen and bath principles to projects while working on construction documentation. LEED, Life Safety, Fire, ANSI, ADA, and regional building codes related to their projects will be reviewed. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: INTD 300 Space Planning and Programming. Corequisite: INTD 432 Digital Construction Documentation Lab II
To be taken alongside residential studio, students use AutoCAD to prepare a formal set of digital drawings used as documentation for a project. Corequisite: INTD 411 Residential Design Studio
To be taken alongside commercial studio, students use AutoCAD to prepare a formal set of digital drawings used as documentation for a project. Corequisite: INTD 412 Commercial Design Studio.
Students will intern with a commercial concern under the direction of a professional. The student will assume major responsibilities for planning and making arrangements for this experience in consultation with their instructor and will present a written proposal outlining such arrangements for their instructor's approval mid-way through the semester preceding enrollment. Students will meet with the instructor periodically throughout the internship.
This course focuses on the organization and preparation of a portfolio showcasing a student's creative work in preparation for employment in the field of design. Students will explore visual composition and organization, document assembly methods and various reproduction image management techniques. Computer photo editing and printing are used to a paper and digital portfolio. The implications of a professional portfolio to gain employment is emphasized. This course is the equivalent to INTD 492. Additional course fee required. Prerequisites: Art major with senior status, or by instructor permission.

Jobs, Internships and Graduate School

Interior Design majors at George Fox study at one of the West Coast's top Christian colleges

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for interior design is tracking with average growth in the broader marketplace, with a 4 percent growth expected between 2016 and 2026. With many interior designers moving toward freelance practices, the shape of the interior designer field is shifting, creating opportunities for young designers with a vision and technical ability to break into the field and achieve success.

  • Exhibiting fine artist
  • Freelance artist
  • Interior designer
  • Interior assistant
  • Draftsperson
  • Space planner
  • CADD drafter
  • Design firm assistant
  • Materials acquisition specialist
  • Design showroom consultant
  • Textile design consultant
  • Home stager
  • Kitchen/bath specialist
  • Floor plan consultant
  • Stage and set designer
  • Facilities designer
  • Home furnishings buyer
  • Occupancy planner
  • Strategic planner
  • Store planner
  • Visual display designer
  • Leasing agent specialist
  • Home stylist
  • Interior design teacher
  • Mural Project: A community mural project that included community engagement, city council presentation and production
  • Glass Project: A public works project producing glass installation for new buildings on campus
  • Tiny Home Village: Working in coordination with North Valley Friends Church to create plans and a vision for a tiny home village that offers low-income housing
  • Community Art & Design Workshop: Teaching high school students art and design
  • George App: Conceive, develop and present an app to serve students at George Fox by replacing clunky existing web systems on campus.
  • Marketing assistant at BRIC Architecture
  • Showroom coordinator at Arcadia Floors + Home
  • Sales floor associate at Nadeau Furniture Store
  • Event coordinator at Opus Agency
  • Interior designer at Pangaea Interior Design
  • Design consultant for Portland Direct Tile and Marble
  • Interior design assistant at More Décor

Student Experiences

 Lehman Pekkola (’17)

“My time at George Fox allowed for transcendence to take place – a transcendence that I hadn’t anticipated would take form, a transcendence that changed my entire perspective toward relationship, toward art, toward faith, toward the world. George Fox’s professors and peers allowed space and opportunities for me to become a better human being, which is something I’ll forever be grateful for.”

- Lehman Pekkola (’17)
Visual Artist, Pic-Time LTD

Brenna Brutscher (’16)

“The art program at George Fox taught me more about what it means to be a human. The range of human expression through visual matter is nothing short of breathtaking and has taught me new levels of what it means to truly feel and be present in life.”

- Brenna Brutscher (’16)
Arts Program Specialist, Corban University

Points of Distinction

  • Learn from accomplished faculty, all of whom continue to work professionally in the field and bring together more than 300 years of combined professional experience
  • The major shares a foundational curriculum with the studio and applied design areas of our program. As a result, students are exposed to an interdisciplinary, integrated curriculum that stresses the broad intellectual development needed for a robust design practice, whether as a team member of a larger design firm or a freelance practitioner.
  • Each semester, multiple professional interior designers are brought to campus through our visiting artist series. Students also are able to connect with regional interior resources and partners through trips to Portland and other regional centers.
  • Connections to regional businesses and institutions allow our students to work in placed internships and work with clients/commissions while still in school.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.