B.F.A. Interior Design

Build a career creating inspiring interiors for commercial and residential spaces.
Degree Type Bachelor of Fine Arts
CAREERS & SALARIES Career Outcomes
Delivery On Campus

UW-Stout's Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Interior Design blends fine art, design and technical disciplines to prepare you for a career creating meaningful, life-enhancing and safe interior environments. Our program provides a learning environment that fosters creativity and collaboration between art, design and technical disciplines. You will develop the sensibilities, techniques, and methods related to residential and commercial space planning, lighting design, sustainable design, construction documentation, and to collaborate with architects and construction professionals.

You’ll study art and architecture while practicing lighting design, sustainable design, managing budgets and materials specifications. / UW-Stout

Career-Defining Curriculum

At UW-Stout, we offer a strong and comprehensive curriculum taught by expert, experienced faculty. Students in this program are interested in art and architecture as well as in interior design. Course work includes preparation for:

  • Professional best practices
  • Materials specifications
  • Budgets and contracts
  • Lighting systems
  • Historical and theoretical  considerations
  • Human factors
  • Presentation and communication skills

Program Overview

Review the program's plan, credit requirements, and course descriptions.


Note: The UW-Stout curriculum meets the educational requirements for voluntary licensure in Wisconsin and is believed to meet educational requirements in all other U.S. states and territories that offer licensure/certification/registration--although there may be additional requirements related to work experience, continuing education, and external examination.

Employment as an interior designer does not require licensure--except in some locations (Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico where our program meets educational requirements for licensure) and in some circumstances (such as working in a code-based commercial environment in certain states). Visit our website for additional information.


The Interior Design program will prepare you for a career in interior design that encompasses residential and commercial space planning, lighting design, research, construction documentation and sustainable design.

It is the integration of knowledge accumulated through studies in general education, technology, art and design that prepare interior design students to create meaningful, safe and life-enhancing interior environments that contribute to the cultural, social and environmental well-being of society. Interior designers are responsible for budgets, materials specifications, contract documents and lighting systems within interior design projects, and they often work collaboratively with architects and construction professionals.

Use the Request Information form to receive a program summary and learn more about the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design.

Request Information

B.S. Game Design & Development-Art is NASAD accredited.

The B.F.A. Interior Design program provides a specialized education and is accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design.

B.F.A. Interior Design is CIDA Accredited.

The B.F.A. in Interior Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (www.accredit-id.org 206 Grandville Avenue, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503) and prepares students for entry-level interior design practice, for advanced study, and to apply for membership in professional interior design organizations. The B.F.A. Interior Design granted by the University of Wisconsin-Stout meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam). For more information about NCIDQ Exam eligibility visit: https://www.cidq.org/eligibility-requirements.

CIDA Program Eligibility Compliance Information

Through theory, practice and history you will gain creative and critical thinking skills to successfully problem-solve in the interior design field.

"Stout was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I met some of my best friends, had the most amazing educators, tons of fun, and of course, received a quality education."

-- McKenna Heck
B.F.A. Interior Design

Student Gallery

Our students gain experience working on real world projects with a unique combination of concept and technical skills.

Mission & Philosophy

The mission of the B.F.A. in Interior Design is to provide a positive and dynamic learning environment that fosters creativity, design thinking and collaboration. It is the integration of knowledge accumulated through studies in design, art, the humanities, technology, aesthetics, and design theory that prepares the interior design student to skillfully create meaningful, safe, and human-centered interior environments that contribute to the cultural, social and environmental well-being of society. It is our goal, through academic rigor and carefully constructed curriculum, to educate the future leaders in the interior design industry. Project based and hands on learning are at the core of the educational experience, which aligns with The University of Stout’s Polytechnic values. 

The philosophy of the B.F.A. in Interior Design is “to educate professional interior designers through theory, practice and history; to develop articulate practitioners and advocates; to maintain curriculum, programs and technologies relevant to current directions in society as well as interior design education and research; and to enrich the learning environment and community through sensitivity to social, environmental and cultural issues."  

Our Goals & Enduring Values

The goals of the B.F.A. in Interior Design:  

• to nurture thoughtful, independent, and creative thinkers.  
• to promote an interactive studio culture where students explore innovative design solutions, both independently and collaboratively.  
• to educate future professional interior designers through theory, practice, research, and history.  
• to teach relevant curriculum in support of our accreditation.  
• to develop articulate practitioners and advocates with sensitivity to social, environmental, and cultural issues.  
• to prepare successful communicators in speaking, writing, and graphic methods and technical systems.  
• to establish and maintain industry connections and relationships. 

The enduring values of the B.F.A. in Interior Design:

• Student-focused 
• Respect, compassion, and empathy 
• Function and safety  
• Beauty and meaning  
• Sustainability and stewardship  
• Community and inclusivity  
• Health and well-being  
• Ethics and professional integrity  
• Evidence-based and conceptual design  
• Purposeful problem solving  
• Lifelong learning 

B.F.A. Admissions Requirements

New First-Year Students

Students admitted as Pre-Bachelor of Fine Arts (Pre-BFA) students will join an exciting community of first-year art and design students with classes and events geared towards preparing you for a successful application to the intended BFA program. 

As a student accepted into one of the six BFA programs, please be aware of the following:

  • You will be required to submit a portfolio in the spring semester of your freshman year to apply for acceptance into the intended BFA program. Portfolios will be evaluated by School of Art and Design faculty. Through your first-year experience, you will be given the tools and skills required to prepare and submit the portfolio, and the necessary support to navigate the application process.

Transfer Students

  • All transfer students will be admitted as a Pre-Bachelor of Fine Arts (Pre-BFA) student.  Upon acceptance information will be provided on how to submit a portfolio and essay to be reviewed by a committee of School of Art & Design faculty, who will determine direct admissions into the BFA major of your choice. 
  • Priority Deadlines: 
    • Spring Admission: October 1 at 9 a.m. CST  
    • Fall Admission: March 1 at 9 a.m. CST
  • Submissions may be made after the priority date; however, there is no guarantee when it will be reviewed for a decision nor what art-specific coursework you may be able to get into after the review is completed and whether or not registration for the next semester has begun.  There is a $10 application fee assessed at the time you electronically submit your portfolio.

Transfer students are considered for both fall and spring. This includes portfolio and essay submission by the priority deadline. Students applying for one of the BFA programs will remain admitted as a "Pre-BFA" student if you: 

  • do not submit a portfolio/essay 
  • apply after the BFA program has closed 
  • are not approved for the BFA program after submission of a portfolio/essay. 

You may then apply for a change of major in subsequent semesters, depending upon available openings in the program. If needed, BFA Foundations courses will be available to "Pre-BFA" students pending seat availability. 



Upon completion of the BFA in Interior Design, graduates will be able to:

  1. Understand the collaborative, multidisciplinary nature of design through exposure to faculty and students from multiple design disciplines.
  2. Define, understand, and identify the elements and principles of art and design and apply them to a variety of design solutions.
  3. Understand, analyze, and integrate the history of art, design, and architecture within a cultural and aesthetic context.
  4. Communicate successfully using various means including speaking, writing, and graphic communication including the discipline-specific communication of technical information.
  5. Apply design solutions in relation to various social, behavioral, and cultural factors.
  6. Apply concepts and issues related to safe, socially responsible design and sustainable design practice, to include an understanding of regulations, codes, and guidelines for safety, sustainability, and accessibility.
  7. Understand and utilize various building systems, construction methods, equipment, and materials.
  8. Apply methods and theory (best practices) through all research and development phases of the design process.
  9. Understand, identify, and specify a variety of furnishings, fixtures, finishes, materials, processes, and techniques related to the built environment.
  10. Understand and apply standards of practice for the interior design profession including ethics, professional development, and various business models.
Interior Design Careers


  • Residential Interior Designer
  • Office/Corporate Interior Designer
  • Space Planner
  • Retail Designer Interior Designer 
  • Sustainability Specialist
  • Hospitality Interior Design
  • Health Care Interior Design


  • BWBR Architects
  • Target Corporation
  • Nordeen Design Group
  • Cedar Corporation
  • Fenson Construction, LLC
  • MS&R Architecture & Interior Design
  • 20 Below Studio
  • HDR
  • Walsh Design Group 
Program Advisory Committee

Program Advisory Committee

Erik EvensenProfessorDepartment of Design
JenniferAstwood Associate ProfessorDepartment of Design
BenPrattMID, ProfessorDepartment of Design
NoahNortonAssociate ProfessorDepartment of Design (in adsentia)
DaveRichter-O'ConnellVisiting Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Design
DevinBergAssociate Professor; Program DirectorDepartment of Engineering and Techology; Mechanical Engineering
MichaelHammond   *00Design ManagerTrek
AmeliaKennedyDesign Manager3D Design Studio - Target
MichaelLeighton   *02Senior Design Manager3M
KatieThompson   *07Design ManagerQBP
SheriMarnellProgram Director + LecturerCSTEMM, , Apparel Design + Development and Business Programs
Logan Ernster    *15DesignerP-Soup
CalebToftPresident IDSA Student Chapter
MattBentleyVice-President IDSA Student Chapter
Professional Licensure Requirements

This program is designed to meet educational requirements for licensure/certification in the state of Wisconsin. Professional licensure/certification prerequisites vary from state to state, and we are not able to determine whether our program meets prerequisites in other states. If you intend to work in another state, contact that state's regulatory authority to determine if our program will meet the licensure/certification requirements, and contact the UW-Stout Program Director for assistance. Please see the following website for additional information.

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