Interior Design Major

The Department of Interior Architecture offers a major in interior design leading to a bachelor of fine arts degree. Interior design majors must declare art as their first minor, but are free to add a second minor if desired. Note: The art minor that’s part of the interior design major is technically different from the independent art minor as seen here. Students majoring in interior design should follow the minor requirements as detailed in the degree table. The department also offers a non-degree seeking concentration in pre-architecture.


The interior design major and the pre-architecture concentration students share a common curriculum for the first two years of study. These foundation courses introduce applicable theory and skills, preparing the students for a more specific design direction: interior design, interior architecture, or architecture.

Those choosing to complete their bachelor of fine arts in interior design at Samford University will engage in a curriculum sequence whose content adheres to CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation) standards. The program prepares design students to combine aesthetic values with practical needs and realities. Program graduates weigh design decisions with social, cultural, and ecological context in mind. Based on a foundation in fine art, the students utilize a holistic approach that integrates interior design with architecture; stresses the three-dimensional use of space; considers the user’s awareness and experience of space; and incorporates the necessary understanding of codes and life-safety issues.

The faculty strives to graduate professionals who use their trained aesthetic sense, technical ability, personal discernment, and communication skills to design spaces that function according to the users’ needs and improve the quality of the users’ lives. The professors work not only to communicate a passion for good design, but also to instill that passion in students.

A pre-architecture concentration is offered within the Department of Interior Architecture. This track is a two-year, non-degree plan that shares a common curriculum sequence with the interior design major. Students choosing pre-architecture, and meeting admission requirements, may transfer seamlessly into the bachelor of arts (B.A.) in architectural studies at Judson University, Elgin, Illinois, and continue into that school’s masters of architecture (M.A.), an NAAB-accredited architectural program. This is the result of collaboration between Samford and Judson, with an articulation agreement outlining such.

Pre-architecture students who choose to remain at Samford University and complete the aforementioned continuation requirements are on track to complete Samford’s bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) in interior design. These students can then pursue the masters of architecture degree program at Judson University or at other universities that offer similar programs of study.


The mission of the Department of Interior Design is to foster student learning that incorporates an holistic approach integrating design with architecture, stresses the three-dimensional use of space, considers the users’ awareness and experience of space, and instills a passion for good design that can shape and influence society.

Program Objectives+

The program provides a foundation that enables design students to:

  • Follow safe, practical standards of construction and ergonomics.
  • Plan projects and effectively communicate those plans, visually, orally, and in writing.
  • Arrange space, color, light, texture, and other elements in harmony with existing architecture and the users’ requirements.
  • Apply strong general education to responsible professional practice.
  • Work interdependently with other designers and related professionals to produce a team product.
  • Understand the clients’ needs, both stated and discerned, and create environments that function accordingly.

Interior Design Student Organization+

The Interior Design Student Organization (IDSO) provides enrichment activities, professional connections, and service opportunities to Interior Design students. Comprised of students from all grade levels, IDSO provides a variety of student organized programs and activites. IDSO works closely with professional organizations such as the International Interior Design Association and the American Society of Interior Designers to involve students in the local design community. The organization also regularly volunteers both in the community and within our own department to complete a number of service projects.


The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

Largest organization of professional interior designers in the world. Learn more

Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)

International interdisciplinary organization dedicated to improving the understanding of the relationship between people and their built and natural environments. Learn more

Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA)

Accredits interior design programs at the post secondary level in the United States and Canada. Learn more

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA)

Internationally recognized organization representing professional interior designers. Learn more

Interior Designers of Canada (IDC)

National interior design association of Canada with member associations in each of the eight provinces. Learn more

The Interior Design Educators Council, Inc. (IDEC)

Dedicated to strengthening the lines of communication among educators, institutions, and other organizations concerned with interior design. Learn more

The International Federation of Interior Designers (IFI)

Association of associations. Members are national professional associations of interior architects/interior designers representing 25 countries. Its main activities are in the areas of education, professional practice, information and communication. Learn more

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ)

Independent organization created in the public interest to establish standards for the qualification of professional interior designers. NCIDQ administers the qualifying examination that is a prerequisite for professional membership in participating design membership. Learn more

Alabama Interior Design Coalition (AIDC)

Coalition of professional interior designers focused on responsible legislation for the practice of interior design in Alabama. Learn more

View Curriculum

Senior art exhibit


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Coordinator of Arts Enrollment
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School of the Arts
(205) 726-4524

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