2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Interior Design, B.F.A.

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The philosophy and mission of the Interior Design program are consistent with the university’s mission to prepare students for a life of engagement and achievement in multiple fields of endeavor.  The Interior Design Program also shares an overall philosophy with Design & Visual Art Programs .  The Design & Visual Art programs offer courses of study combining liberal and professional learning that supports the University as an educational and cultural center within the Saint Louis community.  The B.F.A. program is designed to promote creative thinking, aesthetic understanding, and technical proficiency, along with a historical perspective and a strong liberal arts core.  Program faculties share a close mentoring relationship with their students and combine pre-career advising, internships, and the cultivation of professional contacts with academic guidance.  Design is a life skill, a process that can be applied to a lifetime of decision-making.  It involves awareness, intentionality, objectivity, creativity, critical analysis, evolution, implementation, and technical skill.  Interior design is an extension of that root art and design process with a layering of the specialized knowledge of the interior professions.


The Interior Design program strives to develop ‘practice ready’ students who combine creativity and critical thinking skills through a rigorous curriculum structured to facilitate development of a diverse, creative and competitive portfolio.  We prepare students not just to enter the interior design profession, but to become contributing members of a global market with a spirit of service and commitment to sustainable and universal design practices.  Both theory and practice are components of this thorough design education which includes research and visualization methods, architectural principles, sustainable design, human factors, color, lighting, code issues, business practice, and computer technologies including digital fabrication.  All phases of the design process are addressed:  programming, schematic design, design development, construction documents and construction administration. The program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).


To provide the foundation for excellence in the interior design profession by incorporating ‘theory-based’ and ‘practice ready’ education:

  • Provoke critical and creative thinking
  • Strengthen verbal, graphic and technical skills
  • Encourage research and develop ability to analyze problems and synthesize information
  • Support service learning and community engagement (through professional and service activities)
  • Provide practical experience through internships
  • Encourage active learning
  • Communicate high expectations
  • Respect diverse talents and ways of learning

Students in the B.F.A. program must complete an intensive art and design foundation program prior to advancing into the 200-level. (See a curriculum guide for recommended sequencing)


Design & Visual Art Programs - Core Requirements

(27 credits)

Design & Visual Art Programs - General Education Requirements

(42 credits)


(3 courses)

  • Literature/Language - ENGL or Foreign Language (3)
  • Philosophy (3)
  • Humanity Elective (except ADXX courses) (3)

Social Science

(3 courses)

  • Psychology (3)
  • History or Government (3)
  • One course selected from the following disciplines: (3) 

Natural Science/Quantitative Reasoning

(2 courses)

  • Science Elective - BIOL, CHEM, ENV, PHYS, SCI  (3)
  • Math or Science Elective (3)

Electives from College of Arts and Sciences

(except courses within the major) (2 courses total)

  • Elective #1  (3)
  • Elective #2  (3)


Please Note:

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design is a professional undergraduate course of study and consists of 132 credit hours, 90 of which are in art and design foundations, interior design, art history, and art/design electives. Of the 132 credit hours required for this program, one half of the 90 credits (for the major and Design & Visual Art core combined) and the last 30 credit hours must be taken at Maryville to satisfy requirements for graduation.

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