Exploring the World-Class Interior Design Program at Boise State University

Boise State’s Interior Design Program Overview

Boise State's Interior Design Program Overview

Boise State University’s interior design program has a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for a professional career in the field. The program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and is one of only two accredited programs in the state of Idaho. It is housed in the College of Innovation and Design, which offers state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technology for students to utilize in their coursework.

The interior design program at Boise State is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in design theory, as well as hands-on experience in the field. The program is multidisciplinary, incorporating aspects of psychology, communication, and environmental design to develop well-rounded design professionals. Coursework covers topics such as space planning, drafting, materials and finishes, lighting, and sustainability. Students also gain proficiency in software commonly used in the industry, including AutoCAD, REVIT, and SketchUp.

One unique aspect of the interior design program at Boise State is its emphasis on sustainability. The program integrates environmentally responsible design practices into its curriculum, teaching students to consider the lifecycle of materials, energy efficiency, and other eco-friendly design solutions.

Another strength of the interior design program is its close ties to the professional design community. Students have opportunities to collaborate with local firms and organizations on real-world projects and gain exposure to the industry through guest speakers, workshops, and field trips. The program also offers an internship program, which allows students to gain valuable work experience and make connections in the field.

Graduates of the interior design program at Boise State are well-prepared to tackle the challenges of the industry and excel in a variety of roles, including residential and commercial design, hospitality design, healthcare design, and more. The program boasts a strong job placement rate, with many graduates going on to work at top firms both locally and nationally.

In addition to its academic offerings, the interior design program at Boise State offers a variety of resources and opportunities for students to enhance their education and get involved on campus. The program has a student chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), which provides networking opportunities, community service projects, and other events and activities. There are also scholarships and awards available to interior design students, as well as a design library and materials lab.

Overall, Boise State’s interior design program is a comprehensive and reputable program that provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field. With its focus on sustainability, strong ties to the professional design community, and range of resources and opportunities, the program is an excellent choice for students looking to pursue a career in interior design.

Curriculum and Courses Offered for Interior Design Students

Boise State Interior Design

Boise State University’s Interior Design program offers a variety of courses that prepare students to become professional interior designers. The program’s curriculum focuses on teaching students the essential skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the field of interior design. Students in the program engage in a wide range of design studies aimed to develop their creativity, critical thinking, and visual communication skills.

Design Fundamentals

The first year of the Boise State University Interior Design program is all about equipping students with fundamental design principles. This year is divided into two semesters. During the first semester, students learn the basic principles of design, color theory, and drawing techniques. The second semester focuses on Space Planning, Construction Documentation, and Materials and Methods of Construction.

Design Fundamentals also introduces students to various software tools such as REVIT and Sketchup that help them create 3D models of their designs. Hands-on learning experiences in the classroom are combined with field trips to architectural firms and design studios to give students a broad perspective of interior design.

Design Studios

Design Studio

Design studios are the heart of the Boise State University’s Interior Design program. Students engage with their peers, participating in group projects and honing their design skills with the guidance of experienced professors. The core design studio courses include Design 1, 2, and 3.

In the second-year, the focus shifts towards Sustainable Design, Fabric Selection, and Graphic Communication courses, where students learn about the sustainability of the materials and products they use in their designs. Students also take advanced graphic design courses such as Rendering, Image Manipulation, and Web Design to help them communicate their design ideas effectively.

The third year of the program offers courses that introduce students to Model Making, Lighting Design, and Special Topics in Interior Design as they deepen their knowledge of the field.

Internships and Professional Practice

Interior Designers working

The 4th-year of the Boise State University Interior Design program provides students with practical, hands-on experience. Students are encouraged to intern with renowned design firms and studios to gain professional experience to build their resumes. The final year of the program is capped by the Senior Capstone Project, where students develop and present their bodies of work.

In summary, the Boise State University Interior Design program offers a robust curriculum, equipping students with the essential skills and knowledge to become professional interior designers. From Design Fundamentals to Design Studios and Internships programs, students engage in a comprehensive and immersive learning experience.

Extracurricular Activities for Boise State Interior Design Students

Boise State Interior Design Students

Boise State University offers a diverse range of activities for its interior design students. These extracurricular activities help students develop their design skills, gain real-world experience, and meet other like-minded individuals. Participating in extracurricular activities can also improve a student’s resume, making them a more competitive candidate in the job market.

1. Interior Design Club

Interior Design Club

The Interior Design Club is a student-run organization that aims to promote, encourage, and empower interior design students. The club provides opportunities for members to network, gain inspiration, attend industry events, and participate in design competitions. This organization also invites guest speakers to share their experiences, knowledge, and expertise with students. The Interior Design Club is an excellent way for students to connect with other designers and learn more about their profession outside of the classroom.

2. Internship and Career Fair

Internship and Career Fair

Boise State University holds an annual Internship and Career Fair that is open to all students. This event provides students with the opportunity to meet with potential employers, learn about career opportunities, and network with industry professionals. The fair is an excellent way for students to explore different career paths and see what kind of jobs are available in their field of study. Attending this fair can also provide students with valuable insight into what employers are looking for in job applicants.

3. Study Abroad Programs

Study Abroad Programs

Boise State University offers several study abroad programs for interior design students. Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience that helps students develop their design skills, gain cultural awareness, and expand their knowledge of global design trends. Studying abroad allows students to see how design is approached differently in other parts of the world and can provide them with unique perspectives that they may not gain while studying in the United States. Additionally, studying abroad can be an impressive addition to a student’s resume and can help them stand out to potential employers.


Boise State University offers several extracurricular activities that are designed to support and enhance the academic experience of interior design students. Participating in these activities can help students develop their skills, gain real-world experience, and build their professional network. Extracurricular activities like these can also make a student’s resume more competitive, potentially leading to more job opportunities upon graduation. The university’s commitment to providing these opportunities shows its dedication to preparing its students for success in their field of study.

Job Opportunities for Boise State Interior Design Graduates

Boise State Interior Design Graduates Jobs

Boise State University offers a diverse range of job opportunities for interior design graduates across different fields and industries that require the skill set and training of interior designers. Graduates can work as independent contractors, freelance designers, or join design firms, corporations, or government agencies. Interior design graduates can build a solid career path in different specializations based on their passion, interests, and skills.

Residential Design

One of the most popular specializations for interior design graduates is residential design. Residential designers work with homeowners or real estate developers to design, plan, and implement interior spaces in homes, apartments, and villas. Residential designers can work as freelancers or join design firms that offer residential design services.

Commercial Design

Commercial designers specialize in designing interior spaces for business and commercial establishments such as hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and offices. They work closely with clients to develop designs that meet their needs and express their brand’s values. Graduates can work with design firms, architecture firms, or work as independent contractors providing commercial design services.

Government Agencies

Interior design graduates can work with government agencies such as city planning departments, historic preservation agencies, or public facilities departments. Graduates can work on designing public spaces like museums, libraries, or community centers that enrich the community’s social and cultural life.

Educational Institutions

Interior design graduates can work with educational institutions such as public and private schools, universities, or training centers. They can work as interior design instructors, help design educational spaces to aid student’s learning experience, and work on research and development initiatives to improve educational spaces’ functionality and design.

Freelance Design

Interior design graduates can opt for freelance design services, providing their services on a project basis. Freelance designers have the flexibility to work with different clients, industries, and projects, working remotely or on-site. Freelancing is an excellent option for graduates seeking work-life balance, creative freedom, and control over their work schedule.

Other Opportunities

Interior design graduates have transferable skills that can be applicable to various fields and industries. Graduates can work with manufacturers in the furniture industry or materials industry, providing design expertise. Graduates can also work in research and development departments to design and test new products and materials. Other employment opportunities include working with interior design magazines, television programming, or working with professional organizations to provide workshops, seminars, or consulting services.

In conclusion, a degree in interior design from Boise State University opens up various job opportunities for graduates. Graduates can work in different industries, fields, and specializations based on their interests and passions. The skills and knowledge gained through the Boise State University interior design program prepare students to join the workforce and contribute to the design industry.

Success Stories of Boise State Interior Design Alumni

Boise State Interior Design Alumni

Boise State University has produced successful alumni in the field of interior design. These graduates have pursued various career paths and have achieved great success in their respective industries. Here are five success stories of Boise State Interior Design alumni.

Katie Swenson

Katie Swenson

Katie Swenson graduated from Boise State University’s interior design program in 2007. After graduation, she started working at HGA Architects and Engineers where she became a senior interior designer. Swenson’s talent and dedication landed her the opportunity to work on several high-profile projects such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ San Francisco Medical Center, the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, and the Mayo Clinic’s Destination Medical Center project in Rochester, Minnesota.

Jessica Davis

Jessica Davis

Jessica Davis is a successful interior designer and owner of JL Design & Interiors in Boise, Idaho. She earned her interior design degree from Boise State University in 2009. Davis started her career working at a local architecture firm before launching her own design firm. Her creative vision and exceptional work have earned her various accolades, including being named one of Idaho Business Review’s 40 Under 40.

Mike Strickland

Mike Strickland

Mike Strickland is a commercial interior designer who has spent over two decades in the industry. He graduated from Boise State University’s interior design program in 1994. Strickland’s portfolio includes various healthcare, hospitality, and corporate spaces that he has designed over the years. He is a founding partner of CSHQA, a full-service architecture and engineering firm in Boise. Under his leadership, the firm’s interior design team has been recognized with multiple awards.

Kate Healy

Kate Healy

Kate Healy is a successful interior designer who received her degree from Boise State University in 2004. She started her career working for a small residential design firm before moving to Los Angeles to work for one of the largest firms in the city. Healy’s passion for interior design led her to start her own firm, KHealy Design, in 2012. Her work has been featured in various magazines and she has completed projects for high-profile clients such as actor Ashton Kutcher.

Tom Davenport

Tom Davenport

Tom Davenport is a successful interior designer who graduated from Boise State University’s interior design program in 1994. He started his career working for a large architecture firm in New York City before moving to Idaho in 1997 to start his own design firm, Davenport Designs. His firm specializes in designing commercial spaces that are beautiful, functional and sustainable. His projects include the St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center, Scentsy’s corporate headquarters and the Power Engineers headquarters.

Boise State University’s interior design program has produced many successful alumni over the years. These graduates have proven that the skills and knowledge they acquired from their education have prepared and equipped them to excel in the interior design industry. Their success serves as an inspiration and motivation for current and future Boise State interior design students.

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