Exploring the World of Interior Design at SDSU

The History and Evolution of SDSU’s Interior Design Program

SDSU Interior Design Program

San Diego State University’s interior design program has come a long way since its inception in the 1970s. The program started out as a small, specialized program, aimed at training students in the art of interior design. Over the years, it has grown in size and scope, becoming one of the most respected interior design programs in the country. Today, the program offers a comprehensive curriculum that combines artistic training with technical know-how, making it a leader in the field of interior design.

The program initially started offering an interior design major in 1971, but it wasn’t until the early 1980s that the program began to take off. During this time, the program underwent a significant overhaul, with the addition of new faculty members and a focus on the technical aspects of the field. In addition, the program began to emphasize the importance of sustainability in interior design, long before it was a mainstream concept.

In the late 1990s, the program became known for its strong emphasis on computer-aided design (CAD). This allowed students to create digital models of their designs, which they could then present to clients or use to visualize the final product. With the addition of new computer labs and software, the program continued to stay ahead of the curve in terms of technology.

Today, SDSU’s interior design program continues to evolve. The current curriculum takes a holistic approach to interior design, teaching students to consider everything from the psychology of space to the role of color in design. In addition, the program emphasizes the importance of real-world experience, offering students opportunities to work on real-world projects and internships with local design firms.

One of the most exciting developments in the program is the recent introduction of the Masters of Science in Interior Design (MSID) program. This graduate-level program is aimed at students who want to take their skills to the next level, learning about advanced topics such as lighting design, acoustics, and sustainability in more detail.

The interior design program at SDSU has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Today, it stands as one of the most respected programs in the country, and its graduates are highly sought-after by design firms around the world. With its focus on technical know-how, sustainability, and computer-aided design, the program continues to stay ahead of the curve in terms of industry trends.

Curriculum and Coursework for SDSU Interior Design Students

SDSU Interior Design Curriculum and Coursework

SDSU’s Interior Design program provides a comprehensive curriculum and coursework that prepares students for successful careers in the industry. The program is designed to take four years to complete and entails 120 semester units of coursework. The program offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design.

The first two years of the program usually cover foundational courses that are essential to the field of interior design. These courses include basic art and design concepts, technical drafting skills, and computer-aided design principles. During the first year, students also learn about the history of interior design, which provides a context for the industry’s current practices. The second year focuses more on design theory and its application in residential and commercial design projects.

In the third year, students explore a range of advanced topics in the field. These courses may include advanced design principles such as lighting and acoustics, environmental psychology and sustainability, and building and construction systems. Students also learn about the professional practice of interior design, including project management, client relations, and design ethics.

The final year of the program is devoted to a capstone project that integrates all the knowledge, skills, and competencies learned in the earlier years. This project consists of a comprehensive design project that requires students to apply all the skills and competencies they have acquired throughout the program. The project is usually conducted in collaboration with a client, and students must present their final design project to a panel of judges for evaluation.

In addition to the coursework, the program encourages students to participate in internships and study abroad programs. The internships offer students the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience in a professional setting. The study abroad programs, on the other hand, expose students to different cultures, design traditions, and perspectives, and broaden their understanding of the industry. These experiential learning opportunities help students enhance their skills, build their networks, and deepen their appreciation of the field of interior design.

Overall, the curriculum and coursework for SDSU interior design students are designed to provide a rigorous and comprehensive education in the field. The program not only equips students with the technical skills and knowledge needed to excel in the field but also encourages them to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills that are essential to succeed in any profession.

Prerequisites and Requirements for Admission to SDSU’s Interior Design Program

interior design program SDSU

If you are interested in pursuing a degree in interior design at San Diego State University (SDSU), it is important to understand the prerequisites and requirements for admission to the program. SDSU is a popular choice for students interested in interior design, and the program is highly regarded for its rigorous curriculum and emphasis on hands-on experience.

Education Requirements

education requirements for SDSU interior design program

The first requirement for admission to the interior design program at SDSU is a bachelor’s degree in any field. This means that students with a degree in a related field such as architecture, art, or engineering may be considered for the program. However, students who do not have a degree in a related field may still be considered if they have completed at least 45 units of college-level coursework, including certain prerequisite courses.

The prerequisite courses required for admission to the interior design program at SDSU include:

  • ARTH 201 – Survey of Western Art History I
  • ARTH 202 – Survey of Western Art History II
  • CID 160 – Fundamentals of Interior Design
  • CID 210 – Design Materials and Specifications
  • CID 220 – Architectural Drafting for Interiors
  • CID 320 – Computer-Aided Design
  • ART 117 – Drawing I
  • ART 121 – Two-Dimensional Design
  • ART 122 – Three-Dimensional Design
  • Math 120 – Contemporary Mathematics

In addition to these courses, students must also have a GPA of at least 2.70 in all college-level coursework, and a minimum GPA of 3.00 in the prerequisite courses listed above.

Portfolio Requirements

interior design portfolio

Another important requirement for admission to the interior design program at SDSU is the submission of a portfolio. This portfolio should demonstrate the student’s knowledge and skills in the field of interior design. The portfolio should include examples of the student’s work in the following areas:

  • Freehand drawing skills
  • Rendering techniques
  • 2D and 3D design skills
  • Graphic design and presentation skills

The portfolio should also include a personal statement that explains the student’s interest in interior design and why they believe they would be a good fit for the program at SDSU. Students are encouraged to include any relevant work experience or extracurricular activities that showcase their passion for the field of interior design.

Interview Requirements

interior design interview

The final requirement for admission to the interior design program at SDSU is an interview. This interview is conducted with a faculty member from the program and provides the student with an opportunity to showcase their skills and knowledge in interior design, as well as their passion for the field.

During the interview, students may be asked questions about their portfolio, their experience in the field of interior design, and their goals for the future. The interview is also an opportunity for the student to ask questions about the program and to learn more about what to expect as a student at SDSU.

In conclusion, admission to the interior design program at SDSU requires a bachelor’s degree or 45 units of college-level coursework, including certain prerequisite courses, a portfolio that showcases the student’s knowledge and skills in the field of interior design, and an interview with a faculty member from the program. Students who are interested in pursuing a degree in interior design at SDSU should carefully review the prerequisites and requirements outlined above to ensure they meet the qualifications for admission.

Career Paths and Opportunities for Graduates of SDSU’s Interior Design Program

interior design career path

Interior design is an exciting and rapidly growing field that offers many opportunities for those with a passion for creativity. Graduates of the SDSU Interior Design program are well-suited to take on a wide range of career paths in this field.

The four-year undergraduate degree program at SDSU provides students with a strong foundation in design theory and practice, including courses in color theory, drawing, drafting, materials and finishes, lighting, space planning, and more. The program also emphasizes the importance of sustainability and the integration of technology into design practice.

As they progress through the program, SDSU students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through internships, research projects, and study abroad programs. These experiences allow them to develop a broad understanding of the design industry and to build relationships with industry professionals.

Upon graduation, SDSU Interior Design alumni are prepared to pursue a range of exciting career paths, including:

interior designer

Interior Designer

Interior designers work with individual and corporate clients to create functional and aesthetically pleasing living and working spaces. They collaborate with architects, contractors, and other professionals to create designs that meet the needs and preferences of their clients. Interior designers must have excellent communication skills, a keen sense of style, and a strong understanding of design principles.


Interior Decorator

Interior decorators focus primarily on the aesthetics of a space, working with clients to select colors, fabrics, furniture, and accessories that create a desired mood or ambiance. They may also assist with the selection of lighting, artwork, and other decorative elements. Interior decorators must be skilled in visual communication and have an eye for detail.

home stager

Home Stager

Home stagers prepare homes for sale by arranging furniture, lighting, and decor to create an inviting and appealing environment. They may also provide advice on repairs or other improvements that can increase the value of a home. Home stagers must have strong organizational skills and be able to work well under deadlines and pressure.

product designer

Product Designer

Product designers create designs for a wide range of consumer products, from furniture and lighting to accessories and appliances. They must be skilled in both aesthetic and functional design and may work with manufacturers, engineers, and marketing professionals to bring their designs to market. Product designers must be highly detail-oriented and able to work within technical specifications and regulations.

These are just a few examples of the many career paths available to graduates of the SDSU Interior Design program. Other potential paths include residential and commercial design, hospitality design, and set design for theater, film, and television.

The opportunities for interior designers are growing rapidly with the need for impressive and sustainable spaces. Graduates from SDSU’s Interior Design program are in an excellent position to enter into these exciting career paths and to make a meaningful contribution to the design industry.

The Impact of Technology on SDSU’s Interior Design Curriculum and Student Experience

SDSU Interior Design Technology

Technology has had a significant impact on interior design over the years, particularly in terms of creating innovative and functional spaces. At San Diego State University (SDSU), technology has become an increasingly important component of the interior design curriculum and student experience.

The interior design program at SDSU integrates technology in many ways, including software and hardware tools that students can use to create and manipulate designs. Computer-aided design (CAD) software, which is used to create digital models of interiors and furniture, has become a standard tool for interior designers. SDSU students learn how to navigate various CAD programs like AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, and Rhino to produce drawings and 3D models that can help clients visualize interior spaces and furniture designs.

In addition to CAD software, SDSU interior design students have access to a range of resources, including virtual reality (VR) headsets and augmented reality (AR) software. These tools allow students to visualize their designs in real-time and make changes on the spot. For example, a student can wear a VR headset and “walk through” a digital model of a room, identifying issues and making necessary adjustments. With AR software, a student can overlay digital images onto real-life objects or spaces, allowing them to see how materials or furniture will look in a real-world context.

SDSU Interior Design Tools

Technology has also impacted the way students collaborate with colleagues and instructors. SDSU interior design students use online communication and collaboration tools, such as Google Docs and Zoom, to share ideas, provide feedback, and work on projects together. These tools have become particularly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, as remote learning has become the norm. Online platforms have allowed students to continue working on projects and communicating with each other and instructors despite being physically separated.

Overall, the integration of technology into the SDSU interior design curriculum has had a positive impact on the student experience. Students can experiment with different materials, colors, and designs without having to purchase physical materials or build full-scale models. The use of CAD software, VR headsets, and AR software has allowed for more efficient and effective design processes, allowing students to create better designs in less time. Additionally, online collaboration tools have made it easier for students to work together and communicate with their instructors, regardless of their location.

The impact of technology on interior design is only going to continue to grow. SDSU’s interior design program is at the forefront of this technological revolution, providing students with the skills and tools they need to succeed in a rapidly evolving industry.

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