Study Interior Design in Boston

Interior designers use their talents and expertise to transform and enhance society. As an interior design student at Suffolk, you'll gain the knowledge and skills to influence the way people live, work, play, grow, move and bond. Innovation and creative problem solving, protection of natural resources, attention to building codes and laws and understanding human behavior all play a role in the work of an interior designer.

As a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate in interior design, you'll develop a comprehensive knowledge of design theory, history, communication and design skills, sustainable and socially-conscious design, lighting and furniture design, and code adherence and professional practices. You’ll also develop fluency in the use of 2- and 3-dimensional design software and computer hardware, which are necessary tools for the contemporary designer.

The School of Art & Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Our Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program is accredited as a Professional Level Program by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the national accrediting body for post-secondary interior design programs. Student Achievement Data

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is a minimum of 124 credits. Core degree requirements are listed in the Academic Catalog.


Major Requirements

Major Requirements: 28 courses, 88 credits 

Courses numbered 200 and above have as a prerequisite the completion of the Foundation Studies program (with the exception of Foundation Drawing II) or its equivalent. Other exceptions may be made only with the permission of the instructor and the Interior Design program director.

The letter "S" preceding a course number indicates a studio course. A studio fee is assessed for all studio courses.

For specific sequence of courses, contact your advisor or the department.
  • ADF-S101 Foundation Drawing I

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course concentrates on the traditional techniques of observational drawing. Fundamental principles and elements of drawing are introduced in structured lessons and exercises, which are supplemented by additional outside assignments. Foundation Drawing I stresses the development of visual skills as well as the broad use of drawing concepts, vocabulary, techniques and variety of materials.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADF-S102 Foundation Drawing II

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S101

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will refine the basic visual skills developed in Foundation Drawing I (ADF S101). The elements of color and mixed media are introduced to expand technical possibilities, while more intensive work with the human figure provides exposure to gesture, structure and complex form. As students begin to develop a more sophisticated and personal approach, issues of expression and interpretation will be investigated, focusing on personal style and expression.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADF-S152 3-Dimensional Design

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S151 or ADF S166

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course focuses on the fundamental elements of three-dimensional form. Line, plane and volume will be explored as students develop visual analysis and critical thinking skills in the round. The role of scale, proportion, structure, surface, light and display will be addressed, as students create forms that activate space and engage the viewer. The course will proceed from work with simple forms and techniques to more challenging and comprehensive problems addressing both additive and subtractive methods.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADF-S166 2D/Color

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This is an introductory-level course in the basic concepts and practices of two-dimensional design and color theory. The study of color and design is supportive of all studio disciplines and is vital to the understanding of all visual media. This course features an intensive, hands-on approach to color and design as students create, modify and master the three dimensions of color (hue, value, and strength) plus the principles of design(line, shape, value, composition and image). This in-depth study is essential and underlies all of the visual arts as they are practiced today. An understanding of color and design influences all artists' decisions, affecting the look, meaning and use of visual phenomena.

  • ADF-S172 Integrated Studio 2

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S101

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course builds on the Integrated Studio 1 experience: synthesizing fundamental visual ideas. IS 2 investigates the construction, documentation, and transformation of volumetric form, environmental space, and time. Projects will explore narrative strategies and the creation of immersive experiences. Students will develop critical and analytical skills while employing a range of traditional and digital media-including video/sound capture and editing-as they explore the creative boundaries of the classroom studio, the city of Boston, and virtual space.

  • ADI-S106 Interior Design Communications

    Prerequisites:

    Take ADF-S101 ADI-S108 OR ADI-S205;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Interior Design Communications teaches students how drawing media, observational drawing, perspective theory, color and design graphics can be integrated into the designer's process. In addition to exploring contrast, accent, reflection, shade and shadow, the course underscores the importance of freehand sketching as a tool to foster intellectual inquiry and convey design concepts to a wider audience. The course introduces students to manual and digital methods for composing work for conceptual expression, technical drawing presentation, and portfolio purposes.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-S108 Perspective Principles

    Prerequisites:

    Prior or concurrent drawing experience

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course introduces students to the systems of perspective developed during the Renaissance as a means of creating the illusion of 3-dimensional space on a 2-dimensional surface. Using 1-, 2-, and 3-point perspective, students will learn to effectively represent space. Basic drafting techniques and architectural scale are introduced. Both free-hand sketching and technical drawing methods will be emphasized. Manipulation of drawing through computerized scanning and digital photography included.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-S110 Digital Orthographics

    Prerequisites:

    Take ADI-S108 OR ADI-S205;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will enable the student to produce, manipulate and print 2-dimensional drawings using digital software including Computer Aided Drafting (CAD). Students will acquire the skills necessary for producing measured architectural plans, elevations and sections as well as isometric and axonometric drawing types. Fundamentals of illustrating drawings in color, light and shadow through digital programs will be introduced.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-S201 Interior Design Studio I

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S152, ADF S143, ADI S110 Prior to or concurrent with ADI 234 Take ADI S106 or ADI S205

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This studio introduces students to basic design principles, design theory and concept development. Emphasis will be placed on design process, problem solving, spatial organization, anthropometrics, universal design awareness, and presentation techniques. Students will be given a series of projects of increasing complexity, utilizing and building upon the skills developed in the Foundation courses. Students will be expected to produce process diagrams, plans, elevations, models, and finish boards.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-S202 Residential Design Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S201 AND ADF S102

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course addresses residential interior environments on a large scale. Students will develop client contact and programming skills. Emphasis will be placed on residential precedents, design process, human factors, accessibility, building codes, diagramming, spatial organization, detailing, presentation techniques, furnishings, finishes and lighting.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-221 History of Furniture & Architecture I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    The goal of this course is the enhancement of the student's critical comprehension of historic styles and the impact they have on contemporary design solutions. The survey begins with the Egyptian period and provides an overview of the history of furniture and architecture through the mid-1700s, including ancient Greece and Rome, the Gothic and Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo periods. Emphasis will be placed on chronological periods, the visual characteristics of each style including regional idiosyncrasies, and the terminology germane to a study of furniture and architecture.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ADI-222 History of Furniture & Architecture II

    Prerequisites:

    ADI 221

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A continuation of History of Furniture & Architecture I, this course will extend the investigation of furniture and architecture into the 20th century, while addressing issues concerning preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive re-use. Drawing on the vast resources of the city of Boston and its environs, students will become actively involved in stylistic progression, local living history, and the benefits of preserving our past for future generations. Field trips will include visits to restored Federal, Victorian and Contemporary venues.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ADI-234 Introduction to Interior Design Theory & Criticism

    Prerequisites:

    Taken concurrently with ADI S201

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course introduces students to the important individuals, ideas and issues that have shaped the direction of contemporary interior design practice in the twentieth century, building upon the historical foundation established by the Ideas of Western Art and History of Furniture and Architecture classes. Intermixing lectures and readings with visits to important local buildings, it discusses the influences of culture, technology, fashion and media upon the work and thinking of the first generation of modern designers, as well as emerging social, moral and environmental imperatives that will form the basis of future practice; cultural identity, interdisciplinary collaboration, sustainability and universal design.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADI-242 Interior Codes & Construction

    Prerequisites:

    Prerequisite: ADI S110 or S510.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course examines various interior construction assemblies of non-load-bearing walls, load-bearing walls, floors, stairs, elevators, fireplaces, ceilings, doors, interior windows, frames, millwork and fire-related construction. Emphasis will be placed on building codes including state, BOCA, Underwriters Laboratory, ASTM, state and federal accessibility codes and construction materials. Students will also be introduced to basic structural concepts and characteristics of structural materials.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-244 Interior Materials & Finishes

    Prerequisites:

    Intended for majors only

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Students will study the visual qualities, technical characteristics and applications of the common materials and finishes used in interior installations. These materials include floor coverings, wall coverings, textiles, ceiling and sustainable materials. Related fire, health and safety codes, as well as maintenance and life cycle costs, will be discussed. Class material will be presented in the form of lectures, guest speakers and a tour of the Boston Design Center. Students will learn to analyze, select and specify materials and finishes for the appropriate applications, write specifications, and prepare a resource notebook.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-254 Lighting

    Prerequisites:

    Prior drafting or CAD experience recommended

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course introduces students to the art and technology of lighting and explores the use of lighting as a design element in the interior environment. Class material will be presented as a series of lectures, readings and demonstrations. Students will learn to analyze interior lighting installations, calculate lighting levels for interiors, select appropriate light fixtures and prepare a lighting plan based on one of their studio projects.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-S264 Advanced Interior Design Communication

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S106 and ADI S110

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course is designed to advance and reinforce presentation techniques and graphic technical skills introduced in Interior Design Communications. Students will continue to develop their proficiency in free hand sketching, rendering and perspective, and will learn various three-dimensional rendering software and other digital imaging techniques.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-S303 Contract Design Studio I

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S102, ADI S201, ADI 242, ADI 244, ADI S264

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This commercial design studio focuses on the design of work environments. Students will develop programming and space planning skills unique to these environments through a series of small- to medium-sized projects. Emphasis will be placed on commercial precedents, programming, design process, human factors, building codes, ADA, spatial organization, detailing, presentation techniques, office furniture systems, equipment, finishes, and lighting.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-S304 Furniture and Detailing Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S201, ADI S264

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course introduces students to the design process as it applies to furniture, addressing furniture ergonomics, materials, construction techniques, manufacturing and design. Students will research selected topics, and design seating, work/service pieces and cabinetry. Emphasis will be placed on furniture precedents, research, design process, human factors, accessibility, detailing, documentation and presentation techniques.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-S305 Contract Design Studio II

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S202, ADI 221, ADI S110

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This studio focuses on adaptive re-use and renovation of commercial interiors with attention given to historical buildings in the Boston area. Emphasis on creative problem-solving methods and a philosophical approach to medium- and large-scale hospitality and retail design projects. Students will be required to incorporate the skills and knowledge gained throughout their studies to create a comprehensive project, including presentation drawings, models, material and furniture boards, and a set of construction documents and specifications.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADI-352 Environmental Systems

    Prerequisites:

    ADI 242

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course studies mechanical, electrical, and plumbing technology and systems commonly employed in residential and commercial interiors. It will introduce students to the vocabulary, concepts and basic components of these fields of engineering. This will enable students to integrate these building systems in their design work and communicate ideas effectively with project engineers and contractors. The course will include commonly used heating, ventilating, air conditioning, plumbing piping and fixtures, fire sprinklers, electrical supply and distribution, smoke detection and fire alarm systems. Related mechanical, electrical and plumbing codes will also be discussed.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-S372 Construction Documents

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S110 AND ADI S201

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Building on the curriculum of Orthogonal Drawing, this course will explore in more detail the features of CAD and BIM software. Programs will be used as tools to draft, organize, and produce a set of construction documents. Students will complete a full set of contract documents.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-384 Interiors Marketing & Contracts

    Prerequisites:

    ADI-S201; Intended for majors only

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will cover the business aspects of interior design, including firm management, client, and contractor relationships, project management, proposal writing, and market resourcing. In addition, students will be exposed to career planning practices, such as portfolio development, resume preparation and interviewing techniques. Tours of architectural and interior design firms will also be included.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-398 Senior Programming & Pre-Design

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S201, ADI S202, ADI S303, ADI S304, ADI S372

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course is designed to be the first part of the BFA Senior Studio in Interior Design. The senior ID project is intended as the culmination of the interior design studio sequence. It is an individual effort, supported by the studio faculty, that is inclusive of the entire design process from the programming phase through final design and documentation. The objective of part one, Senior Programming & Pre-Design, is for individual students to research, develop, and draft a program document which will guide their design work in part two, Senior Studio. Students will explore the possible project types and precedents, select and develop a client profile and program, and research and analyze an architectural site. Written and graphic analysis tools will be employed. The preliminary conceptual (pre-design) phase of work is also introduced.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

  • ADI-S401 Senior Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S201, ADI S202, ADI S303, ADI S304, ADI S305, ADI S372 AND ADI 398

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This studio course completes the undergraduate studio sequence in Interior Design. This final design studio emphasizes individual competence with respect to the total design process. Students will utilize the research and programming document produced in ADI 398, Senior Programming & Pre-Design, to develop a comprehensive design solution for their individual studio problem through schematics, design development, presentation drawings and specifications.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

Choose one of the following courses:

  • ADF-181 Ideas of Western Art I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course will survey the major concepts and issues of Western Art, from prehistoric to the Early Renaissance. Architecture, sculpture and paintings will be studied individually for their formal elements and visual importance, and also within their own aesthetic, historic and cultural context. Class discussion and visual analysis of works of art will encourage personal interpretation and critical thinking.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ARH-101 Art History I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A survey of the art of western civilization from prehistoric caves to the cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Works of painting, sculpture, and architecture are presented in their historical context. Course covers Egyptian, Ancient Near Eastern, Greek, Roman, early Islamic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

Choose one of the following courses:

  • ADF-182 Ideas of Western Art II

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course will survey the major concepts and issues of Western Art, from Renaissance to contemporary art. Architecture, sculpture and paintings will be studied individually for their formal elements and visual importance, and also within their own aesthetic, historic and cultural context. Class discussion and visual analysis of works of art will encourage personal interpretation and critical thinking.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ARH-102 Art History II

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A survey of the art of Europe and America from the Renaissance to the present. Works of painting, sculpture, and architecture are presented in their historical context. Course covers the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, and Post-Modernism.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

Choose one of the following courses:

  • ADI-306 Portfolio

    Prerequisites:

    Senior Status

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course teaches students how to develop a professional portfolio. Students will investigate overall development of portfolio content, substance, and design through a variety of hands-on exercises including digital and mock-up layout techniques; methods of documenting and archiving work; presentation formats; design influence investigation, and more.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-400 Interior Design Internship

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S202 and ADI S303; senior BFA standing required. This course fulfills the Expanded Classroom Requirement

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    With the assistance of the faculty advisor, each student will identify an appropriate internship site with a local interior design firm. All interns are required to complete 120 hours of work/study within the semester, working a minimum of 8 hours per week under the direction of a qualified Interior Designer. Interns are expected to contribute to the host firm at a high level of design interaction. All interns will meet bi-weekly with the faculty advisor. The classroom seminars will reinforce new skills, share learning experiences, and answer questions or concerns. A firm site visit, production of firm profile, and participation in a professional organization are required within the seminar.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Expanded Classroom Requirement

Portfolio may be taken in lieu of the Interior Design Internship ONLY if the ECR requirement and an internship waiver are fulfilled.

              Careers

              Your Professional Success is Important to Us

              For over 85 years, the New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University has prepared its graduates for success as professional artists and designers. Our alumni have worked around the globe in an impressive array of roles– exhibiting work in New York galleries, hosting design shows for HGTV, illustrating books or designing for the NBA and the NHL. We’re proud of what our alumni have achieved, and what they continue to accomplish as members of the Suffolk community. And most would agree that it’s the training that began early on in their academic careers that has fueled their professional success.

              In your very first semester as an art and design major, you’ll be immersed in class critiques and portfolio reviews where you’ll learn how to defend your ideas, build your public speaking skills, think critically and problem solve. A mastery of these skills is important no matter what profession you choose, and it’s a big part of why our graduates are in demand.

              To prepare you for the work world, we offer courses in best business practices and portfolio development. Internships are available in every program, and we maintain lists of current employment opportunities. In today’s job market, the connections that you build at Suffolk are essential. Throughout your studies our faculty will serve as your mentors, and when you join our robust alumni community they’ll become your peers, further expanding your professional network.

              Our BFA in Interior Design program prepares students for a range of employment options within the interior design profession, including commercial, residential, institutional, retail and hospitality design. Some choose to start their own business, while others work for architectural firms or as in-house designers for companies and institutions. Regardless of their professional path, the training they received at Suffolk is recognized as some of the strongest around.

              Admission

              The New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University welcomes applicants with strong academic and visual arts backgrounds. As a visual arts department within a major university, our goal is to produce well-rounded artists and designers who will be equipped with the design, communication and business skills necessary to be competitive in their respective fields.

              All application materials should be submitted directly to Suffolk University's Office of Undergraduate Admission. Please note there are additional admission criteria for applicants to The School of Art & Design.