• Interior Design
    Classes in MTSU's accredited program open the door to success
  • Interior Design
    Many elements go into creating safe and comfortable spaces
  • Interior Design
    Interior Design students benefit from discussion give and take
  • Interior Design
    One-on-one learning is part of the MTSU experience

Interior Design

Want to learn how to turn your passion for creative design into a career? When you are in a space, do you take notice of your surroundings and immediately think of ways to make it better? The interior design program at MTSU offers the skills and knowledge you need to connect people to the spaces where they live, work, learn, and play. Interior designers are trained to create residential and commercial spaces that protect and enhance the health, safety, welfare, and well-being of the public. From proper lighting to ergonomics, studying Interior Design can open up a world of opportunities for those with creative minds.

There are countless opportunities within the world of interior design

‘Priceless guidance' from faculty members

Alumna Mary Vongsaga (2011),facilities management and construction project coordinator for AmSurg Corp., Nashville, says the Interior Design program at MTSU exposes students to many facets of the field. “I've come to realize that there are countless opportunities within the world of interior design, and every craft learned within the program is used in varying extents, including space planning, project management, and being familiar with egress plans and building codes,” she says. Faculty members provided “priceless guidance,” as well as instilled values “which I continue to use in my career,” Vongsaga says. 

Cathy Whitlock speaks about how interior design influences movie stage and set designs

Tapping into real world interior design

Interior Design is all about hands-on, interactive, experiential learning. Fall 2012 guest lecturer Cathy Whitlock spoke to students and faculty about how interior design influences movie and stage set designs. Whitlock, a nationally known interior designer and author who writes for The Huffington Post, is an example of the real world expertise to which students are exposed. MTSU's proximity to Nashville's progressive design connections provides students with information on opportunities in residential, healthcare, hospitality, office, and government interior design jobs.

A degree in Interior Design can lead to a variety of jobs. Interior designers work in an array of environments, including architecture and builder/contractor firms, department and specialty stores, large corporate and government organizations, and manufacturing companies. Examples of careers include 

  • Buyer
  • CADD operator/draftsperson
  • Finish/furnishings specifier
  • Installation supervisor
  • Manufacturer's representative
  • Product designer
  • Programmer or needs assessor
  • Project designer/manager
  • Resource librarian
  • Salesperson
  • Showroom display designer
  • Space planner


Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • AmSurg
  • A to Z Office Resource
  • Binkley Garcia Architects & Interior Design
  • Bob Parks Realty
  • Connie Long Interiors
  • Direct Buy
  • ESa, Earl Swensson Associates, Inc.
  • Foyers and Beyond
  • Gresham Smith and Partners
  • Gould Turner Group
  • Hermitage Lighting
  • Hunter Homes, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Inner Design Studio
  • Kaatz Binkley Jones & Morris Architects
  • Life Centers of America
  • Macy's, Green Hills (visual display and design)
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • ProSource
  • National Health Care
  • R. Higgins Interiors
  • Synergy Business Environments
  • Traditions in Tile
  • The Peddler

Deborah Belcher
Department Chair
deborah.belcher@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Janis Brickey
Associate Professor
janis.brickey@mtsu.edu

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Sharon Coleman
Professor
sharon.coleman@mtsu.edu

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Dana Miller
Professor
dana.miller@mtsu.edu

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MTSU offers a four-year Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Interior Design. The program has been accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) since 1997. Students are provided with core knowledge that will support them on their path to becoming licensed professional interior designers.

Other majors in the Department of Human Sciences leading to a B.S. are Family and Consumer Studies with two concentrations: Child Development and Family Studies and Family and Consumer Science Education; Nutrition and Food Science, which has a concentration in Dietetics; and Textile, Merchandising, and Design with two concentrations: Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising. 

Undergraduate minors include Nutrition and Food Sciences; Textiles, Merchandise, and Design; and Human Sciences.

The sample schedule below is based on the current undergraduate catalog. It is not a substitute for academic advisement. Contact your advisor if you have any questions about scheduling or about your degree requirements or consult the undergraduate catalog (catalog.mtsu.edu) for a complete list of requirements and electives.

You may choose to attend a summer term to reduce your load during fall or spring terms but still stay on track to graduate in four years. (Refer to the scholarships website for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.)

NOTE: Learning Support courses will alter the sequences on this map. Missing milestones could delay your program.

Interior Design Academic Map

Department of Human Sciences
Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro


Suggested Fall/Spring and Summer/Fall/Spring Four-Year Schedule

Click here for printer friendly academic map.

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  ENGL 1020 (Comm)3 
Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3 
HSC 1010 (IDES majors)1  Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4 
Nat Sci (Rubric 1)4  ART 1910 or ART 1920 (Hum/FA)3 
MATH (Math)3  COMM 2200 (Comm)3 
SUBTOTAL14  SUBTOTAL16Submit IDES Prof. Seq. App. by March 15; see advisor
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
IDES 27003  IDES 37103 
IDES 27103  IDES 36003 
IDES 47003  IDES 37503 
TXMD 2180/21813  IDES 37203 
ART 16203Must earn C- or higher IDES 47103 
SUBTOTAL15Maintain 2.50 GPA SUBTOTAL15Maintain 2.50 GPA
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
IDES 37003  IDES 47403 
IDES 37303  IDES 47503 
IDES 37603  IDES 37403 
CDFS 3330, NFS 1240, or HSC 44303  IDES 37703 
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  ART 1910, ART 1920, or ART 19303 
SUBTOTAL15Submit UD and Intent to Graduate forms SUBTOTAL15Maintain 2.50 GPA
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
IDES 47303  IDES 47603 
IDES 47803  IDES 47703 
IDES 47903  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3 
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
CDFS 33203  MKT 38203 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15Maintain 2.50 GPA
NOTE: Students must attain a minimum grade of C (2.00) in all prerequisite, General Education, and Interior Design courses and 2.50 GPA overall.

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  ENGL 1020 (Comm)3 
Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3 
HSC 1010 (IDES majors)1  Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4 
Nat Sci (Rubric 1)4  ART 1910 or ART 1920 (Hum/FA)3 
MATH (Math)3    Submit IDES Prof. Seq. App. by March 15; see advisor
SUBTOTAL14  SUBTOTAL13 
SOPHOMORE SUMMER
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  ART 16203Must earn C- or higher
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
IDES 27003  IDES 37103 
IDES 27103  IDES 36003 
IDES 47003  IDES 37503 
TXMD 2180/21813  IDES 37203 
    IDES 47103 
SUBTOTAL12Maintain 2.50 GPA SUBTOTAL15Maintain 2.50 GPA
JUNIOR SUMMER
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
SUBTOTAL3Maintain 2.50 GPA SUBTOTAL3Maintain 2.50 GPA
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
IDES 37003  IDES 47403 
IDES 37303  IDES 47503 
IDES 37603  IDES 37403 
CDFS 3330, NFS 1240,or HSC 44303  IDES 37703 
SUBTOTAL12Submit UD and Intent to Graduate forms SUBTOTAL12 
SENIOR SUMMER
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3 
SUBTOTAL3Maintain 2.50 GPA SUBTOTAL3Maintain 2.50 GPA
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
IDES 47303  IDES 47603 
IDES 47803  IDES 47703 
IDES 47903  ART 1910, ART 1920, or ART 19303 
CDFS 33203  MKT 38203 
SUBTOTAL12Maintain 2.50 GPA SUBTOTAL12 
NOTE: Students must attain a minimum grade of C (2.00) in all prerequisite, General Education, and Interior Design courses and 2.50 GPA overall.

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

Graduation information may be accessed here.

Interior Design

IDES 2700 - Interior Design Fundamentals
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing; admission to IDES professional course sequence.  IDES 2700 and IDES 2710 must be taken during the same semester. Explores elements and principles of design with emphasis on the impact on the built environment. Five contact hours per week. 

IDES 2710 - Interior Design Graphics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing; admission to IDES professional course sequence. IDES 2700 and IDES 2710 must be taken during same semester. Drafting techniques and media commonly used in interior design. Will include orthographic, isometric, axonometric, and oblique drawings, graphic symbols, and entourage. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 2930 - Cooperative Education
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Experiential learning that occurs in real employment situations. Must be taken in sequence or approved by the IDES coop coordinator.

IDES 2940 - Cooperative Education
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Experiential learning that occurs in real employment situations. Must be taken in sequence or approved by the IDES coop coordinator.

IDES 3600 - House Design
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 2700 and IDES 2710; must be taken concurrently with IDES 3750. Typical house construction methods. Emphasis on the organization and documentation of interior space, light frame construction methods and materials, structure, and systems derived from human needs and activities. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 3700 - Interior Design Visual Presentations I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3600; IDES 3720; ART 1620. Corequisite: IDES 3730. Interior rendering techniques, perspective drawing, sketching, and operation and care of equipment necessary in the effective communication of design solutions. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 3710 - Principles of Interior Design
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 2700 and IDES 2710. Basic principles, theories, and procedures involved in creative problem solving. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 3720 - Interior Materials and Finishes
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 2700 and IDES 2710. Materials and finishes used in the treatment of interior space to be examined in terms of properties, specifications, installation, and manufacturers.

IDES 3730 - Residential Design I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3710, IDES 3720, and IDES 3600. Corequisite: IDES 3700. Analysis and organization of components, materials, and space relative to human scale and habitability. Influence factors of architecture, function, and economics on the design of interior environment. Emphasis on the data gathering and space planning. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 3740 - Interior Design Business Practices
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3600, IDES 3700, and IDES 3720. Must be taken concurrently with IDES 4740 and IDES 4750. Business practices, ethics, accessibility, building, fire, and life safety codes as applied to the interior design profession.

IDES 3750 - Interior Design Visual Presentations II
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 2700, IDES 2710; corequisite: IDES 3600. Presentation techniques using computer-aided drafting as applied to the interior design profession. Emphasis on 2-dimensional drawings. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 3760 - Interior Design Visual Presentations III
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3710, IDES 3720, and IDES 3750. Presentation techniques using computer-aided drafting as applied to the interior design profession. Emphasis on 3-dimensional drawings and customizing techniques. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 3770 - Advanced Computer Applications in Interior Design
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3760. Computer applications used in creating interior design presentations. Emphasis on rendering and illustration. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 3970 - Cooperative Education
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Experiential learning that occurs in real employment situations. Must be taken in sequence or approved by the IDES coop coordinator.

IDES 3980 - Cooperative Education
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Experiential learning that occurs in real employment situations. Must be taken in sequence or approved by the IDES coop coordinator.

IDES 4620 - House Furnishings
3 credit hours
Design principles; space planning; materials; furniture styles, selection, and buying. Four contact hours per week. Not accepted for credit toward Interior Design major.

IDES 4700 - History of Interiors
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Junior standing. Historic interiors: survey, analysis, and applications. Emphasis on major design characteristics of interior architectural and furnishing styles.

IDES 4710 - Survey of Contemporary Interior Design
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDES 4700. Survey of the development of contemporary interiors from the nineteenth century to the present with consideration given to style characteristics, cultural influences, designers, and relationships among styles.

IDES 4730 - Residential Design II
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3730, IDES 3760, IDES 3770, IDES 4740, and IDES 4750. Corequisites: IDES 4780 and IDES 4790. Advanced studio experiences in residential interiors. Emphasis on designing for special populations, sustainable design, and multicultural influences. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 4740 - Lighting Design
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3700, IDES 3730, and IDES 3760. Corequisites: IDES 3740 and IDES 4750. Principles, terminology, design requirements, and equipment for general and decorative illumination as utilized in the interior environment. Methods of light generation, control, product analysis, selection, and specification. Four contact hours per week.

IDES 4750 - Introduction to Commercial Design
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3700, IDES 3730,and IDES 3760; corequisites: IDES 3740 and IDES 4740. Introduction to the issues and scope of the commercial interior design field; utilization of resources, human factors and client needs in planning and developing design solutions for office spaces. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 4760 - Contract Design I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3740, IDES 4730, IDES 4780, and IDES 4790; corequisite: IDES 4770. Specific human and physical needs encountered in the total design of interiors of a public nature. Emphasis on health care and institutional spaces. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 4770 - Contract Design II
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDES 3740, IDES 4730, IDES 4780, and IDES 4790; corequisite: IDES 4760. Advanced studio experience in contract design. Emphasis on problem solving, documentation, and presentation of hospitality spaces. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 4780 - Interior Design Portfolio
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3740, IDES 4740, and IDES 4750; corequisites: IDES 4730 and IDES 4790. Preparation of interior design portfolio, including projects, resumes, and oral presentations. Design of retail spaces. Review of NCIDQ exam. Five contact hours per week.

IDES 4790 - Interior Construction Documents
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDES 3740, IDES 4740, and IDES 4750; corequisites: IDES 4730 and IDES 4780. Advanced studio experience addressing residential and commercial interior construction techniques, documentation, and project management. Five contact hours per week.