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Interior Design: Bachelor of Interior Design


The Bachelor of Interior Design (IDSN) program provides students wishing to pursue a professional career in interior design with a four-year intensive education focused on the built environment. KPU's Interior Design degree is one of only two Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredited undergraduate programs in western Canada. This accreditation ensures that our curriculum meets and exceeds industry standards and helps students build the foundation to become a registered interior designer.

The Interior Design faculty team is dedicated to:

  • Providing a design education that includes all facets of interior design with emphasis on experience and skills in theory, research, critical analysis, problem-solving, design concepts, working drawings and specifications, technology, presentation media techniques, professional business practices and procedures, and awareness of human needs in interior design and related environments
  • Preparing students for work in interior design and/or architectural offices
  • Providing a practical and theoretical knowledge base that conforms to the definition and practice of interior design as described by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and as endorsed in the North American definition of an Interior Designer
  • Providing education in developing career readiness

The Interior Design program simulates a professional design environment. This "virtual design studio" offers integrated courses and curriculum, and emphasizes learning outcomes and essential skills throughout. These skills include: leadership, problem solving and creative thinking, teamwork, personal management, writing/oral/visual and interpersonal skills, research, visual literacy, mathematical and technological skills, citizenship, and an ability to view issues through a global perspective.

As part of the degree program students will:

  • practice both oral and written communication skills
  • study and apply technical knowledge of the field
  • research and analyze design theory and history
  • gain an understanding of professional business practices
  • become a member of The Interior Designers Institute of BC
  • gain industry knowledge through a work experience placement in a design firm
  • apply all learning through Design Studio projects
  • visit design firms, suppliers, manufacturers, completed interior projects, museums, art galleries, and gain an in-depth understanding of the design industry

For a breakdown of our streams and courses, please see

Interior Design information sessions are scheduled each fall in order to answer questions from prospective students and to allow applicants to view entry portfolios of current students. These sessions have been of great benefit to those interested in entering the program. Please visit to confirm dates, times and location.

For more information on the Interior Design program, you may view our department web site at:

Student Profile

Interior Design students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and vary in age and experience. What they have in common is a passion for sculpting interior space. Often our students have explored other art forms including photography, drawing, illustration, painting, pottery, jewelry making, model making or other kinds of design-focused work.

Applicants may come directly from high school, from other post-secondary institutions, or they may be former graduates of design, fine arts, or other related programs. They may also be mature adults who want to make a career change or may have experience in the interior design industry and want to upgrade to a degree.

We strongly recommend that interested applicants have solid communication skills, computer and word processing experience, ability to measure and draft, and an awareness of the interior design profession.

Career Opportunities

The career potential for this field is strong. When the economy is strong, building construction increases, and this in turn results in jobs for interior designers. Of course the career potential clearly depends on the individual, their portfolio, and work experience upon graduation. Graduates of the interior design program may work on hospitality and retail design projects, exhibition, theatre/television, and set design, the design of office/corporate or residential projects. Over time, some of our graduates become senior partners in design/architectural firms, and may also go on to start their own firms.

You may find more information on the field of Interior Design and salary outlooks on the National Occupational Classification located on the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada website at 'NOC-Interior Design' OR on the WorkBC website under 'Occupations'.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the School of Design's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, the following program admission requirements apply:

  • English 12 with a minimum grade of B (or equivalent)
  • Portfolio Review and Interview Session*

On 24 October 2016 a change to the admission requirements for this program was approved by Senate. Effective September 2017 the requirement of English 12 with a minimum grade of 'B' (or equivalent) will be removed. KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement will apply. This change will appear in the 2017-18 University Calendar to be published in June 2017.

* Qualified applicants will receive an invitation to the required Portfolio Review and Interview session.

Portfolio Review and Interview

During the portfolio and interview process, faculty members evaluate each applicant for suitability for admission based on the contents of the portfolio and results of an interview (including prior learning assessments). For detailed information about Interior Design as well as the interview and portfolio review process, visit the department's website at

Credit for Previous Learning

Applicants may obtain credit for courses taken at another institution — all applications for transfer credit will be assessed on an individual basis. If you are a graduate of another interior design program and wish to pursue the Interior Design degree, please apply for transfer credit and your application will be assessed on an individual basis during the portfolio review / interview process. For more information about transfer credit, please visit

In addition, applicants with experience in the interior design industry may acquire credits through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). For further information, please visit

Note that credits for previous learning do not guarantee a seat in the program. All applicants who request advanced standing to the degree will be assessed individually during the portfolio review / interview process. Offers for advanced placement will also be dependent on seat availability.

Curricular Requirements

The Interior Design program requires the completion of 128 credits of coursework. Students may take their general education and non-discipline specific courses prior to entering the program and/or during the summer semester in order to lighten their workload during the term. Many general education courses are offered during the summer semester.

In order to succeed in the second year of the Interior Design program, students must have proficiency in AutoCAD. A detailed description of the requirements is available from the program's website at:

Please note, Studio courses require a minimum grade of C+ in order to progress in the program. The minimum progression grade requirement for all other courses is a grade of C (60%).

Year 1

Semester 1

All of:
  IDSN 1113 Studio 1 4 credits
  IDSN 1121 Materials 3 credits
  IDSN 1135 Design Awareness 1 3 credits
  IDSN 1141 Technical Drawing 1 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits

Semester 2

All of:
  ENGL 1100* Introduction to University Writing 3 credits
  IDSN 1202 Studio 2 4 credits
  IDSN 1221 Components 3 credits
  IDSN 1235 Design Awareness 2 3 credits
  IDSN 1241 Technical Drawing 2 3 credits

* Note: Completion of ENGL 1100 with a minimum grade of "C" (or an approved writing intensive course at the 1100 level or higher) is a graduation requirement. It is recommended that this course be taken prior to Year 2.

Year 2

Semester 3

All of:
  IDSN 2300 Studio 3 4 credits
  IDSN 2325 Building Systems 1 3 credits
  IDSN 2331 Design Theories 1 3 credits
  IDSN 2345 Drawing and Rendering 1 3 credits
  IDSN 2375 Environmental Human Factors 3 credits

Semester 4

All of:
  IDSN 2400 Studio 4 4 credits
  IDSN 2425 Building Systems 2 3 credits
  IDSN 2431 Design Theories 2 3 credits
  IDSN 2445 Drawing and Rendering 2 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits

Year 3

Semester 5

All of:
  IDSN 3500 Studio 5 4 credits
  IDSN 3525 Building Systems 3 3 credits
  IDSN 3531 Design Theories 3 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits

Semester 6

All of:
  IDSN 3600 Studio 6 4 credits
  IDSN 3625 Contract Documentation 3 credits
  IDSN 3635 Design Theories 4 3 credits
  DESN 3100 Design Field School * 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits

* Note: The Design Field School (DESN 3100) travel component occurs after Semester 6 and prior to Semester 7. Students must register for this course in the summer semester.

Year 4

Semester 7

All of:
  IDSN 4001 Senior Studio 1 4 credits
  IDSN 4720 Advanced Design Studies 1 3 credits
  IDSN 4785 Professional Practice 1 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits

Semester 8

All of:
  IDSN 4002* Senior Studio 2 4 credits
  IDSN 4820 Advanced Design Studies 2 3 credits
  IDSN 4880 Professional Practice 2 3 credits
  Approved elective (see Electives below) 3 credits
  Approved elective numbered 3000 or greater (see Electives below) 3 credits

* Note: A minimum grade of C+ is a graduation requirement.


For the Interior Design program, the following general education requirements must be met:

  • 3 credits from English 1100, Introduction to University Writing, or an approved writing-intensive course at the 1100 level or higher in which writing instruction and recursive practice and assessment are the main focus of the course
  • 24 credits of elective courses from outside the core academic discipline and representing at least three different academic disciplines in the approved list below
  • A further 3 credits of electives at the 3000/4000 level from approved disciplines

General education courses must be selected from at least three different academic disciplines (in addition to the required English course) and must include a minimum of 6 credits from the Faculty of Arts and 3 credits from the Faculty of Science & Horticulture (see list below). General education courses taken at other institutions may be transferred for equivalent or unassigned credits.

Approved Disciplines for Elective Courses

Students may choose any courses in the following subjects:

Faculty of Arts Faculty of Science & Horticulture
  • Anthropology (ANTH)
  • Art History (ARTH)
  • Asian Studies (ASIA)
  • Creative Writing (CRWR)
  • Communication Studies (COMM)
  • Criminology (CRIM)
  • English (ENGL)
  • Fine Arts (FINA)
  • Geography (GEOG)
  • History (HIST)
  • Interdisciplinary Expressive Arts (IDEA)
  • Journalism (JRNL)
  • Liberal Education (LBED)
  • Language and Cultures (LANC), including:
    • Cultural Studies (CUST)
    • French (FREN)
    • Japanese (JAPN)
    • Linguistics (LING)
    • Mandarin (MAND)
    • Punjabi (PUNJ)
    • Spanish (SPAN)
  • Music (MUSI)
  • Philosophy (PHIL)
  • Policy Studies (POST)
  • Political Science (POLI)
  • Psychology (PSYC)
  • Sociology (SOCI)
  • Astronomy (ASTR)
  • Biology (BIOL)
  • Chemistry (CHEM)
  • Environmental protection (ENVI)
  • Mathematics (MATH)
  • Physics (PHYS)
  • Horticulture (HORT)


  • Economics (ECON)

In addition, students may choose courses from:

  • The list of Quantitative Courses that are approved to meet the quantitative requirements for KPU credentials.
  • The list of General Liberal Education Electives, except for the following:
    • Fashion & Technology (FASN)
    • Foundations of Design (FIND)
    • Graphic Design for Marketing (GDMA)
    • Product Design (DEPD)

Other Information

The third year of the Interior Design program includes Major Field Studies as part of the curriculum requirements and the cost of travel is borne by the student. The destination country and city is selected in consultation with students. Therefore, applicants should factor in the cost of this travel at approximately $3,000 – $3500 including air travel and course fees.

The Interior Design program is delivered utilizing a laptop program referred to as "E-Mobility". All students lease a laptop for the duration of the 4-year degree and should factor in this cost at approximately $1200 per year. All course material is housed online and laptops are equipped with the requisite software to complete course deliverables.

Students are advised NOT to purchase a personal laptop computer as all required equipment, software, and technical support services will be supplied by KPU.

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Interior Design.

This Bachelor degree, followed by two cumulative years of work experience in the profession, qualifies graduates to write the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination. This in turn, allows professional membership in the Interior Designers' Institute of British Columbia (IDIBC), the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), and various international interior design associations.

At a Glance

Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design

Interior Design

Program Type:

  • Undergraduate

Credential Granted:

  • Baccalaureate Degree

Offered At:

  • KPU Richmond  Richmond

Start Date(s):

  • Fall Intake (September)  September

Intake Type:

  • Limited Intake  Limited intake


  • Full-time  Full-time

Minimum Credits Required:

  • 128

Instructional Cycle:

  • Semester-based

Curriculum Effective Date:

  • 01-Sep-2016

Applying to KPU:

Last Updated: 8-Nov-2016

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