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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 well received Interior Design degree has been accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) since 2000. As the first accredited program in British Colombia, our CIDA accreditation continues to ensure 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 practical experience 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 website 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, time management skills, 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:

  • Portfolio Review and Interview Session*

* 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

Continuance Requirements

The Studio courses (i.e., IDSN 1113, 1202, 2300, 2400, 3500, 3600, 4001) require a minimum grade of C+ in order to progress in the program. All other courses require a minimum grade of C in order to progress.

Students must complete and log 80 hours of practical experience in an interior design or architectural firm under the supervision of a registered interior designer. This practical experience can occur anytime during the program but must be completed before Professional Practice 2 in the spring semester of year 4 of the program (see below).

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 should have proficiency in AutoCAD, and should complete ENGL 1100 prior to commencing second year.

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 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


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 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 below) 3 credits
  Approved elective (see 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 below) 3 credits

* The Design Field School (DESN 3100) travel component occurs after Semester 6 and prior to Semester 7.

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 below) 3 credits
  Approved elective (see 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 below) 3 credits
  Approved elective numbered 3000 or higher (see below) 3 credits

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

The Interior Design program requires 30 credits that fulfill the following conditions:

  • 3 credits from ENGL 1100, Introduction to University Writing
  • 27 credits of electives chosen from courses in the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Science & Horticulture, or the list of Quantitative courses (except those from the School of Business or the Chip & Shannon Wilson School of Design), including:
    • at least three different academic disciplines
    • at least 3 credits from the Faculty of Arts
    • at least 3 credits from the Faculty of Science & Horticulture
    • at least 3 credits from a course at the 3000 level or higher

Other Information

The third year of the Interior Design program includes Design Field School (DESN 3100) as part of the curriculum requirements and the cost of travel is borne by the student. Therefore, applicants should factor in the cost of this travel at approximately $3500 including air travel and course fees.

The Interior Design program is delivered utilizing a laptop program referred to as "EMobility". All students lease a laptop for the duration of the 4-year degree. New students should factor in this cost at approximately $500-$800 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-2017

Applying to KPU:

Last Updated: 12-Sep-2017

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