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Ohio University > Fine Arts > Art > Academics > Programs > Interior Architecture

Interior Architecture

BFA in Interior Architecture


About the Program

Whether it is as familiar and human scale as a home or office environment or as dramatic and monumental as the design of an international airport, our surroundings have a significant impact on the way we live and on the experiences we have every day. 

Interior designers, recognize the importance of this impact and focus their attention on ergonomics, anthropometrics, and the foundation elements and theories of design to create distinct, responsive, functional, and dynamic environments for living and working. 

As an interior architecture major at Ohio University, you will learn how these elements interact and synthesize to meet the physical, psychological, social, and intellectual needs of people in a variety of settings. If you are sensitive to the use of materials and details in the built environment, are attentive to color, enjoy drawing, constructing, and organizing objects and spaces to form interesting and complex designs, interior architecture may offer a challenging and fulfilling career choice for you.


Student Achievement Data


  • Job Placement 83% of May 2013 graduates were employed in design related positions by May 2014. 
  • Acceptance into Graduate Programs 100% of the students that applied to graduate schools from the May 2013 graduating class were accepted.
  • Graduation Rates 88% of the students from the class of 2013 graduated in 4 years.
  • Retention 100% of students enrolled spring 2013 semester returned fall 2013.


Transfer Students

It is imperative for students who transfer or relocate to Ohio University, Athens campus, who declare interior architecture as their major to speak with an Interior Architecture faculty member prior to or at the time of transfer or relocation. It is critical that a discussion regarding course selection occur between the student and an Interior Architecture faculty member prior to registering for courses.

Students who wish to transfer into the interior architecture major from another institution or regional campus students who are re-locating to the Athens campus must submit a portfolio of work for review by the faculty. Students with design work determined by the faculty to be equivalent to that of some or all of the portfolio review required coursework will be reviewed, for the purpose of determining admission to Phase II of the major, at the same time as all other portfolio review submissions, currently taking place at the end of the fall quarter. Transfer students admitted into the major must complete all major requirements determined to be missing from the student's academic design experience.

Equivalent Portfolios

Students with pre-portfolio review design work other than from the required eight courses may submit portfolios for review, and be evaluated for admission into Phase II of the program if the work is determined by the faculty to be equivalent in content to the listed required minimum work.


The Interior Architecture Program at Ohio University is a professional program accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). The program is divided into four distinct phases:

Phase I: (Freshman Year) Art and Design Foundations and Portfolio Review
In this phase students develop basic two and three dimensional skills and knowledge through courses in visual art and design fundamentals and graphic communication. A portfolio review of each student’s work takes place once a year, at the end of this phase.

Phase II: (Sophomore Year) Basic Environmental Design
Phase II includes in-depth design studio experience and study of design fundamentals, materials and construction systems, lighting and building systems, hand drafting and rendering techniques, and two and three dimensional computer imaging and modeling applications.

Phase III: (Junior Year) Professional Interior Architecture Studios
Phase III includes a sequence of two in-depth interior architecture studios and seminars, addressing the design of complex residential and commercial interior environments, and the production of contract documents, as well as lecture courses in the history of interior design, and business practices in interior design.

Phase IV: (Senior Year) Interior Architecture Studio and Senior Thesis
Phase IV includes a sequence of two interior architecture studios, a class addressing research, programming, and preparation for the senior thesis, and concluding with a spring quarter senior thesis studio.

Each phase consists of courses that offer numerous and repeated opportunities for the development of knowledge, skills and professional attitudes that prepare students for the following phase. The final phase completes the preparation of students for entry-level professional practice. In studio courses, a ratio of one faculty member to 18 students allows faculty and students to have meaningful one-on-one interaction. The Interior Architecture Program provides students with instruction and opportunities for developing a high degree of skill in traditional designing techniques, such as quick sketching, hand rendering and drafting, as well as in digital two- and three-dimensional imaging.


For complete program requirements please see the Ohio University catalog:

BFA Interior Architecture Course Requirements

Portfolio Review
The program conducts a yearly portfolio review, through which eighteen (18) students are selected to advance in the program. The number of students selected is limited by accreditation standards, number of faculty, and physical facilities. To prepare for the portfolio review students are required to take five Art Foundations designated courses (please see the undergraduate catalog for the listing of courses) and then assemble the visual work from each of those classes into a folio. The faculty of the program review the work contained in the folios at the end of the spring semester, and based on that review, select eighteen students to be admitted into the next phase of the major.

Computer Requirement
Students who successfully complete the portfolio review process are required to provide and maintain a computer, meeting program specifications, for all studio courses. Currently the program uses software such as AutoCAD, Form-Z, Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator, and Dreamweaver. Computer specifications are sent to students along with their notice of admission following the portfolio review process. The specification may change with every entering group of students as technology advances.

Specific technology requirements for students that have passed the portfolio review and are entering the major in fall 2017-18 can be found here.

Internship Requirement
The program requires that each student complete a professional internship, served with an interior design, architecture, or design-related firm. The Phase III coursework must be completed before the internship may be undertaken.  Most program students do their internship during the summer after junior year.  

Environment for Designing
Students who successfully complete the portfolio review process will be provided with a high quality workstation that supports traditional drawing and model making activities, as well as computer-based activities. This workstation is theirs for the entire academic year. This allows students to work effectively outside of class time, which is an important aspect of design education. The design studios in Grover Center are well equipped for working in a creative and productive mode, and provide ample space for the display of student work. Facilities include a resource room with materials for student projects and catalogs for student use, photographic equipment and high quality digital printers.

Career Direction
For more than 30 years, Ohio University’s interior design program has been preparing graduates for successful careers in residential and non-residential design, as well as in related areas such as lighting, visual display, sales and showroom management.

Program Contact

Vincent Caranchini, Associate Professor, Area Chair  
W321A Grover Center
Athens, Ohio 45701



Matthew Ziff

Associate Professor of Interior Architecture
(740) 593-2869

Vincent Caranchini

Associate Professor of Interior Architecture
(740) 593-0081

Dan Harper

Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture
(740) 566-6417