Interior Design


Why study Interior Design?

Interior design practice creates useful, meaningful and inspiring spaces within buildings. It provides for the physical and cultural needs and aspirations of people at work and leisure. The bachelor of science in interior design program prepares graduates for a critical engagement with practice through an academic and professional grounding in problem-solving, formal design skills and pertinent historical and technical knowledge. The program forms strong links with our architecture program at DAAP, starting with a common curriculum in the first three semesters.

Interior designers execute projects for the whole spectrum of human activities. Examples include business and commercial establishments (offices and shops), places for recreation and hospitality (hotels, restaurants, resorts), health and cultural institutions (hospitals, schools, theaters, museums, places of worship), and residential interiors.

Admission Requirements

The College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati seeks to attract, enroll and graduate academically talented students of varied and diverse backgrounds. Success in our programs is largely dependent upon sound academic preparation. However, in multidisciplinary programs like those in DAAP, students’ insight and perspective are greatly enhanced by exposure to students from different backgrounds, geographies and co-curricular interests. DAAP has designed an admissions review process and a timetable to support these goals.

Admission criteria for interior design vary based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank and GPA. Portfolios are not a component of the admission application.

Freshman applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements  page for more information. Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following college-preparatory subjects:

  • 4 units of English
  • 4 units of college prep math, including one unit of pre-calculus, calculus, or advanced math
  • 1 unit of physics
  • 2 additional units of science
  • 5 units of electives*

*Elective units must include one or any combination of foreign language, fine arts, business, career-technical education, family and consumer sciences, technology, agricultural education or additional core courses not otherwise required.

If a student lacks the math and physics requirements from high school, then the student should complete an appropriate college level course.  High School Requirement: 4 units of college prep, including 1 unit of pre-calculus, calculus, or advanced math (trigonometry), and 1 unit of physics; OR College Requirement: MATH1022, 1024, 1026, 1044, 1060, or 1061; PHYS1011, 1017, 1018, 1037, 1051, or 2001 OR equivalent course.

People who are successful in the interior design field typically have visual and kinesthetic/tactile learning styles. Interior designers are creative, imaginative and artistic, as well as disciplined and highly organized. They enjoy putting things together. Combining technical knowledge (involving structural requirements, materials and products) with aesthetic vision, interior designers work with clients and other design professionals to develop design solutions that are safe, functional, attractive and meet the needs of the people using the space.

Successful interior designers must possess strong communication skills and be comfortable in meeting with many different types of people, as well as being attentive listeners. Interior designers must have excellent time- and project-management skills, and must understand business planning. They need to know how to create informative and persuasive proposals and maintain good client relationships.

The term interior design is often confused with interior decoration. The latter term refers to the selection of finishes and furniture; it is concerned with surface treatments. UC graduates enter the practice of interior design, which addresses interior space planning and experiential space sequences in addition to designing and specifying materials, lighting and furnishings. Most graduates work in interior design and/or architecture firms, which often employ other design professionals as well.

While the great majority of these offices have fewer than 10 employees who typically assume a wide range of responsibilities, interior designers in large firms may focus on more specialized roles such as design, technical support, business management and marketing, facility programming or historic preservation. An interior design degree can also lead to a career as a facility programmer, computer software designer, facility manager or university teacher.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Interior design is not offered as a minor.

All prospective students interested in this program should visit the DAAP website to find more information or contact the DAAP Student Affairs office at 513-556-1376 or All prospective students are encouraged to visit campus to learn more about their major(s) of interest. To register for a DAAP "College Close-Up" Visit and a "Preview UC" campus tour, please go here. For more information on DAAP advising, please go here. Current DAAP students can schedule an appointment with their advisors by calling DAAP Student Affairs at 513-556-1376 or by using the Starfish scheduling tool on Blackboard (

  • The city of Cincinnati, once called the "Queen City of the West" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, provides an excellent array of cultural resources for students who intend to pursue a degree in the visual arts. It offers the energy and assets of a larger city, along with quiet neighborhoods steeped in rich traditions. Cincinnati offers live music venues that range from top-notch symphony and opera companies to a growing pop and rock community. Home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center, the city also enjoys the presence of numerous art galleries and a strong support system among practicing artists. Cincinnati is situated within driving distance of Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and New York City, allowing DAAP students to take advantage of the rich cultural resources of these cities as well.
  • UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) is one of the most comprehensive colleges of its type in the country. A collection of nationally respected design and art programs is housed in a unique and educationally stimulating architectural setting. Architecture students have opportunities to enroll in courses in a range of related disciplines and to participate in interdisciplinary studios or special projects.
  • Students learn creative and technical skills in the studio environment, taught by a passionate faculty who interact with their students on a daily basis. The goal is to guide students as they grow both intellectually and professionally.
  • Other educational opportunities include organized travel semesters, foreign study semesters and student exchange programs in England, Germany and Denmark. Many architecture students also pursue joint degrees and certificate programs within the college and the university.
  • The DAAP college library has an outstanding collection of books, periodicals and visual resources supporting architecture, planning, design, art history and related subjects. Access to library holdings is provided by an automated online catalogue, UCLID, which provides access to the University of Cincinnati Library information database, and through OhioLINK, the holdings of other academic libraries throughout Ohio.
  • The Computer Graphics Center is a state-of-the-art university facility with hardware that includes PCs, Apple computers and peripherals such as scanners, plotters and digital video-editing suites. Students have access to sophisticated graphics equipment and receive hands-on instruction to augment the use of laptops in the classroom. All computing equipment is linked by high-speed Ethernet to facilitate access across the campus.
  • The college supports a Rapid Prototyping Center, which is the home of state-of-the-art equipment that allows students to create communication aids for their design projects. Using CAD (computer-aided design) models, students are able to create physical models using three basic methods: 3-D printing, large format laser-cutting and CNC (computer numeric control) devices, including a Komo CNC Router. This facility is intended for all DAAP students to use in creating large-scale design.
  • Co-op (also called professional practice or cooperative education) gives special character to interior design education at the University of Cincinnati, which invented the concept of co-op 100 years ago. Salaried practical experience arranged from a roster of over 500 firms all over the U.S. and overseas complement students’ growing academic understanding of the discipline. UC interior design graduates’ advanced professional experience and self-reliance makes them singularly valuable to employers. Interior design students integrate five semesters of work experience in their five-year curriculum in cities all over the country and overseas. Most are employed by interior design and/or architecture firms, but they also work in other design-related offices, public agencies and commercial companies.
  • Computer Requirements: All undergraduate students in this program are required to purchase a personal laptop computer. Each discipline has its own specific requirements for hardware and software. You can find more information about computer requirements here. Please note that these requirements may be slightly altered as equipment evolves. Therefore, students new to DAAP are encouraged to delay their computer purchase until the summer prior to entering to make the most informed computer purchase. Many of our programs have additional technology requirements for students in the later years of study.

Students must complete lecture hours and studio hours for a total of 130 credit hours for graduation. Students must also complete five semesters of mandatory professional practice (co-op) and receive a satisfactory (S) for all required work semesters. Students must obtain a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 and, in addition, must have at least a 2.0 grade point average for the senior year to be eligible for graduation. In order to be eligible for graduation with honors, a student must have completed 60 semester hours in the college and have earned at least a 3.6 grade point average. Courses in physical education, performance, and ROTC are not accepted as elective credits toward degree requirements in interior design.

Students seeking to transfer from another regionally accredited university or college must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in previous college work to be considered for admission. For priority consideration, complete transfer applications should be received by March 1 for the following fall. All applicants must have completed the equivalent of the fourth year in college-prep math (pre-calculus, calculus or advanced math) and one unit of physics to be considered. If offered admission, transfer students from other architecture, art or design programs seeking advanced standing can submit a design portfolio to the DAAP Student Affairs Office for evaluation. The application is available here. Transfer students to the School of Architecture and Interior Design programs are generally admitted to the first year of the program. 

Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in previous college work to be considered for admission. All applicants must have completed the equivalent of the fourth year in college-prep math (pre-calculus, calculus or advanced math) and one unit of physics to be considered. Transfer students to the School of Architecture and Interior Design programs are generally admitted to the first year of the program.

 Current UC students should submit an "Application for Change in College and Program" form to the DAAP Student Affairs Office in Room 5470 Aronoff by March 1 for priority consideration for the following fall. This form is available here or in the DAAP Student Affairs Office.

Current DAAP students wishing to transition into a different major must submit a "Change of Program" form to the DAAP Student Affairs Office in Room 5470 Aronoff. This form is available here or in the DAAP Student Affairs Office.

Unless an international student meets one of the exemptions listed here, he or she must complete the ACT, SAT, IELTS, TOEFL, or ELS.

Application Deadlines

For prospective and international high school students, admission to the interior design program is on a rolling (first-come, first-served) basis; once all the available seats are filled, the program is closed. It is recommended that students apply by December 1 at 5:00 pm EST for maximum scholarship consideration.

Students seeking transfer from another college or program at UC or another regionally accredited university or college should submit a complete application for admission by the priority deadline of March 1 for the following academic year. 

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The interior design program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Contact Information

DAAP Student Affairs
College of DAAP
P.O. Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016

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Program Code: 23BC-INTD-BSID