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. 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 an admissions review process to support these goals. In addition to the required application materials, students who apply to Interior Design may submit an optional portfolio. Please note that it’s impossible to predict – or guarantee – what credentials a student will need to gain admission into DAAP, because the size and quality of the applicant pool vary each year.

Special Course Requirements: Architecture and Interior Design require four years of high school math (including pre-calculus or calculus) and one year of physics. College-level coursework is also acceptable. Students lacking one of these requirements may be offered conditional admission

 Optional Portfolio Review

Students who include Architecture, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Industrial Design, or Interior Design among their program options on their admission application will be invited to submit a portfolio for admission consideration. This is an optional portfolio, but students are encouraged to submit one if they think it would strengthen their application. The portfolio is not part of The Common Application. After the application is received, an email containing a link and instructions for portfolio submission will be sent. Please note that required application materials will continue through the admissions review process, and it is possible that students will be admitted based on the strength of those materials.

DAAP Optional Portfolio Guidelines

  • Include 12-20 pieces of work from the last two years
  • Include examples of architectural work, design (e.g. clothing, interior spaces, logos, posters, websites), drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, 3-D renderings, work in other media, and/or things you have sewn, built, or invented
  • Include some samples of drawing from observation (instead of from imagination or reproduced from photographs)
  • Emphasize your artistic and design strengths
  • May also represent your extracurricular involvement and interests
  • Include the title, medium, date completed, and a brief description that addresses each work’s concept and/or inspiration

Please visit the Admissions Office's website for more information, including application materials, requirements, deadlines, and timelines.

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.

Prospective students are encouraged to explore the information on our website and contact DAAP Student Affairs at 513-556-1376 or with questions. The Transfer and Transition Advising Center is available to assist prospective transfer and transition students. Current DAAP students are assigned an academic advisor based on their major/program. For more information on DAAP advising, please visit the DAAP Undergraduate Advising webpage.

  • 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. 
  • 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. 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 study abroad and minor and certificate programs within the college and the university. Students are encouraged to share their interests in these opportunities with their academic advisor.
  • The Robert A. Deshon and Karl J. Schlachter Library for Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning 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.
  • DAAP’s multiple labs, centers and initiatives support our programs and the creative work and research of our faculty, staff, and students.
  • 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 recommendations for hardware and software. Please note that these recommendations 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 be in good standing to be considered for admission. Students wishing to transfer into a DAAP program should submit a Transfer Application. Transfer students are generally admitted to the first year of our studio-based, co-op programs due to the sequence of studios and co-op. For further information such as minimum grade point average and application deadlines, please refer to the DAAP Transfer and Transition webpage.

Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC must be in good standing to be considered for admission. Students wishing to transition into a DAAP program should submit an Application for Change in College and Program. Transition students are generally admitted to the first year of our studio-based, co-op programs due to the sequence of studios and co-op. For further information such as minimum grade point average and application deadlines, please refer to the DAAP Transfer and Transition webpage.

Please visit the university’s Office of Admissions website for general admissions information and application requirements for international students.

Application Deadlines

High school applicants who submit a complete application by the December 1 Early Action deadline will be pooled and reviewed for selection. Early Action applicants can expect to learn their admission decision on Cincinnati Decision Day. This date varies by year and is shared on the university’s Office of Admissions website. Students who apply by December 1 also receive maximum scholarship consideration. Applications received after December 1 may be considered on a space-available basis.

Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs 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 leading to the Bachelor of Science in Interior Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation,, 206 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. 

The CIDA-accredited program prepares students for entry-level interior design practice, for advanced study, and to apply for membership in professional interior design organizations. The Bachelor of Science in Interior Design granted by the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam). For more information about NCIDQ Exam eligibility visit:

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