You are here

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design FAQs

Prospective Students


I would like to apply to the Interior Design program as a transfer student. What are the requirements? What is the minimum number of credits/units required for transfer students? Is a portfolio required?

Applicants who meet the minimum major-specific requirements and competitive ranking based on the CSULB Supplemental Application will be invited to submit a portfolio electronically. Instructions for electronic submission of the portfolio and the deadline for submission will be communicated in the invitation. Applicants to the BFA in Interior Design must receive a positive recommendation from the faculty following review of the portfolio in order to be admitted into the option. See additional information under the BFA Transfer Students section. For additional information on admissions please visit our General Admissions Page.

How do I read the Interior Design flowchart?

The flowchart provides a guideline for students in planning their design course schedule. The flowchart is broken down into 5 years, 2 semesters each. Students are not required to follow the provided course pattern, but must meet prerequisites before enrolling into any design course. Prerequisites are listed in the flowchart provided, but it is the student's responsibility to refer to the current CSULB catalog for updates and changes.

What is the Portfolio Review?

Portfolio Review is held in the Spring semester. Students must pass the portfolio review before acceptance into Junior studio classes. Portfolio material is based on projects completed in the lower‐division design courses. Students are eligible to submit their portfolio after completing lower‐division design requirements (by Fall before review). The Portfolio Review application is available, and due, in late Fall before the review.

I have taken design classes at another college, how can I determine if these classes will transfer to the Interior Design Program at CSULB?

There is no need for you to take all of the courses in our program if you have completed some courses that offered the same content at another institution. Similarly, if you have work experience that makes some of our courses superfluous for your situation, you may substitute others. Please examine our policy outline below to see if you qualify. Transfer Credit may be given for classes that are determined to be equal to classes in the CSULB Interior Design program and meet the university requirements (colleges which articulate with CSULB). Valid transcripts and examples of work completed are required as proof of completion of courses. Professional experience or classes, which do not meet the university standards, may be waived solely at the discretion of the Program Advisors and Department Chair. Examples of work completed are required.

For additional information on admissions please visit our General Admissions Page

If you feel you qualify, please call (562) 985‐5089 to make an appointment with a Program Advisor. For Transfer Credit you must bring course descriptions with you at the time of your appointment. These are usually best obtained from the catalog from the other institution(s) and can sometimes be found online. Examples of your work also are helpful.

Is there financial aid available? Are there any scholarships/fellowships?

For complete financial aid information, please contact Financial Aid.

There are several scholarships and competitions available to CSULB students.

Is the Program accredited?

Yes, CSULB is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). NASAD, founded in 1944, is an organization of schools, colleges, and universities. It has approximately 240 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials. A Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design is recognized as a degree from a fully accredited university.

What is the NCIDQ exam? Why should I take it?

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam is the certification examination for professional interior designers. In the State of California, the examination is administered by CCIDC, the California Council for Interior Design Certification. California has certification and not licensure. Upon passage of the NCIDQ examination an interior designer may become certified and apply for full membership in professional interior design associations which promote public acceptance through awareness of the profession. Certification can also engender reciprocity to allow practice in other states.

Will the degree I receive count for credit towards taking the NCIDQ exam?

The BFA Degree from CSULB meets the NCIDQ exam eligibility requirements for the necessary four to five years of accredited education. Once the student or graduate gains two years of work experience they qualify to take the exam to become a Certified Interior Designer.

What do the majority of graduates do after they graduate?

Students who complete the BFA program are actively working locally, nationally or internationally in the profession, or have chosen to pursue graduate level studies in related fields.

What are the General Education Requirements?

The advisors in our Program do not advise on GE requirements. Please contact Academic Advising for questions concerning GE requirements.

Are courses offered during the evening or only during the day?

The Majority of required courses are offered during the day. The program is considered to be a full‐time program. Although, many of our students are able to work by taking classes on a two or three-day schedule.

How many courses should I take each semester?

Each semester is 16 weeks long, and most courses meet twice per week for three hours, with an average of nine hours outside work weekly for each course. Full‐time enrollment is typically four courses per semester, but students may take fewer than four courses per semester. International students are required to carry a minimum number of units per semester. For more information contact the International Student Office

How do I know which courses to take?

Simply follow the sequence of courses outlined in the Interior Design flow chart. For additional information review CSULB catalog (published each year) and course schedule (published each semester). Design Department Course List

What if I'm interested only in residential or only in commercial design?

Although our program focuses on commercial design, our objective is to provide a well‐rounded education. As you advance through the program, exposure to various aspects of design will only enhance your ability to pursue a professional specialization that is of greatest interest to you.

If I were to purchase my own computer, what do I need to run the required software?

The Design Department recommends computer specifications for those who would like to provide their own computer when taking the lab classes.