Interior Design, B.F.A.
Mission and Vision
The mission of the Interior Design Program of the School of Architecture and Design at New York Institute of Technology is to prepare graduates who are globally engaged, environmentally sensitive, and have acquired the intellectual tools, artistic sensibility, and hands-on technical proficiency for high-level practice and interdisciplinary engagement.
The program has been in existence for over half a century. Its long-term future is based on the integration of cutting-edge technological tools with rock-solid professional skills. These foundational components were established under the strong, influential leadership of Hans Schroeder, the department’s first chair.
The Department of Interior Design is recognized as one of the leading CIDA-accredited programs offering outstanding career preparation within the unique context of a school of architecture and design. The program offers its students comprehensive expertise in interdisciplinary practice models, and is supported by the leading edge of professional practice and emerging new technologies.
There are two distinct offerings within the program. The first track consists of 130 credits towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Interior Design. The second track is a 4+1 option, a 30-credit Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) within the School of Management, which is a supplemental degree to the Interior Design, B.F.A. In the second track, the program provides a curriculum structure for students to take 500-level graduate courses, recognized by the School of Management towards their M.B.A., while they are enrolled in the B.F.A. undergraduate program.
Students attend, and faculty teach, at the New York City campus. All students admitted to the Interior Design Program begin their studies with a foundation year of design, visualization, history, and theory, along with the required Discovery Core courses. Combined cohorts of architecture and interior design students take these courses together, providing Interior Design students with the opportunity to integrate within the School of Architecture and Design and interact with peers in allied programs.
Direct admission into the first year of either track requires a minimum combined SAT score of 1080 (critical reading and math only) or ACT of 21. Students failing to meet this requirement are permitted to matriculate with an undeclared degree status and take select courses which foster the exploration of architecture and design pathways to demonstrate academic success in a college setting. Completion of the first semester with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 allows the undeclared student to register for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design or the 4+1 track.
The Interior Designer of Today
As the interior design profession has gained prominence and professional stature, being charged with the execution of important public safety and welfare functions, the designer is recognized as an integral member of the professional team alongside architects and engineers. This expanded role places increased pressure on Interior Design professionals and therefore on schools to maintain exacting standards and accreditation with councils charged with ensuring the knowledge and expertise required for this demanding profession. The interior designer not only creates human environments which enhance the function and quality of public and private spaces, but also the expression of human values—by providing a context for human activity, improving the quality of life, and increasing productivity, all while protecting the public’s health and safety.
The Interior Design program prepares students for the rewarding challenges of designing for the 21st century. The program focuses on the relationship between human performance and environment through an innovative mix of studio design projects, profession-specific coursework, community-oriented projects, and internships in the field. Complementing these experiences, the program also offers study abroad and multiple, interactive ventures with furniture, media, textile, lighting, and other material manufacturers. New York City is a major metropolitan area with significant centers of design, showrooms of products, practitioners’ studios and offices, as well as access to iconic public spaces. The alternative locations serve as a "living" classroom, deepening the student experience.
Students are introduced to, and work with, professionals through office and project site visits. To enhance student learning, the program reaches out, not only locally and regionally, but also globally. New York Tech's Interior Design program was one of 18 schools from around the world invited to participate in the celebrated Salone Satellite exhibition in Milan, Italy, one of the world’s most exclusive design and furniture fairs.
The curriculum includes coursework that covers all aspects of professional interior design. Advanced courses in interior design cover such topics as materials, color, digital modeling and rendering, animation, CNC fabrication, 3D printing, BIM, computer-aided drawing (CAD), building codes, history of interior design and architecture, furniture design, lighting, business procedures, and special projects. The curriculum is sequential, with the knowledge that the skills and design sensibilities gained at each level directly affect succeeding levels as students advance through the program.
A special aspect of the program is that many faculty members are practicing professionals in the fields of interior design, architecture, industrial design, graphics, and other related professions. This cross-disciplinary approach mirrors real-world interaction and relationships. As the professions of interior design and architecture reference each other more and more, this aspect becomes a critical and important distinction for both programs.
The cultural diversity and broad life experiences of our student cohorts are integral to the program. To ensure opportunity for students with diverse backgrounds, portfolios are only voluntarily submitted for review (not required) as part of the admission process. However, all students are required to submit an evaluation/portfolio for review, and have a 2.75 cumulative index or a 3.0 average in interior design coursework after completion of the second semester of their second year. Acceptance of the evaluation/portfolios is required prior to admittance to the third year of study. Transfer students who are applying for interior design, architecture, or fine arts credits must have a portfolio review with the department to determine their position in the program.
Students work closely with faculty advisors who serve as academic and professional mentors throughout their years at New York Institute of Technology. To further refine professional development, students are required to participate in an internship. To be eligible, students must have sophomore or higher status and at least one semester in residence with a 2.0 or better GPA. The internship requirement is for a minimum of 256 hours and affords the student the opportunity to gain practical experience, increase professionalism, develop a basic understanding of the work environment, and sharpen career focus.
From Study to Professional Practice
In the final year of study, students develop a capstone thesis, which serves to showcase their skills and accrued knowledge in the design program. They develop and research a program, select a site, and conceptualize and design an interior environment. The research, documents, and images that result are presented to a professional jury of practitioners and professors.
Scholarship opportunities specifically for interior design students include the Brendalyn Stempel Scholarships (selected by the donor and available to students entering their fourth year of studies) and the ELF awards through the local ASID chapter and awarded through the department each year. In addition, our students have applied for and been recipients of the National Donghia Scholarships, IIDA, and NEWH scholarships.
The 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design and the 4+1 B.F.A.-M.B.A. put the student firmly on a professional career path. Upon graduation and two years of interior design work experience (half of which may be possible to achieve while in school), U.S. graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the National Council of Interior Design Qualification exam. Passage of this exam, in conjunction with one additional year of work experience, allows for application to New York State to be licensed as a CID, Certified Interior Designer. Other states have similar certification and licensing requirements. The interior design program at New York Tech has been continuously accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation since March 1984. The 2019 CIDA visit resulted in a six-year professional level accreditation through 2025.
International F-1 students who successfully complete this degree are eligible for an additional 24-month STEM OPT extension to work in the U.S. in an area directly related to their area of study immediately upon completing the customary 12-month post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).
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- Minimum combined SAT score of 1080 (critical reading and math only) or ACT composite score of 21
- Students who do not meet this requirement will be permitted to matriculate with an undeclared degree status in the School of Architecture and Design. The designation is ARCH Undeclared. During this time, students undertake selected courses that foster the exploration of architecture and design while demonstrating academic success in a college setting. Completion of the first semester with a minimum cumulative grade average of 2.5 allows the ARCH Undeclared major access to the Interior Design, B.F.A. program.
- A portfolio review by school design faculty is required for all transfer students seeking transfer credit for design coursework.
- Completed application
- $50 nonrefundable application fee
- Copies of transcripts of all high school work, including college-level courses. Midyear and final grades are required. All final, official transcripts must be received prior to the start of the first semester.
- Official SAT (critical reading and math only) or ACT test scores. Results from the previous or redesigned SAT are acceptable. If an applicant has fewer than 24 credits of previous college work completed, they will need to submit official SAT or ACT scores.
- SAT Code: 2561, ACT Code: 2832
- Two letters of recommendation
- 300–350 word essay on one of the following topics:
- Tell us about your career goals and why attending New York Tech would further these goals.
- Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and why.
Progression in the Program
- At the juncture between the second and third year studios, all students are required to submit an Evaluation/Portfolio for review and have a 2.75 cumulative index, or a 3.0 average in interior design coursework. Students must submit the Evaluation/Portfolios for review while enrolled in DSGN 204 (Interior Environments III), and approval is needed for admittance to DSGN 303 (Interior Environments IV). To realize the department's commitment to a cross-disciplinary approach that fosters professionalism and other human values critical to a successful career in interior design, each student seeking admission to DSGN 303 will also be evaluated by faculty on presentation skills, interpersonal skills, and attitude, and the department reserves the right to deny or delay a student's admission to DSGN 303 on that basis.