About Interior Design

Winthrop University offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with the concentration in Interior Design and is the only program of interior design in South Carolina that is fully accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).


Interior design students take a series of lecture and studio classes that are designed to gradually introduce the student to the knowledge and skills needed in the practice of interior design. Some of the areas of instruction are:

  • Sketching, drawing, and rendering
  • Design theory and spatial analysis
  • Space planning and design of residential and non-residential projects
  • History of art, architecture, and interior design
  • Human needs for special population groups
  • Building construction and environmental systems
  • Materials performance and design applications
  • Building codes and standards to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public
  • Business practices and principles
  • Professional practice and ethics

Studio classes where students complete a series of interior design projects and assignments occupy much of the student's class time. The program requires all majors spend time working with a professional designer in the co-operative education program, usually scheduled after the third year of study. The program makes it possible for students to apply their academic training in an actual work environment.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Interior Design Program at Winthrop University is to strive for a high standard of design education in order to provide a learning environment that encourages the development of highly competent interior design professionals at the baccalaureate level.  The program focuses on the ability (for students) to design quality interior environments that contribute to the well-being and safety of individuals and groups along with incorporating a concern for the environment and society at large. The philosophy and purpose of the Interior Design Program is based on the following areas that are valued for an interior design program and education: 1) Broad liberal arts, basic creative arts, design fundamentals, and design theory- The program is built on the concept of professional education within a framework of liberal arts education. 2) Strong understanding of the design process- The program places the focus of interior design education on process. The sequence of courses builds on developing skills in the complex process of interior design. Design problems are solved by students using a thorough and systematic approach. 3) Holistic approach to solving design problems across disciplines- The program considers a multitude of factors that influence a design, including client/user needs,human welfare and safety, functional, economical, and utilitarian solutions, as well as physical, psychological, and contextual fit. Design concepts look at the total environment and also raise awareness for the world environment and issues of sustainability. 4)  Team approach to the design process- The program recognizes that the design process involves the interaction of professionals from a variety of disciplines.

Study Abroad in Interior Design

Due to the prescriptive nature of the INDS curriculum, the Interior Design faculty have identified the first semester senior year as the most appropriate time for students to take part in a study abroad experience (in addition to multiple summer study options). Through a combination of studio, language and humanities courses at the abroad institution and Winthrop distance learning, students are able to study abroad without delaying graduation. Please contact the department directly for further information.