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Course Descriptions

The primary courses in Interior Design are taught by designers and scholars who are experts in their respective fields, as well by design practitioners. The faculty provides students with a broad range of mentoring and learning experiences. Below is our primary curriculum. For a listing of courses required to complete the major, check the Undergraduate BFA and Graduate MFA programs of study.

AD 12500 - Introduction to Interior Design

Credit Hours: 3.00. Introductory survey of interior spaces and their impact upon the physical, social, psychological, and aesthetic needs of people. Critical evaluation of concepts in the interior design profession and related fields will be emphasized. Typically offered Fall.

AD 13000 - Design Process and Communication

Credit Hours: 3.00. Spatial studies, conceptual ideation, and methods of communicating in various two- and three-dimensional media. Typically offered Spring.

AD 23000 - Interior Design I

Credit Hours: 3.00 Study of behavior patterns, perceptions, needs, and usage of three-dimensional space through conceptual solutions to human environments. Interior design theory and application of design process through analysis, research, and synthesis will be explored.  Typically offered Fall. 

AD 24000 - Interior Drafting and Drawing

Credit Hours: 3.00. Basic drafting and drawing techniques used in residential and small commercial buildings. Emphasis on interior projects, on multi-view drawing, isometrics, perspective, architectural construction drawings, and rendering techniques. Typically offered Fall. 

AD 25000 - Interior Design II

Credit Hours: 3.00. Introduction to space planning methodology applied to small-scale residential and nonresidential environments. Human factors and user requirements, physical and psychological, will be emphasized. Interior materials, components, and special environmental concerns will be explored. Typically offered Spring.

AD 28000 - Human Behavior and Designed Environment

Credit Hours: 3.00. This foundation course examines issues pertaining to the environment’s effects on human behavior and how humans’ physiological, informational, and social needs impact the design of interior spaces. Specific topics explored include: personal and social use of space, proxemics, ergonomics, anthropometrics, cultural factors and universal design. Typically offered Spring.

AD 28500 - Interior Components and Materials

Credit Hours: 3.00. Study of surface materials and subsystems and their application to architectural interior spaces. Emphasis on specification guidelines, including product performance, building codes, fire safety, and health regulations. Typically offered Spring.

AD 33000 - Interior Design III

Credit Hours: 3.00. Study of advanced space-planning criteria and selection of furnishings, equipment, materials, and finishes. Design considerations for special populations (e.g., disabled, aged, low-income) will be explored. Prerequisites: Passing mandatory portfolio review. Typically offered Fall.

AD 33800 - Advanced Interior Design Communication

Credit Hours: 3.00. Study of graphic design fundamentals and application of interior design visual presentation.  To provide a foundation for developing proficiency in the use visual communication design in interior design presentation. Offered 3rd year in the Interior Design BFA program of study. Typically offered Spring.

AD 34700 - Lighting For Interior Environments

Credit Hours: 3.00. The study of illuminating principles, design criteria, specifications and environmental systems applied to architectural interiors in public and private spaces. Permission of department required. Typically offered Fall.

AD 35000 – Interior Design IV

Credit Hours: 3.00. Study of large-scale public and social spaces, emphasizing interior systems and components. Application of design for historic preservation, renovation, or adaptive reuse will be considered. Typically offered Spring.

AD 38500 - History of Interior Design

Credit Hours: 3.00. A study of the principle styles, trends, and movements of interior design from antiquity to the Industrial Revolution, emphasizing decorative arts, furnishings, and their relationship to the built environment. Typically offered Spring.

AD 39700 - Sustainability in the Built Environment

Credit Hours: 3.00. The study of philosophical concepts, principles, and theories of sustainability as they pertain to building methods, materials, systems, and occupants. To provide a foundation for evaluation of materials, processes, and applications of design components for environmental responsibility. Field trips will be required. Typically offered Fall, Spring.

AD 43000 - Interior Design V

Credit Hours: 3.00. Design of multi-use complex environments, emphasizing program and problem solving, facility planning, building systems, and materials technology. Application of alternative presentation technologies will be explored. Typically offered Fall.

AD 44000 - interior Detailing and Construction

Credit Hours: 3.00. The process of designing, detailing, specifying, and constructing interior environments. Emphasis on teams, building systems, architectural drawing, and building codes.  Typically offered Spring.

AD 46500 - Professional Practice

Credit Hours: 3.00. The study of professional office and business procedures for the practice of interior design. Includes project administration, contracts, forms, and documents as used in the marketplace. Typically offered Spring.

AD 54700 - Advanced Lighting Theory for Interiors

Credit Hours: 3.00. Advanced lighting design and theories for architectural interiors. Includes manual and computer generation of lighting techniques and natural and artificial illumination.  Typically offered Fall.

AD 55100 - Space Design and Analysis

Credit Hours: 3.00. Functional and aesthetic analysis of interior spaces, including pre-design programming methodologies and post-occupation analysis. Typically offered Fall.

AD 56000 - Advanced Interior Design Studio

Credit Hours: 3.00. To develop, apply, and test theories of design on projects dealing with interior space planning and/or design components. Typically offered Spring.

AD 64000 - Special Topics in Interior Design

Credit Hours: 1.00 to 6.00. Special topics and theoretical approaches to individual projects within the built environment will be investigated, such as urban environments, existing and new structures, and interior environments. Topics could include either residential or non-residential projects. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.F.A. program in Art and Design. Permission of instructor required. Typically offered Summer, Fall, Spring.

Internship Classes

AD 23400 – Art and Design Internship Preparation

Introduction and preparation for Art & Design Internship experience. Students will develop a resume, cover letter, and other resources in their search for a suitable internship placement. Typically offered Fall, Spring, Summer. Credit Hour: 1.00.   

AD 47800 – Internship

Intensive exposure to professional experience through supervised internship in art or design firms, departments, or studios. Consent to enroll, amount of credit, placement, and evaluation to be approved and coordinated by department. Permission of Instructor required. Typically offered Summer, Fall, Spring. Credit Hour: 1.00 to 8.00.   

AD 67800 – Graduate Internship

Intensive exposure to professional experience through supervised internship in art or design firms, departments, or studios. The internship will consist of work to enhance the development of future professionals. The internship experience will help students integrate theory and practice and confirm career choices. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.F.A. program in Art and Design. Permission of instructor required. Typically offered Summer, Fall, Spring.  Credit Hour: 1.00 to 6.00.   

Cross-Disciplinary Learning

All Visual and Performing Arts students are encouraged to take advantage of courses outside of their specific major, to enrich their creative experiences at Purdue. View a comprehensive course list in Art and Design. Also, visit the Theatre Department, Dance and Music Divisions for their course offerings.


The Patti and Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts is conveniently located at Pao Hall, which serves as an artistic hub for students across campus and specifically all visual and performing arts divisions and departments. Purdue students have the unique opportunity to develop collaborative relationships with other creative disciplines, students, and faculty members inside a single creative arts facility equipped with art galleries, theatres, art and design studios, and classrooms. 

CURRENT STUDENT: Please refer to the Course Catalog or Schedule of Classes on My Purdue for updates, registration restrictions, prerequisite, co-requisite, and special fee information.