Interior Architecture & Design
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Preparing students for national certification by the National Council for Interior Design
Today’s building industry demands a new breed of design professionals. More than ever, employers and clients are turning to dynamic creatives who bridge the gap between architects and interior designers. These professionals use both art and science to solve the evolving issues of user experience, accessibility and sustainability.
At BJU, you’ll learn to participate on architecture and design teams to create smart environments across the arenas of health care, retail, education, workplace and the home. You’ll develop an eye for detail and master both the technical and aesthetic demands of an architectural project—from researching and choosing materials to space-planning within specific building codes. You’ll gain a strong foundation in art and design theory, and you’ll combine that foundation with practical industry knowledge and technological training.
Modern designers combine the science of architecture with the art of interior design. Designers with an education in interior architecture are part of the building process from the ground up—from construction to color, lighting, furnishings and textures. As an interior architecture and design student, you’ll focus on how the buildings impact the people living and working inside of them. The courses you take will prepare you with professional understanding of several design aspects:
- Form (Aesthetics)—Color theory and the ability to select materials that present a unified look to a space is crucial. Courses in drawing, graphics and foundational design instill a strong understanding of using color intentionally to bring art and design to life.
- Safety—You’ll learn how to keep spaces free from obstructions, use fire-retardant materials and finishes, maintain good air quality, and further, to serve the people who use the space.
- Accessibility—The Americans with Disabilities Act requires many features in commercial spaces and recommends many in residential spaces that make it easy for people to use spaces without calling attention to themselves. You’ll learn how to make your spaces welcoming and helpful to all kinds of people.
- Function—The function of a space concerns the goal of the user. Function must be considered from the beginning of the design plan, and all decisions must be weighed against it.
- Sustainable Design—You’ll learn how to design spaces that use renewable resources, have limited negative impact on the environment and connect people with the natural environment.
- Graphic Presentation—You’ll take graphic design courses, enter contests and complete studio design projects to develop skills in page layout, branding and digital imaging. This knowledge broadens the application and value of your education and instills confidence in presenting a professional, polished product.
You’ll also develop the skills to master the latest architecture and design technology: AutoCAD, Revit Architecture, SketchUp, SU Podium, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
By the time you graduate, you’ll have a strong foundation in the creative process, a professional portfolio and valuable on-the-job experience through your senior internship.
At BJU, you’ll build a foundation in critical thinking and living as a light for God’s kingdom. Courses in English and speech will give you the skills to communicate effectively with clients and co-workers orally and in writing. Other liberal arts courses, such as economics, philosophy and science, will round out your education and help you develop important life skills like problem-solving and analytical thinking. In addition, you’ll experience a wide variety of fine arts events, including plays, operas and concerts, which will inspire your imagination and creativity.
Core Bible courses will help you grow more confident in the truth of God’s Word and encourage sharing your faith with others. You’ll also learn how to apply principles from these courses to your business practices and ethics.
You’ll have a lot of flexibility when it comes to picking electives. Some of the best options include photography and additional art courses so you can expand your design skill set. Business and accounting courses are other great options, especially if you’re interested in small businesses or entrepreneurship.
Bob Jones University was an obvious choice for my studies as its programs have an excellent foundation on biblical principles, and it’s one of the few Christian universities offering a degree in interior design. As I began my journey into the world of design, I quickly realized how complicated and demanding the program would be. Although the rigor of projects, exams and presentations is difficult, they are both manageable and rewarding. Diane Mattox and Laurilyn Hall (who are the design instructors at BJU) are well equipped to handle any interior design problems or spiritual challenges their students are constantly dealing with. Their passion for design and their heart for their students is inspiring and impactful. I am still grateful for the way Mrs. Mattox was able to show grace to me and was able to give me much needed spiritual guidance as I was struggling to handle my academic load.
My education at BJU equipped me well for being successful in the workforce. I worked for a year out of college at an architectural firm where I drafted blueprints, manufacturing drawings and installation guides for wood acoustical paneling systems. I then transitioned into an interior design firm, where I am currently working, located north of Travelers Rest, South Carolina. As I have begun to work on multimillion dollar homes in the Cliffs communities, I have been excited to find that principles and techniques taught through my classes at BJU have given me a firm foundation to build on.
Interior architecture and design is often confused with interior decorating. While both are valid professions, it is important for prospective students to realize that the degree offered at BJU is one of design. The degree is very demanding and thoroughly covers a variety of subjects and disciplines including: hand drafting, CAD drafting, history of design, drawing, graphic design, schedule making, preparing design boards, and presentation.
Not only does BJU offer excellent programs, but the facilities and opportunities are excellent as well. I was privileged to compete as an intercollegiate athlete for the University and participate in several world-class drama productions. I truly believe that there is not a school to rival the excellence in programs, the quality of facilities, the faculty, as well as the firm foundation on biblical principles BJU provides. The numerous opportunities available to every student who is willing to be challenged to reach their full potential add to my list of reasons I am glad I chose to study interior design at BJU.
I have been well prepared for my career from my time at BJU and would recommend its interior design program to anyone considering a career path in the design industry.
Architects and designers are emerging as leaders in developing buildings that respond to human needs within a space. The interior architecture & design program at BJU opens the door to many career possibilities including:
- Professional AutoCAD draftsperson
- BIM (Revit) specialist
- Project manager
- Custom home designer
- Commercial designer
- Residential designer
- Kitchen and bath designer
- Entrepreneur/business owner
- Healthcare facilities designer
- Space planner
- Property manager
- Real estate development and event stager
- Product designer
- Product sales representative
- Organization specialist
- Visual merchandise manager
- Furniture restoration or refinishing
Some of our interior architecture & design graduates pursue further education and have been accepted into graduate schools including:
- Winthrop University
- Academy of Art University
- Clemson University
- New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University
Our graduates have held various positions, including:
- Designer with Fowler Interiors, LS3P Architects, Young Office Environments, Greenville Health System, DP3 Architects, PMC Commercial Interiors, Alfred Williams, Craig Gaulden & Davis Architects, Reflex Lighting Group, Postcard from Paris, LPC Interiors, Atmosphere Designs, Sierra Verde Home Design Center, IA Interior Architects, Mayme Baker, Dillard-Jones Custom Homes
- Assistant store manager, 4Rooms
- Architectural engineer, Architectural Components Group
BJU offers students a variety of ways to network with employers and organizations. A multitude of job opportunities are posted each year on Career Central, our online job board. In addition, more than 60 businesses and 150 Christian schools/mission boards/Christian organizations come on campus to recruit students through on-campus interviews and job/ministry fairs.
Career Services also helps students by holding seminars on resume preparation and interview techniques.
The interior architecture and design studio comes equipped with an excellent selection of tools and resources that you can use. You’ll have access to drafting equipment, a blueprint machine, a library of reference books and a selection of fabric and finish materials and catalogs. Additionally, computer labs on campus come equipped with design software (including InDesign and Photoshop) that you can use. Our on-campus copy center is super convenient and helpful (especially as you assemble your computer-generated drawings and plans for projects and your end-of-program portfolio).
Preparing you for the Future
Many positions in the field require professional interior design licensure, so naturally you’ll want to be prepared for the exam. That’s why we’ve designed the program to meet all the standards of the Council for Interior Design Accreditation—including the number of hours in art and design courses you’ll take and the subjects that are covered. The program also includes pre-architecture training, so you could continue your education with a master’s degree in architecture.
Connecting with Professionals
Connecting with professionals in your field is a great way to learn and grow in your passion and skills. That’s why we encourage you to attend helpful forums twice per semester, where you’ll hear graduates and other professionals share their insights and experiences. You can also join the International Interior Design Association so you can connect with professionals in the Greenville area.
We encourage students to take part in off-campus internships at various architectural firms and interior design businesses. Internships typically last for one semester or one summer. Students in the past have enjoyed various types of internships, including working as:
- Design assistants with professional designers in their businesses
- Workroom assistants with professionals who have their own custom sewing-for-the-home workrooms
- Floral designers and event planners
- Furniture refinishers and restorers
Learning from the Professionals
During your time in BJU’s program you’ll explore professional applications of art and design outside of the classroom. You’ll learn from experts in the industry as you observe how they’ve creatively arranged spaces and kept within standard industry codes. You’ll have the opportunity to visit several different places as a student:
- Biltmore House & Gardens, Asheville, N.C.
- International Home Furnishings Market, High Point, N.C.
- Art Museums in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Charleston, S.C.
Our interior architecture & design program’s faculty members do more than give you the skills to succeed in your field. They care about you as a person and want you to succeed wherever God leads you. Combined, they have a total of 44 years’ teaching experience, in addition to many years of experience in freelance design.
Courses & Objectives
Sample Course Outline
- Hermeneutics: Interpreting the Bible for Life
- Foundations: Color Theory
- Introduction to Creative Cloud
- Residential Design Studio-EXP
- English or Writing Elective
- Essential Science
- Foundations of Economics
- Professional Practices
- BJU Core
Each student will:
- Effectively communicate design solutions through a variety of techniques and technologies.
- Analyze and apply elements and principles of design in 2D and 3D applications.
- Specify furniture, fixtures, equipment, and finish materials for interiors.
- Demonstrate their knowledge of the building envelope, environmental factors, and building safety codes to create effective and safe design solutions.