Interior Design Program

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Great design is about beauty, honesty, sincerity and enriching people’s lives. Spokane Falls Community College Interior Design Program promotes a vision for designed environments that support the highest level of human well-being and achievement in all aspects of life and work.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide students of interior design with the education, skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the creative practice of interior design. We are committed to pursue design excellence by educating students to emphasize innovation in comprehensive design solutions which capture the human spirit.

Critical skills in creative thinking, and analyzing and solving problems will enable students to pursue a professional career with a sound foundation. They will be competent to adapt to social change and advancing technology, as well as meet the current and future challenges of interior design.

Questions? Find answers on our Frequently Asked Questions pages!

Commercial and residential interior design studios, department stores, furniture stores, specialty design firms such as kitchen and bath and other related design businesses are fields which provide employment opportunities. Students earning a Professional Diploma will have a broader range of career options, including architectural and commercial design firms. As a result of the internship course required in the third year, students obtain experience in the design field. This internship provides a stepping stone for career advancement.

What does an interior designer do?

The human environment and your experience of life is greatly influenced by the design of spaces in which you live and work. Good design is more than a question of good taste and appearance.

Interior designers help us create and define our living, working, and playing environments. They improve our quality of life by designing spaces that not only look good, but help people be more productive, healthy, efficient and safe. They design homes, offices, schools, hospitals, stores, museums and more.

Where would I work?

A professional diploma qualifies you for the broadest range of design jobs. Entry-level job opportunities exist at commercial and residential interior design studios, furniture stores, specialty design shops, and architectural firms. After gaining experience in the field, you also have the option to start a business of your own. Graduates of the program often choose to specialize in either residential design, which includes houses, apartments, and condominiums, or they can specialize in commercial design, which includes offices, restaurants, hotels, health-related facilities, retail stores, schools, museums, theaters and transportation facilities.

Other specialties include lighting design, color consultation, illustration, space planning, facility management and historic preservation. In any case designers are frequently away from their offices meeting with clients, contractors, and suppliers or they are supervising at a construction site.

How much can I expect to earn?

Earning potential in the design field varies with experience, work location, and area of specialization. Interior designers work for a professional fee based on an hourly rate, on commission, or monthly salary. Starting salaries vary widely. As a rule, large cities offer more opportunities and higher salaries or fees.

All course offerings are subject to change. The college cannot guarantee class offerings, designated times or specific instructors - as funding levels and student interest may affect whether or not an offering is available.

Click on the course title to view course description.

Class Credits
INTDS 105Design Drawing 4.0
INTDS 106Sketching Techniques 4.0
INTDS 107Rendering Techniques 4.0
INTDS 170Introduction to Interior Design 5.0
INTDS 171Interior Design Studio I 6.0
INTDS 172Interior Design Studio II 6.0
INTDS 173Drafting for Interior Design 4.0
INTDS 174Design Presentation 4.0
INTDS 175Materials of Interior Design 5.0
INTDS 176Interior Design Studio III 6.0
INTDS 179History of Interiors I 5.0
INTDS 180History of Interiors II 5.0
INTDS 184Drawing Communication 4.0
INTDS 185Building Systems for Interior Design 3.0
INTDS 186Lighting Design 3.0
INTDS 187Design Fundamentals Studio 4.0
INTDS 189Special Topics 3.0
INTDS 268Design Portfolio 3.0
INTDS 275Professional Practices 3.0
INTDS 280Textiles for Interiors 5.0
INTDS 281Interior Design Studio IV 6.0
INTDS 282Interior Design Studio V 6.0
INTDS 285Computer Aided Design I 4.0
INTDS 286Computer Aided Design II 4.0
INTDS 287Digital Interior Design Technology 4.0
INTDS 289Computer Aided Design III 4.0
INTDS 290Sustainable Design Practices 3.0
INTDS 294Adobe for Interior Design 4.0
INTDS 296Historic Preservation 3.0
INTDS 297Computer Aided Design IV 4.0

The Spokane Falls Community College Interior Design Program is dedicated to offering the highest quality of education for our students and a rigorous preparation for their future professional activity and certification. We offer programs at two levels of study.

Associate In Applied Science (A.A.S.) In Interior Design

This is a two-year degree with residential specialty qualification. While most courses are transferable to a four-year institution, please work with an adviser regarding transfer.

Interior Design Professional Diploma

This three-year degree includes all courses required for the A.A.S. degree, as well as upper level and commercial design studio courses and AutoCAD. Graduates are qualified for any entry-level professional interior design position.

How are the classes organized?
Each year's classes are organized sequentially: part one of a sequence (Fall quarter) must be taken successfully to be able to take part two of the sequence (Winter) and then take part three (Spring). Example: INTDS 170 Elements of Interior Design (Fall) will lead to INTDS 175 Materials of Interior Design (Winter) and finally INTDS 280 Textiles for Interior Design (Spring). Each class is only offered once a year and must be taken in sequence in order for a student to move onto the next year's classes.

Can I begin the program Winter or Spring?
Unfortunately, no. Our courses are designed to start in the fall due to the sequential organization of our classes. Students who need to start in the winter or spring should take any classes not followed by the INTDS department prefix. So, look ahead in your class program to find classes to register for. Examples may be either HS 136 Interpersonal Communications or PSYCH 101 Introduction to Psychology, depending on which degree you choose to pursue. The only exception to not starting the program in the fall would be if a student were transferring in from another school's Interior Design program. If this is the case, you'll need to meet with a program advisor prior to the quarter starting to evaluate which class would be appropriate for you.

Which classes should I register for in the beginning?
As a freshman entering fall quarter as a full-time student, you should enroll in all three of the core Interior Design classes: INTDS 170 Elements of Interior Design, INTDS 173 Architectural Graphics I and INTDS 105 Design Drawing. These are the beginning classes in each of the three sequences to complete your first year coursework. Once you are well into our program, as each new quarter's registration time approaches, your instructors will inform you as to which classes to sign up for.

What would a typical full time student's class schedule look like?
All of the Interior Design classes are broken down into either Monday-Wednesday-Friday sessions or Tuesday-Thursday. Classes range from 1½ to 3 hours long. Students generally have 2 sections of each class to choose from; the first is early morning (7:30 or 8:30 start times), the second is either late morning or early afternoon (10:30 or 12:30 start times). Therefore, students could conceivably* maintain a M-F schedule of 7:30/8:30 to 11:30/12:30 classes.
*It is important to understand that we cannot guarantee specific schedules to students during any of our quarters. Class times can change every quarter as we schedule our classes based on instructor and classroom availability. Therefore students need to maintain fairly flexible time schedules. If students need to fit classes around a rigid job schedule, they should perhaps consider attending as a part-time student to deter interference with work schedules.

I work full-time. What are my options?
Unfortunately, if your full-time work demands your presence during the morning and afternoon hours, you will not be able to join our program at this time. As all of our classes are offered during the day, earning an Interior Design degree through a night class program is not an option at Spokane Falls.
If your full-time work offers you your mornings free, then you should try to register for the earlier of the two sections for each class. Be aware, though, the demands are many on full-time students. Our classes are intense and daily homework loads can be extensive. It might be better to consider attending as a part-time student.

Should I be prepared for a lot of homework?
You should count on homework almost every night, sometimes several hours. Also be ready for homework over many weekends. Of course, some courses are heavier on homework than others; some have very little at all. Lecture classes tend to have more reading homework; studio/lab classes tend to be more project-oriented. Although it is not possible to predict an exact hourly count of homework time, according to the collegiate standard: for every hour you spend in class you should have between one and three hours of homework. So a class that meets 6 hours a week should have 12–18 hours of homework. Some of our courses do come close to that statistic.

What does it mean to be a part-time student?
Students with job or family commitments should consider joining our program as a part-time student. A part-time student only takes one or two of the required sequences per year. A typical Fall-Winter-Spring first year sequence might be: Fall: 170 Elements - Winter: 175 Materials - Spring: 280 Textiles*
*See a program advisor for recommended part-time sequences.
By going part-time, a student is adding at least an extra year to their scheduled time here, but by not trying to cram in a very heavy class load, students can maintain their GPAs with greater success and often learn the material in greater depth.

What if I'm transferring from another college?
If you have taken general courses from another college (psychology, history, business, etc.) you need to arrange for your transcripts to be sent to SFCC. You'll need to meet with a transcript evaluator in the college advising department to get any credits transferred here. If you have taken interior design courses from another college and are hoping to substitute them for our classes, you'll need to meet with our program director, Leslie Ann Schifferns (509) 533-3729. She will discuss curriculum and projects with you and either make the substitution or direct you to other instructors in our department to do so.
*Important to note: our advisors, both for the college and our own program advisors, can only allow substitutions for SFCC. If you are planning on going on to WSU and have transfer classes, you'll need to meet with their advisors to do the same substitutions for their degree.

What if I already have an A.A.? Can I shorten my time at SFCC?
If you have an A.A. degree coming into the program, you will definitely eliminate many of the non-INTDS classes required for the 2, 3, or WSU 4-Year transfer degree. Because of the way our classes are sequentially organized, though, you will not be able to save a year or two because you have an A.A. Depending on which degree you pursue, you will still have to take the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-year design sequences.

What is the 2nd year review?
In an effort to maintain the highest quality standards among our advancing students, we have designed a review to evaluate your work. At the close of the 2nd year, students wanting to go on and earn their 3rd Year Professional Diploma or follow the WSU transfer track for their B.A. in Interior Design will participate in this review. Students who want to earn their 2 year A.A.S. in Residential Interior Design will not need to submit work to this review.
This process is modeled after similar reviews established in other Interior Design programs. A committee comprised of our faculty as well as industry professionals will evaluate your work. At the close of the review, the committee will either invite students to apply for our 3rd year classes or recommend stopping with their 2 year A.A.S. in Residential Interior Design.

What are some of the criteria the committee will be looking for?
Details and specific evaluation criteria will be distributed between the second year students early into their second year courses. In general, we will be evaluating quality in several distinct areas: visual presentation, graphic abilities, and overall design aesthetic. Professionalism and work ethic throughout a student's coursework will also be given strong consideration.

What are my options if I am not selected to advance to 3rd year?
If you are not selected to advance to 3rd year, you are not without options. First, provided that all classes in the 2-year A.A.S. Residential Interior Design program were completed successfully, you may apply for your degree through the graduation office. Next, based on space available, you are still welcome to register for INTDS 275 Professional Practices. INTDS 285 Computer Aided Design and INTDS 281 Commercial Design Studio are the two third year courses that you will not be able to register for.

Will I be able to reapply to the 3rd year the following spring?
Possibly. It will depend on current enrollment and available space. Your work will need to improve to meet the standards to be afforded a second opportunity to apply for the 3rd year.

Is there anything I can do throughout my time here to improve my chances?
Simply realize that everything you do in this program counts and to always try your best. Your ability to meet deadlines, your professionalism and work ethic, your drafting and rendering skills, and most importantly, your overall design aesthetic all become essential abilities and qualities during the review.

Why should I be interested in a B.A. in Interior Design?
With the Interior Design industry growing and becoming more competitive, students with their B.A. in Interior Design from a 4-year university will have a broader base of knowledge and will be more marketable to larger design firms. Students are more likely to begin earning higher wages and secure entry-level design positions. Finally, students may find it easier to gain employment in larger metropolitan areas with a 4-year degree.

How does the 4-year Transfer Track to WSU work?
Students on the 4-year track spend their first three years at SFCC, then transfer to the Washington State University Design Institute in Spokane for a year and a summer quarter. Classes at SFCC are a combination of the core Interior Design classes as well as GURs (General University Requirements). When students are at WSU, they take only required Interior Design classes.

How are the classes different for WSU transfer students?
Because students on the WSU transfer track will earn their degree from a 4 year university, they must meet the university's requirements for graduation, which may include classes like Western Civilization, Economics, Sciences, and Math for Liberal Arts, to name a few. Transfer students still complete the core Interior Design coursework, they just add GUR classes.

Sounds great! Why isn't everyone pursuing the transfer track program?
First, it is a very intense program. Students take at least one extra GUR class per quarter and attend at least one summer quarter. Students with substantial outside commitments are encouraged to consider this program wisely. Second, students must spend an additional year in school. By the time they finish their 2nd or 3rd year in school, many students are very anxious to get out in the "real world" and work. Third, obviously there is additional expense. Yes, students spend the first three years at SFCC at the lowered tuition, but when attending WSU, students must pay university tuition costs and fees.

Will I be able to find a good job if I don't have a B.A.?
Absolutely! The Interior Design industry boasts an incredible variety of jobs and career tracks easily obtained by either the 2-year A.A.S. in Residential Interior Design or 3-year Professional Diploma in Commercial Design.

Can I really fit in all the classes I need to transfer in 3 years?
Yes. Our Program Director, Leslie Ann Schifferns, worked for years on this articulation with WSU to ensure that the 3 years at SFCC will provide all transferable credits to satisfy the WSU requirements. The only exception to this has been students who start our program in a lower math class. The transfer track requires students take Math 115, Math for Liberal Arts, here at SFCC. Yet many of our students need to start at Math 90 or 91.
If this is the case, students may need to take 2 or 3 extra quarters of math before being ready to take Math 115. These extra math classes may prolong the student's time at SFCC.

Do I have to take extra GUR classes if I already have my A.A.?
No, none. If you're entering our transfer program having already earned your A.A., you'll have a considerably easier course load every quarter, as you won't need to take any of the extra GUR classes. You'll only need to take the core Interior Design classes. To be safe and to avoid any last minute surprises, though, do contact a WSU transcript evaluator to be certain that all of your A.A. classes will transfer.

What if I'm on the 4-year track but don't advance after the 2nd year review?
If a transfer track student doesn't advance to our 3rd year classes, they may need to re-evaluate and change their collegiate plan and perhaps their career goals as well. Depending on current enrollment, space availability and work improvement to meet evaluation standards, you may be able to reapply the following spring. Students are invited to meet with one of our program advisors to explore potential options.

What type of student typically joins this program?
Although our program and courses appeal to a wide cross-section of people, we have found common characteristics among the students who want to be Interior Designers. Many students say they've “always had a knack for design.” These students often have some experience either in their own homes or already have a job in the industry. Our program also attracts students who are artistically creative. Interior Design is one industry in which artists and aesthetically/visually oriented people can make a living. We also have students join our program who love hands-on projects. With the “do-it-yourself” TV programs and expanded home improvement centers, many students are attracted to the aspect of building and constructing themselves.

What skills/abilities would be helpful coming into the program?
Although we have had students enter our program lacking most of the basic skills listed here, the more abilities students have the more they will enjoy their time at SFCC.
Basic computer skills and experience with researching a wide range of subjects will help you immeasurably in this program. Being able to think conceptually as an individual, as well as being able to follow precise directions, will prove to be helpful as well. By far the most valuable asset students need to succeed in this program and as Interior Designers is the ability to work well with diverse groups of people. From working with fellow students on partner projects in the classroom to servicing a wide variety of clients, from receiving critiques from instructors to communicating with architects and installers, mastering interpersonal communications is essential!

What services/tools are available to students?
Within our program, students will be exposed to a variety of industry services, tools and materials. Most classes require students to pay a lab fee, which helps pay for the replenishing and maintenance of these items. During a student's time at SFCC, we will provide drafting tables, parallel bars, a blueprint machine and blueprint paper, an 18 X 24 photo copier and paper, paper cutters, mat cutters, a light table, a lettering machine, computers and printers in our computer lab, including internet access, and specialized industry computer programs, including AutoCAD (Computer Aided Design). Students also have an extensive materials/samples library at their disposal, as well as a great selection of current interior design magazines and publications.

What supplies should I buy? Is this an expensive program?
Every class you take at SFCC will require you to purchase a certain set of supplies (pencils, papers, cutting implements, etc.), and many classes include a textbook and/or workbook as part of the required materials. Materials costs can range between $5-$150 depending on the class. Beyond the required class materials, it would be wise to try to purchase a drafting table and parallel bar, portfolio case, and a mat cutter.

Contact information is listed below. Select the email link to send an email. For general program information, contact the administrative assistant. The globe icon Globe Icon identifies faculty web sites. Click the globe to visit the site.

Contact information is listed below. Select the email link to send an email. For general program information, contact the administrative assistant. The globe icon Globe Icon identifies faculty web sites. Click the globe to visit the site.