UCLA Extension

Interior Design: Foundation Level

Emily Wilson shares her story on balancing work, school and real life.

Former student, Emily Wilson, explains going back to school to study Interior Design

The Foundation Level provides beginners with a fundamental education in the field of interior architecture. It is the only program in the nation leading to a Master of Interior Architecture degree that is offered on a continuing education basis.
Candidacy Fee:  $250 Estimated Program Tuition:  $14,900 Estimated Program Textbook/Materials:  $3,500 Certificate Requirement:  18 courses, 82 units Duration:  6 quarters/1.5 years (full-time pace)
Meets I-20/F1 visa requirements

The Certificate Program offers:

  • Open Enrollment
  • Flexible class loads and scheduling
  • Advanced Standing: If you have taken architecture, art, or design-related courses at other institutions, you may qualify for Advanced Standing. To determine which transfer credits you may qualify for, you will need to make an appointment with the Program Advisor by calling (310) 794-3747.
  • Distinguished instructors who are practicing professionals in interior design, architecture, or fine arts.
  • NCIDQ examination eligibility after a higher amount of required work experience.
  • Internships, mentorships, and job placement opportunities set up through our Program Advisor.
  • Diverse curriculum provides essential skill sets for going on to advanced degree classes.
  • Students who complete the Certificate with a grade point average of 3.0 or better and have a bachelor’s degree are eligible for the Master of Interior Architecture degree. Please see the Master of Interior Architecture for more details.

Program Requirements & Curriculum

Establishing Candidacy is required in order to earn the Certificate of Interior Design. Domestic students may take up to five classes before establishing Candidacy; International students must obtain Candidacy prior to starting the program. Candidate students have exclusive access to a set of resources & benefits including:

  • Full-time Student Affairs Advisor dedicated to working individually with each student
  • Priority on waitlists
  • Access to Jobs + Internships listings on our website
  • Resource Library featuring reference books, product samples, literature, and periodicals
  • Opportunities to earn class credit as a Teaching Assistant or Librarian
  • Obtain an optional BruinCard ($10 fee)

The Interior Design Candidacy Fee is $250, non-refundable, non-transferable. To establish Candidacy, click here and select “Apply Now” or call the Enrollment Office at (310) 825-9971.

International students must complete a minimum of 12 units per quarter and must establish Candidacy during the I-20 process. For more information, please visit the International Student Office.

In order to earn the Certificate of Interior Design, all 18 courses must be completed with a recorded letter grade. A minimum GPA of 2.0 must be earned in order to fulfill the certificate requirement. Please note that a minimum 3.0 GPA must be earned to be considered for the Master of Interior Architecture degree program. The pass/no pass grading option is not permitted. Students are encouraged to follow the Quarterly Curriculum Sequence in order to efficiently progress through the program.

Quarterly Curriculum Sequence
18 Courses (82 units)


Course No. | Title Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
ARCH X 438 Fundamentals of Interior Architecture 4
ARCH X 467.17A Design Communication I* 6
ARCH X 454A Elements of Design I* 4


Course No. | Title Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
ARCH X 452.1 Color Theory and Application 4
ARCH X  466E  Design Communication II* 6
ARCH X 454B Elements of Design II 4


Course No. | Title Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
ARCH X 468.20 Digital Presentation I: Photoshop/Illustrator* 4
ARCH X 466F Design Communication III  6
ARCH X 427.8A History of Environmental Arts: Part I* 4


Course No. | Title Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
ARCH X 468.5A Digital Presentation II: 2D CAD/AutoCAD* or ARCH X 468.13A Digital Presentation II: Revit Architecture I* 4
ARCH  X 427.7 Surface Materials 4
ARCH X 427.8B History of Environmental Arts: Part II* 4


Course No. | Title Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
ARCH X 468.5B Digital Presentation III: 3D CAD/AutoCAD* or ARCH X 438.13B Digital Presentation III: Revit Architecture II* 4
ARCH  X 433 Interior Architecture Studio I 6
ARCH X 427.8C History of Environmental Arts: Part III* 4    


Course No. | Title Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
ARCH X 467.15 Lighting Design 4
ARCH  X 430A Interior Architecture Studio II 6
ARCH X 427.8D History of Environmental Arts: Part IV* 4    

* These courses are occasionally offered online. Please check the current schedule for availability.

History of Environmental Arts I & III are offered in Spring & Fall quarters; History of Environmental Arts II & IV are offered in Summer & Winter quarters.