UCLA Extension

General Program FAQs


Is there an application process?

Candidacy is required in order to earn the Certificate of Interior Design from UCLA Extension. Although it is recommended that students become Candidates when beginning the program, they may take up to five courses before establishing Candidacy. To begin the program, simply enroll in one or more courses. International students must be declare Candidacy during the visa process.

For admission to the Master of Interior Architecture program, an applicant must have received a 4-year bachelor’s degree, have attained an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 and have completed the 82 prerequisite units (or their equivalent). Students may apply for the Master of Interior Architecture program during the Fall and Spring quarters.

How do I know which courses to take?

Simply follow the sequence of courses outlined on the Curriculum Chart.

How many courses should I take each quarter?

Each quarter is 11 weeks long, and most courses meet once per week for three hours, with 12-15 hours of outside study per week for each course. Full-time enrollment is three courses per quarter but students may take fewer than three courses per quarter. International students are required to carry a minimum number of units per quarter. For more information contact the UCLA Extension International Student Office.

What time and day are classes offered?

Our classes typically meet one time per week for 3 hours (some MIA classes meet for 5 hour sessions). We currently do not schedule classes on Fridays or Sundays and rarely schedule classes on Saturdays. We know that many of our students are working professionals, so we try to schedule many of our classes in the evenings during non-work hours (5-10pm). A limited number of classes are scheduled in the afternoons or asynchronous/fully online.

Where are classes located?

All of our in-person classes are held on/near the UCLA campus.

How do online classes work?

Online courses are incredibly flexible to the student’s needs, giving them the ability to plan their study time around their day. Students can log into Canvas (our learning management system) at their convenience. There are scheduled due dates for assignments, but no class meetings.

For a more in-depth look at Canvas, please check here.

AutoCAD or Revit – Which Digital Presentation II & III classes should I take?

The Arc&ID program requires that students take either two AutoCAD classes or two Revit classes. It is strictly up to the individual student to decide which software program to use. AutoCAD has been around for over three decades and has a huge install base of users and consequently a large number of potential employers request this skill set. It also has a large library of furniture and fixtures symbols.

Many Arc&ID students use AutoCAD, for construction documents (i.e. floor plans, elevations, sections, details) and SketchUp for quick ways of presenting design models and perspectives. Changes must be maintained in both applications.

Revit is a relatively new BIM (Building Information Modeling) design software from the makers of AutoCAD; it is used by large firms such as Gensler and HOK. It allows users to do construction documents, models and perspectives in one software application plus a variety of analytical studies. BIM tools are considered the wave of the future with more and more firms, particularly large architecture or commercial firms switching every day.

What course materials do I need?

Since professional designers rely upon digital tools, a computer is critical to your success in the program. Please note all of our software classes are taught on a PC/Windows platform. For more information regarding CAD and Revit, please refer to the Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) Course Requirements.

Students must also have a means of for backing up files such as a cloud storage account, flash drives, or an external hard drive.

Software programs that are utilized in the Certificate and Master’s program are:

  • Photoshop (Adobe Creative Cloud) – Students must purchase this software.
  • Illustrator (Adobe Creative Cloud) – Students must purchase this software.
  • AutoCAD (Autodesk; version determined by your instructor) – Students will be provided with a 12-month free student version of the software. A download link will be sent during the first week of class.
  • Revit (Autodesk; version determined by your instructor) – Students will be provided with a 12-month free student version of the software. A download link will be sent during the first week of class.
  • SketchUp – Students must purchase this software.
  • Podium Plus Plug-in (for SketchUp) – Students must purchase this software.

Students should wait until the instructor confirms the correct software version required for the class before purchasing or downloading software.

In addition to a computer and software, you will need drawing and drafting materials. Most of your courses will provide a list of specific materials that you will need to purchase and bring to each class. These include model building materials, drafting pencils & pens, architectural scale, triangles, a toolbox, etc.


How much does the program cost?

Certificate Program/Prerequisite Foundation Level Courses

Candidacy Fee: $250
Estimated Program Tuition: $15,018
Estimated Program Textbook/Materials: $3,100

Master’s Program/Advanced Level Courses

Application Fee: $70
Estimated Program Tuition: $30,750*
Estimated Program Textbook/Materials: $3,500

*Price per quarter unit: $500. Price per semester unit: $715.90. Elective costs vary.

Is financial aid available?

Federal financial aid is not available for the Certificate program, but there are number of alternatives. For information on other educational funding opportunities, please visit this webpage.

Effective Fall 2022, the Master of Interior Architecture program does not qualify for funding through the Federal or State financial aid programs. This in no way reflects upon the quality of the program; it simply means it does not meet the criteria for federal or state financial aid eligibility.

Private education loans are the only source of funding available, beginning with the Fall 2022 term.

Please visit the CPP Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships website for details about the cost of attendance and information on private loans. In addition, three scholarships are available: The James R. Northcutt Scholarship (beginning and advanced), and the Howard Hirsch Design Scholarship. For scholarship information, call 310-825-9061.

Are scholarships available?

A handful of scholarships are offered through our program. For more information on these, please visit this webpage.

Does the program offer job opportunities?

Students in the Certificate of Interior Design program or the Master of Interior Architecture program have exclusive access to the Job + Internship Opportunity listings on our website.

What if I’m interested only in residential or only in commercial design?

Our objective is to provide a well-rounded education. As you advance through the program, exposure to various aspects of design will only enhance your ability to pursue a professional specialization that is of great interest to you.

How do I become a Certified Interior Designer?

For more information, visit www.cidq.org and ccidc.org.