UCLA Extension

General Program FAQs


Is there an application process?

Candidacy is required for graduation from the Interior Design Certificate program and many other benefits. 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 design program candidates. For more information contact the UCLA Extension International Student Office, call (310) 825-9351.

For admission to the Master of Interior Architecture program, an applicant must have received a baccalaureate degree, have attained an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 and have completed the 82 prerequisite units or their equivalent. An applicant who does not meet these criteria may be admitted on a conditional basis if evidence of compensating qualifications can be furnished. Students may enter the Master of Interior Architecture program during almost any quarter and the program accepts non-resident and foreign students.

How do I know which courses to take?

Simply follow the sequence of courses outlined in the Curriculum Chart published each quarter in the UCLA Extension catalog.

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, (310) 825-9351.

What time and day are classes offered?

All of our classes meet one time per week for 3 hours per meeting (some Masters classes meet for 5 hours per meeting). 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). Some classes are offered in the mornings (typically starting after 10am) and afternoons as well as online. Students may enroll in any combination of time slots or online sections that fit their schedule. Note that a small number of courses are regularly featured at the same time each quarter, as we are sometimes bound by the constraints of our instructors’ work schedules.

Where are classes located?

All of our courses—including Cal Poly Pomona Master’s classes—are held in Westwood Village in Los Angeles. The majority of Design Program courses are taught at the 1010 Westwood Blvd. classroom building. Larger lecture courses are offered on UCLA’s main campus. Other courses are held in the Extension Lindbrook Center at 10920 Lindbrook Drive, or the Gayley Center at 1145 Gayley Ave. See the Campus Map for location details.

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. Many students who work full time, live far from Westwood, or have other daytime obligations take advantage of online learning because there is no set schedule; students can login to their class via Canvas (the online learning system) at whatever time or day is convenient for them—just as long as they are following along with the pace of the class and participating regularly. Because of this flexibility, the most successful online learners are self-motivated. Knowing and directing on your goals and personal stakes in why you are taking a class online can help you stay self-directed and motivated in the online environment, particularly because there may not be the same sense of monitoring and structure that an on-the-ground course might have.

Lastly, online learning does not require a high degree of technical proficiency. If you have basic technological skills, such as browsing the internet, sending emails, and uploading/downloading files, you’re pretty much set!

For help or a more in-depth look at online learning, check out the Canvas student portal, which includes videos on how to navigate through your course, workshop with other students, and prepare for class.

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. Students enrolled in the online CAD courses are required to use their own laptop or desktop computer. Students enrolled in the live (on-site) CAD courses will be using computers in the UCLA Extension Computer Labs, however, we do not offer lab hours and therefore a home computer (laptop or desktop) will be necessary to complete homework and other projects. You may use either a Mac or PC, but please note that the majority of our classes are taught on a PC platform. Additionally, some software, such as Revit, is not available for Mac users. For more computer or CAD software questions, 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/SketchUp Pro (Google) – Students must purchase this software. For students in Digital Presentation III, a download link will be sent during the first week of class. Elective SketchUp courses may use the free version of SketchUp.
  • Podium Plus V2 Rendering Plug-in (for SketchUp) – Students must purchase this software. For students in Digital Presentation III, a download link will be sent during the first week of class.

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: $30,749.80*
Estimated Program Textbook/Materials: $4,000

*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, call the UCLA Extension Financial Aid Office at (310) 825-4246.

The Master of Interior Architecture Program does qualify for Federal Financial Aid and can be applied only to courses registered through Cal Poly’s BroncoDirect system. Please visit their website for more information: http://www.cpp.edu/~financial-aid/index.shtml

Are scholarships available?

We offer three scholarships: The James R. Northcutt Scholarship (one for beginning students and one for advanced students) and the Howard Hirsch Design Scholarship. For more information, see scholarships.

Why are the computer courses more expensive?

Projection equipment, hardware and software, technical support, and maintenance requirements related to operating up-to-date computer classrooms contribute to higher course fees.



Where can I park?

Daytime parking is available at various rates in numerous private Westwood Village lots, many of which also offer evening discounts. For information on parking lots around Westwood Village, please visit the Where to Park. In addition, single entry and quarterly UCLA parking permits are available. See UCLA Parking & Transit for more information.

Is there a studio or computer lab where I can work on projects?

There is an open studio space for students to work on their projects at the 1010 Westwood building on the 2nd floor, however there is currently no space for students to store their material securely. Also, this space is only available during building operating hours (7am-10pm).

Students may only use the computers in the UCLA Extension Computer Labs during class time or with instructor supervision. We do not offer lab hours.

Can the Arc+ID department help me with software or computer problems?

The Arc+ID department does not provide technical support for any of the computer classes, so some basic knowledge of how to use a computer is required. All software is installed by the student so you should be comfortable with that too. Instructors do not troubleshoot computer problems; they are extremely limited in the amount of “troubleshooting” advice they can provide.

Students should check the web site of software developers to see what support options are available. It will vary by company.

What housing options does UCLA Extension offer incoming students?

International students enrolled in UCLA Extension programs typically live off campus, usually in apartments.

Exceptions: On-campus housing is available only during the summer quarter for those enrolled in the American Language Center or Study Abroad programs.

We suggest you make arrangements for housing and confirm your arrangements well in advance of your arrival.

Housing Information Listings/Sources:

  • Hotels—If you need a place to stay when you first arrive or after your housing check-out date, these hotels are near the UCLA campus. Some offer a UCLA discount.
  • Long-term housing—Many international students choose to stay in privately-owned residence halls, homestays, or furnished apartments.
  • UCLA Community Housing Office (CHO)—Provides free information on short- and long-term housing, rental locations, rental agreements, and more.
  • Online listings—Classified advertisement pages of the UCLA Daily Bruin and Los Angeles Times.
  • Commercial housing agencies—Apartments for Rent and Westside Rentals.

Please be aware that UCLA Extension does not manage, endorse, nor make specific recommendations regarding the housing facilities listed within our housing section. This information is provided simply to assist students. The providers listed are not the only housing options available.

Further, all housing contracts and arrangements are between students and housing providers and are not the responsibility of UCLA Extension. You are responsible for arranging your own accommodations directly with the housing provider of your choice.

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. Access expires 90 days after your account is created, however eligible students can renew their account at any time by contacting the Arc+ID office at arc_id@uclaextension.edu or call (310) 825-9061.

Does the program offer internships?

Yes, our internships offer students the opportunity to work directly in a design office to obtain hands-on work experience. Interns also earn course credit. Local design firms request students for positions at a variety of levels. It is not uncommon for students to be hired upon completion of their internship. Before applying to an internship, students must review the Internship Process & Internship Program Description. International students must also review the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Policy.

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.

What resources are available to Design Program Candidates?

In addition to having their Student Records kept on file, Design Program Candidates receive an ID card entitling them access to career placement resources including the Job + Internships listing; the on-site resource library, product literature, and materials samples; opportunities to earn course credit as a teaching assistant or librarian; and discounts on certain programs. Candidates are also eligible for ASUCLA computer store discounts.

What is the NCIDQ exam? Why should I take it?

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification Exam is the most comprehensive of the exams that, along with California Codes and Regulations Exam, is required as part of the certification process in California. Passage is also required by many other states and for membership in professional organizations such as ASID and IIDA which promote awareness of the profession. For more information, visit www.cidq.org and ccidc.org.