2024-2025 Brenau University Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Brenau University Catalog

Interior Design

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C. Michael Kleeman, Chair

Click Graduate Interior Design for information specific to graduate Interior Design.

Undergraduate Interior Design

Disciplines and Degrees Offered Please see a detailed list at the end of this section of majors and courses offered by the Department of Interior Design.

Please click the Graduate Interior Design (above) for information specific to the MFA in Interior Design.

Mission  For over forty years, utilizing small class sizes and one-on-one attention, Brenau University’s Interior Design Department has been preparing students with the specialized knowledge applied to the planning and design of interior environments that enhance the human experience while also promoting sustainability, health, safety, and welfare. We prepare students to apply evidence-based methodologies to identify, analyze, and synthesize information to generating holistic, technical, creative, and contextually-appropriate design solutions.

Department Philosophy  The interior design department endorses the definition of interior design as defined by the Council for Interior Design Qualifications:

Interior design encompasses the analysis, planning, design, documentation, and management of interior non-structural/non-seismic construction and alteration projects in compliance with applicable building design and construction, fire, life-safety, and energy codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines for the purpose of obtaining a building permit, as allowed by law. Qualified by means of education, experience, and examination, interior designers have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect consumers and occupants through the design of code-compliant, accessible, and inclusive interior environments that address well-being, while considering the complex physical, mental, and emotional needs of people.

Interior design includes a scope of services performed by a professional design practitioner, qualified by means of education, experience and examination, to protect and enhance the life, health, safety and welfare of the public.

Brenau University’s interior design department in support of this definition ensures that

  1. Interior design education is available to all, regardless of previous experiences and innate talent.
  2. Studio courses are taught by faculty who have passed the NCIDQ and have relevant professional practice.
  3. The interior design curriculum shall incorporate real-life problems, where possible, to inspire practical design solutions.
  4. Interior design graduates have
  • a strong foundation in the visual arts, art/design history and aesthetics.
  • a broad focus in a variety of design fields, styles and solutions.
  • strong oral and written communication skills.
  • critical thinking skills that can be applied to creative problem solving.
  1. MFA candidates possess the above skills (in item #4) in addition to their teaching and research proficiencies.

General Information: Courses may incur a materials fee in addition to tuition charges. The department supports PC based software. Students electing to work on Mac based platforms are responsible for compatibility issues.

Interior Design (B.F.A.)

This program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, CIDA. The program is offered at the Historic Brenau Gainesville Campus.

Career Opportunities  Commercial designer, exhibit designer, facilities manager, graduate student, healthcare designer, hospitality designer, lighting designer, residential designer, retail designer, sales representative, set designer, space planner, teacher, universal design specialist.

Educational Outcomes  The specific educational outcomes for the interior design program are as follows:

  1. Demonstrate evidence of a global perspective and ability to weigh design decisions within the parameters of ecological, socio-economics and cultural contexts.
  2. Demonstrate ability to apply human factors data and the theories of behavioral science to design solutions.
  3. Demonstrate ability to apply critical thinking and the design process to creative problem solving within the interior environment.
  4. Demonstrate ability to produce drawings from ideation through contract documents using a variety of media, techniques and technology.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of professional ethics and business practices.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the history of interiors, architecture and art.
  7. Demonstrate ability to apply the principles and elements of design in two-dimensional and three-dimensional projects.
  8. Demonstrate ability to select and specify furniture, fixtures, equipment and finish materials in interior spaces.
  9. Demonstrate knowledge of lighting, building systems and interior construction methods and materials.
  10. Demonstrate ability to apply knowledge of laws, codes and standards that impact the design of interior spaces.
  11. Demonstrate ability to express ideas clearly in oral and written communication.

Course of Study  A BFA in interior design shall consist of foundation courses, history and interior design courses, as well as successful completion of the senior portfolio review.

In addition to the requirements listed below, students are reminded that all majors will demonstrate oral and written communication competency within the context of writing and/or speech intensive courses in the major. Students enrolled in the Interior Design Program are required to obtain a PC laptop computer capable of running the current version sof Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk Revit by the first semester of the sophomore year. See the Information Technology website or contact the helpdesk for specifications.

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Graduate Interior Design

Interior Design, Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

The M.F.A. in Interior Design is offered online and prepares students to teach at the college level and develop evidence-based design skills bridging practice and research. Students explore current issues in the interior design profession and develop skills to effectively communicate these issues to future students. Graduates develop and teach an undergraduate interior design course, form a research topic, prepare a thesis derived from their evidence-based research. The M.F.A. is a terminal degree.

Program Expected Learning Outcomes  Upon completion of the Master of Fine Arts, students will be able to

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and techniques for evidence-based research and apply to a design.
  2. Research, plan, implement and assess undergraduate interior design courses.
  3. Demonstrate critical thinking skills as related to design analysis and project solutions.
  4. Demonstrate links between professional practice and design research.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of critical issues in design education and research.
  6. Exhibit competency in written and oral communication and visual literacy.

Admissions Requirements  Standards as those outlined in the Graduate Admissions  section, plus

  1. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. Applicants must hold an undergraduate baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. 
  2. Design Portfolio. This can be presented digitally or in person.
  3. Resume

Assistantship Program  Limited assistantships are available. Contact the department chair for details. Application deadline is April 15th for students enrolling in summer semester, June 15th for those enrolling fall semester, and November 15th for those enrolling spring semester.

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    Master’s DegreeBachelor’s DegreeMinor


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