Our program educates students to be interior designers who make valuable contributions to their profession, communicate effectively, and make a positive impact on society. Our faculty and students form an inquisitive and dynamic educational community in which creativity, critical thinking, innovative problem solving, aesthetic understanding, professionalism, and social responsibility are explored, cultivated, and promoted.
Major studios cover residential and commercial space planning, analysis, and design. Students take courses in 2D and 3D drawing, history of interiors, interior detailing, materials, building systems, interior lighting, codes, and business practices. Visit the online Catalog to view and search offerings of Interior Design courses.
The Interior Design Program at Palm Beach State College is housed in the Technology
Center at the Lake Worth campus. The program facilities consist of a large studio
classroom with drafting and computer stations, resource room, presentation room, and
Zenaida Espinosa, Associate Professor & Department Chair
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Interior Design?
According to the Council for Interior Design Qualification, "Interior Design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants, and are aesthetically attractive. Designs are created in response to and coordinated with the building shell, and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project. Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements, and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability. The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals."
- Why do I need a degree to practice Interior Design?
Over the years interior design has evolved into a separate and distinct discipline requiring expertise and skills different from other professions. Interior designers have become key participants in the total design process. Educating practitioners providing interior design services contributes to the public health, safety and welfare. Without formal education and a degree, it will be difficult for you to attract clients or obtain employment in the field.
- What kind of degree do I earn at Palm Beach State College?
Palm Beach State College awards an Associate in Science Degree in Interior Design Technology. Palm Beach State is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the same agency that accredits UF, FSU, FAU, and the other state colleges and universities in this region. Our program also complies with the educational requirements for examination and licensing in the State of Florida.
The Associate in Science Degree in Interior Design Technology program meets the educational requirements set forth in Rule 61G1-22 of the State of Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design Administrative Code. After completion of this program, four years of work experience under a registered interior designer or architect and passage of the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination are required to apply for licensing.
- How long will it take me to earn this degree?
For a full-time student, we recommend a minimum of 4 semesters and 2 summers to complete the program. Part-time and evening students will take longer.
- What kind of instruction will I receive?
All instructors in the program are hired on the basis of their educational credentials and years of field experience. All are successful practitioners and respected members of the design community.
We are a learning-centered program. Class time is spent almost entirely in instruction through lectures, demonstrations, audiovisual presentations, studio work, and student work critiques. You may be required to contribute an equal amount of time in homework, depending on how many project deadlines fall at any given time. Good time management and productive work habits are essential to student success.
Internship (IND 2941) provides field experience and the opportunity to explore various job types within the profession before graduation.
- What does the program prepare me to do?
The curriculum includes both theoretical knowledge and practical training that prepares you for entry-level employment in the profession immediately upon graduation.
- How difficult is the program?
We set high standards for performance and earning high grades requires your commitment to a rigorous education. You can control your workload by the number of credits you take each semester. For each hour of in-class time, you can expect, at a minimum, to invest 2 hours of time outside of class doing homework.
- How are the classes organized?
Classes are organized sequentially: part one of a sequence (Fall semester) must be taken successfully to be able to take part two of the sequence (Spring semester). For example: IND1233C Design Studio 1 (Fall) will lead to IND1234C Design Studio 2 (Spring). Also, some classes need to be taken together; specifically, IND1233C Design Studio 1 and IND1401C Technical Design, and IND1234C Design Studio 2 and IND2460C CAD for Interiors 1. Each class is only offered once a year and must be taken in sequence in order for a student to move onto the next semester classes.
- Can I begin the program in the Spring or Summer?
Our main courses are designed to start in the Fall due to the sequential organization of the program. However, students wishing to start the program in the Spring or Summer could take classes not having a prerequisite or any of the general education course requirements.
- Which classes should I register for in the beginning?
New students can start the program as early as the Summer term with IND2420 Materials and general education courses (if not yet completed). This is followed by the Fall semester course offerings: IND1233C Design Studio 1, IND1401C Technical Design, IND2461 Building Systems, and IND2100 History of Interiors 1.
- What would a typical full time student class schedule look like?
On campus Interior Design classes are offered once a week, Monday through Friday. For example, IND1233C Design Studio 1 may be offered on a Tuesday, while IND1401C Technical Design may be offered on a Friday. Students generally have 2 sections of each class to choose from, a day section or an evening section. Refer to the class schedule for specific days and times. A few classes are offered fully online, providing students with a flexible schedule.
It is important to understand that we cannot guarantee specific schedules to students during any of our terms. Class times can change every term 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?
Students with job or family commitments should consider joining our program as a part-time student. A part-time student only takes two or three of the required course sequences per semester. You must contact the Department Chair for recommended part-time sequences.
By attending part-time, a student is adding at least a year or two to the program of study. However, by not having a heavy class load, students can maintain their GPA with greater success and learn the material in greater depth.
- I enjoy colors and selecting materials and furniture. Is this what the program is
This is a good beginning. However, a successful interior designer must also have a strong awareness and understanding of art history, space planning, building codes, and a range of technical subjects such as construction materials and methods, lighting, and computer applications. Ensure you have researched the discipline of interior decorating and interior design and understand the differences.
- Do I need an art or technical background?
No. We don’t assume that students have any prior exposure to art, design, or drafting. Our curriculum begins with fundamental courses, which teach the basic skills and knowledge needed in this program.
- How much will my Interior Design education cost?
Students can expect to spend approximately $7575 ($101/credit hour X 75 program credits) for in-state tuition based on the 2016-2017 tuition fees plus the cost for local fees, textbooks, software, and other course supplies.
- What are the job opportunities after graduation?
Interior design, architecture, product showrooms, and home building are some of the professions and industries that hire our graduates. Our graduates are employed throughout Palm Beach County.
- What starting salary can I expect?
This will depend on the type of job and the quality of the work in your portfolio. On the average, graduates in their first year of full time employment can expect a starting salary of $25,000 to $35,000 per year. Income usually climbs steadily as you gain field and project experience.
- What must I do to register for classes?
Anyone interested in attending Palm Beach State College must first apply for admission. This can be easily completed online. From the College home page, click the "Apply" link and from there, simply follow the directions.
- Can I transfer credits from other colleges or programs that I have attended?
There is a good chance that some credit hours completed at other colleges/universities will apply to our program. Students transferring in credits from other colleges must have an official copy of the transcripts sent directly to the office of the Registrar at Palm Beach State. A portfolio review of any previous interior design courses will be required in order to accurately evaluate and assign transferred credits into our program.
- When does registration begin and when does the regular semester actually start?
Registration for the fall semester usually begins in April; spring semester registration usually begins in October. Registration start date is based on the student's status. Fall classes begin in August and spring classes begin in January. Refer to the College Academic Calendar for exact dates. Register as early as possible. The Interior Design program has limited enrollment and some courses fill quickly.
- On which campus are the Interior Design classes held?
All the interior design classes are held on the Lake Worth campus while some non-studio classes are offered online. General education classes can be taken at any campus and/or online.