Program Overview

The Honours Bachelor of Interior Design degree program at Fanshawe College prepares students to encompass analysis, space planning, design, documentation and management of interior construction and alteration projects in compliance with regional and national building codes, life-safety standards and regulations. With emphasis on creativity and design thinking, students prepare for a distinct profession with specialized knowledge related to human behaviour theories, research, technical and project-specific design solutions.

Program Details

Program Code
120 weeks
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2024 September
2023 September
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2023 September
2024 September

Your Learning Experience

If you are passionate about designing spaces that nurture the physical, social and psychological needs of a changing society, this four-year, CIDA accredited program prepares students for an in-demand career in commercial and residential design with professional interior design organizations.


Study problem analysis, concept development, design communication, lighting, acoustics, wayfinding, ergonomics, anthropometrics, technical working drawings and specifications, and cutting-edge design technology within a nurturing, collaborative environment where you can share and test your ideas. You’ll learn how to utilize innovative digital fabrication equipment to conceptualize (their) design parti, such as 3D printing, CNC fabrication, laser cutting and more. You’ll also experience your designs using virtual reality technologies, and learn to communicate and share your ideas with future clients by practicing verbal and visual presentation methods.


Interior designers focus on the planning, design and detailing of interior space to improve the quality of people's physical environment. The four-year Honours Bachelor of Interior Design program covers both commercial and residential design, providing comprehensive treatment of all facets of interior design including research, problem analysis, concept development, design communication, drawings and specifications, technology, verbal and visual presentation methods, construction, and business practice. The courses develop students' skills as creative designers who can formulate, propose and execute creative design solutions for the physical, social and psychological needs of a changing society. Principles of environmental sustainability and socially responsible design are embedded throughout the courses.


Apply your learning and make industry connections during two co-op work semesters in entry-level interior design. Graduate career-ready and prepared to make your mark on the world around you. *The co-op term takes place after third year, and is 425 hours of paid work experience before fourth year. 


The Honours Bachelor of Interior Design program at Fanshawe College is recognized by the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO).

Laptop Requirement

Bachelor of Interior Design students are required to have a laptop for use in the classroom.  The computer should meet or exceed the minimum system requirements to run the latest version of Autodesk AutoCAD and Revit. Please check Autodesk’s website for the minimum system requirements and specifications for the most recent software versions.  Although a Mac will work in earlier years of the BID program, many students prefer a Windows based PC, as Revit only operates on Windows.  (Revit is introduced in the Winter term of 2nd year).

Co-op Opportunities & Career Information

Co-op Opportunities 

The Bachelor of Interior Design program offers a cooperative education component, which provides students the opportunity to gain invaluable first-hand workplace experience in their chosen field. Here are some co-op jobs that have kick-started the careers of some Bachelor of Interior Design students before even graduating! 

Assistant Designer
Support Interior Designers with administrative duties, CAD work, materials acquisition, overseeing projects and hands-on assistance in the creation of the vision. 

Research specialist
Source materials and design concepts to inform an upcoming project and make recommendations.

Project specialist
Working closely with the client, utilize CAD, health and safety protocol and client criteria to achieve project targets. 

For more information regarding co-op, please check out our co-op site or contact the Co-op Office at to connect with a consultant.

Career Information

Graduates of Fanshawe’s Bachelor of Interior Design program are well positioned to pursue careers as designers with interior design firms, architectural firms or corporate institutions. They may also work as freelance designers or as architecture and design representatives with resource alliance suppliers. They will be able to design offices, hotels/resorts, retail spaces, institutional facilities, health care facilities and residential settings. 

The program incorporates an emphasis on sustainable practices giving graduates the creativity, visualization, interpersonal and problem-solving skills needed to let their artistic ability shine.


Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Honours Bachelor of Interior Design program:

Interior Designer
Create interior spaces that reflect clients’ needs and tastes and produce designs, plans and drawings for construction and installation.

Design Assistant
Use rendering software to create floor plans and other assets to help clients visualize design concepts. Source, shop and furnish the space.

Junior Project Designer
Support all phases of project detail from inception to post-installation. Be creative and passionate about workplace design and responsible for showroom duties.


Program Progression

Fall Intake Only

  Fall Winter Summer
Year 1 Level 1 Level 2 Off
Year 2 Level 3 Level 4 Off
Year 3 Level 5 Level 6 Work Term
Year 4   Level 7 Level 8




Rachel Ann Wies Performing Arts & Educational Centre Board Two
Photo of Andrew Zarkovich

"By combining practice and theory, I am becoming prepared for my career awaiting at the finish line. At the heart of the degree are professors and industry professionals who take the time to ensure your success, and support your creative ventures. I am happy to say, this is my community."

Andrew Zarkovich
Honours Bachelor of Interior Design Graduate
Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Apply human-centred design principles when designing the built environment to meet client needs;
  2. Prepare working drawings and specifications for non-load bearing interior construction, in compliance with universal accessibility guidelines, applicable building codes and industry standards;
  3. Formulate preliminary space plans and design concepts that integrate the client's program requirements, the principles of interior design and theories of human behavior;
  4. Create design concepts across a range of sectors that reflect knowledge of historical precedents, decorative arts, architecture and related theories and best practices;
  5. Synthesize principles of acoustics, thermal comfort and lighting to achieve wellbeing, comfort and performance within interior environments;
  6. Source and recommend furniture, fixtures, equipment and materials on the basis of their properties and performance against defined criteria;
  7. Develop design recommendations that address functionality and aesthetics and meet global public health, safety, welfare and environmental requirements and sustainability guidelines;
  8. Specify colors, materials, finishes, furnishings, equipment and lighting to appropriately convey the design concept and to meet socio-psychological, functional, maintenance, and lifecycle performance requirements;
  9. Collaborate, communicate and apply interpersonal skills to fulfill a leadership role on an interdisciplinary, multi-cultural design team;
  10. Communicate professionally through a variety of design communication mediums to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  11. Follow standards of professional practice when managing a project, utilizing instruments of the design business such as contract documents, schedules, budgets and specifications;
  12. Choose opportunities for constant renewal of skills, knowledge and attitudes to ensure life long learning and professional development;
  13. Generate creative ideas based on calculated risk-taking that result in innovative design solutions to meet client requirements;
  14. Interpret qualitative and quantitative data to correctly identify problems and offer comprehensive, evidence-based design (EBD) recommendations;
  15. Integrate the principles of Universal Design in all design projects, including those that focus on historic preservation, repurposing of space and new construction.

Student achievement data for Honours Bachelor of Interior Design

Student attrition and retention:

  • 75% of students who began in the Fall of 2019 returned in the Fall of 2020, putting attrition at 25% 
  • 54% of students who began in the Fall of 2018 returned in the Fall of 2019, putting attrition at 46%
  • 50% of students who began in the Fall of 2017 returned in the Fall of 2018, putting attrition at 50%*
  • 79% of students who began in the Fall of 2016 returned in the Fall of 2017, putting attrition at 21% 

Source: Institutional Research, Fanshawe College

*Note, there was a province-wide faculty strike during the fall semester of 2017, causing program delivery disruption and above-average attrition across all programs. 

Graduation rates:

  • Of the students graduating in spring of 2020, 92% graduated in 4 years
  • Of the students graduating in spring of 2019, 90% graduated in 4 years
  • Of the students graduating in spring of 2018, 80 % graduated in 4 years
  • Of the students graduating in spring of 2017, 73% graduated in 4 years

Source: Data generated by Institutional Research based on reviewing the Students by Program reports for various years.

Job placement rates:

  • Of the 19 graduates included in KPI reporting for the Summer 20­17/Fall 2017/Winter 2018 academic year, 88% are employed in a related field, 42% are available for employment and 58% are status unknown (did not respond to the survey)
  • Students of the program enjoy a 100% employment rate for their co-op work term semesters

Source: Graduate Survey Outcomes Report Summer 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, distributed by the Career Services Office and Institutional Research

Acceptance into graduate programs:

  • Based upon a survey of Honours Bachelor of Interior Design graduates undertaken in fall 2018, approximately .5% of graduates from 2013 – 2018 applied to graduate school, and .5% were accepted.

Source: Graduate Survey Outcomes Report Summer 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, distributed by the Career Services Office and Institutional Research.


Academic School

Bachelor of Interior Design Program Contact:

Meghan Mastronardi


Admission Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or mature applicant with the following courses

- Grade 12 English (U) - minimum final grade of 65%

- Grade 11* Math (U or M) or Grade 12 Math (U)

- Four additional Grade 12 University (U) or University/College (M) courses

* Applicants applying with the Grade 11 Math must have five additional Grade 12 (U or M) courses

- Final minimum average of 65% based on the highest six Grade 12 (U or M) courses

- SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL REQUIRED: Digital Portfolio and writing sample. Watch for an email after you apply with more details and instructions on how to submit.

Applicants with Post-secondary Education

- Post-secondary applicants will also have to complete the Digital Portfolio and writing sample.

- Applicants who have successfully completed a two-year diploma at an accredited college with an overall GPA of 2.5 will be considered as having met the admission requirements if they also have grade 12 (or equivalent) U level Math and English courses.

- Applicants applying from a university with a minimum average of 65% in the last ten full credit or full credit equivalent courses will be considered as having met the admission requirements if they also have grade 12 (or equivalent) U level Math and English courses.

Applicants missing the required courses may want to consider our General Arts and Science - One Year program where they can earn Grade 12, U level credits.
International Admission Equivalencies
Admission equivalencies for Fanshawe depends on your country of study. Please enter your location to see the requirements for your country below.
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Test Score
IELTS Academic Overall score of 6.5 with no score less than 6.0 in any of the four bands
CAEL Overall score of 70 with no score less than 60 in any of the four bands
PTE Academic 59
Cambridge English Overall score of 176 with no language skill less than 169
ESL4/GAP5 Minimum grade of 80% in Level 9, 75% in Level 10
Duolingo Overall score of 120, with no score lower than 105


Learn More about English Language Requirements

Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Courses in the following areas: Art and Design, environmental/urban design, sustainability, architecture and drafting
Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Students should have an interest in exploring the use and design of physical spaces. They should enjoy artistic, creative activities. It would be beneficial to have an interest in environmental sustainability and social responsibility.
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
  4. Achievement in Post-Secondary Studies** (if applicable)
  5. Assessment of Applicant's skill set relevant to the program based on a Digital Portfolio and Writing Sample
  • **Applicants currently enrolled in a university or who have previously attended university or other post-secondary institutions and are applying to transfer into the Honours Bachelor of Interior Design program are considered on the basis of their post-secondary standing. Specifically, applicants currently enrolled in a university or who have previously attended university must maintain a minimum average of 65.0% in the last ten full credit or full credit equivalent courses in order to be considered for admission. Applicants with less than ten full credit courses must maintain a minimum average of 65.0% in all courses in order to be considered for admission. 
Ministry Consent and Accreditation

President: P. Devlin, CMM, MSC, CD, HBA, MSS
Senior Vice-President Academic Services: G. Lima, MA
Vice-President Student Services: M. Beaudoin, BA, MLS
Dean, Faculty of Creative Industries: S. MacDonald, PhD
Associate Dean, School of Design: D. Morningstar, MEd
W. Hulme, MA Int. Des.
M. Wifi, PhD, MSc, BSc Arch
M. Mastronardi, M.Int.Des
N. Rowe, M.Int.Des

Within the program, breadth courses are taught by a variety of faculty with graduate credentials in Social Sciences, Humanities and Sciences.

Fanshawe College has been granted a consent by the Minister of Colleges and Universities to offer this degree program for a seven-year term starting September 2020. The College shall ensure that all students admitted to the above-named program during the period of consent will have the opportunity to complete the program within a reasonable time frame.

The interior design program leading to the Honours Bachelor of Interior Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation,, 206 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. The CIDA-accredited program prepares students for entry-level interior design practice, for advanced study, and to apply for membership in professional interior design organizations. The Honours Bachelor of Interior Design granted by Fanshawe College meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam). For more information about NCIDQ Exam eligibility visit:


Core Courses
Take all of the following Mandatory (Core) Courses:
The Minimum Cumulative GPA for Core Courses is 2.5

Group 1
DESG-7035Interior Design Studio 15
Interior Design Studio is the core of the curriculum. It provides students with a virtual studio environment where industry practices and design theories are integrated into simulated projects. Collaboration, ideation, guided questioning and critical analysis using a recognized design process are emphasized at all levels of the studio. The studio learning environment provides a foundation for this practical experience. Short lectures on key design criteria of prescribed project scenarios are provided, but the direction of the class is dependent on the critical path defined by individual and team approaches. Interior Design Studio 1 is an investigation of both non-discipline and linked-to-discipline based problems where students will explore abstract solutions to two and three-dimensional problems analyzing the effects of sensory elements such as colour, light and manipulation of space. Emphasis will be placed on the design process, as well as on psychological factors such as colour, spatial quality and perception in development of the interior envelope.
ENVR-7005Sustainable Practices 13
This is the first of two courses investigating the issues and practices of sustainability and their relationship to interior design and architecture practice. Prior to investigating specific practices and implications, students will explore such topics as: the degrading environment, micro verses macro issues, sensitivity, leadership, ethics and accountability. Students will investigate specific issues in sustainable interior design including but not limited to: air pollution, urban sprawl, deforestation, environmental resource depletion, sick building syndrome, indoor air pollutants, off-gassing and CO2 emissions, global warming with respect to reduction, minimization, and alternative solutions, The course incorporates the employment of sustainable practices to support the psychological and physiological well being of occupants of built environments through ecological accountability. A focus on implementing sustainable practices in studio projects will be introduced, and commitment of the student as designer and facilitator will be stressed.
DESG-7036Design Theory 13
Design Theory 1 is the first of two courses to define and investigate components of visual and spatial awareness. It focuses on an analysis of design elements & principles: space, line, mass, shape, texture, scale, proportion, balance, rhythm, emphasis, colour, harmony and variety. Colour theory, theorists, systems of classification, and colour perception and psychology will be investigated and analyzed as a significant portion of this course. Students will demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to design elements and principles through written assignments, an essay, independent research, journal reflections, class discussion, colour plate assignments and a final group project.
COMM-7023Design Communications 15
This course is in the first in a series of six applied learning courses, the completion of which will culminate in a full scope interior design project presentation. The multi-practice nature of the Design Communications series emphasizes that students and professionals must be proficient in all types of communication. Design Communications 1 introduces techniques of freehand drawing, and sketching studies, as well as manual drafting practices as a tool to communicate ideas. A historical time line of drawing conventions will be investigated with short research assignments. The class sessions will be divided into specialties of the discipline such as manual drafting practices, model building, perspective drawing, and rendering. Practical modules will also be completed in and outside of class by the students to support information delivered in the lectures/demonstrations. This course introduces skills required to complete a studio project.
INDS-7009Human Factors3
This course examines factors of diversity and perception, which affect development and success of design solutions. Anthropometrics, ergonomics, human metabolism and homeostasis, as well as psychological, cultural, and social influences and interrelationships of built environment will be researched and analyzed by the students.
View all courses

Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.