Skip to Navigation
    Syracuse University
  Feb 22, 2018
2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Environmental and Interior Design, BFA

Return to Academic Offerings Return to: Academic Offerings


Lucinda Havenhand, Department of Design
The Warehouse, 315-443-2455,


Zoriana Dunham, Dennis Earle, Lucinda Havenhand, Seyeon Lee, Jody Lawrence, Matthew Leonard, Sarah Redmore


Through the exploration of the art and architecture of environmental design, students solve problems in a broad range of built environments. Students work closely with faculty in a studio environment similar to the professional design office experience. The curriculum and projects support the professional, multidisciplinary philosophy and foster the creation of humane, sustainable environments for people. Visualization and communications skills, as well as a strong technical component, provide a basis for the education of designers who will become creative problem solvers and leaders in various fields of interior design.

Students receive a broad liberal arts education in conjunction with studio courses in fine arts to complement their work in environmental and interior design. A sensitivity to the concerns of people, sustainable design practices and an understanding of the business of design contribute to their overall competence. Individual work experiences and actual and collaborative projects in the community and with industry expose students to current and future issues.

The program shares courses, design laboratories, and studios with other disciplines in the Department of Design maintains a close relationship with professional designers, design societies, and manufacturers. Students and the program have received many national and international design awards. The program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

Prospective students without art and design backgrounds and portfolios may apply directly to the program and matriculate through the freshman EDI curriculum.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate critical thinking, application of precedents/theories, diverse methodologies, and research synthesis in the design process.

2. Demonstrate knowledge and effective application of programming, space-planning, and spatial design skills for environmental and interior design, including synthesis of research and client/user information, spatial analysis, and iterative problem-solving.

3. Demonstrate competency in drawing, graphics, and visual representation articulated through the use of analog and digital tools

4. Demonstrate an understanding of diverse behavioral, social, cultural, historical, political, and spatial contexts affecting the design of the built environment

5. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on and critique key aspects of design as process and product

6. Demonstrate an understanding of design as a unique tool to promote humanistic and progressive ideals embracing environmental responsibility, universal/ inclusive spaces, human-centered design, diversity, and progressive professional practices

Program Requirements

Art History Requirements: 12 credits

Academic Electives: 15 credits

Academic electives are most courses offered outside of art, design, or transmedia (for example, courses offered in CRS, Arts and Sciences, Whitman, and other colleges outside of SU:VPA). These academic courses usually have non-art-related content, such as math, natural sciences, astronomy, global history, political science, psychology, and entrepreneurship, and languages at the 100-level, among others. You can find a comprehensive list of approved academic electives here.

Studio Electives: 15 credits

Studio electives are courses usually offered in VPA through art, design, or transmedia.  The content of the courses directly relates to the preparation of students for professional careers in art, design, and transmedia. The course content includes, but is not limited to, conceptualization, process, product, and critique of creative work in studio practice. These courses meet for a much longer time, for a minimum of four hours per week for the duration of the semester. Usual meeting patterns are: the class meets once per week for four+ hours, or the class meets twice per week, usually for two or more hours each. You can find a comprehensive list of courses that count as studio electives here.

Free Electives: 12 credits

Students can choose any course offered at SU, including but not limited to academic and/or studio courses.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to spend a semester abroad in their junior year at SU’s Design in London program or working on special projects and internships in Syracuse and around the world. Please refer to the SUAbroad website for eligibility and application criteria.

Total Credits Required: 120

Degree Awarded: BFA in Environmental and Interior Design

Return to Academic Offerings Return to: Academic Offerings