Interior Design and Interior Architecture

Interior Design and Interior Architecture

Create Beautiful Spaces, Build a Rewarding Career

Turn your eye for design into an incredible career. You’ll learn how to design amazing spaces that support wellness, and create a more accessible, inclusive world!

You’re already passionate about solving problems and helping people while maintaining exceptional aesthetics — so take the next step and make it a rewarding career!

Apply Now Plan of Study


Kirkwood students in top 10 of national design contest

Emma Descourouaz, Hailey Jans, Molly Joyner, and Hailey Reicks — all first year students in Interior Design and Interior Architecture — have advanced to the Top 10 of the Durkan Student Design Competition.

This annual contest, sponsored by Mohawk Group’s Durkan Hospitality in partnership with NEWH (The Network of the Hospitality Industry), showcases the creative endeavors of student designers, while contributing toward the education of emerging designers that have an interest in the hospitality field.

Students were tasked with creating a fresh and innovative design for a hotel ballroom and coordinating pre-function space using colors from Durkan Hospitality’s pom color selection. Submissions were judged on concept, presentation and market feasibility by a panel of Durkan associates.

The top 10 designs were announced April 5, 2024. 

You can see all 10 designs, and vote for your favorite, at You can only vote once and must submit your choice by Monday, April 15, 2024. 

The Durkan Student Design Competition started in 2010. Since then, three Kirkwood students have won first place: Abigail Kolar (2014), Natalie Dieters (2015), and Jazbeck Lopez (2023).

  • Global Perspectives and Human-Centered Design: Student work demonstrates an understanding of design within a local, regional, and world context and how design needs may vary in cultural and social groups with different economic means. Students also understand various levels of human-centered design and theories.
  • The Design Process: Student work demonstrates understanding and ability to apply aspects of the design process to creative problem solving to generate and execute creative design solutions.
  • Communication: Students apply a variety of communication techniques and technologies appropriate to a range of purposes and audiences.
  • Professionalism and Business Practice: Students use ethical and accepted standards of practice, are committed to professional development and the industry, and understand the value of their contribution to the built environment.
  • Core Design Components: Students understand historical design, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional space and form, color, furniture, fixtures, equipment and finish materials (FFE).
  • Systems and Sustainability: Students have knowledge of building systems, lighting, acoustics, and sustainability and understand methods to improve the health, safety, and welfare of users through design.
  • Technology: Students learn about and utilize a variety of industry software to design and create 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional designs, products, and presentations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of interior designers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2022 to 2032. As the demand for renovation projects increases, homeowners and companies are expected to need services provided by interior designers and interior architectures to help create safe and functional spaces. 

Your future career opportunities include the following:

  • Interior Design Firms
  • Architecture Firms
  • Facilities Planning and Design
  • Corporate Design and Dealerships
  • Healthcare, Education, and Transportation Design
  • Hospitality, Retail, and Exhibit Design
  • Home Builders and Real Estate
  • Manufacturer's Sales Representatives
  • Sport, Stadium, and Lighting Design
  • Product and Textile Design

Kirkwood is the affordable option. We have more than $3 million in scholarships available every year!

Iowa's Only 2-year Interior Design and Interior Architecture Degree

Interior design student at Kirkwood Community College

Kirkwood’s immersive program is the only 2-year Interior Design and Interior Architecture degree option in Iowa. We offer the same high-quality training as 4-year institutions — in half the time — so you can start your new career sooner.

At Kirkwood, you’ll create classroom projects with industry-leading software tools like Photoshop and Revit, and receive hands-on instruction from our faculty experts. You’ll also have amazing opportunities to visit showrooms, architectural firms, and landmarks in nearby metro areas like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City.

The result? You'll graduate with an extensive portfolio and the experience to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam to prove your skill.

Program Costs

Interior Design & Interior Architecture 

School Year: 2023–24

Program Entry Semester: Fall

Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Total
Credit Hours per Semester 18 16 9 14 17 3 77
In-State Tuition $3,780 $3,360 $1,890 $2,940 $3,570 $630 $16,170
Technology Fee per Semester $50 $50 $50 $50 $50 $50 $300
Clinical Expenses (mileage, lodging, screenings, etc.) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Conferences/Seminars $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Course Resources (textbooks, software, etc.) $905 $1,438 $591 $1,356 $1,920 $85 $6,295
Course/Section Fees $550 $0 $0 $64 $0 $0 $614
Laptop (required devices) $2,250 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $2,250
Testing Fees $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Third Party Credentials $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Tool Sets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Uniforms $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Other $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total Estimated Cost $7,535 $4,848 $2,531 $4,410 $5,540 $765 $25,629


Required design kits and onsite printing for class projects are included in program costs.

Costs provided are estimated and based on the following current tuition rates: $210 (In-State), $281 (Out-of-State), $400 (International).

To view all costs associated with attending college visit our Tuition and Costs page.

Laptop Requirements

Students enrolled in this program must purchase or own a laptop to meet hardware specifications within the courses.

View Laptop Requirements

Explore More

Design and practice like a professional as you build a portfolio and resume you can use when applying for internships and careers.

Look forward to gaining insight into a wide range of design markets and trends, including:

  • Residential and commercial
  • Hospitality
  • Sustainable design
  • Historical design
  • Product design

When you enroll at Kirkwood, you’ll receive the foundation for the technical and theoretical knowledge to enter the design industry upon graduation. Classes cover a wide range of design aspects and provide training on common industry software. You’ll take classes like:

  • Architectural Sketching
  • Residential and Commercial Design Studios
  • SketchUp for Interior Design
  • Theories and Visual Application
  • Textiles for Interior Design
  • Architectural Photoshop Techniques
  • Revit for Interior Design

View the Course Catalog

Kirkwood interior design graduates put their creative mark to work in an endless variety of fun and exciting environments. Most of our students already have a job or internship in place immediately after graduating.

Some of these amazing experiences include:

  • Residential firms
  • Architectural firms
  • Interior design firms
  • Kitchen design
  • Facilities planning and design
  • Contract furniture dealerships

Explore Job Options

Field trips to major market cities and study abroad opportunities provide networking and industry exposure, as well as cultural design and architecture experiences. Kirkwood students have studied in Italy, Australia, and Africa, and visited design and architecture firms in Chicago, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and New York City.


Earn a Design Introductions - Certificate after 1 term.

Students graduate with professional LEED Green Associate credential.

Meet educational requirements to take the NCIDQ exam.

Becoming a part of Kirkwood Student Interior Designers allows you to learn about job openings quickly. You can also connect with professional design organizations and network with other professionals. Contact program advisor Jillissa Moorman at: 319-398-4917 to learn more.

Join Today!

Kirkwood’s interior design program is the only 2-year interior design degree program in Iowa. We're a recognized campus center for the International Interior Design Association.

Program Requirements 

To ensure your success in the Interior Design and Interior Architecture program at Kirkwood, please complete the following:

  1. Apply to Kirkwood.
  2. Register and attend a program conference.
  3. Submit placement scores PRIOR to New Student Orientation.
  4. Register for and attend New Student Orientation.


There are a limited number of spots in the program each year. Once the spots are full, you'll be added to the waitlist for the following fall semester.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Interior Design and Interior Architecture program at Kirkwood Community College is to prepare and equip students to practice and serve the community with respect to interior design in the areas of residential, commercial, sustainable, or another closely related area of specialization.

This is achieved by providing a respectful, student-centered approach and equipping students with a high-quality learning environment and experience that emphasizes ethical, technical, creative, and responsible problem-solving through design.


Business & Information Technology
203 Nielsen Hall