Jul 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Interior Design and Fashion Merchandising, BS

Program Co-Coordinators: 

  • Runying Chen, Interiors and Fashion Merchandising (334 RW Rivers Building; chenr@ecu.edu)
  • Jesus Nieves, Interior Design (249B Rivers Building; nievesj23@ecu.edu)

The Department of Interior Design and Merchandising offers three concentrations: interior design, interiors merchandising, and fashion merchandising. Students earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Interior Design and Fashion Merchandising and encounter a uniquely blended curriculum to prepare them to enter careers that run the spectrum of interior design and merchandising, including clothing, home goods, and hard goods.

The department’s mission is to provide students with the skills and knowledge aligned with industry demands for entry into a global and multicultural society and workforce. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) is the accrediting body for the interior design concentration. The fashion and interior merchandising concentrations are affiliated with the Textile and Apparel Programs Accreditation Commission (TAPAC).

Students entering the program start with a core set of courses to broaden their knowledge of how living environments and clothing influence each other to help human meet their varying needs. 

Students with a specific interest in fashion merchandising or interiors merchandising may declare their concentration upon entry to the university. Students must maintain a C (2.0) or better in all major courses throughout the program. To register for all 4000-level courses, students must have a minimum overall 2.5 GPA.

Acceptance into the interior design concentration is on a competitive, space-available basis, with admission decisions made in early summer with a fall semester start. To be admitted into the interior design concentration, a portfolio providing evidence of proficiency in studio work must be submitted to the designated interior design instructor after the student has completed a minimum of 30 semester hours (30 s.h.), including the following courses with a minimum grade of B (3.0) or better: IDSN 1180 IDSN 1181 , IDSN 1201 IDSN 1202 , and an acceptable level of proficiency in studio work as shown in the portfolio review.

Interior design faculty evaluate the submitted portfolios and recommend that students enter professional-level interior design courses. Students need to meet the proficiency level required for the professional-level courses. Students can resubmit a portfolio a maximum of two times. Meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee entry into professional-level classes. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA or better in all IDSN required courses throughout the program. Students may also choose the interiors merchandising concentration. Interiors merchandising provides students with a more in-depth understanding of the principles of interior design but with the intent of preparing them for positions that align with business acumen in design firms, furniture retailers, and other auxiliary services that support interior designers. 

All students are required to complete at least one internship course. Merchandising concentrations are required to complete two internship experiences. Students are responsible for interviewing and securing their own internship experiences.

The Department of Interior Design and Merchandising reserves the right to retain, exhibit, and reproduce design projects submitted by students for class assignments to comply with accreditation and department requirements. Student work submitted for grades remains with the department until it is returned to the students.

The degree requires a minimum of 120 s.h. as follows:

1. General education requirements including those listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit view the General Education Program  section.)

2. Core courses - 18 s.h.

Core courses address content relevant to students interested in fashion merchandising, interior design, or interiors merchandising. Coursework prepares students with critical thinking, professional preparedness, and the foundational knowledge to excel in concentrated areas that facilitate creative ideas from design implementation to product delivery.

3. Concentrations - 30-45 s.h.

Choose one concentration from the following: 

4. Minor, certificate, or electives

4a. Fashion merchandising concentrations
A minor or certificate is required to complete a concentration in fashion merchandising.

4b. Interiors merchandising concentrations
A minor or certificate is required to complete a concentration in interiors merchandising.

4c. All IDFM degree concentrations
General electives are required to complete the minimum degree requirement of 120 s.h. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to ensure that chosen general electives will count towards graduation requirements.          

Licensure/Certification Requirements in North Carolina

The curriculum for all ECU Certificates, Degrees, and Minors  have been designed to meet the licensure/certification requirements in North Carolina and prepare students to sit for licensure/certification exams in North Carolina. The various licensure boards in each state are responsible for setting requirements for licensure/certification in their state. Other states have their own requirements, and you’ll want to make sure your program meets criteria in your home state (or state where you intend to work) before you apply. Search our state  Licensure Dashboard to see if the program you’re interested in meets the educational requirements for licensing/certification in your home state (or state where you intend to work).