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Interior designers apply knowledge of color, light, and materials in the creation of life settings that support our physical and emotional well-being. The Principles of Interior Design Certificate delivers these building blocks of design practice in a set of courses that guide the student to an understanding of the role these elements play in the creative process. Through hands-on exercises, students will explore the balance of aesthetic and functional requirements in interior spaces. For a deeper look into the field, online seminar course options support the research and analytical side of interior design. Students are encouraged to access the resources and methods used by design professionals in completion of their course work.



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Certificate Enrollment

Enrollment in the Principles of Interior Design Certificate requires the submission of the Certificate Application Form to Continuing Education in the Registrar's Office. For additional information, please contact us by email at or by phone at 617.585.0135.

Certificate students must begin academic coursework in the program within two academic semesters of submitting the enrollment materials.

Program Requirements

The Principles of Interior Design Certificate program requires the completion of three courses for a total of 9 credits. Principles of Interior Design Certificate students take the same courses as students in the Interior Architecture degree programs. 


Three Courses / 9 Credits

Students choose three courses from the Principles of Interior Design Certificate curriculum below.

Visit Continuing Education Courses for current offerings. Click below for course descriptions.

*INT1001 Interiors Studio is open to students in the Principles of Interior Design Certificate. Interested students should email

Learning Goals

TSM2016 Color Theory for Interiors

  • Understand color terminology.
  • Understand color principles, theories, and systems.
  • Understand how color interacts with materials, textures, light, and form.
  • Understand how color selections are used to support a design concept.
  • Apply color in design presentations.

TSM2007 Materials and Methods

  • Understand the characteristics and application of interior finish materials.
  • Understand how material selections impact human well-being and the environment.
  • Understand how material selections are used to support a design concept.
  • Select materials and products based on an understanding of their fabrication, installation, performance, and maintenance characteristics.

TSM2015 Interiors Lighting

  • Understand the principles of lighting in relation to environmental impact and human well-being.
  • Understand the use of natural and artificial lighting sources in support of a design concept.
  • Interpretation of lighting catalogue information.
  • Selection of luminaires and light sources to achieve required illumination levels.

INT1001 Interiors Studio 1

  • Application of design principles to spatial and material expression.
  • Use of manual and digital media to present design concepts.
  • Designing individual and small group spaces for functional use.
  • Research of precedents to inform design ideas.

INT3101 Human and Social Factors in Interiors (online)

  • Apply design principles based in environmental psychology, anthropometrics, ergonomics and neural/sensory-perceptual studies.
  • Discuss current events and emerging issues, and examples of inappropriate design.
  • Understand the implications of a human factors approach for design theory.
  • Apply methodological contributions of the behavioral sciences to pre-design investigation.

HTC2018 Case Studies in Interiors and Furniture (online)

  • Research the evolution of interior and furniture design in relation to social and technological concerns such as sustainability, globalization, and human factors.
  • Understand the role that social, economic, and cultural factors play in the design process.
  • Analyze, discuss and synthesize readings and other resources that present interior architecture and design as innovation in response to universally-shared concerns of shelter, work, and community.