Interior Design
  • Duration

    4 Years

  • Classes

    Weekday Weekend

  • Fees

    Tuition (One Semester) ……… Approx. 20,000 AED
    One academic year is two semesters
    Admission (One Time) ……… 3,150 AED

View Tuition Fees

About Program

Enter the world of interior design and transform spaces into functional and aesthetically pleasing environments with our Bachelor of Science in Design – Interior Design program. Explore the principles of interior design, spatial planning, furniture design, materials and lighting. Gain hands-on experience through real-world projects and collaborations. With the growing demand for innovative and sustainable design solutions, interior designers are in high demand in residential, commercial and hospitality sectors. Enroll now and embark on a fascinating journey shaping the way people experience and interact with their surroundings.

Program Goals

1- Provide students a substantial understanding and fair knowledge of the Design fields.
2- Provide students with specialized skills that enable them to develop innovative, creative and problem-solving skills and make aesthetic judgments in their area of work.
3- Prepare students for successful and productive careers in Design fields by adapting to the technological changes through teamwork, ethical concerns, and effective communication.
4- Enable students to pursue their advanced studies and life-long learning in the design field. 

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge in interior design concepts, processes and practices.
  2. Use and integrate knowledge and relevant technologies, methodologies, and professional skills into meaningful interior design solutions.
  3. Apply critical thinking and analytical skills per industry standards.
  4. Produce a satisfactory body of animation work, appropriate for a professional position in the industry.
  5. Appraise sustainable interior design practices in regional and global contexts.

Preparatory Courses

Prior to their enrollment in the program, students applying for Bachelor of Science in Design must sit for the placement test related to the program, failure to successfully passing the placement test, they are required to enroll in the following courses:

Course Code
CIT 90
ENG 99
DES 90
Computer Preparatory
Academic Writing (*)
Drawing Preparatory
Credit Hours
Exemption Condition
Passing the Placement Test
Passing the Placement Test
Passing the Placement Test

(*) Students must pass the English Proficiency.

Program Structure

Course Category
General Education Courses
Core Courses
Specialization Courses
Total Number of Courses
43 Courses
Total Number of Credit Hours
126 Credit Hours

A: University Core Requirements

The student selects 6 credit hours (2 courses) from the list below:

The purpose of this course is to facilitate the process of transition into new academic and cultural environment for the new students enrolled in the AUE. Furthermore, it aims to promote their confidence so that they could succeed and meet the academic requirements. The course assimilates academic content with interactive in class activities to ensure understanding of curricular options and begin to develop a future career plan through self-reflection.

Innovation is the engine of opportunity and, acting as a catalyst, this course is intended to ignite an interest in innovation and inspire entrepreneurial action. At the core of innovation and entrepreneurship is a commitment to experiential learning that will encourage students to engage in critical thinking, creative problem-solving while also equipping them with the soft skills needed in their pursuit of academic and professional endeavors. Students will discuss the relevance and role of innovation and entrepreneurship in work and life situations; determine opportunities for creative disruption and design a strategy for its implementation; develop a practical understanding of innovation through thoughtful debate and exercises; and demonstrate critical thinking and individual insight with a personal mastery portfolio.

B: Languages and Communication Studies

The student must select 9 credit hours (3 courses) from the list below.

Students must take all of the following courses:

This course provides students with advanced writing skills in English so that they can successfully pursue their studies in various academic specializations. It helps students to develop, improve, and upgrade their writing and structure skills, and it also acquaints students with technical writing, research papers, and essays since brief research methods are applied in student projects and assignments.

The intent of this course is two-fold. First, it introduces students with the basic research terminologies. Second, it familiarizes them with the process of research from choosing a topic to writing the proposal. Students will be immersed in hands on experience where they will be introduced to research concepts that will help them understand, interpret, and critique a scientific research. Contents to be covered include the language of research, types of research, elements of scientific research proposal, writing an academic research proposal using APA style, research ethics, crafting data collection instruments, and interpreting data.

Students must take one of the following Arabic Language courses:

This course is designed to enable the Arabic-speaking student with the necessary language skills, especially focusing on the steps of writing reports, official letters and systematic research.

To achieve this, and to develop the student’s abilities to understand correctly what he reads and listens, and to gain the ability to write articles, reports, meeting minutes and recommendations of conferences and seminars in a sound manner, the course was concerned with training the student in basic writing skills; such as multiple spelling rules, punctuation marks, paragraph system, and essay writing progressively.

This course is based on the principle that “Education” is an accumulative task especially when it comes to language learning. This process undergoes specific stages to assist the non-Arabic speakers to reach the ultimate goal which is to acquire the required skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) easily and accurately. To achieve this aim, text-based dialogues are provided as head start for the non-Arabic speakers to continue to the higher levels. The course also provides basic elements for reading, writing, dialogues, and listening to assist the learners to confidently interact with the Arab community.

This course is based on the principle that “Education” is an accumulative task especially when it comes to language learning. This process undergoes specific stages to assist the non-Arabic speakers to reach the ultimate goal which is to acquire the required skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) easily and accurately. To achieve this aim, text-based dialogues are provided as head start for the non-Arabic speakers to continue to the higher levels. The course also provides basic elements for reading, writing, dialogues, and listening to assist the learners to confidently interact with the Arab community.

C: The Natural sciences or Mathematics

The student must select 6 credit hours (2 courses) from the list below:

The natural science course incorporates a wide range of subjects of sciences such as astronomy, geology, biology, chemistry, and environmental science. The course will present the scientific facts of astronomy, the Earth and its weather, water, and environment, biology, and nutrition with the chemicals of life. The course emphasizes understanding the core principles of different branches of science and their effects on our lives. Moreover, the course explores the scope of natural phenomena, changing environment conditions, general health rules of nutrition, and the variety of living organisms. The course helps the students to acquire skills in observation, critical thinking, analyzing, interpreting, understanding and discussing scientific terminology and facts.

The ‘Principles of Environmental Science’ course is designed to introduce the fundamental concepts of Environmental Science to undergraduate students. It includes topics from different areas of study such as ecology, biology, soil science and atmospheric science. The course aims at raising environmental awareness among students and providing them with the scientific knowledge and skills to identify, prevent and solve environmental problems. Additionally, it deals with ecological concepts, organism interactions, communities and ecosystems. The course focuses on key areas of population dynamics, biodiversity, human activities and the environment managed ecosystems, air quality, water and solid waste management

This course gives a This course gives a thorough introduction to sustainable energy, conservation, and energy efficiency within the UAE and the world. It will explore the relationship between energy, environment, economy and ecological well-being. It will discuss energy production from the biology, natural science, environmental science and social sciences perspectives. A variety of topics will be introduced including global warming, climate change, sustainable food production, solid waste management, environmental and natural resources laws. The course includes the growing challenges of climate change and energy crisis and proposes solutions to overcome them.

This course is designed to develop a good understanding of the fundamental concepts of mathematics. It also stresses on crucial cognitive transferable skills such as the ability to think logically and concisely. Mastering this course will give students the confidence to go on and do further courses in mathematics and statistics.

D: The Social or Behavioral Sciences

The student must select 3 credit hours (1 course) from the list below:

This course provides an understanding of anthropology, the study of human beings throughout time and space. Anthropology is a broad discipline that studies human from a holistic perspective looking at both biological and cultural aspects. Anthropologists use different methods in order to understand and study humans. During this course, students will experience ethnographic fieldwork.

This course introduces the science of Sociology. Students will examine Society, Institutions and the relationships that make up a social context. The scientific methodology used to study social interactions, stratification and other elements of sociological enquiry will be discussed to emphasize the core concept of sociology as a systematic study of societies and social structures.

This course will introduce the students to the key concepts of Political Science and its principal tools. The course will discuss the role of main political actors in the field of politics and their function.

This course serves as an introduction into the interdisciplinary and multifaceted social sciences. The content on the course covers the range of different disciplines that social sciences consists of, namely: anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, economics and to a lesser extent also history and geography. The secondary aim of the course is moreover for students to develop their critical thinking skills by engaging actively with material about social issues, social change and social institutions.

An introduction to the science of psychology, its theories and foundations. The course is focused on principles and research methodologies, including the following topics: history of psychology, the biology of mind, memory, learning, child and personality development, psychological disorders and therapy. The aim of the course is to introduce the basis of psychology, provide the foundational knowledge to pursue the subject in more depth in the future, and build an ongoing interest in the application of psychology in everyday life.

This course will provide the students with a comprehensive overview of geography. Emphasis is on concepts that are necessary to understand global, regional and local issues. This course also includes topics on both human and physical geography.

E: The Humanities or Arts

The student must select 3 credit hours (1 course) from the list below:

This course explores Arab art and aesthetics from the beginning of the twentieth century to date. The students will learn about the contemporary art and design movement in Arab countries, the expression of cultural identity, as well as the factors involved, and changes in aesthetics from Islamic to Arabic art. They will also study and analyze the role of pioneer artists from various generations with emphasis on their influence on contemporary Arab art.
This course will introduce the students to the key concepts of philosophy and its principle tools. The course will discuss the schools of philosophical thought and will apply philosophical analysis to the topics of knowledge, religion, mind, freedom, responsibility, and ethics.
This course provides an overview of World / General History. The course will conclude with discussions about perspectives on World History. It surveys the history of humankind from 250CE till 1990 CE. In addition, interregional, comparative, cross-cultural, transnational, and historiographical topics will be considered. The objective of the course is to explore the roots of contemporary globalization and to develop historical thinking and writing.
This course provides an overview of Middle-Eastern History, including the sources of Middle Eastern History. The course will conclude with discussions about perspectives on Middle-Eastern History.
This course will provide the students with a comprehensive overview of English literature in the United States. It will familiarize the students primarily with early Anglo-American writers and the different literary movements that took place in the United States. Today American literature includes many minority literary works, but the historical matrix remains Anglo-Saxon if we are to consider the dominant culture as the starting historical point.
This course aims to focus on the evolution of Islamic Art through a chronological overview of various ​trends and approaches throughout history. Students will explore and analyze the rise and influence of ​Islam leading to the formation of a new artistic culture the world over.​

F: Islamic Studies

The student must select 3 credit hours (1 course) from the list below

This course will expand students’ knowledge to enable them to understand the Islamic culture and its characteristics. It analyzes the sources of legislation in Islam. It offers a review of the history of Islam and how it is currently the fastest-growing religion in the world.
The course is designed to give an in-depth understanding of the Islamic civilization. It deals with the universal principles that went into the making of the Islamic civilization. It examines the basic ideas of Islamic civilization besides exploring their contemporary relevance and challenges. The course seeks to effectively address the notion of the ‘clash of civilizations.

G: UAE Studies

The student must select 3 credit hours (1 course) from the list below.

The course is designed to introduce the UAE and GCC society with its historical background and uniqueness. It is aimed at enabling students to understand the specific features of the society along with its customs, traditions, and lifestyle. The course will introduce the processes and the challenges of development as well as the future aspirations of the UAE and GCC Society.

This course examines color theory as an aid to communication, control and expression in traditional and contemporary design. The fundamental course allows students to explore color topics including color theory, color interaction, and color psychology. Students will study a wide range of creative and technical aspects of color and its use in design, experimenting with traditional mediums and digital applications.

This course is one of the fundamental courses in which the students will be introduced to the visual elements of design comprising of: point and line; shape and form; surface and texture; color and value; light and shadow; negative and positive space. The students will practice design principles: unity and variety; similarity; emphasis and point of interest; scale; proportion; and balance. This course is designed to give the students a strong understanding of 2D and 3D visual communications.

Fundamentals of Graphic Illustration and Digital Imaging introduces students to the use of a computer as a powerful digital drawing and imaging tool. The focus of the course is on basic computer skills and use, mastering fundamental digital illustration and imaging skills, and developing efficient working styles. The course learning experience incorporates a variety of visual artwork strategies including but not limited to, color/ texture enhancements, typography, pen/ brush tools, , perspective tool, using different color schemes. This course involves considerable hands-on instruction and multiple projects using Adobe Photoshop/ Illustrator.

This course provides a core introduction to drawing, covering a wide range of basic and intermediate practical and technical skills. Students will explore approaches and concepts to the subject through manual practice using a comprehensive range of media and with reference to great masters in the field. Traditional and objective drawing skills in the use of line, tone, form and perspective provide the foundation for learning in this course. Students are required to develop their ability to observe, perceive and interpret through drawing the world around them, reflecting their understanding of 2D and 3D space.

This course introduces students to different drawing concepts and skills through observation and exploration of several drawing techniques. In this course, students will develop the ability to express themselves, learn problem solving, and exploring portraiture, figure drawing, landscape drawing, advanced compositions, and explore its impact on their specialization. Critical thinking skills, problem-solving, and a self-directed improvement capability are essentially required for this course.

This course introduces students to human centered design thinking methods and practices through a variety of hands-on activities. DT is a methodology used by designers for the identification of problems and the definition of innovative solutions. Students will engage in processes for idea generation including sketching and diagramming, concept mapping and low-fidelity prototyping infusing visualization techniques and empathic tools into their design process.

This course is a chronological survey of art and design offering students an in-depth understanding of the role of art throughout history with a strong focus on aesthetic values, socio-cultural influences and technical terminology. Architecture, sculpture, painting, decorative arts, prehistoric art, design of the ancient world, the world beyond Europe, early Christian and Islamic art and the art of the Middle-Ages and Gothic period form the foundation of the course material spanning a period from 40,000 BC to 1300 AD.

This course covers the extensive cultural shifts from the early Renaissance through to the 20th century. Students will study painting, sculpture, furniture architecture as individual works in relation to their geographical, social, political, and religious environments. Also, analysis and comparative study of periodic decorative elements, strong designs and architectural features will be conducted.

In this course, students will learn various techniques to construct objects in digital 3D space, as well as physical 3D solutions. Students will follow a concept development process of research and sketching, to generate designs for 3D production. A final original design, related to each student’s major, will be constructed using industry-standard 3D software.

The course is designed to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in design. Graphic, Interior, Fashion Design and Digital Animation are brought together into one studio environment to allow students with different skills and strengths work as a team solving a relatively complex design problem. Students develop a research plan followed by the establishment of intent and context for the topic and identification of stakeholders, leading to concept exploration and creation of a holistic design solution in cooperation with other specializations, institutes or with professionals from the industry.

Pre-Internship is a zero credit hour internship preparatory course designed for students seeking an internship. The course will prepare students to successfully plan their internship by researching and identifying potential internship opportunities, creating professional resume and letter of introduction, developing interviewing and networking skills as well as a portfolio per industry requirements. Students will go through different learning modules including experiences, team work skills, communication skills, leadership skills, problem solving, self-management and professionalism to be able to make the most of their internship.

The college considers students’ internship as an essential channel that brings together the college, the students, and the job marketplace. Furthermore, internship is a method that integrates the instructional theoretical backgrounds to real existing practice. The training allows them to work under the observation and guidance of the field supervisor without replacing any regular employee. The internship is closely monitored by a college faculty member as an academic supervisor.

This course is an introduction to spatial organization of interior space. The students will develop basic skills in documenting interior design concepts, analysis and conceptual development. The focus will be on design inquiry, process and presentation through drafting, orthographic drawings, use of tools, sketching, lettering, dimensioning, finish drawings and models

This course introduces students to design elements and their context, relationships and role in establishing the functionality, organization, and aesthetics of interior spaces. In addition, the students will grasp the physical and cultural background of interior designs and the way program requirements may materialize to fulfil the needs and aims of its users

This course introduces the basic drafting skills using CAD. Students will learn basic architectural / interior technical skills and integrate their existing drafting and design skills to produce a simple set of drawings for interior spaces.

This course will introduce design as a product of the age and cultural context in which it was created. Design will be demonstrated as a representative of the political, religious, aesthetic, socioeconomic, or other ideals that prevailed at a certain time and place in history. On the other hand, design will be revealed as a tool that was intentionally used to achieve specific goals: political, cultural, religious, in order to influence societies. Through the examination of the history of design, students will develop a critical view of historical examples, gain an informed understanding of today’s built environment and apply this knowledge into their practice of design. An overview of the history of interior design will be offered and its direct relationship to other design products including architectural and decorative art products. The material will span the time from ancient civilizations to the twenty first century, and will touch on a worldwide geographical area.

This course introduces the materials and finishes used in the design of interior spaces and the basis of their prospective impact on the function and aesthetics of architectural interiors, the users’ wellbeing and safety and the environment at large. The students will explore the wide range of interior building materials, which will develop their prospects for creativity in design solutions. Technical vocabulary and systematic concepts associated with materials’ sourcing, manufacturing and evaluation will be stressed. Finally, the students will be aware of their role as interior and product designers in preserving natural resources and improving the quality of interior built environments for the users through studying examples of best practices.

This course is an introduction to the planning of interior residential spaces. The students will be introduced to the methodology used by interior designers to conceptualize, analyze, and develop workable solutions to residential applications. Students will examine existing floor plans, study furniture placement, construct a model and develop layouts for residential spaces. An emphasis will be placed on sustainable design concerns, users’ requirements and cultural influences.

In this course, students will be introduced to the interior design construction and service systems according to the building codes and regulations and the ways they affect interior design. Students will learn technical terminology of the built environment and the relationship between design, construction, services and codes and the way this relationship influences design decisions. The importance of designing a functional and safe interior environment for all users will be emphasized.

This studio course will introduce the students to the elements of commercial design. Emphasis will be placed on concept development for the design of office space for specific clients, using creativity to enhance the space while maintaining the identity of the client/brand. Students will critically analyze the workspace requirements and user needs then apply evidence based design in their office layout techniques and furniture, lighting, and finishing selection. Considerations of the relevant accessibility codes, universal design topics and sustainability are integrated in the course material.

In this course, students will be introduced to the interior design construction and service systems according to the building codes and regulations and the ways they affect interior design. Students will learn technical terminology of the built environment and the relationship between design, construction, services and codes and the way this relationship influences design decisions. The importance of designing a functional and safe interior environment for all users will be emphasized.

This course will introduce students to the process of taking plans created earlier on a CAD software to an advanced presentation level of 3D modeling and rendering through the use of time based media software such as 3D Studio Max. Small practice projects are used to explore topics such as the import of CAD drawings, building a 3D model, materials and textures, lighting, rendering, cameras and animation.

This course considers the changing role of theory with respect to the design practice over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Examining key designers, movements, and texts, this course delivers an outline of the major theories that have informed, energized, or undermined recent architectural, interior and product design discourse. The course, especially considers the development of design knowledge as a factor that contributed to the main social, political, cultural, and technological changes of the time.

This course will introduce the students to the principles of interior design professional practice. Students will learn the basics of professional ethics and project management. Types of business contracts will be demonstrated and ways to enhance the design career will be stressed.

This course is an introduction to the principles of lighting design, including lamps, luminaires, lighting techniques, and applications for residential and commercial projects. It provides students with a specific approach related to light, color, texture and form, and places a special emphasis on sustainable methods and opportunities. It introduces fundamentals of lighting design including technical terminology, criteria, calculations, planning and layout.

This course will introduce students to the different fiber qualities and properties, yarns, weaving methods and how they affect the performance of textile products and applications. The course material is presented within the context of sustainability awareness and the role of design professionals in preserving natural resources and preventing pollution. Applications in interior design will be emphasized through hands-on projects and assignments.

This course aims to focus on the sustainable design approach and its holistic effect. Students will develop an understanding of various sustainable elements and factors including materials, water usage, indoor air quality, thermal comfort and the principles of alternative energy. The current status of sustainable practices will be analyzed. Hands-on projects using environmentally conscious materials are implemented in the course. The designer’s ethical responsibility in the context of sustainable design is stressed.

This course explores advanced concerns in design and detailing of interior finish structures. The course is planned to highlight the importance of detailing as part of the evolving design. The students will produce interior millwork drawings, and construction documents, through which they will be able to understand the assimilation of building codes and life safety subjects. They will also realize the possible methods through which they can communicate their design goals to the contractor or fabricator in order to achieve a successful and efficient execution of the design project. They will learn the importance of being part of a design team through projects that involve group collaboration.

Students will gain understanding of various factors related to the design of hospitality space. They will be exposed to topics that include types of lodging, food facilities, circulation, furniture layout, and materials selection. Emphasis is placed on the application of universal design principles and the needs of the general population. Sustainably considerations will be highlighted throughout the course. Through research and case studies, best practices will be illustrated.

The course will introduce furniture design and fabrication as they represent the hallmark of the human engagement with the material realm. Students will learn about furniture as a vehicle to understanding the smaller scale of form and space that engages human occupation and use, and as a scaled object of the evolving relationship between form, material and assembly. Another aspect that the students will be exposed to is the interplay between furniture design and the principles of anthropometrics and ergonomics, which will lead to a better understanding of the essence of universal design. The role of technological advancements in CAD fabrication will be emphasized as they represent new challenges and new opportunities in the exploration of the craft. Both historical and contemporary material and fabrication processes will be explored, through which, students will work together to research material form and assembly process, producing design solutions and finished projects of furniture fabrication. Students will work in groups and will use various methods to develop furniture design pieces using wood as a primary material for fabrication.

This course provides an opportunity for students to focus on various issues in fashion design and to study advanced techniques and processes. Course content vary each time the course is offered. The course emphasizes research analysis and the creative process that leads to innovative solutions and allows students to pursue individual projects related to the subject of the course. The course may include lectures, discussions, individual projects and critique, depending on the nature of the topic.

This course covers the pre-production planning and processes for interior design projects. The students will follow the necessary steps in the production pipeline while identifying and refining their idea, concept and methodology.

The capstone graduation project is the representation of the students’ in-depth learning and understanding of their field of specialization through a long-term project accomplished in a professional manner. They are evaluated on their ability to complete this project with originality and quality, applying the skills, techniques and methodologies they have learnt during their course of study.
The student is assigned to research and identify a topic, and develop a detailed research proposal highlighting the goals, objectives, tasks, methodology and time plan. The topic could range from an academic research to school/ community service, student-developed business or any other area of personal interest. The student communicates regularly with his/ her academic-capstone advisor for review, while working constantly to improve the outcome by building upon previously gained expertise. The academic-capstone advisor contributes through meaningful feedback and setting expectations of standards, offering an opportunity for open-ended learning through self-reflection and improvement.
The process is documented, findings are compiled and presented orally as well as in writing through a capstone report.
The project is divided into three distinct phases:

  1. Research and topic selection.
  2. Conceptual and design development.
  3. Design execution/ design presentation, with necessary documentation and a comprehensive report.

Recommended Study Plan


The American University in the Emirates is licensed by the UAE Ministry of Education – Commission for Academic Accreditation |
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The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) has granted AUE’s Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design, Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, and Bachelor of Science in Animation the designation of Substantial Equivalency with accredited programs in the United States.

11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248, USA
Telephone: +1-703-437-0700

Prof. Taha Duri

Professor / Dean

Dr. Toufic Haidamous

Assistant Professor / Department Chair - Interior Design

Mr. Wameedh Jamil

Assistant Professor / Department Chair - Graphic Design

Ms. Shlagha Agarwal

Assistant Professor / Department Chair - Fashion Design

Mr. Rahul Malpure

Assistant Professor / Department Chair -Digital Animation

Dr. Arafat Al Naim

Associate Professor

Dr. Luca Donner

Assistant Professor

Ms. Jill Alexandria

Assistant Professor

Mr. Gaurav Jain

Assistant Professor

Mr. Neven Mihic

Assistant Professor

Ms. Ferwa Ibrahim

Assistant Professor

Mrs. Mai Zoheir

Assistant Professor

  • For Admission Requirements for Freshman students (those who have just completed high school and have never attended an Institute of Higher Education before) click here
  • For Admission Requirements for Transfer students (those who have studied at another higher education institution and would like to transfer their credits to AUE) click here
  • For Admission Requirements for Visiting students (those who are currently enrolled in a different higher education institution and would like to take some courses at AUE as part of the study plan of their home university/college) click here
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