IA Admission & Information

The Interior Architecture program at UW-Madison is a selective admission program with a sequence of Phase 1 and Phase 2 required courses. Prospective students must complete Phase 1 courses to be eligible to apply for admission into Phase 2 of the program. The number of students accepted into Phase 2 of the program is limited to 32 spaces. Applications for Phase 2 admissions are accepted once a year in the spring semester.

Phase 1: Pre-Interior Architecture

Interior architecture rendering

Students take introductory design coursework and learn foundations and principles in drawing, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, and model making. Performance in coursework and demonstration of design ability will be evaluated for admission into Phase 2.

Phase 2: Interior Architecture

Integrated coursework combining design, theory, history, and digital technology. Students deepen their knowledge of design and enhance their professional skills. A professional portfolio is required before graduation.

For students admitted into Phase 2, they are required to purchase a laptop that meets the minimal operational specifications for optimal software functioning.

Computer Specification

Design Studies: Laptop Guide for Students

Students in any design studies program or class need to be sure they have a computer capable of running the software necessary for the courses they are taking. Any questions about software or hardware please contact the technology team via email BITS@sohe.wisc.edu.

Last revised– 4/29/2021

Starting in Fall 2021, there will no longer be large computer lab on first floor. This means that for many DS classes, students will need a computer capable of running the software necessary for the courses you are taking.

All DS students will need a laptop that can run the software required by their classes.

  • Interior Architecture (IA) students cannot use any Mac product because Revit is not compatible with the MacOS operating system. IA students are required to purchase a Windows laptop with a video card.

  • Textiles & Fashion Design (TFD) students may use a Mac or Windows laptop. A Windows laptop must have a video card, a newer Macbook with an M1 processor is recommended.

The School of Human Ecology may provide need-based financial assistance to purchase school supplies for students who can demonstrate need. Email Assistant Dean, Patrick Jackson, Patrick.Jackson@wisc.edu for additional information and requests.

These are three Windows laptop recommendations at different price points that will work in both IA and TFD, they are only examples of configurations that will be acceptable:

HP Omen 15.6” Laptop - $991 as of 4/29

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Gaming-Laptop-Memory-GeForce/dp/B08JVNZJWT/

  • Ryzen 7 - processor
  • Nvidia GTX 1660 - video card
  • 512 GB SSD – storage drive
  • 8GB RAM - memory
ASUS – ROG G14 14” Laptop - $1350 as of 4/29

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-zephyrus-g14-14-gaming-laptop-amd-ryzen-9-16gb-memory- nvidia-geforce-rtx-2060-max-q-1tb-ssd-moonlight-white/6403816.p?skuId=6403816

  • Ryzen 9 - processor
  • Nvidia RTX 2060 – video card
  • 1TB SSD – storage drive
  • 16GB  RAM  memory
Acer Nitro 5 15.6” Laptop - $650 as of 4/29

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-i5-9300H-GeForce-Keyboard-AN515-54-5812/dp/B086KJBKDW/

  • Intel i5-9300H - processor
  • Nvidia GTX 1650 – video card
  • 256GB SSD – storage drive
  • 8GB RAM - memory
Choosing a computer that works with IA software:

If you are enrolled in the IA program you must choose a Windows laptop, you will not be able to run Revit on any Mac computer which is required for your course. You will also need to make sure you choose a Windows laptop with a video card. A video card (also known as GPU or Graphics Processing Unit) is an optional addition to a computer that will give it more processing power at the expense of cost and battery life. There are many different video cards that will work at different price points, but if the product description includes either Nvidia or Radeon graphics then it will most likely work for the course.

Choosing a computer that works with TFD software:

Either a Macbook or Windows computer will work if you are enrolled in the TFD program. If you prefer a Windows laptop then you must make sure it has a graphics card from Nvidia or Radeon. If choosing a Macbook, it is highly recommended that it’s a newer model with the M1 processor. If you want to use an older Macbook with an Intel processor you must make sure it has a graphics card from AMD, also often called Radeon.

Recommended: Macbook Pro 13 (TFD Only) - Starts at $1199 (Educational pricing)

https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro

Low-cost alternative: Macbook Air (TFD Only) - Starts at $899 (Educational pricing)

https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop/buy-mac/macbook-air

Other minimum specifications for Mac or Windows (Applies to IA and TFD):
  • 8GB of RAM (memory)
  • 256GB SSD or NVME SSD (solid state drive, storage)
  • 1080p display, also known as Full HD
  • Screen size is up to preference, larger screens may also come with a number pad keyboard

Ask us if you have any questions about computer hardware or vetting for specific laptops! Contact: BITS@sohe.wisc.edu


How to Declare Pre-Interior Architecture

Prospective High School Student

Coursework for pre-interior architecture is sequenced and begins in the fall semester. Details for sequencing of coursework and proceeding from Phase 1 to Phase 2 can be found on the “Coursework Sequence” table below. All prospective UW-Madison students must apply to UW-Madison by visiting the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF BEING ACCEPTED TO UW-MADISON
  • Indicate your interest in pre-interior architecture as your first major choice on your application
  • Clearly articulate how your personal and professional interests relate to thi major
  • Ensure all required documents are submitted in a timely manner (i.e., transcripts and application essays)
ALREADY ADMITTED TO UW-MADISON

You can also indicate your interest in pre-interior architecture when registering for SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising and Registration) or while attending SOAR.

VISITING CAMPUS & SOHE

SoHE holds monthly campus visits for prospective students and their families and guests. Register now for upcoming SoHE Campus Visit days!

If you are unable to attend one of our upcoming visitation dates, please contact the SoHE Student Academic Affairs and Career Development Office to schedule an appointment at advising@sohe.wisc.edu or 608-262-2608.

Current UW-Madison Student

Coursework for pre-interior architecture is sequenced and begins in the fall semester. Details for sequencing of coursework and proceeding from Phase 1 to Phase 2 can be found on the “Coursework Sequence” table below.

Ready to declare Pre-Interior Architecture

If you have questions, schedule an appointment to speak with a SoHE Academic Advisor by 608-262-2608

College Transfer Student

Transfer students from Design programs are required to contact SAA Academic Advising prior to applying to UW-Madison to evaluate your course equivalencies. advising@sohe.wisc.edu or 608-262-2608.

Coursework for pre-interior architecture is sequenced and begins in the fall semester. Details for sequencing of coursework and proceeding from Phase 1 to Phase 2 can be found on the “Coursework Sequence” table below. All prospective UW-Madison students must apply to UW-Madison by visiting the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF BEING ACCEPTED TO UW-MADISON
  • Be sure to indicate your interest in a specific SoHE major as your first choice on your application
  • Clearly articulate how your personal and professional interests relate to that major
  • Ensure all required documents are submitted in a timely manner (i.e., transcripts and application essays)
VISITING CAMPUS & SOHE

SoHE holds monthly campus visits for prospective students and their families and guests. Register now for upcoming SoHE Campus Visit days!

If you are unable to attend one of our upcoming visitation dates, please contact the SoHE Student Academic Affairs and Career Development Office to schedule an appointment at advising@sohe.wisc.edu or 608-262-2608.

Phase 1 Coursework SequenceProspective StudentPhase 2 EligibilityTimeline Graduation
Fall Semester:

  • DS 120

  • DS 252

  • DS 221


  • Current UW–Madison Student


  • Submit application materials in April

  • Phase 1 coursework must be completed or in progress of completion


  • After admission into Phase 2, a minimum of 2 full years followed by a summer term course will be needed to complete requirements

Note:

  • If student interest for spring courses exceeds course capacity, student ranking in fall courses will be used to determine priority enrollment


  • Off-campus Transfer without design coursework


  • Submit application materials in April

  • Phase 1 coursework must be completed or in progress of completion


  • After admission into Phase 2, a minimum of 2 full years followed by a summer term course will be needed to complete requirements

Spring Semester:

  • DS 220 (Pre-Req DS 120)

  • DS 140


  • Freshman


  • Submit application materials in April

  • Phase 1 coursework must be completed or in progress of completion


  • 4 Year Sequence


  • Off-campus Transfer without design coursework


  • The Design Studies department accepts a full cohort of major program students into the major each academic year. It may not be possible to place a transfer student in an existing cohort if no space is available. To discuss this further, please contact the Advising & Career Center to speak with an academic advisor

 


How to Apply to Phase 2

Policies
  • No late applications are accepted
  • Applications are accepted once a year and open on April 1st
  • Students are given 4 weeks to complete their application and are notified of admission decisions approximately one month after the application deadline
Eligibility
  • Students must have completed or be in the process of completing the following courses.
    • DS 120: Design Fundamentals I
    • DS 220: Design Fundamentals II
    • DS 221: Person and Environment Interactions
    • DS 140: Visual Thinking - Form and Space (Before Spring 21, students will have taken this course as DS 501 Visual Communication & Thinking).
    • DS 252: Design Leadership Symposium
Criteria for Evaluation
  • Design Studies GPA
  • Overall GPA
  • Design coursework quality
  • Faculty evaluation of student’s performance in Phase 1 coursework