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  • Program Duration

    73 Weeks

  • Program Location

    calgary Campus

Program Overview

Space, lighting and design can influence how people feel, think, work, and relate to each other. Interior design is a rewarding and creative career that allows you to bring beauty and function into the lives of others.


VCAD's Interior Design program allows you to develop a skill set that compliments your creative vision so you can excel in interior design. The program introduces students to design principles, colour theory, space planning, drafting and industry-standard software.


Students learn to create beautifully effective residential, commercial, industrial and public space designs and layouts. Graduates of this program will have developed a portfolio to showcase their design work and be prepared to enter a career as an interior designer, planner, project manager or design consultant.


  • Interior Designer Interior Designers curate interior spaces through decor, colour, and layout design.
  • Residential Designer Residential Designers are responsible for improving functionality, mood, and aesthetics within residential properties through a combination of technical and creative skills.
  • Furniture Designer Furniture Designers are specialized professionals who plan, test and create furniture.
  • Decorator Decorators are responsible for decorating interior spaces through decor, colour, and furnishings.


  • Integrate historical or artistic trends into interior design.
  • Develop ideas and produce sketches.
  • Draw objects and spaces to scale.
  • Produce drawings using a computer-assisted drafting system.
  • Interact with clients, resource-persons and colleagues.
  • Create a mood, using colour.
  • Suggest finishes and materials for a project
  • Specify the furniture, accessories and equipment for a project.
  • Use interior architectural and construction elements.
  • Design custom elements.
  • To create an interior design concept for a residence.
  • Present a design project.
  • Create lighting concepts
  • Produce working drawings and specifications.
  • Plan a layout for a commercial, industrial or public building.
  • Create an interior design concept for a commercial, industrial or public building.
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Courses Timeline

Your program begins by introducing you to the industry by building up your fundamental skills like drawing and drafting by hand.

Now  we build on the basic skills we have developed. Technology becomes more important as we move our work onto our computers. You begin to draw and draft at a higher level. The foundation is now in place..

You continue to expand your skill set. You learn the fundamentals of the design process and start to see it executed in your work. We use many programs to give you industry experience and teach you how to design and build.

Expand your previous skillset and learn to visualize and conceptualize digital concepts. Through a series of projects and assignments, learn to synthesize your creativity with industry standards and subject matter experts.

Here you will start to learn about the specialties in our industry. You have the skills and foundation. Term 5 is about applying them and building your vision from scratch to execution. We introduce sustainability in-depth and start building your portfolio.

This term is about honing your craft and getting ready to enter the industry. This semester consists of final projects, portfolio building, and job preparation through career development and training. Here you present to the industry and begin your career.

  • Student Success Strategies

    This course will cover the importance of goal setting, prioritizing tasks, and managing time and stress from study and work situations — accomplished through the exploration and practice of active participation. Students taking this course will benefit from completing the Enriched Academy© program, which provides comprehensive coverage of financial and money management skills that will allow them to save, budget, and manage their money and time.

  • Colour & Design

    Understanding colour and design principles through exploration and application across media, visual, and applied design genres. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of colour theory through design, such as layout, composition, balance, colour science as well as a diverse range of colour theories, and how to employ them creatively. These concepts will be reinforced through specific practical exercises, and activities that will serve to d...

  • Photoshop I

    Through this 'hands-on' course, the student will learn the fundamentals of design, advanced features and tips to prepare images for digital output and print. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance sophisticated images using raster editing tools and features; craft special effects; work in 3D space; and prepare files for export to various applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.

  • Drafting

    This course explores the fundamental concepts of drafting. Students will learn the tools, symbols and conventions of drafting and how to use them to create simple orthographic and paraline drawings.

  • An introduction to Interior Design

    This course provides the student with an overview of the field of Interior design and how it is practiced. Students will learn about interior design as a career, the process of interior design, the basic principles of design and the areas of expertise required for a successful career in interior design.

  • Drawing I

    This course develops students' perceptual and descriptive skills through drawing media, techniques and subject matter by focusing on elements and organization principles of drawing. Students will learn contour lines, positive & negative space, perspective, sighting of angles and measurements of relationships. By mastering basic skills and experimenting with techniques and materials, students will begin to explore creative expression beyond preconceived boun...

  • Design History

    This course is an overview of the history of design from early Egyptian civilization to contemporary movements and influences. Students will learn about the characteristics and features of design that marked each period and style. For each period or culture, students will learn about the design of residential dwellings and interiors, art, furniture, architecture, and the design influences that distinguish each period.

  • Illustrator I

    This course introduces the students to vector image editing using Adobe Illustrator. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance vector artwork, craft special effects, work in 3D space, and prepare files for export to variations applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.

  • AutoCAD I

    This course is an introductory level course that will explore the fundamental features of AutoCAD design software. Students will learn to use CAD software tools, features, and commands to create simple drawings. Students will learn the basic commands, set up, work with layers and text and print and plot diagrams.

  • Space Planning

    This course is an introduction to space planning, where students learn various types of diagrams and matrices to visualize the layout of the space they are working with and plan space effectively. The course will also introduce building codes and environmental factors of spatial composition. Students will learn to work with bubble diagrams, block plans, matrices and CAD templates

  • Drawing II

    This course builds upon Drawing I. In this course, the student continues to explore using complex shapes and drawing techniques. Topical coverage includes drawing styles, observation of reality, plans, elevations and projections, perspective views, shading, forms and structure, drawing architecture and working with colour and black and white drawings.

  • Architectural Design and Detail

    This course will explore the common construction techniques in use today. The course provides an overview of the building process from site fundamentals to the building and integrating of the various systems and components. Student will study the different building techniques and materials as well as the detailing of the interior components and finishes. Topical coverage includes the common building construction systems: wood frame, steel, concrete and masonry as w...

  • Architectural Model Making

    This course will explore the use of architectural models as a means of expressing a design or concept. The course will study the physical architectural model as an integral part of the design process. Students will learn how models are capable of generating information accurately by allowing the viewer to see the form in physical space. Topical coverage includes the equipment and materials, preparation and assembly techniques used in model making. Students will als...

  • AutoCAD II

    This course is an advanced level course that will explore the advanced features of AutoCAD design software. Students will learn advanced commands and features that will allow them to draw and modify more complex designs as well as explore the capabilities of AutoCAD in the design of models of 3D solids and surfaces. The course will begin by exploring the advanced draw and modify commands and techniques before moving onto the advanced drawing and modeling of 3D soli...

  • Residential Design

    This course explores the process of completing a residential design project. Students perform the required steps to take a design project from its initial idea to completion by designing a residential interior from appropriate design plans and documents. Students will present the design, modify the design based on client feedback, and incorporate the principles and techniques of design while producing the design documents for residential spaces.

  • Lighting Techniques

    This course explores lighting as one of the fundamental elements in the design of interiors. Students will learn the fundamental principles and techniques of working with lighting to create a desired impact on an interior space. The course will explore light sources, daylight, lighting, the layer approach to lighting and the different types of lighting applications for residential, office, and other specialty institutions.

  • Human Factors in Interior Design

    This course explores how human behaviour and requirements influence the design of interior spaces. Students will study ergonomics and anthropometrics and the role they play in the design of interior spaces. The course will also examine the considerations that need to be addressed when designing interior spaces for specific human conditions or situations such as people with disabilities, limited mobility, children, elderly and multi-generation challenges.

  • Architectural Rendering I

    This course introduces students to architectural rendering software as they learn to render interior design and effects on AutoDesk Viz. Students learn to use the tools and features of the software and apply the techniques to produce final renderings of designs. The course will cover modeling techniques, materials, lighting and basic animations.

  • Materials and Fabrics

    This course introduces the various materials and fabrics commonly used in interior design projects. Students explore the historical, cultural and architectural uses of concrete, stone, glass ceramics, wood and products, plaster metals, synthetics and fabrics and learn about the finishes used with these materials.

  • Office Design

    This course will explore the design of commercial interiors with a focus on office design. Office design is the backbone of commercial interior design. Students will learn how to extract details for the specific office type that will be designing and translate those details into effective designs that promote the functional requirements of the office space. Students will learn about optimal office layouts and spatial organizations based on the type of office. By th...

  • Interior Detailing

    In this course, students will continue to develop their design skills by focusing on the details of interior spaces and their elements. They learn to incorporate more detailed design elements such as trim, millwork, cabinetry, window, door trim, wall, ceiling and floor details as they produce the appropriate design documents and plans as they progress through the course.

  • Furniture Design

    This course will explore the processes of furniture design. The course will offer an overview of the classifications of furniture and uses of furniture over historical periods and how furniture has evolved as a design element. Students will the design principles that apply to furniture design, the materials used as well as the fabrication processes and methods.

  • Architectural Rendering II

    This course is an advanced course in architectural rendering. Students will continue working with AutoDesk Viz to render complex interior designs and effects. Students will use advanced tools and features of the software and then apply the rendering techniques to produce final renderings of complex designs. The course will cover advanced modeling techniques, mapping of materials, and complex lighting effects.

  • Building Codes

    This course will explore the basic residential, commercial and public building, fire and safety codes that must be respected within the scope of interior design. Student will learn how each of the codes and standards impact the design process and how they must be applied to ensure that the final design is compliant with all applicable municipal, provincial and federal regulations in effect.

  • Commercial Design

    This course will explore the design of commercial interiors with a focus on public, retail and institutional facilities. Students will learn how to extract details for the specific commercial space type that they will be designing and translate those details into effective designs that promote the functional requirements of the commercial space. Students will learn about optimal layouts and spatial organizations based on the type of space. By the end of the course...

  • Studio

    This course allows students to propose project ideas by emphasizing the development of solutions for design projects. Students will work in teams applying concepts, theories and design processes to a significant and unique design problem with the intention of successful solutions being final portfolio pieces for the students.

  • Eco Design

    This course explores the emerging trend of green and sustainable design, construction and building materials, their properties and their sustainable and environment-friendly use. Students learn to integrate these practices through materials choice and procedures, the importance of the green shift and the benefits of designing with consideration for this greening process and alternative materials and energy sources.

  • Professional Practices and Communication

    This course introduces the importance of professional business conduct and attitude. Students learn the importance of preparing themselves properly for the job search process and how to prepare and present the proper marketing collateral, and the techniques to market themselves to potential employers, by including résumé and cover letter preparation, professionalism and appropriate conduct, written and oral communication, career planning, interviewing...

  • Architectural Working Drawings

    This course will explore the architectural working drawings that are commonly used in the interior design sector. Students will learn to read and understand the details of the various drawings and plans as well as create a set of construction drawings. Students will work with floor plans, electrical plans, elevations, sections schedules and other detailed specialty drawings.

  • Portfolio

    This course is aimed at preparing the students’ transition to the professional world, allowing the student to place the final polishing touches on their portfolio work. Students will be required to explain and defend the presentation structure of their portfolio and individual pieces to a panel of their peers and industry in the format of a job interview. All portfolio components should demonstrate the student’s mastery of the programs core competencies...

Costs & Requirements

Standard Admission— requires AT LEAST ONE of the following: 

  • Alberta high school diploma or DAR/transcript verified equivalent 
  • A minimum of 50% in the following courses verified by transcript or DAR: Math 30-1, Math 30-2, Pure Math 30, Applied Math 30 or equivalent* and English Language Arts 30-1, English Language Arts 30-2 or equivalent*

*Equivalents may include academic upgrading courses. 

Mature Students — requires ALL of the following:

  • Be at least 18 years of age before admission (19 for out-of-province)
  •  Successful completion of the VCAD Admissions Test

*Manitoba applicants must also have been out of school for one year in addition to the above


For tuition prices and costs, fill out the request info form to speak with an admissions representative.



Check out and connect with some Alumni on LinkedIn.

  • Alumni 1 Noel Gabriel Ambrosio 2020
  • Alumni 2 Nikki Katouzian 2022
  • Alumni 4 Dryden Sereda 2022
  • Alumni 4 Madison Prangnell 2020
  • Alumni 5 Tuong Kim Thuy Nguyen 2020

Student Testimonials

  • If it wasn't for VCAD I don't think I would be where I am today. I've had some amazing opportunities, I've met some wonderful people - amazing connections, and I'll be forever grateful.

    - Sabrina Laprise
  • The most important thing that I learned at VCAD was how to use software - graphic design software.

    - Ewa Wawryszuk
  • What drew me to the interior design program was that it was a creative industry and also that it's business oriented.

    - Luc Kwan
  • I chose VCAD because of all the options and programs that they offered, and I wanted to succeed and through not just my classes but also making like really cool things that I'm proud of.

    - Luke Johnston
  • The instructors are really helpful, even outside school projects. They gave me a lot of advice about improving my skills as a graphic designer.

    - Maricel Benjamin
  • The most valuable part of the program is the one on one time with the teachers. They are always willing to go out of their way to make sure you understand what you are doing.

    - Katrina Selkirk


Hear from a graduate about the Interior Design program at VCAD.

  • Student Portfolio

    Jessica A.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Meegan L.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Zoe K.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Lucy C.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Stephanie H.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Ana S.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Ryan S.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Sue S.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    tsendmaa k.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Diana Jean G.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Aoshuang X.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Ryan K.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    ashley m.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Aylin A.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Brittany K.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Angellina T.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Sierra W.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Tamara V.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Winnie V.
    Interior Design

  • Student Portfolio

    Vanessa B.
    Interior Design

Meet our Instructors

  • Heather Arthurs

    Interior Design

  • Elena Schneider Barnes

    Interior Design

  • Ricardo Piedrahita

    Interior Design

  • Kinga Brassay

    Interior Design

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