Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College


Interior design students looking at a blueprint together

An interior designer is responsible for creating spaces that respond to client needs and desires. Interior designers are sought after to change the function of spaces, update spaces from out-of-date design, and to improve the sustainable and or accessibility features in spaces.

Interior designers use the following to accomplish this:

  • Active listening
  • Hand drawing and sketching
  • Knowledge of materials and products
  • Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD)
  • Computer 3-D modeling
  • Knowledge of electric lighting applications
  • An understanding of accessible design
  • Respect for the environment with sustainable design practices

Why choose Interior Design at Portland Community College?


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an interior designer earns a median salary of $53,370 per year and earns an hourly rate of $25.66. PCC graduates can expect to earn an hourly rate of $20-$25 per hour.

New students

Portland Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in interior design, as well as focused certificates in kitchen and bath planning, furnishing sales, and accessible design. Our focus is on residential design.

PCC is the only college to offer an Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design within the state of Oregon. The program’s combined focus on design skill development and technical software proficiency has created in-demand design graduates.

Our program is flexible. You can begin any term and you can also take more time to complete the degree. Daytime and evening classes are available.

The department only accepts interior design coursework from other colleges or universities be applied towards interior design electives. This is done on a student to student basis.

Each classroom “lab” is outfitted with computers for students’ use. All software that is required in available on each computer. There is open lab time for students to utilize outside of class. This is very important for a project-based program. Project-based learning creates an environment of active problem solving that mirrors the professional design activities of designers.

Degrees and certificates

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
Associate Degree: Interior Design2 years
Certificate: Design for Accessibility and Aging in Place1 year
Certificate: Kitchen and BathLess than 1 year
Career Pathway Certificate: Interior FurnishingsLess than 1 year


What will you learn?

Program curriculum covers:

  • Design development basics
  • Hand drawing
  • Space planning
  • Furnishing, fixture, and equipment (FF&E) specification
  • Historical interior design perspectives
  • Design theory
  • CAD construction documentation
  • 3-D modeling for design communication.
Who will teach me?

Interior Design faculty are working interior designers. Each faculty member is an accomplished interior designer with their practice or design position in the industry. Faculty members tend to have their individual specialty such and kitchen design, furnishings, or lighting design.

Who will hire me?

Graduates with Associate of Applied Science degrees find employment with:

  • Homebuilders
  • Design-build firms
  • Design offices with a large staff
  • Design offices with one-two people (small offices)
  • Showroom sales
  • Sales representatives for regional positions
Partner employers

The following companies employ or have employed graduates of the PCC Interior Design program:

  • Nest furnishing showroom
  • Neil Kelly
  • Robin Rigby-Fisher Design
  • Square Deal Remodeling
  • Let’s Remodel
  • Arciform
  • Metke Remodeling
  • Vanillawood Design Build
  • Pratt and Larson tile showroom
  • North Coast Lighting
  • Bedrosians Tile and Stone

Considering transferring for a university degree in interior design?

The PCC Interior Design program is not a transfer program. If you are considering transferring college or university for a degree in interior design, please work with a general advisor for information about a general transfer degree.

Next steps

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