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Interior Architecture Design (IAD)

Dedicated to preparing future leaders and innovators in the global design community, the interior design program at Indiana State University offers a dynamic and progressive curriculum supported by top-notch facilities, frequent field trips, an active professional advisory board, and a faculty of practicing designers and scholars from around the world.

The program is one of only 159 programs worldwide to be accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (formerly FIDER). Additionally, the program is one of only 18 four-year programs in America to be accredited by the National Kitchen and Bath Design Association (NKBA). The program is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD). Program alumni can be found successfully practicing interior design from California to New York as well as abroad.

Featured in America's Top 150 Best Buys in Higher EducationIndiana State University has been praised by the Princeton Review for its "private school feel... welcoming student body, and reputation for tolerance." Consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a National Tier University, ISU was recently recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as one of only 62 Community Engaged Universities in America. Home to approximately 10,500 students, its attractive residential campus borders downtown Terre Haute. The program itself is part of the Department of Built Environment in the College of Technology.


  • To empower program graduates to become innovative, environmentally and socially conscious designers.
  • To be involved in the community and public engagement.
  • To focus on the world of design and all its complexity in relation to its effect on people as well as their social interactions and behavior.


  • To combine rigorous professional preparation with creative problem-solving.
  • To improve the quality of life through the built environment for individuals and communities.


The four-year first professional program leads to the Bachelor of Science in Interior Design degree. It emphasizes rigorous professional preparation, integrating the complex aesthetic, technical, and theoretical aspects of commercial, institutional, residential, and product design. Classes are small, typically with only 15-17 students, and program facilities include design studios equipped with individual computer work stations outfitted with leading industry software including AutoCAD 2005, 3D Viz, 20/20, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch Up, and Adobe Illustrator.

Students in the Interior Design Program at ISU participate in studio projects, critiques, exams, design competitions, presentations, and research papers. Outside jurors frequently participate in student critiques. The program shares the university and department's commitment to experiential learning, and community-based projects are frequently undertaken in design studios.

All Students enrolled in the Interior Design Program at ISU will be required to be active members of the ID student organization (IDEA) as well as active student members of the three Interior Design professional organizations: American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and National Kitchen and Bathroom Association (NKBA) to further enhance their future professional careers. IDEA as student organization has a student chapter for each one of the professional organizations. The IDEA officers will provide further information about these and other memberships as well as scheduled IDEA meetings during the first couple of weeks of each semester.

Plan of Study


Internships are a required part of the interior design curriculum, providing students with invaluable industry experience. During the past summer, students completed internships with prominent architecture and interior design firms in Chicago, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Louisville, and Atlanta. Students typically complete their internships during the summer between their junior and senior years.


Acceptance into the fall semester of the third year of the Interior Architecture Design program requires submission of work produced in foundational design skills and design studios through the spring semester of the second year.

At the completion of the Portfolio Review each student will have an interview with the IAD faculty as to whether the student has been granted overall unconditional acceptance into the upper division courses. For all students this interview will include information on areas of strength and areas of weakness as analyzed by the IAD faculty during the Review.

The review process will occur during the academic year in the Spring semester.


Transfer students requesting acceptance into the first semester of the third year of the Interior Design program are required to follow the same guidelines and timelines as requested by the IAD faculty.

For further details, visit


This exhibition showcases a selection of outstanding senior thesis presentations from the Interior Architecture Design’s four-year degree program. The program’s semester long thesis project has three parts: research, design and documentation. Upon entering the spring semester of study, students translate their research and 4 years of cumulative experience into final design solutions.

Students establish horizontal and vertical circulation patterns as they locate stairs, elevators and means of egress. While shaping and composing the various interior volumes they anticipate mechanical systems for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, power, fire, and life safety. In addition to selecting colors, finishes, furniture, and equipment students develop extensive space plans, lighting plans, elevations, perspectives, and details to illustrate their design intent.

The exhibition occurs during the academic year in the Spring semester.



2 credits. A survey of the Interior Architecture Design profession and related topics in the field. Readings, analysis of visuals, discussions, field trips, assignments and collaborative studio work will give an overview of the design process and the designers involvement in society.

3 credits. Exploring depth, space, and mass, with specialized problems in three-dimensional design as related to interiors

3 credits. Survey of interior components. Emphasis on function, installation, care, maintenance, and sustainability. Practicum project(s) will support and emphasize discussion material.

3 credits. Studio instruction of AutoCAD software using 2D representations with emphasis on interior architecture design as well as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for 2D visualization/presentation

3 credits. Studio instruction of 3D visualization software with the emphasis on interior architecture design.

3 credits. Introduction and development of the design process through exploration of abstract and realistic problem solving applications. Design solutions for residential + bath problems are presented through the development of two and three dimensional presentation techniques

3 credits. Studio introduction and development of graphic presentation techniques – perspectives, color renderings, layout and composition, and visual exhibition

3 credits. Lecture and studio. Construction systems and methods in working drawings, schedules, and specifications. Discussion of liability, fire safety, and environmental concerns. Custom design, product evaluation, cost estimating, and specification writing project(s) with digital applications

3 credits. Schematic development and application of problem-solving processes to mid to large scale working environments.

3 credits. Advanced programming, schematics, and design development and application of buildings codes to adaptive reuse and/or building restoration project(s). Digital applications

3 credits. Supervised field experience in professional interior architecture design.

3 credits. The development of Western world interiors, furnishings, and architecture from antiquity through the mid-nineteenth century. The economic, social, political, and technological factors that shaped change

3 credits. Lecture and studio applications of technical, aesthetic, and psychological uses of lighting and its relationship to color

3 credits. Application of professional sustainability practices and LEED rating systems

3 credits. Design solutions to specialized problems in healthcare using design processes and knowledge of codes, materials, fixtures, furnishings, and equipment. Digital applications

3 credits. Capstone senior thesis project incorporating advanced problem solving techniques, technical knowledge, visual and oral communication skills in comprehensive design solution(s).

3 credits. Capstone senior thesis project incorporating advanced problem solving techniques, technical knowledge, visual and oral communication skills in comprehensive design solution(s).

3 credits. Study of the design field after the industrial revolution, emphasizing its role in interior design, architecture, product design, furniture, textiles, art, and accessories.

3 credits. Lecture and discussion of business practices and procedures, contact documents, and ethical issues in interior architecture design and related fields. Preparation to seek positions in the interior architecture design profession.

2 credits. Specialized problems in portfolio preparation for the interior architecture design field. Digital applications.

  • IAD 150: Introduction to Interior Architecture Design
  • IAD 152: Design Fundamentals: 3D Design
  • IAD 250: Materials and Finishes of Interior Architecture Design
  • IAD 497: CAD Fundamentals of Interior Architecture Design
  • IAD 240: Digital Visualization
  • IAD: 251: Studio 1: Residential + Bath
  • IAD 252: Interior Design Graphics 2: Presentation
  • IAD 260: Construction + Detailing: Commercial
  • IAD: 351: Studio 3: Universal + Corporate
  • IAD: 352: Studio 4: Historic Restoration
  • IAD 353: Interior Architecture Design Internship
  • IAD 354: History of Traditional Interior Architecture Design
  • IAD 355: Lighting + Color
  • IAD 360: Sustainable Practices
  • IAD 451: Studio 5: Healthcare
  • IAD 452: Studio 6: Thesis
  • IAD 454: History of Contemporary Interior Architecture Design
  • IAD 454: History of Contemporary Interior Architecture Design
  • IAD 458: Professional Practices + Procedures in Interior Design
  • IAD 470: Interior Architecture Design Portfolio


  • ARTS 101: Drawing
  • ART 271or 272: Art History I or Art History II


120 Credit Hours (maximum of 45 Hours at 300/400 level, fall 2013)

All basic Studies and Liberal Studies requirements fulfilled


At least a 2.5 cumulative GPA is required for unconditional acceptance into the IAD program. If recommended for admission by IAD faculty, applicants with a GPA lower than 2.5 will be offered a conditional acceptance on a space-available basis.

Personal Interview with IAD faculty in May of the spring semester. All applicants will be informed of the interview time and date.

Complete and submit creative exercise before the personal interview with IAD faculty.

It is strongly recommended that each applicant take the Ishihara Test for Color Blindness and forward a copy of the results to Mary Sterling, IAD Program Coordinator, before the personal interview.


Creative Exercise PDF (password protected)


Designed specifically to support our program, the Interior Architecture Design studio, is located in the newly renovated second floor of the Technology Annex Building. The Department of the Built Environment features a dedicated IAD studio with a critique room, exhibition gallery, resource library, print room featuring black and white and color plotter and printers, scanner facilities, individual computer work stations and drafting tables. In addition there is a student break room, secondary drafting studio, general classrooms and faculty offices with conference room.

All Interior Architecture Design classes are held in the Technology Buildings, easily accessible by a short walk across campus or from downtown Terre Haute. The facility is open until 9:00 pm on weeknights and is accessible on the weekend, as well. Interior Architecture Design students have 24/7 access to the discipline specific design studio.


The studio is the core of the program that holds all other parts of the curriculum together. The faculty expects that learning from other courses and outside interests will be integrated into the design process. Students should be able to use studio projects to pursue interior architecture design ideas that interest them.

STUDIO CULTURE POLICY PDF link (password protected)


 Campus Map »

Directions to the IAD Studio »


100% of the students that applied to graduate schools from the May 2008-2013 graduating classes were accepted.

83% of the students from the class of Spring 2013 who entered upper division courses (Junior Fall 2011) graduated in 4 years.

70% of the students enrolled during the 2013 Spring semester are returned for the Fall 2013 semester to continue their degree program in interior design.

60% of the students that graduate in May 2013 were employed in the discipline by August 2013 (3 months).

Below is a sampling of companies that have hired our graduates:

  • Salernos Kitchen Cabinetry
    New York, NY
  • Kovert Hawkins, architects
    Jeffersonville, IN
  • IKEA
    Chicago, IL
  • Lohr Design
    Indianapolis, IN
  • Ratio, architects
    Indianapolis, IN
  • Jensen & Halstead Ltd.
    Chicago, IL
  • Masterbrand Cabinets, Inc.
    Jasper, IN
  • MMS-AE Architects Engineers
    Terre Haute, IN


Students have travel opportunities with site visits to museums, show rooms, regional design centers and design firms throughout the year. Annual tours are conducted each fall and spring semester to the following cities: Chicago and St. Louis in order to increase students’ awareness of the world of interior architecture design through the study of a specific city. Additionally, the program offers students an opportunity to study abroad in Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, and several other countries.



Each fall semester there is one all-day field trip to Chicago, a major design center ranked by the AIA as the most important city in America for architecture.

Transportation is via charter coach bus, at a cost of approximately $50 per student. The bus leaves around5am and arrives back to campus around midnight, making it a full day!

Recent trips have included tours of interiors by Rem Koolhaas, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Gehry; trade showrooms at the Merchandise Mart, prominent design firms including Perkins & Will, Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge and Jensen & Halstead Ltd; and world class museums including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art.


Each spring semester there is typically one all-day field trip to St. Louis. Beginning with a tour of the Union Station adaptive reuse project, our day trip to St. Louis has also included stops at design giant HOK, the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Arch and the Pulitzer Foundation museum designed by noted Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

Transportation is via charter coach bus, at a cost of approximately $50 per student. The bus leaves around 5am and arrives back to campus around midnight.



Spend a summer studying design in one of the world's oldest and most important architectural and cultural centers. Typically, students participate during the summer semester of their junior year.

For more information about Study Abroad Programs please visit the Study Abroad Office


Career Opportunities include: residential interior designer, contract/commercial interior designer, institutional designer, kitchen and bath designer, home office designer, store planning designer, office designer, healthcare/daycare designer, hotel/restaurant designer, corporate facilities manager, healthcare facility manager, facilities planner, workplace safety/productivity manager, manufacturer's representative, sales manager, furniture designer, lighting designer, set designer, textile designer, interior design educator/researcher, design journalist. 

Interior Designers are employed by interior design and architectural firms, corporate facilities management offices, governmental offices, trade showrooms, and exhibit design offices in museums, or they may work freelance.

Annual salaries vary significantly by geographic location, employer, and market condition. Average beginning salaries for entry level interior designers range from $22,000 to $40,000. Interior designers with 6-10 years' experience average $40,000-$60,000, while principals or partners in large corporate design firms typically earn $70,000-$200,000 annually.

For more information, visit:


The program enjoys one of the highest job placement rates in the nation - approximately 90% of its graduates are employed in the interior architecture design field within six months of graduation. Graduates are successful securing positions as entry-level interior designers in throughout the country and abroad. Others have continued their studies at such prestigious graduate schools as the University of Illinois and the University of Oregon.

Graduates of the program can be found practicing interior design throughout the country, in virtually every specialization: residential interior design, commercial and institutional design, facilities management, furniture design, college-level interior design education, and trade showrooms.


Jodi Goings RID, NCIDQ Certified
Campus Designer/Project Coordinator
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Facilities Service, Planning & Construction
6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5870
Corpus Christi, TX 78412-5870
Office: 361.825.2839 Fax: 361.825.3098


National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Definition of Interior Design

Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive. Designs are created in response to and coordinated with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project. Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements, and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability. The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals. Interior design includes a scope of services performed by a professional design practitioner, qualified by means of education, experience and examination, to protect and enhance the health, life safety and welfare of the public. These services may include any or all of the following tasks:


  • - Research and analysis of the client's goals and requirements; and development of documents, drawings and diagrams that outline those needs
  • - Formulation of preliminary space plans and two and three dimensional design concept studies and sketches that integrate the client's program needs and are based on knowledge of the principles of interior design and theories of human behavior
  • - Confirmation that preliminary space plans and design concepts are safe, functional, aesthetically appropriate, and meet all public health, safety and welfare requirements, including code, accessibility, environmental, and sustainability guidelines
  • - Selection of colors, materials and finishes to appropriately convey the design concept and to meet socio-psychological, functional, maintenance, lifecycle performance, environmental, and safety requirements
  • - Selection and specification of furniture, fixtures, equipment and millwork, including layout drawings and detailed product description; and provision of contract documentation to facilitate pricing, procurement and installation of furniture
  • - Provision of project management services, including preparation of project budgets and schedules
  • - Preparation of construction documents, consisting of plans, elevations, details and specifications, to illustrate non-structural and/or non-seismic partition layouts; power and communications locations; reflected ceiling plans and lighting designs; materials and finishes; and furniture layouts
  • - Preparation of construction documents to adhere to regional building and fire codes, municipal codes, and any other jurisdictional statutes, regulations and guidelines applicable to the interior space
  • - Coordination and collaboration with other allied design professionals who may be retained to provide consulting services, including but not limited to architects; structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, and various specialty consultants
  • - Confirmation that construction documents for non-structural and/or non-seismic construction are signed and sealed by the responsible interior designer, as applicable to jurisdictional requirements for filing with code enforcement officials
  • - Administration of contract documents, bids and negotiations as the client's agent
  • - Observation and reporting on the implementation of projects while in progress and upon completion, as a representative of and on behalf of the client; and conducting post-occupancy evaluation reports.

  • National Council for Interior Design Accreditation

    You can apply for the Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX) as soon as you graduate from an interior design program that meets the NCIDQ eligibility requirements (ISU meets these requirements). You can apply for the Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX) and Practicum exam as soon as you have completed the required qualified work experience. After graduating from our accredited program and gaining work experience for two years full time (minimum of 3,520 hours) you will be eligible to apply to take the NCIDQ exam.

    For more information see:

    Indiana Interior Design Coalition (IIDC)

    Indiana has now joined the growing number of states that offer a voluntary registration for interior designers. To become a Registered Interior Designer (RID) in the State of Indiana, pass the NCIDQ exam or the Architectural Registration Exam (ARE).

    For more information see: