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.

The program is one of 189 programs worldwide to be accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Additionally, the program is also accredited by the  National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD). The program is an affiliated National Kitchen and Bath Design Association (NKBA) program. 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 Education, Indiana State University has been praised by the Princeton Review for its "private school feel... welcoming student body, and reputation for tolerance." Home to approximately 13,500 students, its attractive residential campus borders downtown Terre Haute. The program itself is part of the Department of Built Environment in the Bailey College of Engineering and 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 academically prepare the students for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam.
  • To promote a sense of teamwork, tolerance, and humanitarian values among the students through appropriate design projects.
  • To encourage the significance, understanding, and application of sustainable design practices.
  • To encourage Study Abroad.
  • To retain the 100% job placement 6 months post-graduation.


  • To provide opportunities for students to have experiential learning.
  • To focus on the important design skill of problem solving.
  • To focus on career readiness.


The four-year first professional program leads to the Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture 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, Revit, 20/20, Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch Up, and others.

Students in the Interior Architecture 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 Architecture Design program at ISU are encouraged  to be active members of the IAD student organization Interior Designers Embracing Architecture (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.


Ms. Azizi Arrington-Slocum, Acting Department Chair and Professor

Ms. Kimberly Smith, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator

Ms. Jessica Miller, Instructor


Internships are a required part of the interior design curriculum, providing students with invaluable industry experience. In the recent past, students completed internships with prominent architecture and interior design firms in Raleigh, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Nashville, Phoenix, Louisville, and Atlanta. Students typically complete their internships during the summer between their junior and senior years and requires 300 hours of paid work in the industry or related field.


As the major is delivered face-to-face and in a linear sequence transfer students may be required to take courses which are at the beginning of the 4-year cycle, thus making their time to graduation longer than may be expected. Transfer students requesting acceptance into the program are advised to meet with the IAD program coordinator or Bailey College of Engineering and Technology transfer advisor to discuss a path to graduation.


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 fourth academic year in the spring semester and is open to the public.


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.


Designed specifically to support our program, the Interior Architecture Design program, is located in the newly renovated second floor of the Technology Annex Building. The Department of Built Environment features a dedicated IAD studio with a critique room, exhibition gallery, resource library, work room, individual computer work stations and drafting tables. In addition there is a student break room, secondary 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 are expected to work in studio after hours and take responsibility for the activities in studio. A studio culture document is available on the desktop of the computer workstations and outlines expectations of faculty, staff, and students in regards to the community that is our design program.


Campus Map(Building 65) »


It typically takes a full-time student taking approximately 15 credits per semester four years to complete the degree program. Transfer students with interior design specific courses can typically complete the program in 2.5 years. Due to the BFA of Interior Architecture Design being a first-professional degree, many of our graduates do not pursue graduate school. None of the students who graduated in 2021 applied for graduate school.

The following data was collected using institutional records and an alumni survey which was administered 3 months after the class of 2022 graduated. 7 out of 10 alumni responded to the survey.


48% of students admitted to the IAD Pre-Design program in the fall of 2021 cohort returned in the fall of 2022, putting IAD attrition at 52%. In the same year 94% of sophomore cohort IAD students, and 100% of junior cohort IAD students matriculated to the next level.


Of the students graduating in 2022, 70% graduated in 4 years.

80% of students who graduated in 2022 are employed in interior design or a related profession. 86% of students who graduated in 2021 are employed in interior design or a related profession. 

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

  • CSO Architects, Indianapolis, IN
  • Carson Design Associates, Indianapolis, IN
  • Ratio Architects, Indianapolis, IN
  • Jensen & Halstead Ltd., Chicago, IL
  • Salernos Kitchen Cabinetry, New York, NY
  • Kovert Hawkins, Architects, Jeffersonville, IN
  • Restoration Hardware, Cincinnati, OH
  • Masterbrand Cabinets, Inc., Jasper, IN
  • Holder Design, 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 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 through university organized programs.


Each year faculty lead trips to exciting destinations to visit and explore various points of design interest. Transportation is via charter coach bus, at a cost of approximately $50 per student. For day-trips the bus leaves around 5am and arrives back to campus around midnight. Some trips require overnight stays and may incur more cost.

An often requested destination is Chicago, a major design center ranked by the AIA as the most important city in America for architecture. 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.

St. Louis has been very successful, too. Beginning with a tour of the Union Station adaptive reuse project, the 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.


"Strengthening and embracing Indiana State University's Interior Architecture Design students in the world of design"

The IDEA organization was first created to help establish relationships between design professionals and design students. Since the establishment of IDEA, professionals in many different parts of the industry have taken their time to come and speak to the students, offering invaluable advice. IDEA is open to all Indiana State University students who are pursuing a degree in Interior Architecture Design.

As IDEA has grown, one major component in which the active students have incorporated into the organization is community service. The members of IDEA have enjoyed their time as they help the local community. The members of IDEA have partnered with Habitat for Humanity, Harmony Haven Animal Shelter, and other local non-for-profit organizations over its existence.

The IDEA officers and student liaisons and representatives facilitate the organization's functions. These students are vital and contribute their time for other people's benefit. IDEA meets as an organization every other week during the academic school year. Active membership in other professional organizations such as American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), International Interior Design Association (IIDA), National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and Indiana Landmarks is also encouraged.


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. The department of Built Environment has begun offering faculty-led short programs abroad (typically 3-weeks) during the summer session.

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, and many others.

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.

For more information, visit:


The program enjoys one of the highest job placement rates in the university - approximately 90% of its graduates are employed in the interior architecture design field within six months of graduation (100% for 2014-2017). Graduates are successful securing positions as entry-level interior designers in throughout the country and abroad. Others have continued their studies pursuing advanced degrees.

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.


National Council for Interior Design Qualification’s (NCIDQ) definition of 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.
  • 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.


The interior design program leading to the BFA Interior Architecture Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation,, 206 Grandville Avenue, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503.

The CIDA-accredited program prepares students for entry-level interior design practice, for advanced study, and to apply for membership in professional interior design organizations. The BFA Interior Architecture Design granted by Indiana State University meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam). For more information about NCIDQ Exam eligibility visit:


  • 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: