What's different about Mount Mary's Interior Architecture & Design Major?
Mount Mary University’s accredited interior architecture and design program has a reputation for excellence among employers, students and peers across the country. Our program provides you with the skills you’ll need to succeed: skills in space planning, problem solving, contract preparation and material preparation. You’ll also learn how to work with professionals such as architects, engineers and building contractors.
In the classroom and labs, you’ll access the latest industry standard software, including AutoCAD, Revit and SketchUp. The interior architecture and design program has a dedicated computer drafting lab and product resource library.
Faculty also work closely with design communities and industry partners and practitioners to create networking opportunities for you to meet professionals in class and through student organization activities. Industry experts often bring their experience to class and field trips are infused throughout the program.
Many class projects consist of real spaces, are performed for actual clients and are juried by interior design practitioners. You get even more practical, real-world experience through a required internship.
Accreditation & Certification
Mount Mary’s interior architecture and design program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and has been continually accredited since 1986. After completing your four-year bachelor’s degree and two years of experience, you will be eligible to take the National Council for Interior Designers Qualification (NCIDQ) Exam to become certified as a professional interior architecture and designer.
The interior architecture and design program leading to the Interior Architecture & Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, www.accredit-id.org, 206 Grandville Avenue, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
The CIDA-accredited program prepares students for entry-level interior architecture and design practice, for advanced study, and to apply for membership in professional interior architecture and design organizations. The Interior Architecture & Design degree granted by Mount Mary University meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit in pathway 1 for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ). For more information about NCIDQ Exam eligibility visit: https://www.cida.org/eligibility-requirements.
Learn more about Mount Mary's Interior Architecture & Design Degree
Mount Mary offers an accredited four-year Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture & Design degree. An internship is required for all interior architecture and design students. The program requires a minimum of 75 credits of interior architecture and design courses. You also need to complete the university’s core curriculum requirements.
Consult the Undergraduate Bulletin (PDF) and Curriculum Guide list for more details on requirements and courses for this major.
Some academic programs require a GPA higher than what is required for general admission to Mount Mary University. Contact your admission counselor for more information.
Student Achievement Data for the Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture & Design:
- Job Placement:
- Based on the 2019 to 2021 graduates, 100% of graduates are employed in an interior design related position.
81% within 6 months of graduation had jobs in their field. 62.5% had full time jobs within their field by graduation.
- Graduation Rates:
- 87.5% of the students graduating between May 2019 and May 2021 that started at Mount Mary University graduated in 4 years. Those that did not were double majors, change of major, or transfer students.
- 68% of the students enrolled during the fall 2020 to fall 2021 semesters returned to the program, putting attrition at 32%. 82% of the students enrolled during the fall 2019 to fall 2020 semesters returned to the program, putting attrition at 18%. 76% of the students enrolled during the fall 2018 to fall 2019 semesters returned to the program, putting attrition at 24%.
The interior architecture and design and merchandising programs offer many opportunities to get involved in professional organizations, service learning activities and networking opportunities.
Professional Organization Student Chapters & Affiliations
Professional networking is key to creating success. You can participate in networking opportunities through the following organizations:
- American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Student Chapter: Mount Mary’s ASID chapter focuses on educational, professional and personal advancement opportunities through workshops, networking events and community service activities. Contact the department, (414) 256-1213, for more information on this club.
- International Interior Design Association (IIDA): The Wisconsin chapter of IIDA provides you with networking, award recognition and scholarship opportunities.
- Construction Specifications Institute Milwaukee Chapter (CSI): CSI supports interior architecture and design students at Mount Mary through scholarship opportunities.
- Women in Design: The Milwaukee Chapter offers volunteer and scholarship opportunities to Mount Mary interior architecture & design students.
- Hospitality Industry Network (NEWH): This organization supports Mount Mary interior architecture and design students through scholarships.
Service Learning in Interior Architecture & Design
Service learning opportunities that use your interior architecture and design knowledge and skills are provided through your courses at Mount Mary and through the Interior Architecture & Design Student Chapter. Projects include remodeling rooms in homeless shelters, remodeling offices for nonprofit organizations and remodeling educational facilities. Mount Mary interior architecture and design students even designed the student lounges on several Caroline Hall residence hall floors.
Latin for "to make, create, produce," CREO is an annual celebration of creativity that showcases student work from Mount Mary fine art, fashion, graphic design and interior architecture and design programs. CREO is forward-thinking and ever-developing. It's an opportunity for a cross-generational audience to experience a cross-disciplinary slice of Milwaukee's creative talent.
Interior architecture and design students participate at the event by featuring the sustainTABLE CHAIRity Silent Auction which showcases refurbished furniture and upcycled items. All proceeds from the auction are used to complete the community service projects mentioned above in Service Learning in Interior Architecture & Design.
Interior architecture and designers and merchandisers create aesthetic and functional living environments for human needs in residential and commercial buildings. Designers work to meet human needs and well-being, as well as safety and building codes. Through their work, they also create healthy and healing environments, consider sustainability and environmental issues, and understand basic construction and mechanical systems.
Design Your Own Path to Career Success
As an interior architecture and design major, you can pursue careers in technical and artistic fields. Opportunities are available for full-time or part-time employment, at corporate or nonprofit organizations, in residential or commercial industries, in small towns or large cities and for specialized or general design.
Salaries vary greatly depending on your experience, firm size and focus, location, firm clients/projects and opportunities for promotion. Here are some annual salary ranges you can expect:
- Entry-level designers and merchandisers: $25,000 to $40,000
- Junior designer: $35,000 to $55,000
- Senior designer: $45,000 to $70,000
- Design director: $65,000 to $100,000
- Firm officer/executive: $100,000+
Get Real-World Interior Design Experience in College
An internship is required for all interior architecture and design students, and this usually occurs during junior year. The interior architecture and design chairperson will help you find an internship that is the best fit for your career goals and your site supervisor.
Students often participate in internships at architectural firms, design firms, office furniture dealerships and in sales positions. During an internship, you might work on a residential, corporate, healthcare, eldercare, hospitality or sustainable design project.