Interior Architecture & Design

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.

Real-world learning

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.

Real-world learning

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 design program leading to the Interior Architecture & Design degree is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation,, 206 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW, 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 Interior Architecture & Design degree granted by Mount Mary 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:

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 70 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.

Student Achievement Data for the Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture & Design:

It typically takes a full-time student approximately 15 credits per semester four years to complete the degree program.

The following data were collected using institutional records, LinkedIn searches and First Destination Surveys. The first destination survey is conducted prior to graduation. LinkedIn searches supplement the information for graduates who have not yet found employment or did not respond to the survey. For students for whom Mount Mary has information that graduated between Fall of 2020 and Spring of 2023, 84% are employed.

  • Student Attrition and Retention
    • 50% of the first-time fulltime students admitted in the fall of 2022 returned in the fall of 2023, putting attrition at 50%.
    • For students entering in Fall of 2021, 80% returned in fall of 2022.
    • For students entering in Fall of 2020, 100% returned.
    • The overall retention rate for these three cohorts (Fall 2020, Fall 2021, and Fall 2022) retention rate is 75% (9 of 12 students).
  • Graduation Rates:
    • Of the First-time full-time students who entered in the fall semester, majoring in Interior Architecture at entry, entering in 2016, 2017, or 2018, 68% graduated in 4 years or less. (6-year graduation rate does not differ).
    • Of the first-time full-time students earning a bachelor’s degree in Spring of 2021, 2022, and 2023 with a major in Interior Architecture and Design (n=10), 100% graduated in 4 years.
  • Acceptance into Graduate Programs:
    • 9% of students who graduated with a bachelor's degree between fall of 2022 and Spring of 2023, 2 applied for graduate school, and 100% were accepted.


      2 out of 23 students who graduated with a bachelor's degree between fall of 2022 and Spring of 2023, 2 applied for graduate school, and 2 were accepted.
  • Job Placement Rates:
    • Of the 19 students who graduated with a bachelor's degree between fall of 2022 and Spring of 2023, for whom Mount Mary has information, 84% are employed in interior design or a related profession.

The entrepreneurship minor is designed for non-business majors who wish to learn how to start a business in their chosen field. The minor is helpful if you want to start your own interior architecture and design business. The minor requires a minimum of 21 credits and can be earned in the traditional daytime or accelerated formats. Consult the Undergraduate Bulletin for more details on requirements and courses for this minor.

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:

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.

Read about the latest work featured by Milwaukee's Habitat Restore.


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.

Check out student work

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.


The School of Arts and Sciences at Mount Mary is rich with talented faculty who care about their students.

Contact us to hear from your Admission Counselor: