Mission & Description | Interior Design | School of Architecture | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Applied Sciences and Arts

Interior Design image

Program Mission & Description


Our mission is to instill graduates with aesthetic sensibility; the need for intellectual inquiry in order to stay current with changing societal and technological and cultural imperatives; and the ability to design within the context of universal design principles and environmental responsibility.

Interior Design Program Mission Statement, SIUC

Quigley Hall on the SIU Campus


SIUC's Interior Design program is the oldest accredited program in the state and is one of the oldest accredited programs in the country. It was first accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research [FIDER] in 1974. As Interior Design professional standards have developed and matured over time, so has the Interior Design program at SIUC. Today the program is fully accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation [CIDA] and remains continually responsive to the standards and demands of the design profession.

The educational philosophy of the Interior Design program is founded upon a curriculum which is highly aligned with the allied discipline of Architectural Studies. The Architectural Studies program and the Interior Design program share a common curriculum for the first two years which connects students with the fundamentals of design as well as a more holistic understanding of architecture and interior design. In addition to the two years of initial design curriculum, several of the upper level technical courses (focused on issues such as lighting, ventilation and energy) are also shared between Interior Design and Architectural Studies. This strong connection provides a fertile atmosphere of collaborative and interdisciplinary work for both students and faculty. 



The course work within the Interior Design program is centered on studio based learning which provides knowledge of design and the design process (programming, ideation, schematic design, design development, construction documents, etc.) in a work-lab setting. Studio courses at the first-year level may have as many as 25 to 30 student in each section, while upper level studio courses generally have a range of 10 to 15 students.


Professional internships are not a required part of the curriculum, but they are highly encouraged. Interior Design faculty and the Program Director work with motivated students to help arrange individual internships typically during the summer between the third and fourth years. Additionally, the Interior Design Program is an active participant in the SIU Alumni Association's Extern Program (a shadow experience hosted yearly during the SIUC spring break).


There are two guides to the curriculum for the Interior Design program: the four-year curriculum for incoming freshmen and the three-year curriculum for transfer and change of major students. The three-year option is available for those students who have completed all or most of the Core Curriculum requirements.

4-Year Curriculum Guide (Incoming Freshman)
3-Year Curriculum Guide (Transfer Students)


Students who are a part of the School of Architecture are eligible for a variety of scholarship opportunities through the University, the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, and the School of Architecture. Click here for more information.


The Interior Design program participates in the academic Living Learning Communities housing plan whereby Interior Design, Architectural Studies, and Fashion Design and Merchandising majors may choose to live together on campus. Click here for more information. 


Interior Design students can take advantage of a wealth of resources designed to help supplement students in their academic endeavor. Some specific SoA facilities include: teaching studios, a wood/model shop, a digital fabrication lab, a resource library with sample room, a computer lab and large format print room, as well as a full range of profession-related software to help students develop critical and necessary digital application skills. Take a tour!


Graduates with a BSID degree are prepared for entry-level positions in architectural design and interior design firms and related professional avenues such as furniture manufacturers/dealerships, facilities management, design sales, etc. Alumni of the SIUC Interior Design program hold positions in large, globally based corporations as well as small independently owned practices. Some example companies include: GenslerHOKPerkins+WillWhitney ArchitectsArcturisRemigerDesign

Graduates of the BSID degree may also elect to continue their education. Although a graduate degree is not required for most interior design industry jobs, some graduates do select this route. In recent years, Interior Design graduates from SIUC have been accepted to master's programs at SIU as well as locations such as the Savanah College of Art and Design [SCAD], the University of Kentucky, and the University of Oregon.


Professional Placement as of Spring 2020: (SIUC School of Architecture data)
2019:  100% design industry employment (12 of 12)
2018:  73% design industry employment (8 of 11)
2017:  86% design industry employment (13 of 15)

Graduate Program Acceptance: (SIUC School of Architecture data)
2019:  No BSID graduates applied to graduate school
2018:  100% of BSID graduates accepted to graduate school (2 of 2)
2017:  100% of BSID graduates accepted to graduate school (1 of 1)

Retention Rates: (SIUC Office of Institutional Research data)
2019:  90%
2018:  78%
2017:  77%

Graduation Rates: (SIUC Office of Institutional Research data)
2019:  90% graduated in 4 years
2018:  64% graduated in 4 years
2017:  61% graduated in 4 years

Design Awards/Honors: (SIUC School of Architecture data)

2018: Interior design student C. Martino invited to participate in the NEOCON interior Design Student Charrette, Chicago Illinois; 1st place team honors

2017: Interior design student C. Cathcart selected as the winning entry for the NEXT National Interior Design Student Competition, Steelcase Corporation, Grand Rapids Michigan

2016: Five interior design students inducted into Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society in Architecture and Allied Arts

2015: Interior design student T. Phillips invited to participate in the NEOCON Interior Design Student Charrette, Chicago Illinois

2014: Interior design student S. Diesburg selected as a top 5 semi finalist in the NEXT National Interior Design Student Competition, Steelcase Corporation, Grand Rapids Michigan

Studio Culture Policy

The School of Architecture at SIU has established a Studio Culture Policy in an effort to preserve studios as productive work environments in which students cultivate the professional conduct expected in the practice of architecture. All students must adhere to these policies.


Interested in a career in interior design? If so, APPLY NOW!