Chatham University

Interior Architecture Curriculum

The three year Bachelor of Interior Architecture is a Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredited first professional interior design program consisting of 121 credits. The curriculum includes foundation courses in interior architecture, a dynamic studio sequence, an internship, electives, and a tutorial. The Bachelor of Interior Architecture prepares students for practice in an interior design or architecture firm.

Students in the interior architecture must earn a C+ or better in all major courses. Failure to earn this minimum grade will result in the need to repeat the course thereby possibly extending the student‘s course of study beyond three years.

At the completion of IAR225 Interior Architecture II, students participate in a mandatory Portfolio Review.

Interior Architecture students must take six credits each Maymester. If students are unable to take six credits during a given Maymester, they must either complete the credits during a summer term or the Maymester before graduation.

Program Philosophy:

The philosophy of the Interior Architecture program at Chatham University is fundamentally founded in responsibility for the outcome of design and global public service. The Interior Architecture program believes in evidence-based design and ethnography, an approach to analyzing user needs by studying the user, their practices, and artifacts in the context of their existing interior environment.

With a curriculum that balances spontaneity and creativity with the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary to meet practical concerns, our graduates are prepared to excel in the profession of interior design. Our students must be able to solve design challenges, communicate, and present their solutions with authority, a strong design vocabulary, and professional communication skills.

We believe it is our responsibility to train engaged stewards of the environment, globally conscious interior design professionals with consideration for the responsibility and outcomes of design and the needs of all user groups.

Program Mission:

The Mission of the Interior Architecture Program at Chatham University is to prepare students excellence in the profession of Interior Design, to be engaged stewards of the environment, and to provide lasting contributions to a global society. Central to this mission is a holistic, evidence-based program that integrates knowledge and appreciation of architectural and design theory with ethical, responsible, and entrepreneurial practice.

Program Goals:

  1. To accept a sustainable approach to interior design and make "green design" a minimal standard and not a trend.
  2. To transform students into critical thinking professionals who see inquiry as the norm.
  3. To prepare students to identify, research, and solve design challenges with a logical methodology while promoting creative solutions and applied spontaneity.
  4. To provide pathways and opportunities for applied research.
  5. To produce professionals able to present their ideas with authority by drawing on their education, a strong design vocabulary and professional communication skills.
  6. To train globally-conscious interior design professionals with consideration for the responsibility and outcomes of design and the needs of all user groups.
  7. To prepare students to be proficient in the most current cutting-edge technology while instilling readiness in adapting to emerging techniques, processes and systems.

Program Requirements