Chatham News

Three-year Bachelor of Interior Architecture program receives accreditation from Council for Interior Design Accreditation

By: Paul A. Kovach, Chief Communications Officer
April 25, 2011

PITTSBURGH (April 25, 2011) … The Bachelor of Interior Architecture (BIA)program at Chatham University has received six-year accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), according to an announcement by Laura Armesto, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs.

The BIA is the one of the first degree programs in the U.S. to be offered in a three-year format. The format saves students a full year of tuition and is distinctive from other three-year degree programs which require summer study. Chatham’s BIA also emphasizes sustainable design and includes study abroad in Italy.

“This is tremendous recognition for a program that was founded only seven years ago and transitioned to a three-year format in 2009,” noted Lori Anthony, program director. “I want to thank CIDA for recognizing our program’s foundation in sustainable design as well as its new three-year format.”

“Lori has designed a three-year program that is gaining national recognition because it allows students to obtain internships and work experience through the summer months and not spend time in the classroom,” said Dr. Armesto. “CIDA’s accreditation is proof that the academic rigor of Chatham’s BIA meets professional standards that prepare our graduates for careers in interior architecture.”

The three-year BIA program utilizes concurrent seven-week intensive design studios within a 14-week term, allowing greater opportunities for specialized learning experiences. Because of this unique sequencing, students do not take credit overloads or summer courses, allowing them to participate in study abroad or internships.

Chatham’s Interior Architecture program is a professional interior design curriculum that stresses holistic design integrated with sustainability and the environment. Design studios encourage students to explore the built environment of various building types such as healthcare, residential, retail and hospitality, while lecture courses impart the design knowledge needed to create meaningful spaces. The University also offers a CIDA- accredited Master of Interior Architecture degree and a post-professional, online Master of Science in Interior Architecture degree.

About CIDA
The Council for Interior Design Accreditation is an independent, non-profit accrediting organization for interior design education programs at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. For more than 40 years this knowledge-driven organization has been passionately committed to the ongoing enrichment of the interior design profession through identifying, developing and promoting quality standards for the education of entry-level interior designers, and then encouraging, accrediting and supporting educational programs to aspire to those standards.

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation is recognized as a reliable authority on interior design education by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Professional level programs accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation voluntarily place themselves before the scrutiny of the profession to ensure that students receive an education that will serve them not only during their time at school, but also prepare them for future professional growth. Students enrolled in an accredited interior design program can be confident that the program meets the quality standards recognized by the profession.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information call 800-837-1290 or visit