Interior Architecture and Design, BFA

About the Program

The BFA in Interior Architecture & Design (IAD) prepares students to become well-rounded design professionals with inclusive and global perspectives. Interior architecture and design utilize principles of health, safety, and general welfare in the built environment to improve quality of life. Students are prepared to design interior environments, residential and non-residential, that serve a diverse set of individuals, circumstances, and uses. 

Our program encourages respectful, empathetic, human-driven design. We believe that authentic and purposeful design can foster a sense of community and belonging, promote diversity and inclusion, and enhance quality of life.

Students completing the BFA in Interior Architecture and Design will:

  • grow to be well-rounded design professionals with inclusive and global perspectives.
  • implement principles of health, safety, and general welfare in the built environment to improve quality of life in residential and non-residential projects.
  • design interior environments that serve a diverse set of circumstances, individuals, and uses.
  • demonstrate the ability to follow the creative design process.
  • exhibit an understanding of the principles of sustainability as evidenced in the built environment.
  • produce construction documents, contract documents, and presentation media to effectively communicate design solutions.
  • demonstrate the ability to communicate and collaborate with industry related professionals such as architects, engineers, and general contractors.
  • use research, theory, and precedent to produce evidence-based designs.
  • gain pre-professional experience through a required internship and opportunities to participate and network in professional industry organizations.

A full-time student, taking approximately 15–18 credits per semester, typically completes the degree program in four years. A part-time student, taking approximately 9 credit hours, would complete the degree program in five to six years.

The following data was collected using institutional records and alumni survey.

Student Attrition and Retention

78% of students admitted in 2018-2019 returned in 2019-2020, putting attrition at 22%.

Graduation Rates

Of the students graduated in 2020, 80% graduated in 4 years. 20% graduated in 5 years.

Acceptance into Graduate Programs

33% of students who graduated in 2018-2019 applied for graduate school, and 100% were accepted.

Job Placement Rates

67% of students who graduated in the 2019-2020 academic year are employed in interior design related professions.

Careers

Students with the BFA in Interior Architecture are prepared for careers in the following areas:

  • Interior Design and Architectural Firms
  • Residential Design Corporate Design Commercial Design
  • Hospitality Design
  • Sustainable Design
  • Institutional Design
  • Healthcare Design
  • Retail Design
  • Computer-Aided Drafting and Design
  • Product Design
  • Product Sales
  • Lighting Design
  • Facilities Planning
  • Showroom Design

Alumni Spotlights

Andrea Wilson ('07): Owner of Wilhouse Designs (Huntsville, AL)

Emily Elliot Jolley ('14): Product Designer at Tarkett Contract (Florence, AL)

Kelsey Andrews ('15): Owner of Kelsey Andrews Interiors (Muscle Shoals, AL)

Tyree Whitson ('15): Owner of TMWhitson Design Company; and Interior Designer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Huntsville, AL)

Dana Hall ('14): Project Designer at Interior Design Associates (Nashville, TN)

Anna Kaitlan Barnes ('13): Senior Project Designer at Interior Design Associates (Nashville, TN)

Becca Simon ('16): Owner of Credence Design Co. (Nashville, TN)

Annie Jo Richard ('17): Owner of Harvest Hollow Venue and Farm (Toney, AL)

Studio Culture

Our studios are housed in the Connie D. McKinney Center, located in downtown Florence. A historic cotton warehouse built in 1917, it was converted to house some of UNA’s creative majors in 2016. Spaces available to IAD students include a 24-seat drafting studio equipped with drafting tables and dual-monitor computers, a 20-seat CAD Technology lab, a resource library with industry products and samples, and a print station. The McKinney Center also includes other lecture halls, a gallery, a demonstration kitchen, a student lounge, other and creative spaces.

Our program places a high level of importance on studio culture. We believe that an open, collaborative studio atmosphere best prepares students to enter the industry. They are encouraged to spend time in the studios outside of regular class meetings. Students have secure access to the McKinney Center at night and on weekends with their Mane Card.

Program Requirements

As a creative and technical major, Interior Architecture and Design students require a variety of resources. Multiple individual supplies are required in foundational level IAD courses and are used throughout the IAD curriculum.

Although Interior Architecture and Design students will often design by hand first, most coursework is digitally designed. While students have access to the McKinney Center after-hours and on weekends, many desire the ability to work from home as needed. At this time, we recommend PC laptops, but MacBooks can be used.

System requirements for most used programs
Microsoft Office
Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign)
Autodesk AutoCAD & Revit
Trimble SketchUp

Pre-Professional Experience

Our students are required to complete a 150-hour internship, usually between their junior and senior year. Student memberships in professional industry organizations are a great way to step into the industry, learn outside of the classroom, network, and build resumes. They can also get involved in the Council for Interior Architecture and Design (CIAD), UNA's student organization. We encourage our students to participate in pre-professional experiences, and to maintain memberships in the following organizations:

Professional industry organizations
American Society of Interior Designers
National Kitchen and Bath Association
International Interior Design Association
Alabama Interior Design Coalition

Accreditations and Affiliations

The interior design program leading to the BFA in Interior Architecture and Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and is a “Founding Member” of the National Kitchen and Bath Association Affiliated Schools Program (NKBA).

Council for Interior Design AccreditationNational Association of Schools of Art and Design“Founding Member” of the National Kitchen and Bath Association Affiliated Schools Program

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 BFA in Interior Architecture and Design granted by the University of North Alabama meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam).

National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam)

Entrance Requirements & Application Process

Planning Sheet: Bachelor of Fine Art (Interior Architecture and Design)

Program Template: 4-Year Plan (Interior Architecture and Design)