Interior Design


Bachelor of Science Interior Design 

The Interior Design Program at Southern Miss, which began in 1976, is accredited as a first professional-level degree program by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and was the first Mississippi program to obtain this accreditation. Requirements are in accordance with the published standards and guidelines of the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

This program prepares students to identify, research, and solve problems related to the needs of people in residential, institutional, and commercial environments in order to enhance the quality of life and protect public health, safety, and welfare. The program's interdisciplinary approach addresses the demands and standards of qualification of the profession and related fields. The core of program requirements includes sequential studio courses covering the analysis, planning, and design of human environments. Supplemental courses include instruction in presentation, HVAC systems, lighting, plumbing, acoustics, codes, special needs, historic and contemporary furnishings/design, aesthetics, sustainable design, Autocad, BIM and professional procedures. The program emphasizes understanding and application of current technology, building codes and laws, oral and visual communication skills, relationship of the user and the immediate environment, and the designer's professional responsibility to society.

Professional designers, architects, manufacturers, and allied representatives serve the program in an advisory capacity as members of advisory boards, guest lecturers, part-time faculty, critics, and supervisors of interns. Further contact with professionals is supported through the Southern Miss American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) student chapter. Students participate in campus, community, state, and regional activities, and also participate as student members in the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The dedicated interior design faculty members have strong academic backgrounds, practical work experience in the field of interior design, and are members of professional organizations. Faculty members are committed to providing a high-quality education for all students in the Interior Design program.


The mission of the Interior Design Program at Southern Miss is to provide a competitive, accredited education that nurtures student success in a welcoming environment in order to produce ethically responsible design professionals who think critically and create design solutions that address occupant health, safety and welfare.


The Interior Design Program values an experiential learning philosophy in which students learn by doing. We believe students should carry a heavy responsibility in their education, and we integrate students in the creation of this knowledge through active participation. Students must read, write and be able to discuss while engaging in critical thinking and problem solving activities. To achieve this philosophy, we promote research-based learning that integrates prior knowledge applied with new knowledge and skill sets as introduced through a linear course sequence. We utilize active-based learning in the classroom through the use of technology, games, and reward systems. We cultivate a dynamic learning environment that promotes cooperation and cross-learning between cohorts. Our learning environments offer a welcoming and safe place to experiment and collaborate with multiple disciplines and incorporates real world projects that provide opportunities for interaction with professionals in the field and related industries.

Program Goals

The Interior Design Program acknowledges the definition of a professional designer endorsed by the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ) and other design associations of North America and strives to meet the following goals:

  • To support the university mission “to integrate students in the creation of knowledge” and “to nurture student success by providing a distinctive and competitive educational program embedded in a welcoming environment” and “to prepare graduates for meaningful life endeavors”
  • To maintain high-quality standards for interior design education through professional accreditations
  • To provide opportunities for students to interact with multiple disciplines in collaborative environments both on and off campus
  • To promote evidence-based design research in order to think critically and solve problems related to the needs of people diverse environments
  • To instill a sense of service, lifelong learning and social obligation