What do Interior Designers do?
A degree in interior design prepares graduates for a multifaceted career that merges creativity and technology into the design of the built environment, addressing aesthetics and supporting human well-being and quality of life. Designers work in a variety of market sectors and apply knowledge of human experience and behavior to the design of the built interior environment considering social, cultural, economic and ecological contexts in all aspects of their work.
What Will I Learn?
Students first complete the required foundation courses in Art and Interior Design, including Drawing I, Design I and II, Interior Design I and II, Human Factors in the Built Environment, hand drafting, AutoCAD and BIM for Interior Designers.
Students then move into a progressive sequence of studio and lecture courses such as Interior Systems, Interior Construction Documentation, Design Presentation Media, Residential Interior Design I and II, Contract Interior Design I and II, Architecture/Art/Interior Design History, Textiles for Interiors, and Professional Practices and Procedures
Experiential Learning Environment
Interior design students are exposed to a variety of hands-on learning opportunities to include designing real-world projects, traveling domestically and abroad and completing professional internships. The dedicated design studio provides a unique, personalized learning environment that mimics a real working design firm where faculty serve as mentors and role models. Students have assisted the faculty on several University design projects to include the Moffitt Health Clinic, the Marine Research Center and Greene Hall renovation.
Interior design students complete a 320 hour internship under the direct supervision of a licensed interior designer or architect following the successful completion of ID 340 Residential Design I and ID 439 Contract Design I. Students gain valuable experience working for residential, commercial, hospitality and healthcare design firms throughout U.S. and are often hired into entry-level careers from this experience.
Interior design majors have access to several scholarships opportunities.
Students should apply through the "Golden Opportunities" (GO) system through the University Foundation. Applications are typically accepted mid-December through mid-February.
The following scholarships are available to interior design majors:
- Anderson Retail Endowed Student Scholarship
- Debbie B. Shemper Art and Interior Design Memorial Scholarship Endowment
- Haworth Award for Excellence in Interior Design
- Interior Elements Interior Design Annual Scholarship
- James Isola Interior Design Memorial Scholarship Endowment
- Lois Arender Drain Scholarship Endowment
Interior design students have an opportunity to study abroad for a four week course as part of the British Studies Program. This 6-credit hour course focuses on architecture, interiors, decorative arts and art covering nearly two thousand years. Students meet with British designers and historians, visit design markets, study period design at various museums, and tour castles, cathedrals and manor homes of past kings and queens. Students will understand how historical changes in the design of the built environment are impacted by social, political and physical influences. Participants will also experience a variety of modern London landmarks.
In accordance with the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accreditation requirements, the Southern Miss Interior Design Program collects and publishes information regarding student achievement including aggregate data addressing attrition and retention, graduation rates, job placement rates, and acceptance into graduate programs.
Length of Program
It typically takes a full-time student taking approximately 15 credits per semester four years to complete an interior design degree, while students that transfer or change their major into interior design can expect to complete the degree in three years taking on average 12-15 credits per semester.
Data Collection Method
The following data was collected using institutional records and an alumni survey that was administered 3 months after graduation.
Job Placement Rates for Recent Graduates
- 100% of graduates from the May 2018 graduating class were employed within the design field by Sept. 1, 2018.
- 100% of graduates from the May 2017 graduating class were employed within the design field by Sept. 1, 2017.
- 90% of graduates from the May 2016 graduating class were employed within the design field by Sept. 1, 2016
- 100% of graduates from the May 2015 graduating class were employed within the design field by Sept. 1, 2015.
- 72% of the students that graduated in May 2014 were employed in a design firm by May 1, 2014 (before they graduated).
- 91% of students that graduated in May 2013 were employed in a design related position by Jan. 1st of 2014.
Graduate School Acceptance Rate
- No students from the May 2018 graduating class applied to graduate school.
- No students from the May 2017 graduating class applied to graduate school.
- 100% (2 students) from the May 2016 graduating class that applied to graduate school were accepted. (Univ. of Minnesota M. Arch. and Savannah College of Art and Design).
- No students from the May 2015 graduating class applied to graduate school
- 100% of graduates from the May 2011 and 2012 graduating classes who applied to graduate school were accepted. No graduates from 2013 and 2014 have applied to graduate school.
- Recent graduates (2011-present) are currently attending Florida State University and Stephen F. Austin University earning a M.S. Degree in Interior Design.
- 33.3% of students from the May 2018 graduating class graduated within 4 years while 66.7% graduated in 5 years.
- 16.7% of the students from the May 2017 graduating class graduated within 4 years while 63.6% graduated in 5 years.
- 100% of the students from the May 2016 graduating class graduated within 4 years of declaring Interior Design as their major.
- 100% of the students from the May 2015 graduating class graduated within 4 years of declaring Interior Design as their major.
- 88% of students who entered the junior level studio courses in fall 2012 graduated in May 2014.
- 71 % of the students from the class of 2014 graduated in 4 years.
- 50% of the students from the class of 2013 graduated in 4 years.
- 89% of the Interior Design Majors enrolled during the Spring 2018 semester returned in the Fall 2018, putting attrition at 11%
- 84% of the Interior Design Majors enrolled during the Spring 2017 semester returned in the Fall 2017, putting attrition at 16%
- 84% of the Interior Design Majors enrolled during the Spring 2016 semester returned in the Fall 2016, putting attrition at 16%
- 83% of the Interior Design Majors enrolled during the Spring 2015 semester returned in the Fall 2015, putting attrition at 17%
- 100% of interior design majors enrolled during the 2014 spring semester are returning for the fall 2014 semester to continue their degree program in Interior Design, putting attrition at 0%.
- 77% of interior design majors enrolled during the 2013 spring semester returned for the fall 2013 semester to continue their degree program in Interior Design, putting attrition at 23%.
Last Edited on May 3, 2019
- Residential Interior Design
- Hospitality Interior Design
- Commercial Interior Design
- Healthcare Interior Design
- Senior Living Interior Design
- Interior Design Educator
- Audrey Neeld, 2018
Interior Design Assistant, Amanda Simmons Interiors, Houston, TX
- Giulia Irwin, 2016
- Maggie Betsch, 2017
Vinyard Interior Designer, Nashville Office Interiors
- Taylor Messingham, 2017
Designer, Lawrence Group, St. Louis, MO
- Alissa Clouse Tang, 2016
Interior Design Associate, Duvall Decker Architects, Jackson, MS
- Jamie Jelinski, 2015
Interior Designer, Pi Architects, Austin, TX