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Interior Design Degree

Transforming space. Collaborative learning.

Interior designers improve the functional efficiency, safety, and appearance of interior space. They are familiar with building codes and accessibility standards, and they can read blueprints. They decorate, choosing colors, lighting, furniture and other items.

You’ll learn how to analyze space, understand its intended function, and create a plan using industry technology. You’ll practice presenting your plans to clients. You’ll know how to communicate with architects and contractors. These skills open an array of careers in the interior design industry.

The first two years of the Interior Design program and the Architectural Studies program share a common curriculum. This strong base increases your career versatility. Additionally, several of the upper-level technical courses share a common curriculum. This creates a collaborative and interdisciplinary atmosphere for both students and faculty.

We believe in hands-on learning. Our facilities include a fully-equipped wood shop, digital fabrication lab and large scale printy capability. You can also put what you've learned into practice and compete in national competitions. SIU students have placed in the Steelcase NEXT Design Competition National Top 10 in three of the past five years.

“What I love about this program are the people. Everybody is so helpful and supportive, we have all become a big, happy family. My professors have all been very encouraging and helpful through everything and have pushed me to become the designer that I am today.

—Caitlyn Cathcart, winner of the 2017 Steelcase NEXT Student Design Competition

Start fulfilling your requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree with our structured course sequencing that provides for gradual interactive development of required knowledge and skills.

Compass IconCheck out the Curricular Guide, which helps you outline what courses you would want to take each semester for this four-year degree. View all related undergraduate courses.

Interior design student project

Contact Information

For more information about the Interior Design program or to request information, contact:

Laura Morthland, Program Director
410 Quigley Hall
875 S. Normal Avenue - MC 4337
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4303
Phone: 618-453-3734
E-mail Laura

Michelle Garrett, Academic Advisor
410A Quigley Hall
875 S. Normal Avenue - MC 4337
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4303
Phone: 618-453-1227
Fax:618-453-1129
E-mail Michelle

Professional Advisory Board

The Advisory Board are professionals—typically alumni—successfully practicing in various design careers.

These volunteers serve the program by providing student evaluation, ongoing industry knowledge, and administrative guidance.

Meet the advisory board members»

Your personal design studio.

Course work within the Interior Design program focuses on studio-based learning. This provides knowledge of design and the design process in a work-lab setting. Studio courses at the first-year level may have as many as 25 to 30 students in each section. Upper-level studio courses generally have a range of 20 to 15 students.

You'll have your own studio space beginning your junior year! Our Studio Culture Policy ensures that the studios are productive work environments. This helps students cultivate the professional conduct expected in professional practice. All students must adhere to these policies.

View our facilities.

Student Competitions

Students compete in the Steelcase NEXT Student Design Competition and have placed in the “Top 10” nationally four times since the competition began in 2012.

SIU senior Caitlyn Cathcart won the 2017 competition, against more than 800 students from over 65 collegiate programs. Her project featured a 12,000-square-foot medical office with an Employee Lifestyle and Education Zone for colleagues to gather and interact.

ID 491 students may choose to work with area organizations. Past projects include the SIU Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, the SIU Student Center, Sallie Logan Public Library in Murphysboro, Pregnancy Matters in Carbondale, and the SIU men’s basketball team.

Design Awards & Honors 

2018: C. Martino invited to participate in the NEOCON interior Design Student Charrette (Chicago, Illinois); 1st place team honors

2017: C. Cathcart selected as the winning entry for the NEXT National Interior Design Student Competition, Steelcase Corporation (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

2016: Five interior design students inducted into Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society in Architecture and Allied Arts

2015: T. Phillips invited to participate in the NEOCON Interior Design Student Charrette (Chicago, Illinois)

Check out our student portfolio gallery»

Join our Campus Living Learning Community

Interior Design Students Group

Living Learning Communities (LLCs) are residence hall areas set aside for students pursuing the same major or interest.

Interior Design students are eligible to live in the Architecture, Art & Design LLC, alongside Architectural Studies, Fashion Design & Merchandising, Art, Industrial Design and Landscape Architecture students.

Learn more about our University Housing Living Learning Community»

Student Organizations

SIU fosters an environment that provides opportunities for student leadership. We encourage student membership in the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). Check out current student group activities on Instagram @siucinteriordesign.

Interior Design majors also join student affiliates of IIDA, as well as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). These groups promote professional development, host guest speakers, visit design firms, and offer portfolio reviews. Students can pursue additional interests through campus RSOs.

students at IIDA round table