College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Interior Design

Interior Design at UNI

The Interior Design program is housed within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UNI. It prepares students to be ethical, caring, humane and creative problem solvers in the interior design profession.

The program is a unique and balanced combination of interior design, liberal arts, and business courses. It offers a theoretical and practical approach to understanding residential and commercial design (the two main areas in which entry-level interior designers are hired) along with a required professional internship before graduation.

The mode of study is through studio and lecture classes in which active learning happens through interactions in studio critiques (peer, experienced faculty, outside evaluators), concept development and hands-on problem-solving. Small class sizes and extensive faculty contact hours enable frequent feedback in the learning process. Course content is reinforced in each parallel or successive course so that students are enabled a cohesive and comprehensive view of the interior design profession.

Proximal access to updated resources (computer labs, reference books, drafting, cutting and duplicating equipment) supplements the course instruction in an excellent work environment.

The interior design program leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design  is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation,, 206 Grandville Avenue, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503.

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 B.A. in Interior Design granted by the University of Northern Iowa meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam). For more information about NCIDQ Exam eligibility visit:

Student Achievement Data:

B.A. in Interior Design, first offered in 1970

Retention Rate: Students have to go through a Portfolio Review process after one year of design studies in order to be accepted into the program. These retention rates are based on the number of accepted students who completed all the requirements and returned the following year.

  • 93% of those accepted in 2014 returned in 2015
  • 100% of those accepted in 2015 returned in 2016
  • 77%  of those accepted in 2016 returned in 2017
  • 85% of those accepted in 2017 returned in 2018

Graduation Rate: These rates are based on the number of accepted students who graduated within four years.

  • 89.5% in 2015
  • 92% in 2016
  • 100% in 2017
  • 100% in 2018

Job Placement: Students complete an Internship for credit after they have finished all their classes. These placement rates are calculated based on students who secured full-time positions within one year of completing their Internship.

  • 100% in the Class of 2015
  • 100% in the Class of 2016
  • 100% in the Class of 2017
  • 100% in the Class of 2018

Acceptance into Graduate Program:  None of the 6 students who graduated in 2018 applied to graduate school.