The Florida State University Department of Interior Architecture and Design program recently climbed in national ratings published by DesignIntelligence.
Out of 188 interior architecture design programs in the United States and Canada, FSU’s program ranked No. 5 nationally and No. 2 among public universities.
Additionally, FSU’s undergraduate program moved up to No. 12 among “most admired” interior design undergraduate schools and the graduate program was ranked No. 8.
FSU graduate students were also placed in DesignIntelligence’s top 10 in the focus areas of construction materials and methods, as well as communication and presentation skills.
“The Department of Interior Architecture and Design is thankful for the ongoing support of FSU’s administration, dedicated alumni, committed faculty and hardworking students,” said Lisa Waxman, a professor and chair of the department. “Faculty strive to launch students who understand the power of good design and the positive impact it can have on lives.”
The FSU Interior Architecture and Design Program is housed in the College of Fine Arts. The program focuses on exposing students to design theory, technical skills, history and studio experience related to spaces in health care, offices, hospitality, retail and more.
After attaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree in interior design, FSU students will be prepared for a career in design firms, architectural firms and other design-oriented settings.
The Council for Interior Design Accreditation has accredited FSU’s undergraduate program since 1975. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits both the undergraduate and graduate program.
The program’s mission is to provide students with resources and knowledge to become skilled in human-centered design. Faculty actively work to instill values of positively impacting human well-being, creating functional and sustainable spaces, designing based on research and using design to further a sense of community and cultural diversity.
Talented students and faculty have been the driving force to the program’s high ranking.
“We are a very competitive, limited access program, so the students we accept are extremely talented and hard working,” said Waxman. “Combined with dedicated faculty, that really makes a difference.”
Waxman currently teaches the program’s environment and behavior class and sustainable design curriculum. She also teaches Design Issues, a graduate seminar, and directs graduate student research pursuits.
Here at FSU, Waxman points out there are multiple factors that set the program apart from other nationally recognized programs.
“Our special strengths are a strong studio curriculum, use of evidence-based design, research in all of our design decisions and a very well-rounded curriculum,” she said. “We also strive to create a community of learners with faculty who are available to students.”
FSU Interior Architecture and Design courses are sequential and build upon one another. All classes are interrelated, with the studio sequence being the primary core curriculum. To support the studio sequence, available coursework includes history, research, theory, hands-on graphic skills, computer-aided design and business practices.
“We take a very personal interest in our students and try to create a community in which they feel known and supported,” said Waxman. “The faculty just continue to mentor an outstanding group of students and help them grow.”
The total enrollment for FSU Interior Design in 2017 was 195 undergraduate students and 19 graduate students. There was a 100 percent retention rate for undergraduate students in their second to fourth year in the program, with 97.4 percent completing the degree on schedule or within an extra year.
In 2017, all the undergraduate students in the program were in graduate school or employed in design-related fields within six months of graduating. Every graduate student also completed the program on schedule and were employed within six months after graduating.
All students within the undergraduate program are required to complete at least one internship.
“We help our students find internships during the summers that help them establish connections in the place they wish to live after graduation,” said Waxman.
FSU students in the Interior Architecture and Design Program are provided full support in reaching their career goals. Job locations of 2017 graduates include Seattle, Wash.; New York, N.Y.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Dallas, Texas; Boston, Mass.; and Saudi Arabia.