Western Michigan University's dynamic, stimulating and demanding interior design program draws on creative and practical talents. If you choose this major, you will become involved in the artistic and pragmatic planning of interior spaces. During the process, you will learn to draw upon information from the fields of architecture, graphic design, industrial design, fine arts, psychology, sociology, environmental science, history, and a host of supportive disciplines to skillfully develop spaces in which people live, work and pursue personal interests.
WMU's interior design program is committed to graduating designers capable of creative and technical solutions that enhance the quality of life and culture of their occupants. Design solutions, while both functional and aesthetically appropriate, must also meet all public health, safety and welfare requirements, including code, accessibility, environmental and sustainability guidelines. Selection of materials and finishes, as well as the selection and specification of furniture, fixtures, equipment and millwork that inform the project are required to meet maintenance, life-cycle performance, environmental and safety requirements.
Studio and classroom activities, field trips, speakers, and a required field experience are important components in developing creative problem solvers. The quality of WMU's interior design program is recognized in its accreditations by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
As an interior design student at WMU, you will be required to earn three semester credits by completing 300 hours of supervised field experience with an interior design, architectural, facilities management or retail firm. Field experience offers you the opportunity to apply theories and principles from your academic program to real-world situations, as well as gain valuable work experience. Field experience may be completed during the fall, spring or summer sessions.
You will also have the opportunity to gain experience and build your professional network through registered student organizations such as the Kappa Omicron Nu honor society, the American Society of Interior Design and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.
You will have several opportunities to exhibit your work. Scheduled exhibits during the academic year feature the work of both students and professionals. Architectural and interior design firms display graphics and models from recent projects and share insights with students through informal presentations. Senior shows provide an opportunity for soon-to-be professionals to share their work and inspire other students. Work from across the program is displayed during spring and summer to introduce campus visitors to the interior design program.
Recent WMU graduates with degrees in interior design are working as:
- Residential designers
- Commercial designers
- Interior design consultants
They work in a variety of industries and settings, including:
- Facility planning and design
- Sustainability and Leed Certification