News 2021: UMass Dartmouth Interior Architecture + Design Program receives re-accreditation
UMass Dartmouth Interior Architecture + Design Program receives re-accreditation

One of the University’s newest programs quickly gains acclaim from industry

Student design concept of coffee shop
Interior Architecture + Design student work by Michael Moriconi

The UMass Dartmouth Interior Architecture + Design program recently received re-accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, the internationally recognized industry standard that identifies programs that deliver academic excellence.

The program is the only CIDA and NASAD accredited program at a public university in New England.

“This is a proud moment for UMass Dartmouth and yet another example of the wonderful educational opportunities available to aspiring creative professionals at our College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA),” said Michael Goodman, Acting Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “Kudos to Dr. Rose Mary-Botti-Salitsky and her colleagues in the Interior Architecture + Design program whose hard work and commitment to professional excellence made this accomplishment possible.”

The CIDA decision was based on the demonstrated success of the UMass Dartmouth program across sixteen accreditation standards that prepares graduates with important critical thinking skills, a sense of professionalism, and a deep grasp of the historical, theoretical, and technical aspects of the interior design discipline.

“As the only public institution offering a Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture + Design degree in New England, we are creating quality and affordable opportunities for students to pursue their educational, professional, and personal ambitions in interior design,” said Associate Professor Rose Mary Botti-Salitsky, Program Coordinator for Interior Architecture + Design. “The CIDA recognized the aspects of our program that set us apart. We provide a strong academic experience for our students who are sought after for their diverse skill sets making them valuable team members to design firms.”

Wings Court Diagram
IA+D students created design plans for New Bedford's Wings Court to engage the local community with a shared space

The accreditation designation is a powerful signal to prospective and current students, families, and employers that graduates of the UMass Dartmouth Interior Architecture + Design program are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge of interior design principles to excel in the industry. CIDA identified many notable and innovative aspects of the program, including a dedication to sustainability in design, the incorporation of service-learning opportunities directly into the curriculum, and a focus on inclusive design.

The Interior Architecture + Design Program evolved from a Mount Ida College program that was brought to UMass Dartmouth in 2018 after the closure of the college. In 2019, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education approved a B.S. in Interior Architecture and Design (IAD) at UMass Dartmouth that established the only accredited program of its kind at a public university in New England. By focusing on the artistic, technical, and functional aspects of space design and compliance, the program prepares students for professional-level entrance into the design field and upon graduation to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications exam (NCIDQ).

The accreditation is for a six-year term.