Announcing the School of Interior Architecture

Announcing the School of Interior Architecture


The Boston Architectural College has an exciting development to share with our community of Interiors students and educators. For many years, the profession has sought a more descriptive term for the body of knowledge we practice. The term “interior design” is frequently confused, in the public perception, with decorating. Lost in this translation is an understanding of the full range of knowledge an interiors professional brings to bear on the design of the built environment in support of the health, safety and welfare of the people who live, work and play in the spaces we create.

After three years of discussion, consideration, and planning, this August 1st the BAC School of Interior Design will officially become the School of Interior Architecture. The new name more fully reflects the preparation our students are undergoing to solve complex problems in the built environment. Encompassed within this preparation is an understanding, not only of color, materials, and furnishings; our students are also expected to be professionally skilled in the design of volumetric space that integrates an understanding of building codes, life safety, mechanical, electrical and structural systems, lighting, and the user’s experience.

With this change we are implementing degree name changes: our undergraduate first-professional degree is now the Bachelor of Interior Architecture, and our first-professional graduate-level degree is the Master of Interior Architecture. We also offer a post-professional degree, the Master of Science in Interior Architecture, for students with an undergraduate first-professional degree in interior design or architecture.

Both first-professional degrees are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).  A student considering a career in interior design is advised to select a CIDA-accredited program, as every CIDA program must teach the broad knowledge area described above, whether it is called Interior Design or Interior Architecture. Graduates of our program will generally call themselves interior designers in practice, as the term “architecture” is legally restricted in most U.S. jurisdictions. However, the adoption of the term Interior Architecture by professional degree programs is gaining momentum, and we anticipate it will contribute to the increasing esteem in which the profession is held.

For students enrolling in the BAC for the fall semester of 2014, we look forward to discussing this exciting news in more detail, and answering any questions you may have, at New Student Orientation. In the meantime, I hope you will contact me at

Crandon Gustafson, AIA IIDA ASID LEED AP
Head, School of Interior Architecture
Boston Architectural College