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CIDA Accreditation

Professional level programs accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) voluntarily place themselves before the scrutiny of the profession to ensure that students receive an education that will serve them not only during their time at school, but also prepare them for future professional growth.

The professional standards set forth by the CIDA are used to evaluate interior design programs that prepare students for entry-level interior design practice and position them for future professional growth. The council is firmly committed to setting high standards for interior design education, challenging others to meet and exceed those standards and seeking ways to continuously elevate and evolve the standards, thus significantly contributing to the advanced professionalism of the interior design field.

In order to be accredited, a program must comply or partially comply with all 12 standards identified by the council:

  1. Curriculum Structure
    The curriculum is structured to facilitate and advance student learning.
  2. Professional Values
    The program leads students to develop the attitudes, traits, and values of professional responsibility, accountability, and effectiveness.
  3. Design Fundamentals
    Students have a foundation in the fundamentals of art and design; theories of design, green design, and human behavior; and discipline-related history.
  4. Interior Design
    Students understand and apply the knowledge, skills, processes, and theories of interior design.
  5. Communication
    Students communicate effectively.
  6. Buildings Systems and Interior Materials
    Students design within the context of building systems. Students use appropriate materials and products.
  7. Regulations
    Students apply the laws, codes, regulations, standards, and practices that protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
  8. Business and Professional Practice
    Students have a foundation in business and professional practice.
  9. Faculty
    Faculty members and other instructional personnel are qualified and adequate in number to implement program objectives.
  10. Facilities
    Program facilities and resources provide an environment to stimulate thought, motivate students, and promote the exchange of ideas.
  11. Administration
    The administration of the program is clearly defined, provides appropriate program leadership, and supports the program. The program demonstrates accountability to the public through its published documents.
  12. Assessment
    Systematic and comprehensive assessment methods contribute to the program’s ongoing development and improvement.
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