Jefferson’s MS in Interior Architecture Program Receives STEM Designation

The College of Architecture and the Built Environment’s MS in Interior Architecture program has recently earned Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) designation.

Commonly used in education and policy discussions to emphasize the importance of these four disciplines in the fields of education and in the workforce, STEM education aims to integrate its subjects into a cohesive learning paradigm, encouraging students to develop skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and innovation.

The focus on STEM education has gained prominence in recent years due to the growing demand for individuals with expertise in these areas, which are crucial for technological advancements and economic development. Many educational institutions and organizations have been advocating for increased emphasis on STEM education to prepare students for the challenges of the modern world and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving job market.

“The STEM designation of the MS in Interior Architecture program is a testimony to the complexity of the field of interior architecture, which emphasizes rigorous research, critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity” states Lauren Baumbach, director of the MSIA program, which already has CIDA accreditation. “Our program requires students to analyze and synthesis large amounts of quantitative and qualitive information to arrive at innovative design solutions that address human needs in the built environment. Students are tasked with being visionary when solving big picture issues and applying their technical knowledge to the details of design.”

Why STEM designation is important:

Employment Opportunities: Programs designated as STEM often result in improved employment prospects. Numerous lucrative positions exist within STEM fields. Possessing a STEM designation can facilitate graduates' entry into these job sectors.

Visa Options for International Students: In the United States, international students enrolled in STEM programs have the option to seek an extension for their Optional Practical Training for an additional 24 months after completing their degree. This extension offers a substantial benefit for international students, enabling them to work within their field for an extended period post-graduation.

Research Opportunities: Design programs with STEM designation could qualify for research grants and funding that bolster progressive and pioneering design research. This opportunity could furnish students with invaluable research exposure and contribute to breakthroughs in the field.

Credentialing and Accreditation: STEM designations frequently signify stringent academic criteria and exceptional program excellence. Accreditation bodies and employers might regard STEM-designated programs as more academically demanding and better equipped to fulfill the requirements of the industry.

Click Here to learn more about Jefferson’s STEM Programs.

Read more about two Master of Science in Interior Architecture students, Ishita Suratwala, and Divya Varadarajn, and why they chose Jefferson and the benefits from the program being STEM Designated.