Morgan launches first interior design baccalaureate program in Maryland

Justin Johnson, Contributing Writer

Morgan State University has reinforced itself again as a preeminent Maryland university with the founding of its newly minted Interior Design baccalaureate program.

Citing the need for interior design students to further their education beyond the associate degree level, Morgan State launched a bid to draft and implement the degree program. Dean of the School of Architecture & Planning (SAP) and writer of the groundbreaking proposal, Dr. Mary Akers sat down with The MSU Spokesman to discuss the historic occasion.

“I like building, it’s a no brainer. There’s no program in the state so let’s start one. For interior design there is a great need because there is no interior design program in the entire state amongst state schools,” Akers said. “Students were very excited about it. We went to the different community colleges that offer an associate in interior design and told them that it’s coming.”

After only having been proposed this Spring, the program was swiftly approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).

“I thought that it would take 6-8 months but no, it was quick,” Akers said.

The absence of Maryland public university offerings in the field of interior design paired with the obvious need for diversifying the profession made Morgan State the perfect pioneer. According the to the American Institute of Graphic Arts, 20% of all designers in the country are people of color, while only 3% are black.

Assistant to the Dean, Mr. Evan Richardson cited ensuring its students receive appropriate certifications and internships as top priorities for the department.

“Hopefully regionally people will consider Morgan as a top interior design school,” Richardson said.

Long term plans for the program include increasing its numbers from approximately ten students to over 150 within the next five years. The program also aims to benefit the
greater Morgan community.

“I would like this design program to be very community oriented,” Akers said.

Akers also emphasized the inclusive nature of the program.

“Anybody who is interested in the interior spaces of a building should come check us out.”