IA Student Life

The Design Gallery and Textile Collection

Ruth Davis Design Gallery

SoHE Interior Architecture students have access to two exceptional in-house educational resources. The Ruth Davis Design Gallery provides a premier exhibition space for student portfolio shows and critiques. And, the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection is a research resource with more than 13,000 pieces, making it one of the most important textile collections in the nation. Interior Architecture students also go offsite to visit a variety of inspirational locations, from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin East to the Chicago Merchandise Mart.


IA Study AbroadOur Interior Architecture internships offer structured, hands-on experiential learning under the direction of interior designers, architects, or and professionals. SoHE faculty and staff serve as supervisors and consultants for students. Internship opportunities include architectural, commercial, and residential design firms, facility management companies, retail office/residential furniture showrooms, and design resource vendors across the nation, as well as Madison-based Brownhouse, Designer’s Studio, FLAD, InteriorLogic, Marshall Erdman & Associates, Strang, and others.

Start your internship and connect with a career advisor to get the latest information on current opportunities.

Connect with your advisor to start planning your learning adventures.

Travel Abroad for Credit

  • Experience a three-week immersion course in Kenya
  • Study Chinese art, design and culture abroad. Open to all UW-Madison students
  • Winter break study in Mexico

Competitions and Scholarships

Explore the interior architecture and related industries first-hand, develop valuable career experiences, and network with industry professionals by participating in a scholarship competition Each year, Interior Architecture students participate and place nationally among their peers in local, national, and international competitions, including the following.

Please note, the Design Studies department is dedicated to providing support–including financial support for entrance fees, if the need arises–, guidance, and mentorship in the pursuit of competition and scholarship opportunities. Before beginning any work, please email Lesley Sager to notify the department of your participation.

Student Organizations

Engage outside the classroom with like-minded peers by joining student organizations.

Student Chapter of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) provides networking with industry pros and opportunities for service projects to help students better understand the ins and outs of the professional field.

Phi Upsilon Omicron (Phi U) recognizes and encourages academic excellence, promotes the development of leadership and scholarship, and provides opportunities for service to the community. Human Ecology students who meet membership requirements are invited to apply.

Merry Go Strong uses human-centered design thinking skills to help support families in the community of Gatunga, Kenya. All UW-Madison students are welcome to join the efforts.

Student Portfolios

IA Student Portfolio Work

All Interior Architecture students create a final portfolio, starting with a one credit-course during the spring of the second year. This key experience allows them to identify strengths, assemble work into a compelling presentation, and prepare portfolios for internship applications.

Each year, the hard work of senior students culminates with an annual portfolio show on display in the Design Gallery and Nancy Nicholas Hall for peers, friends, family, and the community to view.