The Interior Architecture program at Oklahoma Christian University won best in Residential Interior Design and fourth place overall on Intelligent.com, a privately supported website which ranks degree programs across the nation.
Oklahoma Christian was previously ranked as the 17th best interior design school in March 2021. Now, the university holds a 93.53 Intelligent score, three points away from third place held by Syracuse University.
Oklahoma Christian President John deSteiguer said the new ranking was outstanding.
“Thank you, Dr. Rix, for sharing this great news, and thank you to Amy Beauchamp and Dr. John Fletcher for their leadership and excellent work with our Interior Design program,” deSteiguer said.
The rankings are from 153 colleges across the state, but only the top 47 are listed on Intelligent. Each program was judged based on faculty, reputation, cost, flexibility and course strength.
Every school in the rankings is regionally accredited for interior design. Oklahoma Christian gained accreditation from the international Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) in 2010.
Oklahoma Christian is only one of four CIDA accredited universities in Oklahoma. CIDA has frequently requested Oklahoma Christian’s Program Analysis Report for best practices at conferences.
Junior Kara Strickland, an interior architecture major, said she has enjoyed her studies so far because of faculty and classes.
“All the teachers you can tell care about you and care about you doing well,” Strickland said. “I feel like I’m learning a lot that will be useful in the field.”
Amy Beauchamp, the chair of Oklahoma Christian’s Art and Design program and Director of Interior Architecture, said in a press release her team drives the program.
“I have a wonderful team of instructors who believe in the mission of OC, our students and our desire to create designers that make an impact in their spheres of influence around them and with that, Christ,” Beauchamp said.
Strickland said she likes how the faculty are able to focus on each student.
“I really like how small the classes are because the faculty are able to talk with you one-on-one about your work and give you really good feedback on it,” Strickland said.
Student engagement is one aspect of Intelligent’s ranking system. According to their website, Intelligent looks at how many students choose, like and complete each degree program in addition to enrollment numbers, gender differences and graduation rate.
Oklahoma Christian’s Interior Architecture program has a 100% retention rate from second year to graduation, and 86% of graduates are accepted into graduate schools.
Strickland said she preferred learning about residential architecture, but the program only offered one class on it in the past. However, Strickland said they added another course, which expands the possibilities for students.
Oklahoma Christian offers multiple study abroad programs that allow students to experience architecture all over the world..
“European Studies allows you to soak in Gothic, Art Nouveau, Romanesque and Ancient Greek styles. Or, travel with Asian Studies to explore terraced plinth foundations and carved rhythmic molding,” Oklahoma Christian said on their website.
Beauchamp said students are exposed to many aspects of the field in the courses they take at Oklahoma Christian.
“Our students have been exposed to a variety of project types that range in understanding of cultures, values, income, physical and mental ability, among other subjects that might be different from their norm or worldview,” Beauchamp said.
Strickland said the program grants flexibility for her future.
“I like that just being in this program gives me lots of options – we can go into construction, or residential or commercial – literally whatever we want, and that’s really nice,” Strickland said. “I get to take whatever opportunities come.”