May 19, 2024  
2009-2010 School of Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog with Addendum 
2009-2010 School of Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog with Addendum [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interior Design (M.A.)

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The Master of Arts in Interior Design (MAID) is a 37 -credit program designed for interior and architectural design professionals currently working within the profession, that seek to acquire advanced expertise in design research, analysis, design, and construction of complex interior environments. The program’s intent is to create interior design specialists where students select from two areas of concentration; Sustainable Interior Environments or Design Studio (healthcare, hospitality, institutional, residential).

The challenging curriculum is unique as it allows students with two options, to remain active within interior design practice and undertake the degree part-time or undertake the curriculum at full-time status.  Designed for both working professionals and full-time students, the coursework is offered in early mornings, early evenings, weekend intensives and online learning environments. The program develops student proficiencies through both individual and team based learning, within an “atelier” design studio setting.

The Master of Arts in Interior Design program model integrates theory and practice through required coursework in Interior Design Firm Management and Graduate Student Forums reinforcing the primary College mission of concurrent learning.  

 Design Studio Concentration

The Design Studio concentration (Commercial/Institutional, Healthcare, Residential, or Sustainable Interior Environments) id designed to allow students to explore a specific area of design practice in-depth.  Students select a studio focus to assimilate a more thorough knowledge base, in both theory and execution, in their preferred field of inquiry.  The courses focus on developing ability, knowledge, and applicability to global design issues, human behavior, occupant comfort, and contribution to the built environment.  Students are prepared to assume advanced roles within professional design firms or as interior design educators.

 Each concentration builds upon critical thinking, design mastery, evidence based research, visual communication, and oral communication expertise expected of practicing professionals.  Within the core curriculum courses for both concentrations students will advance their skill sets in aspects of design research, theory, technology applied to professional practice.

Concentration Options

            Commercial/Institutional Interior Environments

The Commercial Interior Environments Design Studio Concentration focus is on the development of innovative, integrated, and progressive “workplaces.”  The studio laboratory will test and apply a multidisciplinary approach to research and precedent analysis, integrating human behavior, culture, ergonomics, and environmental psychology to complex workplace environments.

           Healthcare Interior Environments

The Healthcare Interior Environments Design Studio Concentration focus is on the interdisciplinary approach to the planning of innovative and state of the art healthcare facilities and healing environments.  The design studio is the laboratory for testing and integrating evidence-based design, sustainable bio-design principles, and current medical technical practices, based on science journal publications applied to the planning of sophisticated user friendly healthcare and healing environments.

            Residential Interior Environments

The Residential Interiors Design Studio Concentration focus is on the design and development of forward thinking design solutions that address current social, physical, cultural, and psychological needs.  The studio laboratory is for testing and the application of innovative design solutions that address current and future residential users’ comfort, wellbeing, and energy needs.

           Sustainable Interior Environments Concentration 

The Sustainable Interior Environments concentration is designed to provide practitioners and design researchers of interior architecture the latest models, information, and technology in sustainable design. The course work focuses on the application and incorporation of current sustainable design principles within all phases of proposed design solutions.  The concentration stresses the need for contemporary designers to develop innovative solutions with a global perspective on environmental responsibility that minimizes resource depletion and in no way hinders or compromises the ability of future generations’ to meet their needs.

 Student Outcomes

At the completion of the program the student will be able to:

1.       Integrate highly technical, theoretical, and sophisticated programming and problem solving methods related to the design of interior environments and their applicability into professional practice.

2.        Research, understand, and demonstrate the role and impact upon society that emerging design theories and technologies create and will  foster in the future.

3.        Assess and synthesize project design needs and strategies to operate in a a collaborative mode with other design specailists and related professions.

4.        Develop and advance current design principles, theories, and academic research, and demonstrate a contribution to design practice.

 Admission Criteria for Master of Arts in Interior Design

Admission to a graduate program requires a Bachelor degree from an accredited college.  To be considered for admissions, a candidate must submit the following credentials:

  • Application form and a $50 application fee
  • Statement of professional goals
  • Official transcripts of all academic work (a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree with a B average)
  • Two letters of recommendation, one academic letter of recommendation, and one design professional letter of recommendation
  • Official score on either the Miller Analogies Test or Graduate Record Exams
  • A Design Portfolio
  • An admission interview with the program coordinator or chair of Interior Design
  • TOEFL required for all students for whom English is not a first language; 79 is minimum score for iBT and 550 for the pen and pencil test.

The tuition for the Master of Arts in Interior Design program for the 2010-11 academic year is $550 per credit.  Additional fees are listed in the Graduate School Catalogue.

Curriculum and Program of Study

While an undergraduate degree in Interior Design is not required, a student with a Bachelor degree in an unrelated field will be required to take a minimum of 17 courses including a comprehensive semester long internship, as listed below, based upon evaluation of their prior course work. Students must earn a minimum of a B in each prerequisite course.  These additional courses may be comprised of the following:
    Drawing and Composition                            3 cr.
    Architectural / ID Drafting Delineation          3 cr.
    Architectural Delineation 3D                         3 cr.
    Residential Design Studio                            3 cr.
    Commercial Design Studio                           3 cr.
    Hospitality Design Studio                             3 cr.
    Healthcare Design Studio                            3 cr.
    Interior Building Systems                            3 cr.
    Materials and Specifications                        3 cr.
    Auto Cad / BIM 2D 3D                                  3 cr.
    Rendering Techniques                                 3 cr.
    Interior Lighting                                           3 cr.
    History Arch & ID I & II                                 6 cr.
    Art History II or General Survey                   3 cr.
    Construction Document Studio                     3 cr.
    Professional Practice / Portfolio                    2 cr.
    *Interior Design Practicum / Internship      12 cr.

    Total Prerequisites                   50 / 62 credits
   * Required for students without undergraduate internship or with no prior professional experience under direct supervision of an NCIDQ Certified Interior
      Designer, or Licensed Architect.


Students seeking admittance into the Master of Arts in Interior Design degree with a non-related Bachelor degree will be accepted as a non-matriculating graduate student while completing required coursework.  The entering non-matriculating student would also have completed an academic supervised semester long internship, or would have been continuously employed by a practicing NCIDQ Certified Interior Designer for four months.  Students will have documented evidence of knowledge of Design Initiation (space analysis/concept design/code and finishes research/Design Presentation) and Design Implementation (construction drawing production/selection and specification of finishes/Detail development).

Total Degree Rquirements: 36 credits

Subtotal Hours 16 cr.

Subtotal Hours 16 cr.

Spring Semester

  •  Interior Design History Elective   (Cr: 3)
  •  Interior Design Elective               (Cr: 3)


Subtotal Hours 14 cr.

Summer Session


Thesis Topic is sourced from the area of concentration.  Students may substitute Design Firm Management with an Education Practicum.

Subtotal Hours 3 cr.

Concentration Options

Students select from the following concentration options (19 credits, inlcuding the seven-credit Thesis sequence in the concentration):

Commercial/Institutional Interiors

  • Interior Design Elective    (Cr: 3)
  • Interior Design History Elective   (Cr: 3)

Healthcare Interiors

  • Interior Design Elective   (Cr: 3)
  • Interior Design History Elective   (Cr: 3)

Residential Interiors

  • Interior Design Elective   (Cr: 3)
  • Interior Design History Elective   (Cr: 3)

Sustainable Interiors

  • Interior Design Elective    (Cr: 3)
  • Interior Design History Elective   (Cr: 3)

Electives for Design Studio Concentration (Commericial/Institutional, Healthcare, Residential)

Students select two courses from 500 or 600 level coursework offerings (6 cr.).

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