The Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design (M.F.A. in I.D.) is a 64-credit program designed for interior and architectural design professionals that are seeking 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 prepares students to enter professional Interior Design practice or Interior Design education at an advanced level. The program develops student proficiencies through both individual and team based “atelier” style learning, while emphasizing the need to provide environmentally responsible interior design solutions for the 21st century.
The program model integrates theory and practice through required courses in Interior Design Firm Management and in Educational Practicum’s reinforcing the primary College mission of concurrent learning.
Design Studio Concentration
The Design Studio concentration if designed to allow students to explore a specific area of design practice in-depth. Students select a studio focus to assimilate a more thorough knowledgebase, 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 an interior design educator.
Each concentration builds upon critical thinking, design mastery, evidence based research, visual communication, and oral communication expertise expected of practicing professionals and design educators. 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, and educational instruction.
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 Interiors 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 used 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. Students are prepared to assume advanced roles within professional design firms or as interior design educators. 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.
At the completion of the program the student will be able to:
1. Assimilate highly technical, theoretical, and sophisticated problem solving methods related to the design of interior environments and the design
2. Research, understand, and demonstrate the role and impact upon society that emerging design theories and technologies create and will foster in
3. Assess and synthesize project design needs and strategies to operate in a collaborative mode with other design specialist and related professions.
4. Develop and advance current design principles, theories, and academic research, and demonstrate a contribution to design practice, education, and
Admission Criteria for Master of Fine 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 Exam
- 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
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 of Architecture and interior Design 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 Fine Arts in Interior Design degree with a non-related Bachelor degree may be accepted as non-matriculating graduate students while completing required coursework. These students would also have completed an academic supervised semester-long internship, or would have been continuously employed by a practicing NCIDQ Certified Interior Designer for at least 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).
Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design Program of Study