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Post Professional Degree (M.A.)

MA in Interior Architecture (37 credits) is an one year program designed to acquire advanced expertise in design research, analysis, design and construction of complex interior environments within the profession.

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Program Overview

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. The program develops student proficiencies through both individual and team based learning, within an "atelier" design studio setting to acquire advanced expertise for ID practice. The program's intent is to create interior design specialists where students select from an area of concentration: IDC Commercial and Intuitional, IDH Healthcare, IDR Residential, or IDS Sustainability.

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.


*Students select a Studio Option (505A and 510A) or Global Studio Option (505B and 510B) and an area of concentration from the following concentration options: IAC Commercial and Institutional, IAH Healthcare, IAR Residential, or IAS Sustainability.

Note: Thesis Topic is sourced from the area of concentration.

Students may substitute Design Firm Management with an Education Practicum.

Core Courses

IAx 505A* ID Studio Concentration Option or IAx 510A* Global Studio Concentration Option (Western) - 4 cr. 
IAx 505B* ID Studio Concentration Option or IAx 510B* Global Studio Concentration Option (Non-Western) - 4 cr. 
ID Technology Elective (500 level) - 3 cr.
Interior Architecture History Elective (500 level) - 3 cr.
Interior Architecture Elective (500 level) - 3 cr.

  • IA 501 - Interior Architecture Precedent Studio I Credits: 3
  • IA 503 - Interior Architecture Precedent Studio II Credits: 1
  • IA 511 - Forum I Credits: 1
  • IA 512 - Forum II Credits: 1
  • IA 517 - Theory, Criticism, and Methodology Credits: 3
  • IA 530 - Psychology of Place Credits: 3
  • IA 575 - Interior Design Firm Management Credits: 1
  • IA 588 - Master's Thesis I: Seminar Credits: 1
  • IA 589 - Master's Thesis II: Written Defense Credits: 3
  • IA 590 - Master's Thesis III: Scholarly Defense Credits: 3

Learning Outcomes

  1. Assimilate highly technical, theoretical, and sophisticated problem solving methods in the development of the design of interior environments.
  2. Research, understand, and demonstrate the role and impact upon society that emerging design theories and technologies have on complex interior environments.
  3. Assess and synthesize project needs and strategies to operate in and communicate within a collaborative and integrated 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 society.
  5. Develop an understanding, application and specifying furniture, fixtures, finish materials, and environmental systems, controls and regulations to maximize occupant health, welfare, and comfort within interior environments.
  6. Develop a global perspective for design including an understanding and application of sustainable strategies that enhance users and planet earth.

Concentration Options

The concentration (Commercial/Institutional, Healthcare, Residential, or Sustainable Interior Environments) is 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.

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, well-being, and energy needs.

Sustainable Interior Environments 

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.

Admission Requirements

Admission Criteria for Master of Arts in Interior Architecture (37 credit)

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
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A Design Portfolio*
  • 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. 
* Design portfolios should include a minimum of 15 pieces of design work submitted via JPEG or PDF images on CD or USB


Send JPEG or PDF images via email to the Director of Interior Architecture
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Caitlyn Flynn
Caitlin Flynn '11MA, Interior Design
Owner, North Fork Interior Design
Work showcased at Holiday Show House, Danvers, MA
“Being a graduate of the newly established Master’s Program in Interior Design is an accomplishment that will help me move forward in my career and as an individual. Throughout the curriculum students are encouraged to engage in personal avenues of exploration to help one discover themselves as students, designers, and intellectuals. The numerous out of classroom experiences and community involvement, such as the North Shore CDC LEED housing project and the BE LIKE BRIT Haitian orphanage, enrich the syllabi. Students come from a wide range of background experience and there is a strong focus on peer relationships, allowing students to share their professional knowledge. Knowledgeable faculty focus on the students needs, keeping flexibility in mind.”
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