Design Graduate Program: Interior Design

Interior Design Track: MA, MS & PhD

Interior design student sketching in class

Our design graduate program focuses on the study of relationships between humans and their designed objects and environments. Students applying to the design graduate program may choose from four different tracks, including the interior design track.

About the Program

Program Details

Graduate study in the interior design track emphasizes the theory, research, and specialized practice components of design as applied to people’s health, safety, and well-being in the interior environment, including culture, sustainability, and issues facing design education. 

Focusing on interior design research issues during your graduate work will deepen your knowledge of the relationships between people and the built environment. Coursework and research experiences will further your understanding of how interior spaces support or hinder people’s physical, social, or psychological needs. A graduate design degree in the interior design track will prepare you to be a critical consumer of research or a critical contributor to research as a design practitioner, researcher, or educator.  

Each of our faculty are actively researching critical issues and work closely with interior design track students to develop their own research paths. 


Master of Arts & Master of Science Degree Options

Students pursuing a Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree have two separate degree plans to choose from. Plan A is more thesis-focused and is considered preparatory for pursuing a PhD. Plan B is project-based and aimed at career advancement.

Plan A Plan B
  • 34 total credits
    • 18 major credits
    • 6 outside-major/minor credits
    • 10 thesis credits
  • 2–3 years
  • Final oral examination
  • 34 total credits
    • 28 major credits
    • 6 outside-major/minor credits
  • 2–3 years
  • Final oral committee examination

The credit amounts shown above are the foundation level required; additional coursework may be required.


Doctor of Philosophy Degree Option

Doctoral study in the apparel studies track of the design graduate program is intended for students interested in academic research and scholarship who seek to become professors.

PhD Overview
  • 64 total credits
    • 28 major credits
    • 12 outside-major/minor credits
    • 24 thesis credits
  • 6 years on average
  • Preliminary oral committee examination
  • Final dissertation defense
Full Requirements & Course Descriptions
Research & Creative Scholarship

Interior Design contributes to human well-being. From trafficking prevention and designing to support diverse ways of living to environmentally responsible and sustainable interior design, our faculty pursue research that informs solutions to a wide range of societal challenges. Our faculty use interdisciplinary and community-engaged pedagogies that transform you into global citizens so that you can design holistically, think critically, and act responsibly. At the same time, they prepare you for excellence in professional or academic practice and leadership.

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