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Master of Science in Interior Architecture Curriculum

This four-semester program includes courses in theory, method, and application. First-semester participants establish a common language and grounded basis for exploration of individual topic areas in the second semester. Third-semester participants begin their thesis work in the intensive setting and continue developing the project in an online studio environment, continuing to completion in the fourth semester.

  • Program Requirements
  • Course Descriptions

Case Studies in Interiors and Furniture

This seminar course uses readings and projects to explore the emergence of interior architecture as a distinct form of inquiry and practice. Students will research the evolution of the discipline in relation to social and technological concerns such as sustainability, globalization, and human factors. Theories and projects that have defined the scope and methods of interior architecture and design, particularly since the early 20th century, will be examined in context.

Design Strategies for Interiors

Within the framework of contemporary practice, students will analyze, discuss and synthesize trends that address interior architecture and design as a response to evidence-based human needs for social, workplace, cultural, and spiritual settings. This course will ask students to develop a personal framework for delivering environments that provides access to what is good for the individual and the group. The course format begins with a charrette and continues with lectures and reading-based discussion, directed toward development of the students' area of inquiry and Thesis project.

Thesis Research Strategies

This seminar in research methodology supports students preparing to launch their Thesis project. Students will be asked to do an original research essay on a topic of directly related to the thesis. Course contents include: annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, precedent and site studies, as well as application of quantitative and qualitative research methods to design hypotheses.

Guided Research in Area of Inquiry

This course integrates scholarly research and design, involving students in the application of ideas that give meaning and significance to both design and research. Students are expected to engage advanced exploration of the cultural contexts within which their work is situated. Design and research are understood here to be forms of inquiry integrating knowledge within and outside the design disciplines. Students develop Thesis Proposals which initiate and frame their work in Thesis.

Thesis 1 and Thesis 2

The two-semester Thesis Project is required for all students in the program. The Thesis Project joins the goals of general education and cultural contexts with those of professional education and practice, delivered through the lens of application of research to the design process. The Thesis Project is an integrative project, synthesizing technical perspectives appropriate to a post-professional investigation. The student initiates the thesis project idea, and documents the results of the study. Each student forms and develops a thesis (theory, opinion, view, or argument) and then frames a thesis project to test or explore that thesis.


Participants select from BAC courses in technology, sustainability, preservation, history and theory, and other topic areas.