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Master of Fine Arts in Studio
Interior Design

Student Profile

  • Interested in research and advanced study
  • Able to clearly articulate educational goals
  • Has working knowledge of interior design concepts
  • Able to clearly articulate a design problem and conceive of an appropriate design solution
  • Creates innovative and provocative design solutions
  • Design oriented with exceptional communication and drawing skills
  • Interested in and aware of environmental issues affecting the design and creation of both interior and exterior spaces
  • Capable of integrating both functional and aesthetic demands required by the interior design profession
  • Is self-motivated, highly self-disciplined and able to complete tasks on schedule

Program Description
The Interior Design Program is grounded in design as a process of complex, creative problem solving. Master of Fine Arts candidates are expected to be capable of applying a variety of research methodologies to solving design problems including the appropriate use of technical data, historic design references, and knowledge of the traits of human behavior within the built environment. Studying the relationship of the Interior Design profession as it relates to architecture, industrial design, historic preservation, and allied professions allows the advanced student an arena for developing and expressing a personal design philosophy within the constraints of accepted professional practices. Course work is devised to develop confidence in graphic communication and verbal presentation skills.

The M.F.A. program in Interior Design is ideally suited for students who have completed an undergraduate degree in interior design or a related field. Professional experience will further enhance the graduate-level educational experience. However, the M.F.A. program in Interior Design will accept students with prior educational experience in any field. Each student entering the M.F.A. program must work with the graduate coordinator to evaluate the specific educational and professional background and determine a course of study necessary to enhance the student’s specific educational background and proposed area of research and specialization. Leveling courses required to prepare the student for graduate level studies will be determined depending upon each student’s background and preparation and will affect the estimated credit hours and length of study time necessary to satisfy the M.F.A. requirements. Students without a previous bachelor’s degree in design should anticipate a minimum of three to four years of study time to complete the requisite leveling coursework and the M.F.A. requirements outlined below.

Course Requirements for Interior Design Concentration

Thirty hours of coursework in a studio concentration.

Twelve hours of coursework in art history.

Six hours of non-art electives or art electives from outside the area of concentration.

Twelve hours of thesis research in the appropriate studio area.

A written thesis.

A graduate thesis exhibition, presentation or screening.

Each student must pass a review after completing 24 hours of coursework. A list of required and recommended courses for each concentration is available from either the Office of the Welch School of Art and Design or the Director of Graduate Studies.

Total Program 60 hours

Application to the Concentration
Prospective students should:
1. Contact the Interior Design graduate program coordinator in room 366, Art and Humanities Building to discuss intent and requirements.
2. Fulfill all requirements for the University, the College of Arts and Science and the School of Art and Design Graduate Offices. Specific attention should be paid to application deadlines and portfolio submission requirements established by the School of Art & Design Graduate Office.

Career Opportunities

  • Teach at an institution of higher learning
  • Join established interior design or architecture firms.
  • Work in a variety of design careers including residential and commercial design, retail, restaurant, hospitality and health care facilities, design, lighting design, and exhibition and stage design
  • Work independently as a consultant
  • Be a staff designer for corporations or institutions

Professional Registration
The National Council for Interior Design Qualification Exam is the internationally recognized test for qualifying interior designers. It is recognized by most states that have passed Interior Design registration acts (including Georgia) as a part of the license and registration requirement. The exam is required by ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and IIDA (International Interior Design Association) for professional membership. NCIDQ examinees must have received a degree from an accredited institution and have completed a minimum of two years’ professional practice following graduation. Graduates planning to practice interior design in another state are advised to check with that state authority about specific registration requirements there.