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Interior Architecture & Design Curriculum

The internationally renowned MS Interior Architecture & Design program prepares students with diverse undergraduate backgrounds to enter the field of interior design. The program integrates design concepts, technical information, and hands-on skills in an integrated studio model that encourages communication and shared learning. The importance of the creative, collaborative design studio and the active involvement of faculty combine to create a culture within the Interior Architecture & Design program that values the world of ideas, the challenging of conventional thought, the discipline of hard work and the cultivation of a responsible and sensitive designer who has the wellbeing of the public and the stewardship of the environment at its core. The relationship of the faculty and student provides an environment of individual exploration, inquiry and experimentation through coursework, opportunities with other disciplines, independent studies and thesis research.

The diverse educational backgrounds of the MSIAD student applicant necessitate a series of prerequisite coursework, which provides a foundation in which to understand the discipline of design. It permits students to measure their own abilities and to assess the appropriateness of the field to their expectations.

Course Requirements and Plan of Studies

The following links to the Course Catalog are for review purposes only. Several factors influence the length of the program and the sequencing of courses including: prerequisite course work needed, undergraduate degree coursework, transfer credits, and programmatic changes. Students should contact Associate Director D. S. Nicholas to ensure they meet all degree requirements in a timely manner.

Required Courses

Graduate Coursework

Prerequisite course work

For course descriptions of each course, click on the course number in the required courses listing.


Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism Academic Integrity Policy 

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Graduate Thesis

The program culminates in a three-term thesis process that provides opportunity for the student to pursue in-depth knowledge in an individual topic of investigation under the guidance of a faculty member. This self-directed research results in a thesis paper and design proposal due in early February, and culminates with a thesis design project that is presented orally and visually in the spring of the final year.

Comprehensive Exam

The Comprehensive Exam consists of two components that must be completed during the two-plus graduate years: a series of sketch problems and design competitions and a faculty review representing a portfolio presentation of a body of student-selected work.

Study Abroad

Students seeking a Master of Science degree in Interior Architecture & Design have several options for study abroad.

The Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism offers “Fall Break In” programs where students complete an in-depth and accelerated graduate elective course. Drexel professors guide these 2-3 week tours to Barcelona, Paris or Rome. These tours provide opportunities for students to travel with a small group of friends and colleagues while introducing them to the rich history, art and architecture of the most notable historic and contemporary sites in major cities across Europe.

In addition, students interested in completing two graduate electives over the summer can attend a seven week Design Studio or Furniture Design experience through the Danish Institute of Study Abroad (DIS) where students are exposed to and work side-by-side with design and architecture students from all over the world.

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