Interior Architecture & Design
The graduate Interior Architecture & Design program at Drexel Westphal is recognized as one of the top interiors programs in the world by Design Intelligence and Architectural Digest. Our students win major national and international honors, and take positions at many leading firms. The program is uniquely situated within a top university with a distinctive vision, and a city that fosters a vibrant design community.
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Interior Architecture & Design Program Mission
The mission of Drexel Westphal's Interior Architecture & Design graduate program is to train skilled designers, creative thinkers, professional leaders, and responsible citizens in the fields of interior design and architecture. We cultivate students who acknowledge their responsibilities to the safety and well-being of the public and the stewardship of the environment, and we inspire graduates to lead a multifaceted profession in an ever-changing world. The Interior Architecture & Design curriculum is structured to teach the fundamentals of interior design, to anticipate and reflect change in a continually evolving profession, and to encourage the kind of exploration and experimentation that fosters life-long learners who will contribute to the profession and the discipline’s body of knowledge.
The graduate Interior Architecture & Design program at Drexel Westphal emphasizes sustainability, diversity, and equity in designing the built environment. Students collaborate across disciplines and engage in hands-on research and studio learning. The graduate interiors program offers an immersive studio experience, producing well-rounded, ethical, innovative interior design professionals.
Degree Options for Interior Architecture & Design
The graduate program in Interior Architecture & Design offers two master’s degree options:
Master of Interior Architecture & Design (MSIAD): a CIDA-accredited first-professional degree that consists of 92 required graduate credits and 12 undergraduate prerequisite credits. This Interior Architecture & Design degree is ideal for students from diverse undergraduate backgrounds who are interested in entering the field of interior design.
Learn More about MS Interior Architecture & Design
The highly ranked, CIDA-accredited master’s program in Interior Architecture & Design is characterized by a focus on human experience, novel explorations of materials and form, commitment to a sustainable future, and a rigorous professional training.
Interior Architecture & Design prepares students of diverse backgrounds to become leaders in the field of interior design. We are consistently ranked among the top programs in the country, and in the Top 10 survey by Design Intelligence of “America's Best Design Schools." As one of the few CIDA-accredited graduate programs in the country, Interior Architecture & Design students are on the fast-track to licensure and are highly prepared to enter the professional world of interior architecture and design. The rigorous graduate Interior Architecture & Design coursework emphasizes independent research culminating in a master's thesis.The master’s degree in Interior Architecture & Design requires 92 graduate credits and 12 undergraduate prerequisite credits. The program integrates design concepts, technical information, and hands-on skills in an integrated studio model that encourages communication and shared learning. Students engage questions of aesthetics, function, ethics, technology and the realities of the marketplace. The Interior Architecture & Design program is grounded in visual studies, providing a foundation of design knowledge, integrating creative and artistic approaches to experience, and emphasizing the value of aesthetics and craft. At the same time, the program integrates social science research and methods that inform a human-centric design process, contribute to the understanding of human factors in design, and provide a basis for design decision-making grounded in evidence.
Master of Interior Architecture (MSIA): a post-professional degree that consists of 45 required graduate credits. Intended for students with backgrounds in interior design and architecture, the accelerated MSIA curriculum is highly interdisciplinary and customizable.
Learn More about MS Interior Architecture
The Master of Science in Interior Architecture is a post-professional degree in interior architecture. For students with undergraduate and professional backgrounds in interior design or architecture, the MSIA allows in-depth specialization, interdisciplinary research, and custom paths of study. The MS Interior Architecture curriculum reinforces design fundamentals, advances technical skills and conceptual approaches, allows for specialization in areas such as health/wellness, making/fabrication, or technology/representation, and culminates in a comprehensive thesis research and design project. Students select from a range of studio, seminar, and elective courses to create a curriculum tailored to their professional interest. The Interior Architecture graduate program is closely affiliated with the graduate Design Research and Urban Strategy programs within the Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism, and provides access to graduate programs across the University. These connections allow students to engage and collaborate with experts from a variety of disciplines, preparing them to take leadership roles in the interior architecture profession. The master’s degree in Interior Architecture consists of 45 graduate credits. Admission to the program requires a first professional degree from an accredited program in interior design or architecture and submission of a design portfolio. Applicants with degrees in related fields or unaccredited programs who have professional experience in interior design or architecture will be considered through review of transcript and portfolio. Applicants who do not meet the admission requirements may be recommended for the MS Interior Architecture & Design program.
Visit our FAQ for more information, or help deciding which interiors master’s degree may be right for you.
The graduate degrees in interior architecture and design thrive on the diverse graduate students’ educational and life experiences as they engage in a vigorous learning environment through exploration, self-learning and creativity. Classes are structured around processes of drawing and designing with close feedback from instructors and peers. The conceptualization and implementation of ideas involves aesthetics, function, ethics, technology and the realities of the marketplace. The program balances visual acuity with grounded research, promoting work that is rigorous and comprehensive.
Diversity and Equity
The graduate interiors program embraces diversity and aims to increase equity, both for interior design practitioners and for the people served by interiors projects. Interior design is uniquely equipped to advocate and promote diversity and equity in the profession and the built environment.
Sustainable thinking is a fundamental responsibility of contemporary design practice. The graduate program promotes and emphasizes sustainable practices as the inherent responsibility of designers and exposes students to a diverse array of sustainable approaches and techniques. These include new and future technologies, material innovations, green building techniques, historic and vernacular strategies, biomimicry, and larger scale approaches including urban and social sustainability. Projects also consider how sustainability is intricately tied to the health and well-being, as well as social and economic sustainability. There is a Minor in Sustainability in the Built Environment for students who wish to focus their studies in this area.
Learn More About Graduate Interior Architecture & Design
For more information on the Interior Architecture & Design graduate program at Drexel Westphal, to schedule a tour of our facilities, or for guidance in deciding which of our master’s degree options best suits your interests and experience, contact the Westphal admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.895.1738.