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Interior Architecture & Design Curriculum

Photo of student presenting design project

The graduate 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. Students engage questions of aesthetics, function, ethics, technology and the realities of the marketplace. The 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.

The combination of rich and diverse student backgrounds, active faculty involvement, and emphasis on the creative, collaborative design studio create a culture within the interior design program that values the world of ideas, the challenging of conventional thought, and the discipline of hard work. Through this the program cultivates responsible and sensitive designers who promote the well-being of the public and advocate for safe and healthy environments.

Course Requirements and Plan of Study

There are 69 required graduate credits and 38 prerequisite credits that must be completed for the degree. A Plan of Study based on review of transcripts and portfolio will be prepared for all accepted students, which will indicate what the curriculum requirements will be. 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 the Associate Program Director to ensure they meet all degree requirements in a timely manner. The following links to the Course Catalog provide further information. For course descriptions please click on the course number.

Photo of Thesis Presentation

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 a number of components that must be completed during the graduate coursework: sketch problems, design competitions, professional experience, and a portfolio review. The Comprehensive Exam is intended to demonstrate mastery of the curriculum requirements and prepare students to enter the professional environment.


The following are curriculum policies established by Drexel University:

For additional information, please speak with the Associate Program Director or the Westphal College Office of Academic Advising