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Program Details

Photo of Interior Design Students and Faculty

The graduate program in Interior Architecture & Design offers a first professional Master of Science degree that prepares students of diverse undergraduate 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, our students are on the fast-track to licensure and are highly prepared to enter into the professional world of interior architecture and design.

Our rigorous coursework teaches conceptual, technical, and hands-on approaches in designing a range of spaces. Student work includes public, commercial, residential, and institutional projects in which students learn to transform environments to address aesthetic, social, physical and psychological needs. In conjunction with our integrated studio approach, the program emphasizes independent research culminating in a master's thesis. 

Program Mission

The mission of the Interior Architecture & Design graduate program is to prepare students with diverse undergraduate backgrounds to enter the field of interior design as skilled designers, creative thinkers, professional leaders and responsible citizens. We seek to cultivate students who acknowledge their responsibilities to the safety and well-being of the public and the stewardship of the environment and who can lead a multifaceted profession in an ever-changing world. The 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.

Studio Culture

The graduate Interior Architecture & Design program thrives on the diverse graduate students’ educational and life experiences as they engage in a vigorous learning environment through exploration, self-learning and creativity. The program embraces the study of both the process and products of design within the human environment. The conceptualization and implementation of ideas involves aesthetics, function, ethics, technology and the realities of the marketplace. The program also embraces and validates the visual studies that provide the foundation of design knowledge as well as the experiences and approaches of the visual arts.


The Master of Science in Interior Architecture degree is comprised of 69 graduate credits, which students complete in two years. As many students come with no background in design, we offer one year (38 credits) of prerequisite undergraduate coursework that students complete as part of the graduate degree. To see a sample plan of study, or learn more about the specific requirements, please visit our Curriculum page. For information on activities and career opportunities, please see our Opportunities page. Further information is also available if you wish to download the Student Handbook from the Resource page.

Sustainability Philosophy

Sustainable thinking is a fundamental responsibility of contemporary design practice. Our 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. We consider how sustainability is intricately tied to the health and well-being of the interior environment and its inhabitants. We offer a Minor in Sustainability in the Built Environment for students who wish to focus their studies in this area.

Accreditation Information

Accreditation is a testament of our commitment to educational quality and professional preparation. The graduate Interior Architecture & Design program is accredited by both the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). We are one of only a handful of masters degree programs accredited by CIDA in the United States and Canada. CIDA sets rigorous educational standards that ensure students from accredited programs are prepared to be well informed, responsible, and skilled interior design professionals. Students graduating from a CIDA accredited program are qualified to sit for the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) certification exams. NASAD establishes standards of knowledge and skills for degrees in art and design. Accreditation with NASAD requires that we maintain high professional standards in art and design education, and demonstrates our commitment to educating students in both interior design and the fine arts.

The Drexel University interior design program leading to the Master of Science in Interior Architecture and Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation,, 206 Grandville Avenue, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. 
The CIDA-accredited program prepares students for entry-level interior design practice, for advanced study, and to apply for membership in professional interior design organizations. The Master of Science in Interior Architecture and Design granted by Drexel University meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam). For more information about NCIDQ Exam eligibility visit: 

Student Statistics & Student Achievement

The following information represents the latest data available. 

Degrees awarded in June 2017
BS Interior Design: 19
MS Interior Architecture & Design: 12

Retention and Graduation rate for June 2017 graduates
Undergraduate Interior Design: 81% of the students enrolled as freshman during the spring 2013-14 quarter returned for the Fall 2014-15 quarter
Undergraduate Interior Design: 75% of the returning Fall 2014 sophomores graduated in June 2017 
Graduate Interior Architecture & Design: 93% of the students entering the MS program in the summer or fall of 2014 graduated in June 2017

Percentage of 2017 Undergraduate Interior Design graduates attending graduate school or employed in design related areas: 89%
Number of Interior Design BS Degrees awarded in 2017: 19
Number accepted to graduate school: 2 (100% acceptance rate)
Number obtaining interior design related employment within 9 months: 16
Number unaccounted for: 1 (these students could not be reached)

Percentage of 2017 Graduate Interior Architecture & Design graduates attending graduate school or employed in design related areas: 92%
Number of Interior Architecture & Design MS Degrees awarded in 2017: 12
Number accepted to PhD Programs: 0 (0 applicants)
Number obtaining interior design related employment within 9 months: 11
Number unaccounted for: 1 (these students could not be reached)