The MFA program focuses on advanced techniques and the theory of interior architecture and design. The curriculum—designed and taught by industry professionals—focuses on research, concept and design development, traditional and digital media, innovative ideas, and global issues.
The interior design program leading to the Master of Fine Arts [MFA] in Interior Architecture & Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, www.accredit-id.org, 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 Fine Arts [MFA] in Interior Architecture & Design granted by Academy of Art 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: https://www.cidq.org/eligibility-requirements.
IAD 601: Fundamentals of Design DocumentationMajor / 3 Units
IAD 603: Sketching & Perspective for Interior EnvironmentsMajor Elective / 3 Units
IAD 608: Digital ImagingMajor Elective / 3 Units
IAD 600: Studio 1Major / 3 Units
IAD 602: Building Systems and CodesMajor / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
IAD 610: Studio 2Major / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
IAD 611: BIM - Building Information ModelingMajor / 3 Units
IAD 612: Material UseMajor / 3 Units
IAD 604: Lighting DesignMajor / 3 Units
IAD 613: Studio 3Major / 3 Units
IAD 625: Survey of Sustainable DesignMajor / 3 Units
GLA 637: Theory & Movements in Traditional Interior ArchitectureGraduate Liberal Arts / 3 Units
GLA 638: Theory & Movements in Contemporary Interior ArchitectureGraduate Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
IAD 640: Light & Color PerceptionMajor / 3 Units
IAD 810: ProgrammingDirected Studies / 3 Units
IAD 812: Schematic Design and Space PlanningDirected Studies / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
GLA 634: Professional Practice for Interior DesignersGraduate Liberal Arts / 3 Units
IAD 830: Design Development to DocumentationDirected Studies / 3 Units
IAD 834: Materiality: FF & E, Finishes and LightingDirected Studies / 3 Units
IAD 838: Thesis VisualizationDirected Studies / 3 Units
IAD 850: Thesis ImplementationDirected Studies / 3 Units
MFA Interior Architecture & Design Degree Requirements
Successful completion of the Final Thesis Project
Minimum grade of C in all required 63 units
A minimum of thirty semester credits of college-level liberal arts and sciences (general education) must be completed(NOTE: this will include credits earned from the student’s bachelor degree)
Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and the following Academic Study requirements:
1 Art Historical Awareness & Aesthetic course
1 Cross-Cultural Understanding course
Academy of Art University / Academy of Art University
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:
Human & Global Centered Design
Apply concepts of environmental psychology in the creation of interior environments addressing the interplay of humans and their physical environments enriching the quality of life
Design Process & Conceptual Thinking
Produce a problem statement for the development of a thesis project contributing to the needs of a community or specialty area of design
Research user needs to inform the programming document
Produce schematic design solutions that meet programmatic requirements and conceptual intent culminating in the creation of volumetric spaces
Create refined and holistic design solutions culminating in a design development presentation
Produce construction documentation of interior buildings and FF & E specifications, based on the holistic design solutions
Furnishings & Materiality
Apply furnishings, fixtures, & equipment, and interior construction materiality that enhance the aesthetic and ecological qualities of the design while providing for the programmatic requirements and conceptual design intent
Fundamentals of Design
Apply aesthetics responsive to the programmatic requirements and design intent through the elements and principles of two- and three-dimensional design, including color principles and theories, across all platforms in design solutions and visual communications
Demonstrate an understanding of movements and traditions in interior design, architecture, furnishings, and the visual arts and consider their relationship in design solutions
Demonstrate an understanding of major construction types and construction systems, through design decisions
Demonstrate an understanding of the laws, codes, and federal regulations impacting life safety, accessibility, and energy efficiency through the application of these professional standards to design solutions
Oral, Visual, & Written Literacy
Communicate and defend design solutions in oral and written presentations that support the project requirements and design intent, and exhibit a logical sequencing and hierarchy of information
Demonstrate use of a wide range of visual media with professional craftsmanship to communicate ideas and solutions, including freehand & digital drawing and drafting, three-dimensional models, rendered presentations, and ideation sketching
Produce a formal research document implementing IRB requirements and APA style methodologies in the final thesis project
Professional Practice & Collaboration
Demonstrate an understanding of the professional practice, business and contract procedures, and business ethics
Collaborate with other disciplines on processes and solutions to produce a creative interior environment
Produce a portfolio, including the incorporation of a thesis project, and identity system to qualify for a design position in interior architecture and design
Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:
Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.