Interior Architecture (M.A.)

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts (M.A.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design

Program Overview

The Post-Professional Master of Arts in Interior Architecture (IA) aims to create ethical, socially-conscious design thinkers and leaders in the industry of the built environment through an academic program that emphasizes conceptual thinking and the design process, community engagement, and leadership in the profession. As our campus is located across the street from the White House in the US Capital, many of our projects will be DC based, involve the community, or focus on global issues. The Post-Professional MA IA is designed to educate students who have previously received an undergraduate degree in interior design, interior architecture, or architecture, who want to continue to challenge themselves in an academic setting. This degree program focuses on teamwork, leadership, and social responsibility; by learning and developing skills that prepare student to take on leadership roles in their future firms, graduates will be able to make positive changes in the built environment. The core of the program will be the consecutive studio sequence, Studio A and Studio B, which will challenge the students to solve a problem by creating a spatial design solution—with a focus on global design issues, serving clients of varied income and diversity spans, and community involvement. The main project for the continuous studio sequence will emphasize teamwork, which aligns with the professional work environment, allowing for a creative process that leads to collaborative design solutions.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – April 1 (February 1 for applicants applying for assistantships/fellowships)

Standardized Test Scores:

GRE is not required.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 

Minimum scores for the M.F.A. program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 53

    Students who score are admitted with the requirement to take an English for Academic Purposes course must be available to take this course in the summer preceding enrollment in the MFA program

Recommendations required: 

Two (2) recommendations on business letterhead.

Prerequisite requirements:

A bachelor’s degree in either interior design or architecture.

Prior academic records: 

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application.

In addition to the statement of purpose, applicants must submit answers of approximately 75-100 words to the following questions:

  1. In your own words, how would you define the profession of interior design?
  2. What current designers influence you and why?
  3. What are some considerations that an interior designer must adhere to while designing interior architectural space?
  4. How will your undergraduate degree and any previous work experience contribute to the MFA Interior Architecture Program?

Additional requirements: 

A portfolio that shows interior design and or architecture projects from undergraduate work as well as projects undertaken as a professional are welcomed. Creative projects (i.e., photography, sketches, and fine art) may be included; an interview may be requested.

Portfolios must be uploaded to your online application or emailed to [email protected]. Digital portfolios must be submitted as one document. You may also mail your portfolio directly to the Interior Architecture Program:

500 17th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20006

Portfolios will not be returned.

The MA in Interior Architecture is a post-professional degree and is only open to students with an undergraduate degree in Architecture or Interior Design.

International applicants only: 

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents (other than the portfolio) not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 215
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday