Interior Architecture

Post-Professional Degree

Aiming to create ethical, socially conscious design thinkers of the built environment and leaders in the industry

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions about admissions or the program.

In the Interior Architecture program at the Corcoran School, we believe in fostering a community that encourages creativity and pushes the boundaries of design with an emphasis on conceptual thinking and the design process. Our studio projects, the core of our curriculum, take advantage of our location in an arts and design school within a major research university in the nation’s capital, and our mission to participate in projects that positively impact social change aligns with the global vision of the university.

The post-professional Master of Arts (MA) 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 condensed 30-credit one-year program is an integrated curriculum meaning all of the courses within each semester are cohesive, with course content working in tandem and increasing in complexity throughout each semester.

The MA program is developed to expand on operational skills, and it is expected that students will be accepted into the program having already mastered foundational knowledge of the interior design industry in addition to being able to use both the analog and digital tools necessary to design and communicate interior spaces.

Through our studio-based core curriculum, you will work on solving problems with a focus on serving clients of varied income and diversity, with emphasis on teamwork, leadership and social responsibility, preparing you to take on leadership roles in your future firms, allowing for a creative process that leads to collaborative design solutions, and enabling you to make positive changes within your work environments as well as the built environment. You will be expected to research new materials, methods and design solutions, and apply newly acquired cognition to design interiors that contribute to the body of knowledge of the profession.

Our Interior Architecture (IA) professors are internationally recognized design experts and authors who bring diverse experiences and projects into the classroom. As a part of this intellectual environment, our faculty research focuses on aspects of the profession ranging from pedagogy to sustainability to architectural and design history to lighting, with professors publishing as well as speaking at national and international design conferences.

Our students win many prestigious design competitions such as the Steelcase National NEXT Student Design Competition, where in 2021, we had three students in the top 10 entries from 900 entries and 65+ programs entered. We also had a student recognized as a Metropolis Future 100, which is one of the top 100 graduate students in architecture and design programs in the US and Canada sponsored by Metropolis Magazine.

In addition, Design Intelligence ranked our program #17 in our size category for Interior Design Schools Most Hired From by Firms in 2018-19.







What you'll study





Applicants to the IA MA program must follow the standard graduate application process but must meet these specific requirements as well:

  • Prospective students must have an undergraduate degree in interior design, interior architecture or architecture.
  • A portfolio that shows creative work is required; an interview may be requested.
  • The GRE exam is not required
  • Two recommendations on business letterhead 

The program is accredited by NASAD, the National Association of Schools of Art & Design.

Application Requirements




the profession


Architectural rendering




With 75,000+ jobs that generate $5 billion annually across design, media and other creative fields, Washington, DC's creative sector is key to the city's economy. There is no shortage of need for interior designers in our city, or nationally, as interior spaces are constantly renovated and readapted, specifically in urban areas.

Incorporating conceptual and practical thinking with a design- and technical-based education, the IA MA experience prepares our students for meaningful, creative employment in the design field. Our program also brings in many professionals from leading architecture and interior design firms in Washington, DC for critiques, lectures and events such as our advisory board. Activities like these help our students make connections and find jobs.

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers across the United States and internationally at reputable architecture and interior design firms such as SmithGroup, Gensler, OTJ Architects, Perkins + Will, RTKL, Studios Architecture, CORE architecture + design, HapstakDemetriou+, and more. Our graduates have also started their own firms, freelanced independently, and worked in creative fields that align with interiors, such as exhibition design, art consulting and academia.




Image credits:
Prism retail store: Jessica Whitehurst
Colorful axon: Ellen Kim
Axon with grey roof: Chelsea Schuster
Section: Hannah Gilbertson
Black & white axons: Natalia Castilla
Colorful sketch: Sahar Al Shiabani





Campus Address



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