Interior Architecture; Male student pointing to architectural prints on the wall

Interior Architecture


Push the boundaries of design as you conceptualize three-dimensional spaces


The Corcoran's Interior Architecture (IA) Program offers students a unique opportunity to study, learn and create within a creative environment at a major research university. Our program is the only Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) program within Washington, D.C., and one of only nine interior programs located at universities that rank in the top 63 of US News and World Report's list of national research universities.


We foster a community that encourages creativity and pushes the boundaries of design with an emphasis on conceptual thinking and the design process. Through our studio-based curriculum, the core of our program, students learn to design three-dimensional environments through the use of dynamic concepts, cutting-edge materials and innovative methods and techniques.  




Why study at GW


  1. Quality of education: We are the only program in Washington, D.C. accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Programs accredited by CIDA adhere to a strict set of educational guidelines that are considered necessary to succeed in the profession.
  2. Recognition: GW is the 9th highest-ranked national university that offers interior architecture.
  3. Collaboration: GW has many diverse disciplines, creating the opportunity for cross-collaboration. Our students have worked on studio projects to design new spaces across the university, including the School of Media and Public Affairs, the Philosophy Department and the laboratories in the Biology Department.
  4. Networking: We bring in professionals from the top architecture and interior design firms in D.C. for critiques, lectures, events, and to serve on our advisory board. Activities like these help our students make connections and find jobs.
  5. Proximity: We are within minutes of significant architecture and interiors, top-notch museums and galleries, prestigious lecturers and events, the Washington Design Center, the United States Green Building Council, and the American Society of Interior Designer headquarters.
  6. Inspiration: Nearby examples of hotels, restaurants, fashion forward retail (Intermix) and modern furniture stores (Design within Reach) provide inspiration for our students.
  7. International stage: Our professors are internationally-recognized design experts who bring their unique experiences and projects into the classroom.
  8. Creative careers: With more than 75,000 jobs generating $5 billion annually in income across design, media, and other creative/artistic fields, D.C.’s creative sector is a major asset to the city’s economy.
  9. Location: In 2014, Washington, D.C. was described as "America's Coolest City" by Forbes Magazine, thanks to its dynamic arts and culture scene, diversity, food and young population.




In the IA program you’ll take a core studio and two supporting courses each semester, with topics ranging from graphics to drawing to lighting. The core studio sequence starts with Studio 1; as the studios progress, the projects, which range from residential to commercial to institutional, increase in scale and complexity. The final studio (Studio 5) is the capstone project, where each student creates and designs an individual project based on individual design interests. All students are required to complete an internship for real world experiences. You must fulfill the Columbian College general requirements along with the Interior Architecture coursework.

 COURSES IN Interior Architecture

Curriculum Map

Female student with paper model standing in front of printed designs

Flyer for copenhagen study abroad opportunity


IA students also have the chance to study abroad and explore design concepts and ideas in a variety of cultures. From locations such as Berlin, Rome, London, Paris and Copenhagen, our students and faculty travel the world finding new knowledge and creative inspiration.

Office for Study Abroad


In D.C. alone, the creative sector includes more than 75,000 jobs generating $5 billion annually in income across the design, media and other creative/artistic fields, with career possibilities always growing. Graduates of the BFA program have gone on to jobs at Waldo's Designs, Deborah Berke Partners, Mark Cunningham Inc., Freelance Space Planning & Design, Washington Workplace as well as starting their own practices.

Use Career Services

Graduate Outcomes

architectural rendering


What we create



virtual architectural rendering

Daniel McKenzie (M.F.A., '19)

Dani's project for NEXT 2019, entitled The Cherry Tree, is a botanical shop and bistro based in the historic Georgetown Market Building.

At this venue, visitors can purchase fresh flowers in the flower shop or observe botanists as they create one of a kind bouquets and botanical installations. Visitors can also enjoy a meal or drink in an intimate bistro setting. The different aspects of the venue are tied together by architectural elements which are inspired by nature. 

virtual architectural rendering

Ellen Kim (B.F.A., '19) 

Noticing the increased integration of human interaction and technology, Ellen noticed social connections are becoming altered.  

In her project, entitled The Social Collective , Ellen explores human-to-human connection by creating a community and exhibition center located in Anacostia Park.  Ellen hopes that her project will showcase the importance of fostering a community through art and collaboration within the DC area.  




Beatrice Fischel-Bock (Interior Architecture, BA 2013), along with Elizabeth Grover and Madeline Fraser (Interior Architecture, BA 2013 and BA 2014 respectively), started their own interior design firm, Hutch, after meeting in GW’s Interior Architecture program.

Hutch is an online platform and mobile app that mixes 3D technology with online shopping to help users design their space.

Featured in Shark Tank in 2015, Fischel-Bock was named in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2018.

View Interior Architecture Class of 2018 Yearbook




91% of 2017 BFA IA graduates were working in design related industries or enrolled in graduate programs within six months.

JOB PLACEMENT: 73% of BFA 2017 graduates were employed in design related industries within six months.

Firms employing our 2017 BFA graduates:

  • Leo A Daly, Washington, D.C.
  • Tracy Morris Design, LLC, Mclean, VA
  • Zoe Feldman Design, Washington, D.C.
  • Simeone Dreary Design Group, Chicago, IL
  • Windle & Goodman, LLC, Washington, D.C.
  • Atelier MJK, Washington, D.C.
  • Kelley Proxmire, Inc., Bethesda, MD
  • J. Lambeth, Washington, D.C.

ACCEPTANCE INTO GRADUATE PROGRAMS: 18% of 2017 BFA graduates were accepted and enrolled in graduate programs within six months after graduation. 100% of those who applied to graduate school were accepted.


Educational Institutions attended by 2017 BFA Graduates:

  • University of Southern California (Master of Architecture)
  • California College of the Arts (MFA Industrial/Interaction Design)


ATTRITION/RETENTION: 92% retention (Calculated from second semester sophomore year, spring 2015, to graduation in the spring of 2017.)

GRADUATION: 85% of the cohort beginning in the fall 2015 graduated in the spring of 2017.


Flagg Building
500 17th Street, NW, Suite 130
[email protected]

Program Administrator
Liz Meitner
[email protected]

Program Head
Stephanie Travis
[email protected]

Undergraduate Advisor
Nadia Volchansky
[email protected]