BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS
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.
Interior Architecture in the Community
Our studio projects take advantage of our location within a research university in the nation’s capital with interdisciplinary studies that collaborate with diverse GW departments, adaptive reuse projects positioned within historic contexts in D.C., and projects that highlight the global vision of the university.
Our design community continues to expand through the creation of ‘Design in Schools,’ an outreach program to local high schools; our annual non-profit design charette; an advisory board that links IA with design professionals; our summer study abroad program that offers courses with a focus on the history/design of dynamic cultures; and our Annual Distinguished Designer Lecture, which brings world–renowned architects and designers to GW to inspire our students and the design community.
WHY STUDY AT GW
- 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.
- Recognition: GW is the 9th highest-ranked national university that offers interior architecture.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Inspiration: Nearby examples of hotels, restaurants, fashion forward retail (Intermix) and modern furniture stores (Design within Reach) provide inspiration for our students.
- International stage: Our professors are internationally-recognized design experts who bring their unique experiences and projects into the classroom.
- 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.
- 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.
WHAT YOU'LL STUDY
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.
STUDY THE WORLD
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.
WHERE YOU'LL GO
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.
WHAT WE CREATE
Stephanie Travis, Professor & Program Head
Professors Stephanie Travis and Catherine Anderson are writing a book, 25 Concepts in Modern and Contemporary Architecture (Bloomsbury, London), focused on 25 significant buildings in modern architecture (i.e, Le Corbusier's Ronchamp, Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion, Philip Johnson's Glass House). Each chapter describes an architectural concept (such as overlapping volumes, convergence, grid organization, etc.), and then uses an architectural case study to explain how the concept is represented in that building. Although there is text to explain the concepts and describe the buildings, the focus is a visual study of the core concepts of modern architecture, as shown through drawings, diagrams and sketches.
CLASS OF 2017 ACHIEVEMENT DATA
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.
500 17th Street, NW, Room 215