Interior Architecture


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

Our mission is to educate future designers on all aspects of the discipline so that they contribute to and advance the field of interior design through professional projects and creative research.

Our four core goals are design excellence, creative scholarship, sense of community and identity, and outreach and engagement with Washington and beyond.

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) accredited program within Washington, D.C., and one of ten interior programs located at universities that rank in the top 63 of U.S. News and World Report's list of national research universities. Featured in House Beautiful, our program was rated one of the best in the country for Interior Architecture programs. Our program is also ranked #5 among the Best Bachelors in Interior Design on In addition, Design Intelligence ranked our program #17 in our size category for “Interior Design Schools Most Hired From by Firms” in 2018-19.

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.

Undergraduates that receive their BFA in Interior Architecture can also apply to stay at GW for one additional, consecutive year to receive their Master in Arts in Interior Architecture and receive 10% off through the Grad2Grad Program.








BECO Management’s Amy Kwak interviews Stephanie Travis, director of the interior architecture program, who talks about reviving pen and paper in a digital age.


Professor Douglas Crawford has built genAI tools into his undergraduate interior architecture courses - including Midjourney, Adobe Firefly, and Stable Diffusion. Watch the video above and read more in GW Today.

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 10th 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 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.


  • Inspiration: Nearby examples of hotels, restaurants, fashion forward retail and modern furniture stores 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: Washington, D.C. has been described as "America's Coolest City" by Forbes Magazine, thanks to its dynamic arts and culture scene, diversity, food and young population.



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. Another student was recognized as a Metropolis Future 100, which honors the top 100 graduate students in architecture and design programs in the U.S. and Canada, sponsored by Metropolis Magazine.






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. In addition to general requirements, all students complete an internship for real-world experiences.

What is the difference between interior design, interior architecture and architecture? Learn more in our handout (PDF).

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.






Dezeen Magazine

Our Interior Architecture B.F.A. students have been featured in Dezeen, an influential architecture, interiors and design magazine. See stories from 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024.

Image: The Animal Hostel by Alaina Willard

Anna Savino

Anna Savino, B.F.A. '20

Savino is passionate about both design and dance. She uses conceptual architecture as a means of exploring how a user's environment impacts their experience and, inversely, how an environment is impacted by human interaction. View Anna's senior thesis featured in the NEXT 2020 Exhibition.

Photo Credit: Chloe Brover

Caitlin MacGregor

Caitlin MacGregor, B.F.A. '21

MacGregor’s “Expose Cine” won the 2021 Juror’s Choice Award at Corcoran's annual year-end celebration of art and scholarship, NEXT. MacGregor describes her work as a “movie theater and film history museum ... designed for people of all ages so they can see parts of film history in the museum portion while also viewing new movies that could be a part of that same history someday.”




  • Smith Group Architecture and Planning, DC
  • Darryl Carter Inc., DC
  • Lisa Galano Design Consultancy, NYC
  • Christopher Boutlier, DC
  • Atelier MJK, DC
  • KSS Architects, Philadelphia
  • Paris Forino Interior Design, NYC
  • MCLA Architectural Lighting Design, DC
  • Gensler, DC
  • Studios Architecture, DC
  • Distinctive Designs by Janelle, DC
  • BKV Group, DC
  • Streetsense Design, Bethesda
  • Baskervill Architecture and Planning, DC
  • HDR Design, DC
  • CORE Architecture + Design, DC
  • //3877 Architecture + Planning, DC
  • Interior Matter Design, DC
  • Freelance Design Consultant, DC EYP Architecture and Engineering
  • Hickok Cole Architects, DC
  • OTJ Architects, DC
  • Sun Design Remodeling
  • Robin Chell Design, Seattle
  • M Design Studio, Alexandria
  • Blake Dickson Commercial Real Estate Brokerage, DC
  • DMoreno Design Freelance Designer
  • Hapstak Demetriou, DC
  • KGD Architecture, DC
  • LKK Design Co, DC
  • Zoe Feldman Design, DC


Featured Faculty:
Stephanie Travis, 
Professor & Program Head

Professors Stephanie Travis and Catherine Anderson recently published 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.



Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture
2021 Graduates

For the BFA, it typically takes a full-time student taking approximately 15 credits per semester to complete the degree within four years, focusing on Interior Architecture classes in the final 2.5 years of the program. For the MFA, it typically takes a full-time student taking 12 credits for five consecutive semesters, starting in the fall semester, to complete the degree program. This data was collected by referring to LinkedIn, to see where students were employed, as well as emailing alumni directly.

Companies Employing BFA Graduates:

  • B2 Architecture + Design
  • CallisonRTKL
  • Christie Leu Interiors
  • Darryl Carter Design
  • Gensler
  • Gronning Architects
  • Heitler Houstoun Architects
  • HKIT Architects
  • Hudson Green Craft
  • Hyphen Interior Design
  • Marvel Studios (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Michael Smith Inc.
  • M.S. Vicas Interiors
  • Shotgun Double LLC Interior Design Consulting
  • Solis Betancourt & Sherrill
  • TriMark USA

Companies Employing MFA Graduates:

  • AJC Architects
  • Amy Karyn Inc.
  • Gensler Green Business Certification Inc.
  • HapstakDemetriou
  • Hickok Cole
  • IA Interior Architects
  • OPX
  • Saltbox Architecture
  • Teranky Interiors, Design & Build


Attrition and Retention

BFA: 87% of students admitted to the program in spring of 2019 graduated in the Spring of 2021, putting attrition at 13%

MFA:  80% of the cohort beginning the IA Program in the fall of 2019 graduated in the spring of 2021

Graduation Rates

BFA: 87% of the cohort beginning the IA program in the spring of 2019 graduated in the spring of 2021

MFA:  80% of the cohort beginning the IA Program in the fall of 2019 graduated in the spring of 2021

Degrees Awarded

May 2021:

BFA: 20
MFA: 12


Acceptance into Graduate Programs

BFA: 10% of students who graduated in 2021 applied for graduate school, and all were accepted.

Job Placement Rates

BFA:  85% of students who graduated in 2021 are employed in interior design or a related profession.
MFA:  92% of students who graduated in 2021 are employed in interior design or a related profession


The interior design program leading to the BFA in Interior Architecture and the MFA in Interior Architecture is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, 206 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW, 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 BFA in Interior Architecture and the MFA in Interior Architecture granted by the George Washington University meet the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam). For more information about exam eligibility, visit their site.






Campus Address