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 CIDA accredited program within Washington, D.C., and one of ten interior programs located at universities that rank in the top 70 of US News and World Report's list of national research universities. Featured in House Beautiful Magazine, our program was rated one of the best in the country for Interior Architecture programs.
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.
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 Interior Architecture degree granted by George Washington University meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Exam). For more information visit NCIDQ Exam eligibility.
Undergraduates that receive their BFA in Interior Architecture can 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.
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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 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 Designers headquarters.
- 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: 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.
Ten of our Interior Architecture B.F.A. students were featured in Dezeen, an influential architecture, interiors, and design magazine. Read the full article about these talented students.
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.
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.
Anna Savino (B.F.A. ‘20) is passionate about both design and dance. She often finds herself focusing on the physicality of the human form, incorporating unique and experimental methods of choreographing movement throughout a space. 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.
Anna's senior thesis was part of the NEXT 2020 Exhibition and can be viewed here.
Photo Credit to Chloe Brover, Fine Art Photography '20
For ten years now, the Corcoran has hosted its annual year-end celebration of art and scholarship, NEXT. In 2021, Interior Architecture B.F.A. students like Caitlin MacGregor explored their cognitive and design talents with the utmost creativity. MacGregor’s “Expose Cine” won the 2021 Juror’s Choice Award. 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.”
CLASS OF 2019 ACHIEVEMENT DATA
DEGREES AWARDED IN MAY 2019
BFA Interior Architecture: 19
JOB PLACEMENT: 79% of 2019 BFA IA graduates were working in design related industries within six months.
Firms employing our 2019 BFA graduates:
- KSS Architects, Philadelphia, PA
- Paris Forino Interior Design Firm Intern, NYC
- MCLA Architectural Lighting Design, Washington, DC
- Gensler, Houston, TX
- STUDIOS Architecture, Washington, DC
- Distinctive Designs by Janelle, Washington, DC
- BKV Group, Washington, DC
- Hickok Cole, Washington, DC
- Streetsense Design, Bethesda MD
- Baskervill Architecture and Planning, Washington, DC
- HDR Design, Washington, DC
- CORE architecture + design, Washington, DC
- //3877 Architecture &Planning, Washington, DC
- Interior Matter Design, Washington, DC
RETENTION/ATTRITION RATE: 86.4% retention/13.6% attrition.
GRADUATION RATE: 86.4% of the BFA cohort beginning the IA Program in the spring of 2017 graduated in the spring of 2019.
The Interior Architecture program leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture Degree is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, www.accredit-id.org, 206 Grandville Avenue, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503.
500 17th Street, NW, Suite 130
Graduate Advisor (MA, MFA)