Program details

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interior Design program prepares students to become skilled professionals in research and practice as well as to engage in teaching. It emphasizes formal theoretical, technical and methodological preparation for the design of interior spaces.


The MFA in Interior Design requires a minimum of 60 graduate credits, made up of variable topic courses on design research methods, human-centered design, and experimental and interdisciplinary studios. It also includes seminars in Advanced Studies in Interior Design and electives in a student’s area of specialization, and may include a teaching practicum. The program concludes with the successful completion of a public defense of the student’s master’s thesis work and public exhibition of the creative component.

Iowa State’s Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Recent Student Work

Application requirements

Anyone applying for admission to the Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design program must complete the Iowa State University Graduate College online application. As part of the application, you will be asked to provide:

  • Official academic transcripts indicating a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and a minimum 3.0/4.0 GPA
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals from your educational or professional background who can most directly speak about your ability to complete graduate level course work and teaching duties
    • You will be asked within the application to provide the names and email addresses for your three references; when you submit the application, the three individuals will receive an email notification from ISU Admissions with a link to the recommendation form
  • A statement of academic and personal interest including your career goals and reasons for applying for the program (500 word maximum)
  • Digital portfolio (PDF or website), including examples of your creative work
  • A resume or CV
  • English Proficiency Exam (international applicants only)
  • Financial statement (international applicants only)

Consideration date

The priority application submission date is February 1 for priority admission consideration and for graduate assistantship consideration.

Interior design student working on project blueprints.

A Designer in the Making

Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.