Department of

Interior Design


MFA in Interior Design

The Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design emphasizes formal theoretical, technical and methodological preparation for the design of interior spaces. It requires a minimum of 60 graduate credits, made up of variable topics courses on human factors, design methods and experimental interior design studio. It also includes a research methods course, teaching practicum and general art and design seminar. The degree culminates in a thesis-exhibition or thesis. The thesis-exhibition option is normally composed of a major design work, a substantial MFA exhibit and a written component. The written element describes the development of the candidate’s work, addressing such issues as its objectives, theoretical context, and its historical, cultural and other points of reference.

The thesis option involves completion of an original research contribution to the field of interior design. To satisfy the requirements of the MFA, the thesis effort should involve an element of design problem solving in the form of a visual product. The MFA degree is considered a terminal degree in the field of interior design. As such, graduate students selecting this program are expected to develop proficiency in visual communications, design theory, space planning and other significant aspects of the field.

Anyone applying to the MFA in Interior Design graduate program must meet the following requirements (PDF) in addition to the minimum general requirements of the Iowa State University Graduate College. Download a list of course requirements and options for the MFA in Interior Design.


For more information on our graduate program in Interior Design, please contact:
Meredith Foley, Graduate Recruitment Coordinator
Diane Al Shihabi, Director of Graduate Education

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