Students and faculty in the MFA program engage in regional, national, and international design discourses, practices, and processes that unite interior spaces with enclosing architecture and the objects contained within them. Through IARc’s MFA program, students develop expertise in a specialized aspect of design through a combination of design studios, academic coursework, professional experience, and research activities—all culminating in a cohesive body of work that demonstrates that expertise.

Students will choose topics that align with faculty interests such as historic preservation*, interior product design, community-engaged design, or human-environment relationships. In the MFA graduate studios, students will demonstrate their competency to gather, evaluate, and apply appropriate information and evidence to solve the problem. Their design investigations will demonstrate creative thinking and originality through presentation of a variety of ideas, approaches, and concepts. Students will apply a variety of communication techniques and technologies to their projects and communicate their designs through competent drawings and models across a range of appropriate media.

Through coursework, studios, and thesis development, students will undertake advanced research investigations on topics related to architectural interiors. These investigations must align with faculty interests and connect theory with application. By the time students finish their graduate studies, they will have developed expertise on a relevant topic of interest and demonstrated that expertise through a public defense of their written thesis and public exhibit of their design work.

* The department also offers a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Historic Preservation for professionals who already have a job in the field (and are seeking further training) or people who already have a Master’s and want to gain additional skills.