Chatham University

Interior Architecture (MIA) Curriculum

The Master of Interior Architecture is a Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredited first professional interior design program consisting of 72 semester credits. This degree is for students with an undergraduate degree in a field other than interior design or architecture. The curriculum includes foundation courses in interior architecture a dynamic studio sequence, an internship, and a capstone studio. The Master of Interior Architecture prepares students for practice in an interior design or architecture firm.

Interior Architecture Program Mission

The Mission of the Interior Architecture Program at Chatham University is to prepare its students to excel in the profession of Interior Design, to be engaged stewards of the environment, and to provide lasting contributions to global society. Central to this mission is a holistic, evidence-based program that integrates knowledge and appreciation of architectural and design theory with ethical, responsible, and entrepreneurial practice.

Interior Architecture Program Goals

  1. To accept a sustainable approach to interior design and make “green design” a minimal standard and not a trend.
  2. To transform students into critical thinking professionals who see inquiry as the norm.
  3. To prepare students to identify, research, and solve design challenges with a logical methodology while promoting creative solutions and applied spontaneity.
  4. To provide pathways and opportunities for applied research.
  5. To produce professionals able to present their ideas with authority by drawing on their education, a strong design vocabulary and professional communication skills.
  6. To train globally-conscious interior design professionals with consideration for the responsibility and outcomes of design and the needs of all user groups.

Interior Architecture Program Philosophy Statement

The philosophy of the Interior Architecture program at Chatham University is fundamentally founded in responsibility for the outcome of design and global public service. The Interior Architecture program believes in evidence-based design and ethnography, an approach to analyzing user needs by studying the user, their practices, and artifacts in the context of their existing interior environment.

With a curriculum that balances spontaneity and creativity with the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary to meet practical concerns, our graduates are prepared to excel in the profession of interior design. Our students must be able to solve design challenges, communicate, and present their solutions with authority, a strong design vocabulary, and professional communication skills.

We believe it is our responsibility to train engaged stewards of the environment, globally conscious interior design professionals with consideration for the responsibility and outcomes of design and the needs of all user groups.

Program Highlights

A holistic design approach is stressed throughout the two-year program. Students are encouraged to consider all factors that influence the design of interior spaces from human behavior, aesthetics, and building technology to the views from windows and doors that penetrate the surrounding architecture. Specifically, the curriculum focuses on the design of residential and commercial spaces – how space is organized, developed three-dimensionally, finished with materials and color, lit, furnished, and designed to incorporate user needs and building codes.

Program Requirements