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Washington State University Factsheets

Master of Arts in Interior Design

Faculty working with Students: 23
Students: 6
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 16.67%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall January 10
Campus:
  • Pullman: Yes
Tests required:
  • 7.0 IELTS Minimum score
  • 550 TOEFL Minimum score
  • 80 TOEFLI Minimum score

Degree Description:

The philosophy of the Interior Design program is based on a concern for human beings and the creation of interior settings that support human activities and values. Graduates of the program at Washington State University’s School of Design and Construction should be able to think clearly and creatively and to solve problems in a professionally competent manner. Above all, an interior design education will help the student to develop intellectual curiosity, which allows the graduate to continue to develop as a person and as a designer throughout life.

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Interior Design (M.A.), students are able to analyze information and relationships, evaluate issues and set priorities while generating creative design solutions for projects of a complex scale. Graduates have the ability to take initiative, make critical judgments of their own work and that of others, and contribute to the overall well-being of people as they interact with interior environments.

The M.A. combines studio design experience with qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to further understanding and increase awareness of the interface between human behavior and interior environments. The degree also builds on the studio design experience to expand students’ understanding of the theoretical and analytical frameworks applicable to the pursuit of discovery in the field.

Students pursuing a post professional graduate degree (2-year program) will complete a written thesis, while students pursuing the 1-year program or the first professional graduate degree (3-year program) will complete a research project.

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the Master of Arts in Interior Design program is made during the spring semester with initial coursework beginning the following summer term or fall semester, depending on the track. All applicants must submit required materials by January 10, to both the Graduate School and the MA Interior Design program. Electronic notification of acceptance will take place by March 15.

The following documents are required for submission to the Graduate School:
1. Online application and application fee
2. Official transcripts (unofficial accepted for evaluation)
3. Contact information for three academic /professional references
4. English language proficiency scores and financial verification (if applicable)
5. GRE scores are NOT required for this program.

The following materials are required for submission to the interior design program:
1. Statement of Program Intentions
2. Portfolio of design work
3. Scanned copy of transcripts and test scores (if applicable)

Additional pplication information is available in our program handbook: http://sdc.wsu.edu/interior-design/program-info/master-of-arts/

Student Learning Outcomes:

All graduates will be able to:

  1.  To prepare graduates to pursue careers as interior design educators, directors of interior design research, and/or practitioners of interior design.
    •  Provide students with opportunities to explore advanced design theories, problem-solving techniques, methodologies, and individual research and design applications.
    •  Provide students with opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange.
    •  Provide students with effective mentoring.
    •  Provide a variety of experiences designed to help students develop as practitioners in their fields, such as teaching or research assistantships, internships, or other employment that utilizes or improves on professional skills
    •  Provide a variety of experiences designed to help students develop as scholars in their academic fields, including participation in conferences, workshops, or short courses and formal presentations, such as invited talks, posters, technical reports and  publications.
    •  Encourage students to join appropriate professional organizations and take active roles in these organizations.
    •  Provide guidance to students in developing a strong ethical sense related to research and practice in their professions.
  2.  To contribute to and advance the body of knowledge pertaining to interior design and the built environment.
    •  Asking research questions that are relevant to the field of interior design.
    •  Reading and reviewing the literature in an area of study in such a way that reveals a comprehensive understanding of and a critical perspective toward the literature.
    •  Demonstrating a mastery of research and a variety of methodologies appropriate to inquiry in the field.
    •  Successfully mastering and applying professional communication skills and appropriate style guidelines.
    •  Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data in a way that adds to the understanding of the field of study.
    •  Applying a critical perspective to their own research and to that of others, noting strengths and weaknesses of the research.
  3.  To establish a graduate program that achieves national and international visibility.
    • Attracting, securing, and retaining high-quality students.
    • Graduating students who are satisfied with the professional preparation they have received.
    • Graduating students who attain licenses or other appropriate forms of credentialing.
    • Graduating full-students in a timely manner.
    • Developing and maintaining a graduate faculty who:
      • Actively contribute to knowledge production in their fields through publications and oral presentations.
      • Participate in service to the department, the university, and the profession.
      • Propose and attain funding related to research, teaching, and service.

Student Opportunities:

Internships; study abraod; study tours; lectures; workshops; academic and professional competitions; exhibitions; symposia; research; teaching assistantships; digital fabrication; integrated and interdisciplinary courses and experiences.

Career Opportunities:

Graduates of this program are prepared for successful careers as interior design practitioners, educators, and researchers.

Career Placements:

Employment placement rate is over 90% in a variety of settings, such as:

Acrylicize – North American Director
MPLUS Interior Design Company Limited (Macau) / Co-Founder
The Design COLLECTIVE – Interior Design Intern
CSHQA – Project Manager
GDC Technics – Aircraft Interior Designer
5ive Creative – Designer
Rice Fergus Miller – Principal
Krause Interior Architecture – Interior Designer
HPM Building Supply – Home Planning Program Manager
Designology- Owner/Designer
VM Store Planning at REI – Senior Project Manager
NELSON – Interior Designer
Integrus Architecture – Interior Designer
California State University – Assistant Professor Program Coordinator, Interior Design
NBBJ – Interior Designer
Bernardo Wills Architects – Interior Designer
NK Architects – Project Architect

Faculty Members:

Abell, John H, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Integrative architectural design, interdisciplinary urban design and critical theory particularly as these intersect with aesthetic experience, material craft and advanced design theories

Al-Hassawi, Omar, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Omar’s Ph.D. research focuses on passive cooling systems that can be applied to building design by architects prior to considering the implementation of active mechanical systems.

Anderson, Anne, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Austin, Steve, JD

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Cherf, Rick, M.S.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Planning, scheduling, project management, construction methods, construction productivity, project controls, specifications, contracts, leadership and organizational management.

Cohen, Matthew, M.Arch.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Subtle and complex proportional systems embedded in the 15th century buildings in Florence designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the originator of Renaissance architecture.

Day, Julia

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Ghandi, Mona, M.Arch.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Griechen, Darrin, M.Arch.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Gruen, Jason, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Gunderson, David E, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

International construction management and construction culture, affordable housing, construction contract selection, construction education and training.

Hirzel, Paul Frederick, M.Arch.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Landscape significance in architecture, inclusion/recognition of the “outside condition” in the building design solution.

Kaytes, Jolie B, M.L.A.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Kessler, Gregory A, M.Arch.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

The role of myth and architecture, the tradition of paradise and idealized environments in Islamic architecture, phenomenal human experiences between architecture and the landscape

Kirk, William Max, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Cognitive processes in leadership in construction.

Krikac, Robert J, M.S.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

The integration of history, theory and research with the practice of interior design, sketching as thinking, interdisciplinary design and issues related to the design of commercial offices.

Miyasaka, Taiji, M.Arch.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Sustainable design and construction,
solar and renewable technologies
applied to buildings and communities,
building thermal control and building
systems design, energy and fossil fuel use and the transition to more renewable methods of producing energy.

Peschel, Jason B, M.B.A.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Rahmani, Ayad B, M.Arch.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

The intersection between critical theory and architecture with recent inquiry into the areas of global urban development and parametric productions.

Sanchez, Michael

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Theodorson, Judith Ann, M.Arch.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

High performance buildings and interiors focused on daylighting design, field research around human aspects of environmental conditions, and issues of design and health, conceptualization and communication of light through design processes, studio pedagogy.

Vielle, Carrie, M.A.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Vielle’s research interests include museology, curatorial issues, and exhibition design – her current focus explores issues of visitor engagement and protecting viewer experience in memorial museums.

Wang, David, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Contact Information:

Julie Miller
PO Box 642220
Carpenter Hall 518
Pullman, WA 99164-2220
(509) 335-4118
Matt Melcher
PO Box 642220
Carpenter Hall 520
Pullman, WA 99164-2220