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Washington State University Factsheets

Master of Arts in Interior Design

Faculty working with Students: 30
Students: 4
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 50%
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 Master of Arts in Interior Design (M.A.I.D.) is a terminal professional degree which prepares the graduate to enter professional practice and take NCIDQ exam; to pursue career paths in research and higher education; and to matriculate into a Ph.D program. 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. We are focused on how design excellence and innovation can tackle issues surrounding the human condition in the built environmental, especially around health and well-being and environmental stewardship. Additionally, we are deeply interested in how qualities of spatial design impact human experience and performance. The degree offers two tracks for completion (non-thesis project or thesis):

The Non-Thesis Project Track combines studio experiences with qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to further the understanding and increase awareness of the interface between human behavior and interior environments. Students undertake a design-research project, developing creative, theoretical, and/or analytical frameworks in the pursuit of discoveries that solve design problems.

  • 1 year (summer + 2 semesters): This is the 4+1 articulation path for WSU Bachelor of Interior Design students. Student must successfully complete two required graduate courses in Spring semester of their senior year.
  • 2 year (4 semesters): For students with design degree subject to review of a portfolio.
  • 3 year (summer + 6 semesters): For students without a professional interior design undergraduate degree.

The Thesis Track focuses on developing and executing an applied or theoretical research investigation which contributes to the interior design body of knowledge. Students should align research interests with faculty expertise. Students on this track are well prepared to enter the Individual Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program (IIDP). To learn more go to the IIDP website.

  • 2 year (4 semesters): For students that hold a degree in interior design degree or closely related discipline.

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 interest and intent (500 words)
2. Link to digital portfolio of creative work (no more than 10 pages).
3. Writing Sample
3. Scanned copies of transcripts and test scores (if applicable)

*4+1 Applicants will apply directly to the Interior Design program in early December with notification given by Dec. 15. An interview is required but the portfolio requirement is waived.

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:

Interior Design graduate students are leaders in the School of Design and Construction (SDC), regularly serving as highly valued teaching and research assistants. Interior Design and Architecture share core graduate coursework and a yearly international study tour. The student experience is enriched by interdisciplinary activities within the SDC such as lectures, exhibits, study tours, study abroad, design competitions, internships, and integrated studios, all which allow for educational and professional engagement on the local, regional, national, and international levels.

The Interior Design program supports dissemination of design-research in academic venues and competitions. In recent years, both thesis and non-thesis graduate student work has been peer-reviewed and invited for presentation at the following conferences: Academy of Neuroscience in Architecture (ANFA), European Architectural Envisioning Association (EAEA), Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC), and Western States Public Health Association. Additionally, creative accomplishments have been recognized by Retail Design Institute, Wiley, and IDEC.

Career Opportunities:

Graduates of this program are prepared for successful careers as interior designers, interior architects, project managers, educators, researchers, and industry representatives.

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
WSU – Research and Teaching Faculty
University of New Haven – Faculty

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, Ph.D.

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

Research Interests

Improving construction coordination efforts through the use of building information modeling (BIM) and emerging collaboration technologies.

Austin, Steve, JD

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Utilizing landscape architecture to increase environmental and community resilience as well as social justice.

Call, Steven, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Facilities workforce planning and education.

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, Ph.D.

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, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

The intersection of occupant education, behaviors, and energy use in high-performance buildings.

Ghandi, Mona, M.Arch.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Exploring and elaborating on the concept of “Smart Architecture” through computational design while implementing data-driven design processes, parametric design, media technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, and advanced digital fabrication technologies.

Gruen, Phil, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

American architecture and urbanism of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries; interdisciplinary methods of the cultural landscape emphasizing interpretation, story, and narrative; historic preservation; buildings and landscapes of the WSU campus.

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

Research Interests

How landscapes are represented, bridge art and science, and contemplate the importance of place.

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.

Kraszewska, Katherine, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Innovative, low impact development practices and policy as a means towards sustainable stormwater management.

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.

Melcher, Matt, M.Arch

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

Research Interests

Contemporary issues shaping the design of housing.

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

Research Interests

Preconstruction services; conceptual cost estimating, value engineering, constructability review and bid solicitation.

Pulay, Alana, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

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

Research Interests

Learning environments.

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

Research Interests

The art and science of drawing and representation and how designers use these techniques to acquire knowledge, explore a dynamic world and create meaningful places.

Shrestha, Kishor, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Innovative Contracting Method – Performance-Based Contracting (PBC), Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), Construction/Highway Safety, and Benchmarking of Construction/Maintenance Methods.

Smith, Ryan, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Building technology, building science, and building production.

Tafazzoli, Tommy, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Sustainability, safety, project administration, and machine learning in the construction industry.

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.

Vahdat, Vahid, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

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

Research Interests

Theory and history of modern architecture and urban space, with an emphasis on non-Western experiences of modernity.

Vielle, Carrie, M.A.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Museology, curatorial issues, and exhibition design; issues of visitor engagement and protecting viewer experience in memorial museums.

Wang, David, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Architectural theory and research methods.

Contact Information:

Jaime Rice
PO Box 642220
Carpenter Hall 514
Pullman, WA 99164-2220
509-335-5318
509-335-6132