Study Interior Architecture & Design in Boston

Interior designers use their talents and expertise to transform and enhance society. In our Master of Arts in Interior Architecture (formerly titled Interior Design) graduate program, you’ll gain the knowledge, skills and passion for interior design that let you influence the way we live our lives – at home, in the office and in our public spaces. Innovation and creative problem-solving, an understanding of human behavior, attention to the rule of law, the protection of natural resources– they all play a role in the work of the interior architect.

The School of Art & Design's undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Our Master of Arts in Interior Architecture program is accredited as a Professional Level Program by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the national accrediting body for post-secondary interior design programs. Student Achievement Data

Interior Architecture Graduate Program Objectives

The Master of Arts in Interior Architecture will provide you with a comprehensive knowledge of design theory and history, communication and design skills, sustainable and socially-conscious design, lighting and furniture design, code adherence and professional practices. You’ll also develop fluency in the use of 2 and 3-dimensional design software and computer hardware, essential tools for the contemporary designer.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the master’s degree must complete a course of study consisting of 30 credits.

All graduate students should be aware that the specific courses for which they are permitted to register in any given semester will depend on prior art background, transfer/waived credits, prerequisite requirements, and course scheduling. Therefore, it may not be possible for a student who wishes to take a full course load to do so.

The letter "S" preceding a course number indicates a studio course. A studio fee is assessed for all studio courses.


Degree Requirements: 10 courses, 30 credits

  • ADI-700 Interior Design Graduate Internship

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S202 OR S602 AND ADI S303 OR S603

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    With the assistance of the faculty advisor, each student will identify an appropriate internship site with a local interior design firm. All interns are required to complete 150 hours of work/study within the semester, working a minimum of 8 hours per week under the direction of a qualified Interior Designer. Interns are expected to contribute to the host firm at a high level of design interaction. All interns will meet bi-weekly with the faculty advisor. The classroom seminars will reinforce new skills, share learning experiences, and answer questions or concerns. A firm site visit, production of firm profile, and participation in a professional organization are required within the seminar.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Expanded Classroom Requirement

  • ADI-S772 Construction Documents

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S110 or ADI S510, ADI S201 or ADI S601

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Building on the curriculum of Orthogonal Drawing, this course will explore in more detail the features of CAD and BIM software. Programs will be used as tools to draft, organize, and produce a set of construction documents. Students will complete a full set of contract documents.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-784 Interiors Marketing & Contracts

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S201 or ADI S601 Intended for majors only

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will cover the business aspects of interior design, including management, client, and contractor relationships, project management, proposal writing, and market resourcing. In addition, students will be exposed to career planning practices, such as portfolio development, resume preparation, and interviewing techniques. Tour of architectural and interior design firms will also be included.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-835 History & Theory of Interior Architecture

    Prerequisites:

    ADI 621 OR ADI 221 AND ADI 222 OR ADI 622

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Much like the history of art, the history of interior design encompasses numerous styles, movements, and individual artistic contributions. It also reflects the influence of international, political, and social developments. A basic understanding of this history is important for the professional designer who often looks to the past for inspiration. This class will involve a study of historical interiors, styles and theory from several different viewpoints, examining their inherent qualities and contributions in order to better understand what constitutes a sense of place in the interior. Beginning with the Shaker movement and proceeding through the 20th century, the class will look at specific buildings, styles, movements, products, and materials that came to influence the interior space. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADI-840 Thesis Research

    Prerequisites:

    ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772; Open to graduate students only

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Students are expected to identify a thesis topic, conduct research, interpret it abstractly, identify an appropriate design vehicle that will prove the thesis, program the project, select a site, and begin pre-schematic design. The course is conducted in seminar format and is dedicated to self-directed independent research. Students learn research techniques, fact finding, scholarly writing conventions, and information organization, and are exposed to philosophical arguments that attempt to establish rules of language regarding design and art. Aesthetic theory, research, abstraction and programming are addressed as the basis for design. During class discussions, close attention is given to the construction of a thesis, preparation of its argument, and its justification.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-S842 Interior Design Thesis Studio

    Prerequisites:

    Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772;ADI 840

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The NESADSU MAID thesis follows completion of Thesis Research (ADI 840) and comprises an independent project executed by each student working with a team of advisors. Realization of the thesis project includes schematic design to detailing and must demonstrate the student's understanding of the historical, technological and aesthetic parameters of interior design. The final thesis project is comprised of an interior design project and a written statement. Students must demonstrate independence in relationship to their own design process and ability to realize an interior design project. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

  • ADI-844 Thesis Documentation

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S842 Open to graduate students only

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course represents the final phase of the thesis process and constitutes the conclusion of the Master's program sequence. Having defined the design problem, and completed the research and design portions, the student will then document the project in written and visual form. The components will include construction documents and specifications, as well as a book in which the thesis proposal and results are composed in both text and images. The MAID thesis document serves as an exposition of the process and nature of the thesis program and ultimately serves as a resource of interior design research for the greater design community. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring


Professional Tracks (3 courses, 9 credits)

Prior to enrollment in Thesis Research (ADI-840), master's candidates must choose one of the following professional tracks:


Healthcare/Institutional Track

  • ADI-S810 Advanced Lighting Design Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S201 OR S601, ADI S202 OR S602, ADI S303 OR S603 AND ADI 254 or ADI 654, Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Advanced Lighting Design Studio applies technical and creative theories about lighting design. The class will look at natural and artificial systems of light and the ways in which they impact the experience of inner space. Specifically, color, lamp source, measurement methods, and control will be addressed. Lighting will be explored as an extension of aesthetic intent. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADI-S837 Sustainable Design

    Prerequisites:

    TAKE ADI-S602, ADI-642, ADI-S603, ADI-S604, ADI-S605 ADI-652 AND ADI-S772;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The design community, along with society as a whole, has become aware that a new, more bio-friendly approach to design must be taken if we are to stop polluting our earth, wasting energy and resources, and jeopardizing our own health and that of other species. Design firms are therefore being looked to for expertise in these areas, and educated designers must be conversant with both the design strategies and building technologies associated with environmentally responsible structures and spaces. This studio course is designed to acquaint students with the implementation strategies for such design, through a series of lectures, case studies, and projects.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADI-S820 Advanced Materials & Methods Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI 242/642, ADI 244/644, ADI S303/S603, ADI S305/S605, and ADI 352/652. Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772; Open to graduate students only.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This studio provides students with a more sophisticated understanding of structural and constructional issues and their impact on the design and planning of interior environments. The studio studies the influence of choices of materials on methods of construction and detailing, requiring students to identify and resolve construction-related issues by putting together a set of detailed construction drawings. Students sketch and analyze the works of prominent designers, and conduct precedent and market research to locate and specify materials, products, and technical information. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term


Commercial Track

  • ADI-S810 Advanced Lighting Design Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S201 OR S601, ADI S202 OR S602, ADI S303 OR S603 AND ADI 254 or ADI 654, Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Advanced Lighting Design Studio applies technical and creative theories about lighting design. The class will look at natural and artificial systems of light and the ways in which they impact the experience of inner space. Specifically, color, lamp source, measurement methods, and control will be addressed. Lighting will be explored as an extension of aesthetic intent. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADI-S815 Human Factors & Universal Design

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S202 or ADI S602 and ADI 242 or ADI 642 and ADI S303 or ADI S603 and ADI S304 or ADI S604 and ADI S305 or ADI S605 and ADI 352 or ADI 652. Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772; Open to graduate students only

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The physiology and psychology of the client/user is one of the main factors influencing the design of the environment. This studio will present design problems that explore issues of ergonomics and proxemics as they apply to interior design. Universal design, design that creates accessibility, will be the context for the studio design problem(s). Discussions will cover the following: interaction of environment and the user's culture, genre, stage of life cycle, and physical capabilities. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADI-S820 Advanced Materials & Methods Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI 242/642, ADI 244/644, ADI S303/S603, ADI S305/S605, and ADI 352/652. Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772; Open to graduate students only.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This studio provides students with a more sophisticated understanding of structural and constructional issues and their impact on the design and planning of interior environments. The studio studies the influence of choices of materials on methods of construction and detailing, requiring students to identify and resolve construction-related issues by putting together a set of detailed construction drawings. Students sketch and analyze the works of prominent designers, and conduct precedent and market research to locate and specify materials, products, and technical information. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term


Hospitality/Retail Track

  • ADI-S810 Advanced Lighting Design Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S201 OR S601, ADI S202 OR S602, ADI S303 OR S603 AND ADI 254 or ADI 654, Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Advanced Lighting Design Studio applies technical and creative theories about lighting design. The class will look at natural and artificial systems of light and the ways in which they impact the experience of inner space. Specifically, color, lamp source, measurement methods, and control will be addressed. Lighting will be explored as an extension of aesthetic intent. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADI-S825 History & Style Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI 221/621, ADI 222/622, ADI S303/S603, and ADI S305/S605. Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772; Open to graduate students only.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Interior design does not exist in a vacuum, but is embodied in the historical agenda of its time. In History & Style Studio, we will explore the catalysts of style and design throughout particular periods of modern design history and will analyze those movements' influences through readings, discussions, slide lectures, films, and design projects. Projects dealing with residential, hospitality, and retail environments as well as the purely conceptual, will deal with stylistic and influential issues and solutions and will draw on precedents of style for inspiration. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Summer

  • ADI-S866 Environmental Graphic Design Studio

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    A cross disciplinary course bringing together interior design students and graphic design students at the graduate level to collaborate on problem solving in the visual and built environments. In the studio, students will be exposed to design issues and problems, both experiential and graphic. Students will be working in teams bringing new insight to solutions for a variety of client/project types. Field trips to fabricators, professional firms and EGD sites will be included. This is a survey class designed to introduce students to ways of producing three dimensional graphic design projects within the built environment.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term


Residential Track

  • ADI-S810 Advanced Lighting Design Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S201 OR S601, ADI S202 OR S602, ADI S303 OR S603 AND ADI 254 or ADI 654, Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Advanced Lighting Design Studio applies technical and creative theories about lighting design. The class will look at natural and artificial systems of light and the ways in which they impact the experience of inner space. Specifically, color, lamp source, measurement methods, and control will be addressed. Lighting will be explored as an extension of aesthetic intent. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADI-S815 Human Factors & Universal Design

    Prerequisites:

    ADI S202 or ADI S602 and ADI 242 or ADI 642 and ADI S303 or ADI S603 and ADI S304 or ADI S604 and ADI S305 or ADI S605 and ADI 352 or ADI 652. Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772; Open to graduate students only

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The physiology and psychology of the client/user is one of the main factors influencing the design of the environment. This studio will present design problems that explore issues of ergonomics and proxemics as they apply to interior design. Universal design, design that creates accessibility, will be the context for the studio design problem(s). Discussions will cover the following: interaction of environment and the user's culture, genre, stage of life cycle, and physical capabilities. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADI-S825 History & Style Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADI 221/621, ADI 222/622, ADI S303/S603, and ADI S305/S605. Take ADI-S372 OR ADI-S772; Open to graduate students only.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Interior design does not exist in a vacuum, but is embodied in the historical agenda of its time. In History & Style Studio, we will explore the catalysts of style and design throughout particular periods of modern design history and will analyze those movements' influences through readings, discussions, slide lectures, films, and design projects. Projects dealing with residential, hospitality, and retail environments as well as the purely conceptual, will deal with stylistic and influential issues and solutions and will draw on precedents of style for inspiration. Open to graduate students only.

    Term:

    Summer

 

Thesis

The master’s program culminates in a final thesis project, based on an original idea associated with a student’s selected program track. The thesis project explores the idea through an interior architecture project that focuses on selected aspects of design theory and aesthetics. Thesis Research (ADI-840), Thesis Design (ADI-S842), and Thesis Documentation (ADI-844) are intended as the final 3 courses in the master’s program curriculum sequence. Successful completion of Thesis Research is a prerequisite for enrollment in Thesis Design and successful completion of this course is a prerequisite for Thesis Documentation.

    Portfolio Review

    Master's candidates who need to complete Foundation Studies or foundational interior design coursework will be subject to the same policies regarding regularly scheduled portfolio reviews as undergraduate students.

    Applicants Without an Undergraduate Arts Degree

    Applicants possessing undergraduate degrees in the visual arts (other than interior design) can often be exempted from the Foundation Studies Program (32 credits), thus leaving 35 credits of foundational interior design coursework and 30 credits of graduate study (700-level or higher) to complete.

    Applicants possessing undergraduate degrees in a field of study unrelated to the visual arts will generally be required to complete 70 credits of Foundation Studies and foundational interior design courses, as well as 30 graduate credits (700-level or higher).

    Please refer to the Preparatory Pathways tab for further course information.

    Admission Requirements

    Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for admission in the fall or spring. You may study full- or part-time. Merit-based scholarships and other forms of financial aid are available.

    Admission Requirements

    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
    • International applicants: Successful completion of the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-Academic
    • Portfolio (12-15 pieces of recent original artwork) submitted online via Slideroom.com

    For full details, please visit Graduate Admission

    Gateway Summer Program

    Build your admission portfolio with our 10-week intensive summer program.

    Careers

    Your Professional Success is Important to Us

    For over 85 years, the New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University has prepared its graduates for success as professional artists and designers. Our alumni have worked around the globe in an impressive array of roles– exhibiting work in New York galleries, hosting design shows for HGTV, illustrating books or designing for the NBA and the NHL. We’re proud of what our alumni have achieved, and what they continue to accomplish as members of the Suffolk community. And most would agree that it’s the training that began early on in their academic careers that has fueled their professional success.

    Our MA in Interior Architecture program prepares students for a range of employment options within the interior design profession, including commercial, residential, institutional, retail and hospitality design. Some choose to start their own business, while others work for architectural firms or as in-house designers for companies and institutions. Regardless of their professional path, the training they received at Suffolk is recognized as some of the strongest around. For the past two years, our BFA and MA programs have been ranked in DesignIntelligence’s top 10 list of America’s best architecture & design schools. Each program was assessed by practitioners from leading national firms who have direct experience in hiring and evaluating the performance of recent design graduates. This national recognition not only reinforces our students’ exceptional training, but it means that your Suffolk degree carries weight in the national design community.