Master of Science in Interior Architecture and Design

Master of Science: 69.0 quarter credits

About the Program

The Master of Science program in Interior Architecture & Design at Drexel is an internationally recognized CIDA accredited First Professional MS degree that prepares students of diverse undergraduate backgrounds to become leaders in the field of interior design. Through an integrated studio approach, coursework teaches application of design concepts, technical information and hands-on skills to create a range of public, commercial, residential and institutional spaces. Students learn to transform space to address aesthetic, social, physical and psychological needs. In conjunction with the integrated studio, the program emphasizes independent research culminating in a master's thesis. The Master of Science program in Interior Architecture & Design was recently ranked 7th in the nation by DesignIntelligence, America's Best Architecture & Design Programs 2014. 

Comprised of 69.0 graduate credits, most students complete the MS Interior Architecture & Design program in two to three years, depending upon individual student backgrounds and the completion of all necessary prerequisites.

Student Background

MS Interior Architecture & Design students come to the program with undergraduate degrees in a wide variety of fields. With more than 90% of the applicants having backgrounds in a non-design related field and on average 10% being international students, the graduate student body brings rich and diverse life and cultural experiences to the Department and the College. Open mindedness and the desire and commitment to acquire knowledge through various avenues ensure that all students enrich the exchange of ideas and professional development.

Professional Opportunities

Alumni are principals of their own interior design firms, project managers in major design and architectural firms, facilities managers, and design coordinators. About one-third of the students obtain entry-level employment before graduation from the program; within five years, many hold managerial positions.

Professional exposure occurs in exchanges with practitioners through professional jurying of all major student projects. Students are also encouraged to become members of local, national, and international interior design professional organizations.

For more information, visit Drexel's Graduate Studies in Interior Architecture & Design web page.

Admission Requirements

Admission criteria for the graduate program consist of the requirements of the University for graduate admission plus satisfaction of basic interior design undergraduate coursework. These prerequisites include courses in design, drawing, and art history.

Prerequisite Undergraduate Coursework
ARTH 103History of Art: Early to Late Modern3.0
VSST 104Accelerated Design I *2.0
VSST 105Accelerated Design II *2.0
VSST 106Accelerated Design III *2.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
INTR 160Visualization I: Computer Imaging3.0
INTR 200History of Modern Architecture and Interiors3.0
INTR 220Visualization II: Orthographic3.0
INTR 231Structure4.0
INTR 232Interior Studio I4.0
INTR 241Visualization III: Digital3.0
INTR 300 [WI] Visual Culture: Interiors3.0
INTR 305 [WI] Visual Culture: Furniture3.0

*

Or VSST 101, VSST 102, VSST 103 (Design I, II, III; 12.0 credits).

The program begins in the summer term with three terms of prerequisite coursework that prepares candidates for the graduate coursework. A portfolio review or evaluation by the Associate Director of the Interior Architecture & Design program determines what prerequisites have been satisfied. Contact the Graduate Studies in Interior Architecture & Design for specific information about prerequisites or to make an appointment for review and evaluation.

For additional information on requirements and how to apply, visit Graduate Admissions at Drexel University.

Degree Requirements

The full-time graduate coursework combines seven terms of faculty-directed coursework in interior design, including a student-initiated thesis.

The 69.0 credits that make up the graduate requirement include a visual studies sequence as well as elective coursework in the following areas: interior design seminars on specific topics; advanced studies in art, art history, and interior design; and independent studies. This allows individual flexibility in curriculum design.

Required Courses
Studios
INTR 722Graduate Studio A4.0
INTR 723Studio A Seminar2.0
INTR 732Graduate Studio B4.0
INTR 733Studio B Seminar2.0
INTR 742Graduate Studio C4.0
INTR 743Studio C Seminar2.0
INTR 752Graduate Studio D4.0
INTR 753Studio D Seminar2.0
INTR 762Graduate Studio E4.0
INTR 763Studio E Seminar2.0
Visual Studies
VSST 501Contemporary Art Issues3.0
VSST 502Space/Time I3.0
IAD Seminars
INTR 861Advanced Visual Methods3.0
INTR 862Interior Systems I3.0
INTR 863Advanced Digital Methods3.0
INTR 864Material Investigations3.0
INTR 865Interior Systems II3.0
Electives9.0
Thesis
INTR 894Thesis Programming3.0
INTR 897Thesis - Development3.0
INTR 898Thesis - Documentation3.0
Comprehensive Exam
INTR 899Comp Exam for Interior Design *0.0
Graduate Review *
Total Credits69.0

*

INTR 899 consists of two components: a series of sketch problems and design competitions that must be completed during the two + graduate years and a faculty review of a portfolio presentation of a body of student-selected work.


Facilities

The interior design program is housed in the new URBN Center, a state of the art design and arts facility on Drexel’s campus. The URBN Center officially opened in September 2012. A hub for creative minds to gather, share ideas and work together to bring those ideas from the mind to the page, and into the world of tomorrow, interiors students benefit from a wide-range of resources including interior design studios, the interior design resource library, a hybrid making lab, and state-of-the-art computer laboratories. College lab equipment includes scanners, printers, plotters, laser cutters, 3-d printers, computer/video projection systems and other peripheral devices as appropriate to each major.

The URBN Annex houses a black box theater, screening room and the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery. Additional studio and classroom space in the Peck Problem Solving and Research Center and the Design Arts Annex accommodate photography, basic design, painting, sculpture and a large woodworking shop with industrial-quality equipment. The woodshop is available for use by students for three-dimensional coursework or individual projects.

Philadelphia, one of the nation's major design centers, gives interior design students the vitality of the contemporary arts at local galleries; easy access to many museums, libraries, renowned buildings, and access to the resources of The Marketplace, as well as design centers located in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Courses

INTR 722 Graduate Studio A 4.0 Credits

Focuses on a given residential environment with specific architectural identity meeting the residential space requirements of particular clients and recognition of and respect for the quality of interior architecture, volume and its ornament. Develops original approaches to furniture planning, lighting, interior elaboration, furniture, color and finish selection. Professionally juried.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 232 [Min Grade: B-]
Corequisite: INTR 723

INTR 723 Studio A Seminar 2.0 Credits

Focused study on the impact of interior architectural and decorative detailing on the interior environment through the understanding of precedent studies and ornamentation.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 232 [Min Grade: B-]
Corequisite: INTR 722

INTR 732 Graduate Studio B 4.0 Credits

Investigates the manipulation of spatial volume within the context of small-scale environments. Projects build in complexity in terms of use, tectonics and structure emphasizing concept development, iterative design process and various ways of making. Professionally juried.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 722 [Min Grade: C]
Corequisite: INTR 733

INTR 733 Studio B Seminar 2.0 Credits

Focused study in digital communication and making and its role in the design of the interior environment.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 722 [Min Grade: C]
Corequisite: INTR 732

INTR 742 Graduate Studio C 4.0 Credits

Focuses on the design of an interior with emphasis on programmatic requirements and environmental behavior leading to a synthesized and identifiable environment. Emphasizes concept, pre-design research, programming, space planning and presentation. Professionally juried.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 732 [Min Grade: C]
Corequisite: INTR 743

INTR 743 Studio C Seminar 2.0 Credits

Investigation in interior detailing and the impact it has on the identity of the interior environment. Focused study and understanding of the design attributes of materials, construction systems and use of detail as a design process and generator.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 732 [Min Grade: C]
Corequisite: INTR 742

INTR 752 Graduate Studio D 4.0 Credits

Focused on design of a mid to large scale commercial interior with emphasis on programmatic requirements, parti, adjacency diagrams and office systems. Applies a design concept based on client identity through interior planning and appropriate selection of furniture, materials and finishes consistent with contract interiors. Requires building code analysis, and demonstrated understanding of building codes. Professionally juried.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 742 [Min Grade: C]
Corequisite: INTR 753

INTR 753 Studio D Seminar 2.0 Credits

Focused study and application of building codes and construction documentation of a mid-large scale commercial interior environment.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 742 [Min Grade: C]
Corequisite: INTR 752

INTR 762 Graduate Studio E 4.0 Credits

Studio context will provide for investigative study on subjects of specific environmental concern reflective of current trends, through the study of a large scale interior environment. Professionally juried.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 752 [Min Grade: C]
Corequisite: INTR 763

INTR 763 Studio E Seminar 2.0 Credits

Focused study and analysis of professional practice covering contemporary business methods, practices, and procedures in the operation of a design firm, including legal and ethical implications.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 752 [Min Grade: C]
Corequisite: INTR 762

INTR 799 Special Topics in Interior Design 1.0-4.0 Credit

Provides current, in-depth study in the field of interior design, interdisciplinary studies, and other related areas. May be repeated for credit if topics vary.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

INTR 860 Advanced Independent Study in Interior Design 1.0-4.0 Credit

Provides advanced individual study in interior design in a specialized area. May be repeated for credit. Department permission required.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

INTR 861 Advanced Visual Methods 3.0 Credits

An advanced course in visualization focusing on hybrid representation strategies. Specialized topics in digital and hand rendering and exploration of the visual language of presentation and rendering techniques for design development and visualization of interior spaces.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

INTR 862 Interior Systems I 3.0 Credits

Focused study in environmental systems and understanding of the impact and integration between systems and the built environment.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

INTR 863 Advanced Digital Methods 3.0 Credits

Intensive focus on advanced modeling and rendering software. Lighting, materiality, form and spatial experience are explored through realistic three-dimensional digital models.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 861 [Min Grade: C]

INTR 864 Material Investigations 3.0 Credits

This course provides for investigative study of materials that shape the interior environment. Exploration of materials through application, research, codes and hands-on presentation are addressed.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is INTR.

INTR 865 Interior Systems II 3.0 Credits

Develops and deals with many dimensions of light that must be understood if natural and artificial lighting are to be incorporated in the interior design of a building. Provides a series of investigations that allow the student to predict visual effects, meet minimum sight requirements, and ensure visual comfort. Professionally juried.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 862 [Min Grade: C]

INTR 868 Presentation Seminar 3.0 Credits

Provides an opportunity for independent and investigative study in various aspects of the presentation of ideas. Encourages experimentation with fine arts media, drafting media, and digital media, with an emphasis on professionalism and craft. Professionally juried.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

INTR 869 Business Practice Seminar in Interior Design 3.0 Credits

Examines business and management issues associated with the organization and operation of a design firm. Provides an understanding of the history and organization of the interior design profession; business methods, practices, and procedures; legal and ethical obligations; and relationships with clients, related professions, and the trades.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

INTR 870 Environmental Topics in Design 3.0 Credits

Provides an opportunity for investigative study on subjects of specific environmental concern to students and faculty. May be repeated for credit if topics vary.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

INTR 872 Advanced Design Theories and Applications 3.0-4.0 Credits

Advanced exploration of design theories and applications. An emphasis is placed on the development and exploration of theoretical stances in text, projects and/or artifacts.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 2 times for 12 credits

INTR 874 Fabrication and Making 3.0-4.0 Credits

Exploration into design fabrication and making methodologies. A variety of procedures, techniques and tools are utilized to design and fabricate at full scale within the built environment.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

INTR 894 Thesis Programming 3.0 Credits

Focuses on the process of defining an appropriate thesis topic, writing a succinct proposal, research methodologies and the development of a research plan.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

INTR 897 Thesis - Development 3.0 Credits

Provides faculty guidance to enable students to identify and investigate an aspect of interior design. May include establishment of philosophical base, data collection, study of comparable or similar programs and spaces, writing of a design program, building selection and measurement, and preliminary design development. Includes professionally juried presentation.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 894 [Min Grade: C]

INTR 898 Thesis - Documentation 3.0 Credits

Allows development and refinement of design responses to the program of INTR 897 through in-depth analysis of the design problem. Involves evaluation of work on the basis of the understanding of the design process, the execution of the concept and the extent of development, and the emergence of a design character appropriate both to the student as a designer and to the resolution of the specific problem. Includes professionally juried final presentation.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: INTR 897 [Min Grade: C]

INTR 899 Comp Exam for Interior Design 0.0 Credits

Required of candidates for the M.S. degree.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

Architecture + Interiors Faculty

David Ade, AIA, BArch (Drexel University). Adjunct Associate Professor. Principal, SMP Architects.
Dr.-Ing. Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis, AIA, Dr.-Ing., (Bauhaus Universitätat Weimar) Program Director. Assistant Professor. Research on educational environments; translations of architectural theory texts. Design studios, lectures and seminar courses.
Stephen Bonitatibus, AIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Adjunct Professor. Principal, Bonitatibus Associates.
Mark Brack, PhD (University of California at Berkeley). Associate Professor. British and American architecture from 1700 to the present; Hispanic colonial architecture in the American Southwest; vernacular architecture; historic preservation.
Michael Burns, RA, BArch (Drexel University). Adjunct Associate Professor. Principal, Michael Burns Architects.
Jon Coddington, AIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania) Department Head, Department of Architecture + Interiors. Professor. Architecture, urban design and planning.
Rena Cumby, BArch, MS (Drexel University) Associate Department Head of the Department of Architecture + Interiors. Associate Professor. Interior designer; foundation studies and design education.
Eugenia Ellis, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic State University). Associate Professor. Registered architect; interior design, extended-care facilities design, research on spatial visualization, perception and imagination.
Jeff Fama, MArch (State University of New York at Buffalo). Adjunct Associate Professor. Retail, entertainment, and theater design. Graduate interiors thesis advisor.
Gary Garofalo, BS Arch Eng (Pennsylvania State University). Adjunct Assistant Professor. Principal Lighting Design Collaborative. Lighting expert. Lighting design.
Don Jones, AIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Adjunct Professor. Ewing Cole.
Nicole Koltick, MArch (University of California). Assistant Professor. Researching possibilities for architecture and design through the use of unexpected and innovative interdisciplinary models. Foundation design studios, fabrication and technology seminars.
Karin Kuenstler, MS (Bank Street College of Education and Parsons). Associate Professor. Interior designer; interior design for corporate and commercial facilities, history of corporate interiors, fiber art.
Maria Kuttruff, MS (Drexel University). Adjunct Assistant Professor. Residential interior design. Design studios.
Diana S. Nicholas, AIA, MFA (University of the Arts, Philadelphia). Assistant Teaching Professor. Principal of Switched on Design. Design studios, analog and digital visualization.
Karen Pelzer, BS (Drexel University) Associate Director of the MS in Interior Architecture and Design Program. Assistant Teaching Professor. Interior designer, hospitality design. Design studios.
Marilynne L. Rose, MS (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. NCIDQ interior designer; residential and commercial design. Design studios, lecture and seminar courses.
Debra Ruben, MS (Drexel University). Associate Professor. NCIDQ, Interior designer; residential and commercial design. Research on user participation and the design process.
Paul Salvaggio, AIA, BArch (Pennsylvania State University). Adjunct Assistant Professor. Principal, Arcus Design Group. Foundation design studios.
Joseph Scanlon, BArch (Drexel University). Adjunct Professor. Foundation design studios.
Rachel Schade, AIA, MArch. (University of Pennsylvania). Associate Teaching Professor. Principal, Schade & Bolender Architects. Work-study placement. Design studios.
Virginia Smith, MS (Drexel University). Adjunct Associate Professor. Exhibit/graphic design, interior design, interior and architectural visualization.
Erik Sundquist, MArch (Florida International University) Director of the Hybrid Making Lab of AW CoMAD. Assistant Teaching Professor. Design studios, analog and digital architectural representation and fabrication.
Feenan Susan, BArch (Temple University). Adjunct Instructor. Institutional and commercial. Design documentation and graduate thesis.
Simon Tickell, AIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Director of the Architecture Evening Program. Associate Teaching Professor. Design studios and professional practice/electives; educational and museum buildings.
Nancy Trainer, FAIA, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Adjunct Professor. Principal, Venturi Scott Brown and Associates, Architects and Planners. Design studios.
Ada Tremonte, BS (Drexel University) Associate Director of the BS Program in Interior Design. Assistant Teaching Professor. NCIDQ Interior designer, corporate/commercial design. Design studios, lecture and seminar courses.
Frank de Santis, AIA (Yale University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Design studios, analog and digital architectural representation.

Emeritus Faculty

Judith Bing, MArch (Yale University). Professor Emeritus. Design studios, lecture and seminar courses.
Sylvia Clark, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Professor Emeritus.
Paul M. Hirshorn, AIA, MArch, MCP, (University of Pennsylvania). Professor Emeritus. Design studios. Former Department Head.
Marjorie Kriebel, B.Arch (University of Pennsylvania). Professor Emeritus.
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