Master of Interior Design

Master of Interior Design

While the traditional tools of interior design remain essential, designers now also utilize more computer-aided technology, serve more-diverse applications, and focus on sustainability and socially responsible choices more than ever before. Earning a graduate-level degree enables a more-advanced level of practice for interior designers looking to best serve the demands of the global community.

Harrington College of Design’s Master of Interior Design program, created for students who completed their bachelor’s degree in interior design, emphasizes the application of evidence-based research to individualized design specialties. The program includes core courses in interior design theory and research methods as well as studio-based courses in which theory and method are integrated through application in project-based work. (Students with an undergraduate degree in a field unrelated to interior design may consider Harrington's Master of Arts in Interior Design Program.)

Acceptance into the MID program requires a Bachelor’s/BFA in Interior Design

Harrington's Master of Interior Design degree program combines thesis investigation and advanced coursework. The curriculum is designed to help students develop a specialized area of knowledge and application, demonstrated in the thesis project. Graduates will be expected to:

  • Solve advanced problems in the interior built environment by applying the theory and methods of design to a chosen specialized field.
  • Demonstrate a depth of “market knowledge” of an interior environment or project type sufficient to lead design professionals and users in the programming effort for that project type.
  • Collaborate with others both inside and outside of the interior design field to apply a diverse range of knowledge, skills and points of view to the solution of interior design problems.
  • Apply third-party research effectively and appropriately in the solution of interior design problems, and understand the role of evidence-based research.
  • Model a user-centered view of interior design problems through integration of research and collaborative methods.
  • Propose design solutions that can be demonstrated to sustain natural resources and create healthy and safe interior environments.
  • Integrate current digital technology in the programming, design and presentation of interior environments.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the business, entrepreneurial, government and not-for-profit contexts of design decision-making.

Courses in Harrington's Master of Interior Design focus on areas of theory, method, integration and practicum, culminating in the thesis. For example:

  • In Theory I: Ecology of Design, students are introduced to the paradigm of organizational ecology as the framework within which design decisions are made and the designer’s activities are carried out. The history of human organizations, from the clan and tribe to the contemporary commercial client, is studied in the context of design trends and solutions. Principles for designing within the ecological framework will be examined and tested through reading and discussion.
  • In Methods II: Media and Communication, emergent new media design methods will be examined in a broad context of evolving cultural, technological, sociological and scientific developments. Students will have the opportunity to develop collective and personal communication skills to convey complex ideas in the built environment and apply methods for crafting the message, presentation techniques and personal Web communication. The course will address marketing and public relations for design firms as an extension of the designer’s voice.
  • In Advanced Studio II: Specialization Studio, students continue in the collaborative studio environment, broadening the resources of the studio to include knowledge bases and advisors from the design education and professional communities. Through selected case studies, the student develops the parameters of the specialization project.

Other core requirements in this program include:

  • Theory II: Design and Society
  • Methods I: Research Methods
  • Advanced Studio I: Creative Collaboration
  • Methods II: Practice Colloquium
  • Advanced Studio III: Directed Thesis Preparation
  • Thesis Studio
  • Core Electives (3)

*Course curriculum is subject to change.

For accreditation information for this and other Harrington College of Design programs, please click here.