Admission deadlines: Fall - February 1: Priority consideration for admission and funding; April 1: Guaranteed review for admission and consideration for funding, if available. (Applications for admission will continue to be accepted after April 1, when space remains available in the program.)
Standardized Test Scores: GRE is not required.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction.
Minimum scores for the program are:
- Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
- TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based; or
- PTE Academic: 53
Students who are admitted with the requirement to take an English for Academic Purposes course must be available to take this course in the summer preceding enrollment in the MFA program.
Recommendations required: Two (2) recommendations on business letterhead.
Prerequisite requirements: A bachelor’s degree in a field other than interior design or architecture, including a minimum of 30 credit hours of liberal arts and science courses.
Prior academic records: Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.
If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.
Statement of purpose: In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application.
In addition to the statement of purpose, applicants must submit answers of approximately 75-100 words to the following questions:
1. In your own words, how would you define the profession of interior design?
2. What current designers influence you and why?
3. What are some considerations that an interior designer must adhere to while designing interior architectural space?
4. How will your undergraduate degree and any previous work experience contribute to the MFA Interior Architecture Program?
Additional requirements: A portfolio that shows creative work (i.e., photography, sketches, and fine art) is required; an interview may be requested. Please note that the inclusion of interior design projects within the portfolio is not required nor expected. The objective of the portfolio is to see your artistic and design-related pursuits.
Portfolios must be uploaded to your online application. Digital portfolios must be submitted as one document.
The MFA in Interior Architecture is a first professional degree and not open to students with an undergraduate degree in Architecture or Interior Design.
International applicants only: Please review International Applicant Information ( carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences - Office of Graduate Studies
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

For additional information about the admissions process visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

202-994-6210 (phone)

Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

60 credits in required courses and a 120-hour internship.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 60 credits in required courses.

First year, fall semester
CIAR 6100Studio 1–Graduate
CIAR 6125Graphic Communications
CIAR 6150Sketching Architecture and Design
First year, spring semester
CIAR 6200Studio 2–Graduate
CIAR 6225Interior Materials and Color Theory
CIAR 6250Digital Drafting and Modeling
First year, six- and eight-week accelerated summer sessions
CIAR 6300Studio 3 (Graduate) (8-week session)
CIAR 6325Interior Design History and Culture (6-week session)
CIAR 6350Sustainability and the Built Environment (6-week session)
Second year, fall semester
CIAR 6400Studio 4 (Graduate)
CIAR 6425Lighting and Acoustics
CIAR 6450Research Seminar for Studio 5
Second year, spring semester
CIAR 6500Studio 5–Grad
CIAR 6525Practicum
CIAR 6550Structures and Building Systems

Optional MFA courses:

CIAR 6560 Selected Topics (Interested students enroll when the department offers a study abroad program or a unique topic as an elective.)

CIAR 6570 Independent Study (On a topic approved by a faculty member. Enrollment is highly selective.)