A master’s degree at an accredited interior design school is the highest form of education for interior designers. Known as an Interior Design MA (Master of Arts) or MFA (Master of Fine Arts) Degree, this program allows students to enter into their industry at the highest starting wages possible. A master’s degree in interior design clears the path for management level positions, business ownership, and even college-level teaching jobs for graduates holding the degree.
Interior design schools that offer the master’s level degree to graduate students typically focus on design theory, research, and studio work. All other preliminary skills are learned during lesser degree programs, including classes that are categorized under the liberal arts label such as English composition. Some states require that mathematics and science credits be obtained before completing lesser degrees as well, but interior design schools typically offer equitable classes that are centered on the fashion design industry.
In lesser degrees at an interior design school, students learn how to sketch fashion design ideas, use methodically steps within the design process, and effectively implement their design ideas into real-world scenarios where client satisfaction is critical. They learn about human behavior and how the interior environments in which we choose to spend our time will ultimately impact our moods and activities. Before entering into the master’s program at an interior design school, students are able to perform the job of “interior designer” at most levels of the industry and from genesis to project completion.
In the MFA or MA program at an interior design school, this foundation knowledge is leaned upon to teach the advanced principles, theories, and philosophies of design. Students in the graduate program at most schools are also tasked with a large thesis project, wherein they demonstrate their full understanding of all the combine skills they have obtained throughout the course of the program. This will often include innovative designs, solution to social and economical problems, environmental impact and sustainability, as well as client and design relationships.
Many of the interior design classes offered through MFA programs cover the techniques of advanced research on a given project, criticizing and critiquing the student’s own work and the works of others, and applying their project skills to the greater realm of the business. Additionally, graduate student are typically expected to thoroughly understand the importance of presentation and pitching interior design concepts to an audience; as this will be the bases of their success in the business in the future.
Interior design schools provide a depth of understanding into the industry as well. Historical moments and the evolution of interior design throughout the world’s history, including case studies in many schools, are integrated into the curriculum for a master’s degree.