Chatham University

Master of Science in Interior Architecture (MSIA)

Chatham's Master of Science in Interior Architecture is an entirely online degree designed to expand upon the education and experience of professionals with an undergraduate degree in interior design or architecture.

With an emphasis on design theory, the MSIA allows students to explore a specific building type, user group, or design issue in depth to develop a specialization. Students also have the opportunity to gain supervised teaching experience and the option to defend their theses on Chatham University's campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania should they want.

Students emerge from the program with improved critical thinking, research, and teaching skills as well as profound knowledge in an area of specialization. These traits give graduates a competitive edge by enhancing their credibility among clients and in the classroom, and prepare professionals for a future in higher education, a doctoral program, or a specialized career in interior design.

Chatham's interior architecture program has been recognized as a leader in sustainability by the Pennsylvania West chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). This commitment to designing with a mindfulness of the environment is something that runs throughout our curriculum and strengthens our students' understanding of green design and sustainability.

MSIA Program Structure

The 30-credit MSIA program is fully online and can be completed as a full-time student in as little as one year. The program can also be pursued part-time to better accommodate working students who wish to continue their educations while maintaining their careers.

BIA+MSIA Integrated Degree Program

Students completing the three-year Bachelor of Interior Architecture program option may continue their studies at Chatham and pursue the Master of Science in Interior Architecture degree. This degree can be completed in one year thereby providing students with the opportunity to earn a bachelor's and master's degree in four years.

Credit where credit is due

Chatham recognizes that life knowledge may provide knowledge equivalent to graduate-level learning outcomes. That is why we offer our Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program to qualifying graduate students. PLA credit may be awarded through the development of a portfolio or by attaining a passing score on a challenge exam. Previous MSIA students have earned PLA credit for courses such as Lighting Design and Supervised Teaching.

If you are interested in pursuing credit through PLA, please visit the Graduate PLA page for more information or contact Deborah Prise at 412-265-1444 or