Master of Science in Interior Architecture (MSIA) | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Master of Science in Interior Architecture

Chatham's Master of Science in Interior Architecture (MSIA) is designed to expand upon the education and experience of professionals with an undergraduate degree in interior design or interior architecture. Students may take classes entirely online, entirely on-campus, or as a hybrid of the two.

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.

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 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.

MSIA Program Chart
Fall Spring Summer
Foundation Course: IAR655 Graduate Research Methods (14 weeks) (3) Foundation Course: ENG528 Academic Writing (1st 7 week session) (3) Elective (3)
Skills Course (Quantitative) (3) Skills Course (Quantitative) (3) Foundation Course: IAR680 Thesis (3) Foundation Course: IAR681 Thesis (3)
Elective (3) Skills Course: IAR670 Supervised Teaching or approved other (3)  
Skills Course: IAR661 Interior Architecture Inquiry (3) or approved other Skills Course: IAR662 Current Issues in Interior Architecture (3) or approved other  
Total 30 credits

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. Learn more »