Interior Architecture (MSIA)

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Interior Architecture (MSIA) Overview

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, interior architecture, or architecture. Students may take classes entirely online, entirely on-campus, or 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.
Degrees Offered
  • MS
Program School
Application Deadline


Recommended application deadline for fall entry: July 1
Recommended application deadline for spring entry: November 1
Applications will continue to be accepted and considered as long as seats remain in the class.

Credits Required


Credits may be taken on-site, online, or as a hybrid of the two.

Cost Per Credit


Cost consists of program tuition (cost per credit times number of credits) as well as any applicable University and degree-specific fees.

Universal Design

Our program adheres to the principles of universal design: design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people. 

Explore the MSIA Degree:

  • Have a completed baccalaureate degree in Interior Design, Architecture, or Interior Architecture from an accredited college or university, with an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale
    If a Student has below a 3.0 GPA, please feel free to apply if you show extreme promise through other achievements. Additional Admissions documents may be requested.
  • Complete application for admission, including:
    • Online application
    • One- to two-page personal statement of intent, explaining why you would like to pursue a graduate degree in interior architecture and identify a possible area of specialization.
    • Copy of curriculum vita or resume
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
    • Portfolio - The portfolio can be sent as an email attachment or weblink

Admissions Materials may be submitted to:
Chatham University
Office of Graduate Admission
Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Fax: 412-365-1609


IAR661: Interior Architecture Inquiry

This course will introduce students to architectural theory through specific readings that will enable them to establish basic critical reasoning skills utilizing theoretical works. The course will focus on reading and discussing seminal texts while understanding their historical importance to architecture and interior design.           

IAR662: Issues in Interior Architecture

Students are introduced to current writings and discussion related to sustainability and globalization, which are then analyzed for their relevance to the decisions made by interior designers. An awareness of current issues and how the student may impact them provides a framework as students engage in research for their thesis.

IAR670: Supervised Teaching

Students have the opportunity to assist with a class in interior architecture under the supervision of a faculty member. 

IAR681: Thesis

The thesis is independently taken by a student under the guidance of a thesis committee. The final project is a written thesis with original research or a creative design project that is supported by in-depth information gathering and written material.

View Full Curriculum

A solid interior design education yields practitioners who protect and enhance the health, safety, and well-being of humankind. Our programs are also aligned with current issues such as global awareness, community engagement, and sustainable design. The outcome is graduates who are technically savvy and broad-thinking designers. This is what sets us apart.

–KYRA TUCKER, program director/chair of interior architecture

Our Faculty

Faculty members are accomplished teachers, scholars, practitioners, and active leaders in the field.

Full Faculty

Assistantships & Fellowships

A limited number of graduate assistantships and fellowships are available to full-time students. These positions provide the opportunity to conduct research with a faculty member, assist with teaching responsibilities, or participate in and organize departmental or campus projects.

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State-of-the-Art Facilities

The Interior Architecture programs enjoy state-of-the-art LEED Silver facilities at Chatham Eastside including a dedicated CAD lab for design students, five design studios, a resource room housing only sustainable materials and plenty of open pin-up space for informal class meetings and critiques.

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Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater

Partnerships add to the student experience by developing interesting design perspectives and preparing graduates for client project success from concept to reality. One such unique relationship is with Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece located in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. We also benefit from partnerships with organizations like the Pittsburgh Chapter of Construction Specifications Institute, which offers certifications and professional education to ensure the effectiveness of collaborative projects.

(Almost) Living and (Definitely) Learning at Fallingwater

One afternoon, Kyra Tucker, director of interior architecture programs, walked into Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic architectural masterpiece Fallingwater to find her students sitting on the floor with their shoes off.