Master of Interior Design

The Master of Interior Design (MID) Program at The University of Texas at Austin offers an innovative graduate curriculum that integrates research and theoretical knowledge in the application of current design issues that face our society. Interior Design, through creative thinking, issue identification, and continuing resolution, contributes to the overall well-being of human life. The positive impact of the well-designed interior environment is verifiable, making Interior Design a critical component of the design disciplines.

Housed within a large and active School of Architecture, the MID provides opportunities for students to achieve a high level of excellence in the design of architectural interiors in selected areas of individual interest. The program is among the handful of Interior Design faculties in the United States housed within a School of Architecture creating a dynamic atmosphere shared across a number of related graduate programs.

With a faculty of four full-time Interior Design professors along with full-time and affiliated faculty in the School of Architecture, the program offers both broad coverage and an individualized program tailored to student interests. The program is founded on rigorous instruction, while offering students flexibility to develop their own ideas and new perspectives that arise from theoretical methodologies and interdisciplinary approaches. The study of Interior Design at the graduate level is taught with constant awareness of global context, interdisciplinary challenges, and evolving demands that students experience in professional practice.

Examples of concentration areas may be related to understanding the reciprocal interactions between humans and proximate environments including task performance factors, sustainable design, and psychological aspects of individuals within the interior environment; or concentration on a design-based emphasis focusing on innovation and design of objects and materials and their spatial implications to the interior environment through technological, material, and production processes; or, on research in the critical and philosophical analysis of interiors that focuses on the nature, value and significance of Interior Design. Supporting these different areas of concentration are the university's libraries that house excellent design, art, and architecture collections, a computer and print lab with the latest software and digital technologies, and an extensive materials library, all which complement the curriculum.

Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Study

Students work closely with faculty in courses, seminars, and independent research projects to develop independent thought as well as a thorough knowledge of the field. Students may combine their research on Interior Design topics with a broad array of related subjects. Cross-disciplinary work in the School of Architecture’s other programs of Historic Preservation, Architectural Design, Theory and History is encouraged. As a major research university, The University of Texas at Austin offers a wide selection of across campus electives, including courses in Arts Education and Design, Theater and Dance, Radio-Television-Film, American Studies, Anthropology, Psychology, and Museum Studies, to name a few. Students are encouraged to shape their own critical approaches and to develop a mastery of research in Interior Design. With advice and permission of the MID program director or MID graduate adviser, students may select elective courses from other departments on campus.

Area of Study

The two master’s degree programs in Interior Design lead to professional and post-professional academic degrees.

The Master of Interior Design (first professional) may qualify graduates to become licensed or registered as an interior designer. Interested students are encouraged to confirm requirements for the state in which they hope to practice and NCIDQ eligibility requirements

The Master of Interior Design (post-professional) degree offers students advanced studies, theory, and research for those holding a prior professional degree in Interior Design or Architecture.

Admission Requirements

Interior Design faculty members in the School of Architecture review the applications and recommend admission to the Graduate School. Admission to the program is highly competitive. Seminars are small and advanced students work one-on-one with their adviser and other faculty members. With the advice and permission of the MID program director or MID graduate adviser, students in the MID program determine their course of study that is tailored to be highly individualized from course offerings and independent studies.

Master of Interior Design (first professional). This degree program is open to qualified applicants who hold baccalaureate degrees in any discipline without a prior professional degree in Interior Design or Architecture. 

Master of Interior Design (post-professional). This degree program is open to qualified applicants with a prior professional baccalaureate degree in Interior Design or Architecture.

To apply for the MID program, prospective students should follow the appropriate application instructions.

Degree Requirements

Master of Interior Design (first professional).  
For students entering with degrees other than professional degrees in Interior Design or Architecture, the Master of Interior Design is a first professional degree, with accelerated graduate professional courses designed to prepare the student for advanced work in Interior Design; the coursework is prescribed on the basis of the student's previous college work as shown in transcripts, portfolio, statement of intent, résumé, and references. This program requires 81 hours of graduate work, including  a master’s design studio.

Master of Interior Design (post-professional).
For students entering with a professional degree in Interior Design or Architecture, the Master of Interior Design is a post-professional degree. This program requires 48 semester hours of graduate work, including a written master's thesis contributing to the knowledge base of interior design or a master’s design studio.

Admission Contact

Carolyn Buchanan, Graduate Admissions Coordinator