MFA — Post-Professional
The Post-Professional graduate program in Interior Environments seeks to educate designers to enrich the quality of life through the design of the near environment. Students with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design are invited to apply.
The goals of the program are to provide specialized study in interior design at the post-professional degree level, prepare students for work in design research, education, and/or professional practice at the post-professional level, and to enhance the body of knowledge in interior design.
The graduate program in Interior Environments addresses the interdisciplinary exploration of issues in interior design at an advanced level, scholarly activity directed toward the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge and the development of innovative design solutions.
Graduate students in Interior Environments will consider the physical, aesthetic, socio-cultural, and psychological in relation to the built environment with an emphasis on creative research in the studio.
To begin the admissions process, visit the VCUarts Graduate Applicants page and review all admission requirements. All applicants will submit the University Graduate Application to VCU. Before starting the application, please review the MFA program specific requirements, which are located near the end of the Graduate Applicants page.
Applications are reviewed by the full-time faculty members, who assess an applicant’s overall package of materials, which include:
- Writing sample
- Statement of purpose. This will be submitted in both the University Application and in your School of the Arts supplemental material account.
- Resume. If applicant has a website, please include a link in your CV/Resume.
- Academic transcripts
- Three letters of recommendation
- TOEFL score – 600 paper/2500 computer/100 internet for International students
- An interview with the MFA program director is recommended, but not required.
Particular attention is given to the statement of purpose, professional experience, portfolio and research interest. There isn’t a predetermined preferred length for the writing sample. Rather applicants are advised to submit a writing sample that has a clearly articulated thesis statement; identifies and interprets primary and/or secondary sources in support of a well-argued thesis; and offers a coherent, cohesive narrative.
The statement of purpose, 500-750 words in length, should
- briefly recount your academic background;
- describe an avenue of inquiry that you expect to explore;
- note your professional goals beyond graduate study;
- explain why VCU Interior Design is suited to your interests.
February 1st of each year for entry into the fall semester of that calendar year.
Please note that all application information, other than transcripts, will be submitted online to the university.
If you have questions about the admissions process, please contact the VCU Office of Graduate Admissions. Contact information can be found here.
Please contact Mary Rosenthal – firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding the application process.
Department of Interior Design
Pollak Building, Room 406
325 North Harrison Street
Richmond, VA 23284-3086
The curriculum for the MFA in Design: Interior Environments program provides for the study of space, form, color, and light in collaboration with the pragmatic investigation of building codes, materials, finishes, construction methods, and business practices. An important focus also is placed on the study of the history of interior environments.
Minimum Credits: 60
Tuition and Fees
For detailed and current information on tuition and fees, check www.enrollment.vcu.edu/accounting. A tuition and fees calculator can be accessed there.
Additional program-related estimated expenses:
Laptop computer and software: $2,000-3,000
Books, materials and supplies: $1,000-1,500
Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:
- Students will demonstrate professional values.
- Student work will demonstrate advanced design theory.
- Student work will demonstrate advanced knowledge of interior design.
- Student work will demonstrate effective communication.
- Students will demonstrate a foundation in business and professional practices.
This information, along with curriculum and program standards, can also be viewed in the VCU Bulletin. Select the button below to go the program section in the Graduate bulletin.
Candidacy review is the first of three formal reviews in which the graduate student participates during the program of study. The purpose of the candidacy review is to assess the progress of the graduate student relative to the successful completion of degree requirements. The student will present all work prepared to date for evaluation.
The graduate student applying for candidacy review must make the presentation addressing development in the following:
- Interior design
- Design research
- Areas of interest for further study
- Critical analysis and growth of individual work
- Articulation of written, graphic, and oral concepts
- Personal plan for meeting goals
- Future directions within the graduate program
The student prepares the presentation in a well organized manner, in slide form, with actual projects available for closer review. A topics outline should be distributed to the reviewers at the beginning of the presentation. The student will clarify information, answer questions, and evaluate concepts.
The graduate student initiates the candidacy review during the second semester of enrollment in the program. The student prepares, schedules, and announces the review to be held at a convenient meeting time for all graduate faculty in the department. The student arranges for the space and equipment. All graduate faculty members in the department conduct the review. Faculty will not consider reviews during the first or final week of classes or during the final exam period.
Assessments of the work will be based on knowledge, skills, insight, originality, scope, depth, completeness, quality, and organization. At the conclusion of the presentation, the student will leave the room and the faculty will evaluate the student for candidacy. The review will include one of the following decisions:
- The student meets the department requirements, is recommended for candidacy, and continues in the program.
- The student does not meet departmental requirements, is recommended for additional study, and has candidacy deferred until the next semester.
- The student does not meet departmental requirements, is not recommended for candidacy, and does not continue in the program.
The thesis/creative project is first and foremost a design project that investigates a specific problem in relationship to the design of an interior space. In this project students develop both the questions and answers to their problem through the completion of a fully realized interior. The thesis project must demonstrate proficiency in the following areas:
- Design research and analysis
- Architectural drawing and drafting (both by hand and computer)
- Model making
- Knowledge of materials and furniture
- Lighting design and specifications
- Presentation techniques, graphics, signage
- Design’s relation to social issues and human behavior
- An understanding of design history and theory
It is a requirement for the MFA that the student exhibit the thesis/creative project. Therefore, the final product must be in a format that can be presented for an extended period without the student present.
SELECTED GRADUATE THESIS PROJECTS
Identifying the Process of How People Use Public Space
A PreSchool Model Design — Physical Environment and Early Childhood Development
An Interior Design Development Process for Adaptive Reuse Projects
Accuracy and Fuzziness
Hotel Design for the Gray Generation: The Future Boom
Hospitality Design in Saudi Arabia in the 21st Century
Environmental Concerns in Residential Housing