MFA — Professional Entry Level

The Professional Entry Level Track is for second-degree seekers who have a proven record of academic excellence and are interested in pursuing a career in interior design. The 60 credit program is an intense and rigorous, highly sequenced program that takes two years and two summers to complete. Full-time enrollment and commitment is required. Students are accepted for the fall semester only. The structure of the Professional Entry Level track echoes Virginia Commonwealth University’s undergraduate program in content, but advances students at an accelerated rate. Students enroll each semester in a group of courses, which contains studio, graphics and support classes that interrelate.

All students entering the program must attend the Introduction to Interior Design Workshop held approximately six weeks before the fall semester begins. The summer workshop introduces students to the elements and principles of interior design practice and initiates the development of skills necessary for successful completion of the first year sequence. Students must successfully complete the workshop to begin the fall semester courses.

At the end of the first year, students in the First Professional track must pass a candidacy review to advance into the second year of the program. If a student does not pass the summer workshop or candidacy review, he/she could be invited to apply to the B.F.A. program. An internship is required during the second summer in the program. All students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA while in the program.

A laptop computer is required for admission to the Professional Entry Level Track Program. Information about the current computer requirements is available here. Select Interior Design from the menu. Before purchasing your equipment, please check with our department for the latest technology requirements. For a list of required drawing and model-building supplies and books, visit the department resources page at

View the MFA Professional Entry Level Program Handbook
View the VCUarts Graduate Viewbook



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
  • Portfolio is not required unless the students has a background in design or the arts
  • 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 Graduate Program Coordinator Rob Smith at with questions regarding the application process.

Department of Interior Design
Pollak Building, Room 406
325 North Harrison Street
Box 843086
Richmond, VA 23284-3086

VCUarts Graduate Application
VCU Graduate Program Bulletin
VCU Graduate School

Start the VCUarts Interior Design application process right here.