Master of Arts in Interior Architecture

Suffolk’s Master’s in Interior Architecture (MAIA) program will provide you with a comprehensive education of the adaptation of design in architectural spaces. You will take inspiration from the city and many of its renowned design firms.

Suffolk’s downtown location supports our student-centered mission to build experience through relevant, hands-on instruction that opens doors to internships and career opportunities while you can take inspiration from the city and many of its renowned design firms.

Guided by expert faculty, you will develop fluency in design process, drawing, making and the use of cutting edge digital technologies essential for contemporary practice. In addition, our program will:

  • Deepen your understanding of sustainable and socially-conscious design issues
  • Enhance your knowledge of design theory and history
  • Enable you to develop visual and verbal communication skills
  • Broaden your awareness of lighting and furniture design
  • Reinforce knowledge of technical competencies and code adherence in practice

Why Study Interior Architecture at Suffolk?

In the MAIA program, you'll study with educators who are among the region’s top artists and designers, eager to share their expertise, insights, and professional connections with you. You’ll enjoy one-on-one access to these mentors and meet many practicing designers who teach our courses.

Our faculty and students hail from countries around the world. This diversity will enrich your education and provide you with valuable perspectives on the regional and global evolution of design. Suffolk’s extensive alumni network helps you identify internships at major firms across the country and beyond while you develop your own networks by participating in on-campus exhibits and attending interdisciplinary events throughout your time at Suffolk.

MAIA alumni have found success as specialized lighting, exhibition designers, and project managers at leading interior and architectural firms around the world.

View the MAIA curriculum

Upcoming Curriculum Changes for Fall 2021

The MAIA program is introducing important changes to the curriculum of the leveling pathway for the fall 2021 semester, ones that reduce its length and cost.

For more information regarding the new fall 2021 curriculum, please review our Application FAQs, or contact Professor Sean Solley, MAIA Program Director.

Accreditation

The interior design program leading to the Master of Arts in Interior Architecture is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), 206 Grandville Avenue, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503.

The CIDA-accredited program prepares students for entry-level interior design practice, for advanced study, and to apply for membership in professional interior design organizations. The Master of Arts in Interior Architecture granted by Suffolk University meets the educational requirement for eligibility to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Examination. For more information about NCIDQ Exam eligibility visit the NCIDQ eligibility page.

See our Student Achievement Data.

MAIA Program Overview

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester: July 15 (International Applicants), August 15 (Domestic Applicants), then rolling
Spring Semester: December 1 (International Applicants), January 4 (Domestic Applicants), then rolling
Learn about the advantages of priority applications.

Application Materials

  • Completed application
  • $50 application fee (waived for students who visit campus)
  • Resume
  • Goal statement (essay)
  • Two letters of recommendation (Learn more)
  • Unofficial transcripts of all post-secondary work. Admitted students enrolling in the program will need to have official transcripts, including proof of degree conferral, on file prior to their first class
  • Portfolio (20-25 pieces of recent original artwork) submitted via the online application
  • Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-Academic scores (international students only)

Cost of Graduate Study at Suffolk

Tuition (2020-2021)
Full-time, per year             
$31,680
Cost Per Credit (2020-2021) $1,320

Financial Aid for Graduate Study

Suffolk University is pleased to offer merit-based financial aid to graduate students—these awards can be up to $14,750 per academic year. Merit-based aid is awarded based on the applicant's academic credentials presented on the admission application. No separate application is required for merit consideration.

Course Waiver Eligibility

Students with a background in art or design may be able to waive some or all of the courses in the leveling pathway. Candidates wishing to petition for such waivers must work with the Program Director before registering for academic coursework.

Portfolio

For candidates without formal art or design training, there are certain foundational skills that should be represented in the applicant's portfolio during the admissions process:

  • Evidence of observational drawings (still life and figure studies)
  • Examples of analytical drawing (perspective and orthographic representations)
  • Demonstration of ‘process oriented’ making skills (architectural models, sculptural or craft based projects that are iterative in nature)
  • Evidence of graphic work demonstrating 2D compositional color studies
  • Rendered drawings of architectural interiors and/or orthographic projections
  • Evidence of introductory CAD, Raster and Vector graphic software

Interior Architecture Information Request

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“I chose Suffolk’s MAIA program because it has a strong design program in a great location. As I started the program, I was immediately struck by the faculty’s passion for Interior Architecture, as well as their guidance and encouragement, which has pushed me to be a better designer and leader.”

Christina Tan, MAIA ‘22 Full time MAIA student, Materials Library Graduate Fellow at Suffolk University and Proprietor & Designer at M3 Design Studio