MAIA Admission & Portfolio Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Arts in Interior Architecture (MAIA) program are encouraged to read through our frequently asked questions. This page outlines additional program information, the criteria used in the application process, and the application portfolio requirement.

For additional questions about applying to the MAIA program, you are encouraged to connect with the Office of Graduate Admission and the MAIA Program Director, Professor Solley.

View the MAIA curriculum

General Program Information

The MAIA degree is 30-61 credits, which totals 12-22 courses beginning in fall 2021.

The MAIA program is designed as a first-professional degree program for students from a variety of backgrounds. Candidates with foundational skills but no design experience may take up to 31 credits of leveling courses in order to build their art and design skills. All candidates will determine their pathing plan, or academic course plan, in conjunction with the Program Director.

Yes, this 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.

Leveling coursework prepares students for graduate level academic study. Candidates completing leveling coursework acquire creative, technical, and historical knowledge pertinent to interior architecture and the design industry.

Students typically begin the MAIA program in the fall semester. There are some cases where students may begin their studies in the spring. Prospective students are encouraged to consult directly with Professor Solley to map out their individual pathing plan.

Full-time students can expect to complete the program in four semesters and one summer. Part-time students may elect to extend their period of study.

Yes, 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.

Applying to the MAIA degree

Applicants should initially provide a portfolio of 12 - 15 pieces that demonstrate foundational competencies in the areas of:

  • 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

Learn more about opportunities to build your portfolio and how to submit your application portfolio.

We encourage candidates to build competency and confidence through a variety of experiences prior to applying. Professor Solley would be happy to guide you in the process of developing your application portfolio.

If you have a prior degree in art or design, you are encouraged to illustrate this experience in your admissions materials, including your portfolio, transcripts, resume, and goal statement.

The candidacy of an applicant is judged not only on prior design experience. A strong candidate will show evidence of observational and analytical drawing skills. Candidates will demonstrate process-oriented making skills (model making, clothing, ceramics) and understanding of 2D composition, color theory or graphic skill, and the curiosity to independently explore CAD, Raster, and Vector Graphic software.

You are welcome to connect with the Office of Graduate Admission for questions on our MAIA graduate degree program. Alongside our Graduate Admissions Office, Professor Solley is happy to provide guidance on your individual path to becoming a successful designer.