Explore the MIA Program

Master of Interior Architecture

The Master of Interior Architecture (MIA) program offers an education in critical spatial inquiry that elevates and reinvents the discipline of Interior Architecture by mining and imagining human conditions in our built environment. In doing so, the program adds criticality to the profession, cultivating scholars, academics, and critics, while generating emerging and alternative professions.


The MIA argues for Interior Architecture as a unique body of knowledge, with a distinct discourse, canon, and set of methodologies, filtered through the lens of art and architectural criticism and theory. As contemporary architectural practice continues to focus on issues of technology, technique, urbanism, and other aspects of exteriority, the MIA program looks to advance the role of the human condition in the discourse, and to argue for the social, cultural, material, sensorial, and communicative realms of design.

Woodbury School of Architecture offers a Master of Interior Architecture Degree

Students who possess baccalaureate degrees in any discipline can enter the Master of Interior Architecture 3-year track, while students who possess baccalaureate degrees in Interior Architecture, Interior Design, Environmental Arts, or Architecture are eligible to enter the Master of Interior Architecture 2-year track.

Both the 2-year and the 3-year tracks would be considered terminal degrees.

Master of Interior Architecture 3-year track

The Department may require 3-year track students to take additional preparatory Groundwork courses before beginning studio in the Fall Semester.

Total number of required graduate credits: 96 credit hours

Master of Interior Architecture 2-year track

The Department may require 2-year track students to take additional preparatory Groundwork courses before beginning studio in the Fall Semester.


A Close-Knit Community of Creative Minds

Learn why students, alumni, and faculty members recommend the Woodbury School of Architecture San Diego campus for your graduate studies. Our Master of Interior Architecture program is now offered at our San Diego campus in addition to the Burbank/Los Angeles location.

Apply or Inquire Here.

If you’re ready to apply to our Master of Interior Architecture (MIA) program, you can click the APPLY button on the right to submit your application electronically. If you have questions about the program, use the contact form to get in touch with one of our admissions counselors who will get back to you within 24 hours. Alternatively, you can initiate a chat with our admissions service team.

Our dedicated admissions counselor for this program will be able to answer your questions about the MIA program, scholarships, financial aid, transfer credits, portfolios and related questions. We’re also happy to put you in touch with faculty and students who can give you an insight perspective on Woodbury School of Architecture.

To learn more about our faculty and the program curriculum, scroll down.

Interior Architecture Chair:

Christoph Korner
Phone: 818-252-5121
Email: christoph.korner@woodbury.edu

Graduate Admissions Counselor:

Ovsanna Adjikian
Phone: 818-252-5209
Email: ovsanna.adjikian@woodbury.edu


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The Master of Interior Architecture (MIA) Curriculum

Woodbury University’s MIA program provides students with a curriculum that is critical and relevant. This agile program allows students to actively participate in the crafting of other education, to inflect each course with their own critical approach, and to specialize in their own professional pursuits. Student involvement fosters methodological diversity, and ensures that the program will evolve and adapt with each new cohort.

Fall Semester 1
3-Year MIA Students will enter the program at this point.
INAR 621 Emerging Ideas 1
Through a series of short lectures, panel discussions
and class forums, students learn about current
trends and issues affecting the design of the built
environment. The issues are presented topically and
generally, allowing a cohort to articulate and aggregate
the current body of knowledge in Interior
Architecture into a general scope of investigation
explored in Emerging Ideas 2. Prerequisites: None
INAR 631 Criticism 1
Using Los Angeles as a realm of empirical study, students
will engage in a range of historical, political,
cultural, material, and sociological issues from the
scale of the interior to the city. Observational research
and analysis, mapping, and experiential case
studies will be used to explore contemporary issues
of interiority and human occupation in relationship
to the urban condition of Los Angeles. Prerequisites:
INAR 651 Studio 1
The foundation graduate design studio prompts a
fundamental understanding of the multi-valent aspects
of interior architectural spaces through an introduction
to design methodologies across multiple
media. Students explore designs in two and three
dimensions through skill development in drawing,
material exploration, modeling, and critical thinking.
Prerequisites: None
INAR 611 Visualization 1
Students are inducted into the cultural and traditional
conventions of architectural representation.
This course operates as a workshop providing
analog and digital communication standards and
making techniques for documenting, drawing, and
modeling design ideas. Prerequisites: None
INAR 641 Figuring Space 1
This course provides an exploration of the impact
of materiality and fabrication in both the generation
and reading of form and space. An intuitive
knowledge of material properties and processes
will be gained through Detailing, construction and
fabrication methods, with a concentration on the
application of materials in custom elements relating
to the body in scale or use. Formal, conceptual,
and programmatic solutions are studied through a
specific design strategy with an emphasis on new or
hybrid programs. Prerequisites: None
Spring Semester 1
INAR 622 Emerging Ideas 2
With a stronger emphasis on collaborative research
and the integration of disparate interests, this
course offers the cohort of students the opportunity
to investigate individual interests, combine
those interests with the survey of issues presented
in Emerging Ideas 1, and transform the two into a
general issue the students will explore throughout
the remaining two years of their study. Prerequisites:
INAR 6XX Emerging Ideas 1: Navigating &
INAR 632 Criticism 2
Interior Architecture is still an emerging discipline,
working to triangulate a unique body of knowledge
among the areas of architecture, the humanities
and social sciences, and the applied arts, and as
such, its historical canon has not yet been declared.
Students will navigate through a global, historical
narrative of cultural, societal, and philosophical
traditions filtered through theory and manifestations
of the interior from pre-history through the
present. Prerequisites: None
INAR 652 Studio 2
Students uncover increasing complexity in architectural
spaces through mining the design potentials
of planning logic, systems integration, and program
development. Modules of exploration will include
identification, evaluation and application of the
design brief, synthesis of research to generate
multiple design concepts, iterative development
including accommodation of human scale and program
of use. Prerequisites: INAR 6XX Studio 1: New
Frontier of Space, INAR 6XX Visualization 1: Making
INAR 612 Visualization 2
Building upon the empirical and analytical fieldwork
of Criticism 1, this course will expand expository
capacities through diagramming, mapping,
and other forms of representational analysis in
both two- and three-dimensional analog and digital
hardware and software. Prerequisite: INAR 6XX
Visualization 1: Making Technique
INAR 642 Figuring Space 2
This course studies materials and methods of detailing,
fabrication, documentation, and specification,
and analyzes construction materials and building
systems including structural, mechanical, electrical,
plumbing, lighting and acoustics. In conjunction
with the building systems this course examines
building codes related to interior architecture
through research, observation and architectural
documentation of non-structural elements of contemporary
or modern design. Materials and their
integration, application, and/or connections are
emphasized. Prerequisites: INAR 611 Visualization 1:
Making Technique
Fall Semester 2
2-Year MIA Students will enter the program at this point.
INAR 623 Emerging Ideas 3
This third course provides the opportunity to unify
the research interests of the 2-year cohort with the
development of a research agenda developed in
Emerging Ideas 2. Transformation of knowledge
augmented by negotiation and argument informs
the full cohort’s areas of research. INAR 6XX Emerging
Ideas 2: Investigation and Steering or Acceptance
into the 2-year program.
INAR 633 Criticism 3
This course builds on and blends the content of
Criticism 2 with interests arising from Emerging
Ideas 1-3, using history, theory and criticism to
reinterpret and expand the discipline. Students will
work to culminate their efforts via research salon,
symposium, and publication. Prerequisite: INAR 6XX
Criticism 2: Declaring the Cannon or Acceptance
into the 2-year program.
INAR 653 Studio 3
Students explore relevant aspects of the design
problem to situate their operative strategies
towards design solutions. Methodologies will be
introduced and explored with the goal to stimulate
authentic and creative responses for spatial development.
Prerequisite: INAR 6XX Studio 2: Synthesizing
Complexity, or Acceptance into the 2-year
INAR 613 Visualization 3
Students will develop advanced visualization skills
through experimentation, and are exposed to the
aesthetic and philosophical objectives of drawing
and modeling. The complexities which exist between
conceptualization and representation are
analyzed through a study of changing techniques
within mixed and evolving media.
INAR 643 Figuring Space 3
This course explores material logics and their
implications through case study analysis and
performative modeling. A body of research grows
through consideration of the unique contributions
of materials and building systems. Students learn
an integrated approach to managing environmental
performance, human comfort and life safety.
Discussion integrates the functionality, phenomenological
effect, and resource impact of materials and
systems selection.
Spring Semester 2
INAR 624 Emerging Ideas 4
The fourth Emerging Ideas course provides a three-unit
seminar focusing on methodological approaches
to research including theoretical, historical, and
design knowledge. It is in this seminar that students
transform the overall research interests of the
cohort into individual methods of creating knowledge.
Methodologies explored include those used
with various disciplinary emphases in architecture
and design, ranging from professional to academic,
normative to exploratory, all with a strong
critical lens. This seminar provides grounding for
the students research interests in their study away
fieldwork studio the following summer. Prerequisites:
INAR 6XX Emerging Ideas 3: Acquisition and
Directing and INAR 6XX Criticism 3: Rewriting the
INAR 7xx Criticism Elective
INAR 7xx Visualization Elective
INAR 761 Practice 1
Students gain an understanding of basic business
concepts, codes, contracts, procedures, documents,
licensure, management, and policy in alternative
and standard practices relative to interior architecture
with an emphasis on ethical and legal issues.
Co-requisites: INAR 6XX Emerging Ideas 4: Methodological
Summer Semester 2
INAR 654 Studio 4
Students match up their methodological bias developed
in Emerging Ideas Studio 4 with a destination
for exploration in an immediate environment apart
from the classroom. Collaborative exchanges between
faculty, student cohort and fieldwork contingents
will maximize the provocation of design ideas.
The studio will assist the student in negotiating the
terrain across academia, practice and the evolving
inhabited environment in preparation for a focus
subject for Studios 5 and 6. Prerequisites: INAR 6XX
Emerging Ideas 4: Methodological Slant and INAR
6XX Studio 3: Pathways and Modalities
Fall Semester 3
INAR 721 Emerging Ideas 5
Working in conjunction with Criticism 4, this course
provides a forum for continued cohort involvement
with individual students’ research/design projects.
Formatted as a workshop, the seminar provides
intentional and directed critique of the students’
projects so that they align with the general research
agenda of the cohort. Prerequisites: INAR 6XX: Studio
4: Study-Away Fieldwork.
INAR 634 Criticism 4
Students will leverage their experiences from the
Fieldwork Studio and Emerging Ideas 4-5 through
self-directed study and research to develop and
articulate the practical, theoretical, and methodological
context for a thesis project culminating in
a substantiated written position of intent. Prerequisites:
INAR 6XX: Studio 4: Study-Away Fieldwork,
INAR 6XX Emerging Ideas: Methodological Slant.
INAR 751 Studio 5
Through a collaboration with small group cohort
with similar methodological or subject focus, directed
study and research, and support by selected 2014-2015 Course Catalog 34
Master of Interior Architecture
expert resources, students engage with the development
of their thesis focus. Continual clarification
of conceptual framework, contextual scenario and
program development will define an advanced
situated set of criteria for each student’s self-selected
subject. Prerequisite: INAR 6XX Studio 4: Study-
Away Fieldwork.
INAR 762 Practice 2
This second Practice course provides a forum for
continued discussion with individual students on
the alternatives of practice, research, focused study
and the profession in Interior Architecture. INAR
7CC Practice 1: Ethics and the Profession.
Spring Semester 3
INAR 722 Emerging Ideas 6
The last seminar provides a structured environment
for the cohort to organize and determine the final
outcome of the body of research. Prerequisites:
INAR 7XX Emerging Ideas 5 and 7XX Criticism 4:
Thesis Preparation.
Elective (optional)
INAR 752 Studio 6: Thesis
The culmination of the graduate interior architecture
program, students pursue their self-directed
thesis in collaboration with a faculty advisor and a
selected expert resource.
Continual self-assessment and synthesis of the
knowledge and skills developed in the program is
exercised as part of the thesis development process
in order to demonstrate mastery of the critical
focus and practice of the discipline. Prerequisite:
INAR 7XX Criticism 4: Thesis Preparation, INAR 7XX
Studio 5: Convergence.
INAR 743 Practice 3: Collaboration
The third course of the Practice courses asks
students to merge the research developed in the
Emerging Ideas seminars with real-world experience.
Students research and select the work of a
professional and engage in a mentoring relationship.
This relationship provides the opportunity
for students to take their thesis research and “test”
it with a professional or scholar who has been
working on similar research. Co-requisite: INAR 7XX
Studio 6: Thesis

Student Experiences

  • Woodbury University's Master of Interior Architecture program provides a platform for the cultivation of well-rounded design thinkers. The curriculum offers the necessary framework while encouraging independent investigations and thus nurturing the development of unique perspectives. Faculty members reinforce this theoretical rigor by thoughtfully layering relevant social and cultural references to enrich the educational process.

    Caroline Morris

    BFA Interior Architecture 2013