What does it cost?
Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

72 semester hours of graduate coursework must be completed

Where can I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Am I required to take classes at a specific location?
Atlanta Campus

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

  • Fall: February 1
  • Spring: Does not admit
  • Summer: Does not admit

Interior Design, M.F.A.

The curriculum of the Interior Design program ensures a comprehensive exposure to an array of perspectives as represented by the various approaches to media, conceptual development, content, visual representation, and a variety of teaching styles exhibited by our faculty. The program is highly individualized and ideal candidates will have already completed an undergraduate degree in interior design or a related field, ideally followed by some professional experience on which the graduate student reflects during their time in the program.

Students are encouraged to pursue new forms of expanded interiors practice and research while building on traditional design practice competencies. While students work in the interior design and graphic design combined seminar for a majority of their studio credit hours, they are highly encouraged to move within other studio areas within the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design that align with an expanded understanding of contemporary interiors practice, including 3D studies (sculpture, ceramics, and textiles), drawing, painting and printmaking, and photography, to name a few.

Opportunities: A significant component of the Interior Design graduate program revolves around the students’ 10-hour per week paid assistantships, either as graduate research assistants (GRA) assigned to specific faculty research initiatives, as studio lab assistants (GLA) working in essential support areas of the school (e.g., CAD labs, 3D maker spaces, materials resource labs) or teaching undergraduate-level courses as graduate teaching assistants (GTA). Following year-one requisite preparation in instruction, year-two and three GTAs are encouraged to teach a range of undergraduate courses related to their degree. Possible courses include Introduction to Studio, 3D Design, Drafting, and select courses in our CAD sequence. Actual course teaching opportunities will vary depending on departmental needs and specific language and skillsets unique to each GTA. These experiences, in conjunction with the acquisition of professional skills in evidence-based research, prepare the student with the tools to be a professional practitioner or educator once their studies are complete.

Beyond assistantship responsibilities, M.F.A. candidates in Interior Design are encouraged to pursue professional internships with one of the numerous interior design firms in Atlanta. Notably, 9 of the top 10 firms listed in Interior Design magazine’s 2020 Top 100 Giants have offices in Atlanta, with GSU alumni currently employed at 8 of those top 10 firms, including Gensler, Perkins & Will, HOK, Nelson Worldwide, and Hirsch Bedner Associates.

Research Thesis: In addition to the required coursework, M.F.A. candidates must produce a written graduate research thesis with a graphic component. This written document, combined with a specialized design project reflecting the chosen area of research, completes the thesis and is presented in a final M.F.A. thesis exhibition prior to graduation.

Interior Design, M.F.A.

The curriculum of the Interior Design program ensures a comprehensive exposure to an array of perspectives as represented by the various approaches to media, conceptual development, content, visual representation, and a variety of teaching styles exhibited by our faculty. The program is highly individualized and ideal candidates will have already completed an undergraduate degree in interior design or a related field, ideally followed by some professional experience on which the graduate student reflects during their time in the program.

Students are encouraged to pursue new forms of expanded interiors practice and research while building on traditional design practice competencies. While students work in the interior design and graphic design combined seminar for a majority of their studio credit hours, they are highly encouraged to move within other studio areas within the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design that align with an expanded understanding of contemporary interiors practice, including 3D studies (sculpture, ceramics, and textiles), drawing, painting and printmaking, and photography, to name a few.

Opportunities: A significant component of the Interior Design graduate program revolves around the students’ 10-hour per week paid assistantships, either as graduate research assistants (GRA) assigned to specific faculty research initiatives, as studio lab assistants (GLA) working in essential support areas of the school (e.g., CAD labs, 3D maker spaces, materials resource labs) or teaching undergraduate-level courses as graduate teaching assistants (GTA). Following year-one requisite preparation in instruction, year-two and three GTAs are encouraged to teach a range of undergraduate courses related to their degree. Possible courses include Introduction to Studio, 3D Design, Drafting, and select courses in our CAD sequence. Actual course teaching opportunities will vary depending on departmental needs and specific language and skillsets unique to each GTA. These experiences, in conjunction with the acquisition of professional skills in evidence-based research, prepare the student with the tools to be a professional practitioner or educator once their studies are complete.

Beyond assistantship responsibilities, M.F.A. candidates in Interior Design are encouraged to pursue professional internships with one of the numerous interior design firms in Atlanta. Notably, 9 of the top 10 firms listed in Interior Design magazine’s 2020 Top 100 Giants have offices in Atlanta, with GSU alumni currently employed at 8 of those top 10 firms, including Gensler, Perkins & Will, HOK, Nelson Worldwide, and Hirsch Bedner Associates.

Research Thesis: In addition to the required coursework, M.F.A. candidates must produce a written graduate research thesis with a graphic component. This written document, combined with a specialized design project reflecting the chosen area of research, completes the thesis and is presented in a final M.F.A. thesis exhibition prior to graduation.

What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

72 semester hours of graduate coursework must be completed

Where can I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Am I required to take classes at a specific location?
Atlanta Campus

Application Deadlines
View Admissions Requirements

  • Fall: February 1
  • Spring: Does not admit
  • Summer: Does not admit

Program Highlights

The Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design features an internationally active faculty and a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for professional careers in art and design. The programs foster critical thinking and dynamic artistic production in an interdisciplinary environment. The school offers an M.A. in Art History, M.A. in Art Education, M.A.T. and M.A.Ed. in Art Education and an M.F.A. in Studio Art with concentrations in Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture and Textiles.

  • M.F.A. degree that is NASAD accredited.
  • M.F.A. students receive full tuition waivers and monthly stipends as part of assistantships and numerous M.A./M.A.Ed. research assistantships are granted with equal benefits.
  • Students are eligible for competitive fellowships, including the premium Welch fellowships. The fellowships fund students for the entire three years of study, in addition to the students' regular stipend and full tuition waiver.

Careers

The graduate programs at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design prepare students for competitive careers in contemporary art, art education, design and art entrepreneurship.

Highlights include one-on-one mentorship with an internationally acclaimed faculty, access to art institutions and creative publications, networking with high-profile artists, scholars and businesses, experience from conference to international art fair participation, artist residencies, as well as assistantships to develop practical skills and garner teaching experience.

The graduate program leads students to career paths such as graphic, interior and Web designers, multimedia artists, curators, gallery directors, museum and non-profit arts managers, art administrators, K-12 art teachers, art educators, art historians and writers, creative directors at advertising and marketing firms, props and set design fabricators and art appraisers, among others.

Program Details

Applicants for the M.F.A. degree must submit the following items:

  • Three letters of recommendation. No form is required.
  • Statement of Intent: A one-to-two-page statement of purpose describing academic interests, proposed area of specialization and long-range career goals. The statement should also explain how the graduate program will serve those interests and goals.
  • The letters of recommendation and the statement of intent should be uploaded with the other application materials or sent to the Office of Graduate Programs.
  • Portfolio:  A successful portfolio demonstrates creativity and commitment in a cohesive body of work. Admissions portfolios may include still images, film/video projects, musical performances/compositions, videos of acting/dance/performance. The portfolio may include one of the following:
    • 20 examples of work on CD
    • Film/video projects – DVD or Quicktime on CD. Six minutes maximum.
    • Musical performances/sound work/compositions. Six minutes maximum.
    • Videos of acting/dance/performance. Six minutes maximum.

Do not send original work. Deadlines are not postmark deadlines but deadlines for completion of applications.

Materials must be in the Office of Graduate Programs by the deadline. It is recommended you submit all your materials a month in advance.

Still image submissions:
Label materials with name and area of study. Include no more than 20 images. Include the title of the work, date, medium and dimensions as part of your file and metadata. Include 20 images in JPEG format (150 DPI, 1500 pixels on greatest dimension).

Moving image/sound submissions:
Label materials with name and area of study. Include no more than six minutes of audio-visual material. Work must be accompanied by a list with the title of the work, date, running time and the student’s role (for example, director, actor, etc.) in each work and must be submitted in the appropriate file format for the medium.

If an applicant wishes to include a mixture of stills, sound or moving images, the materials will be divided evenly. For example, if still and moving images are submitted, 10 stills and three minutes of motion are allowed.

Goals and outcomes upon completion of a M.F.A. program include:

  • Ensuring comprehensive exposure to an array of perspectives as represented by the various faculty approaches to media, content, imagery and teaching styles.
  • Exploring the continuing traditions of art making in pursuit of new forms and with contemporary issues.
  • Encouraging multidisciplinary approaches with other studio areas.
  • Developing pedagogical skills and strategies with teaching assistantships for undergraduate-level courses.
  • Preparing students for a professional arts career through development workshops that range from exhibition and art fair training, marketing and art handling, critique and artistic discourse, etc.

In general, the requirements for an M.F.A. are as follows:

Category of Work Units Required Description
Professional Development 12 Pedagogy, Teaching Practicum, Professional Practices, and Thesis Writing.
Studio-Specific Courses 30 Graduate Studio/Design Seminars and Graduate Studio/Design Practice
Electives 6 Variable – must be outside area of specialization, can be outside School of Art & Design
Art History 12 Graduate-level courses in Art History
Thesis 12 Intensive work with a thesis committee to prepare your written thesis and exit show, lecture, presentation, or screening
Total 72

Each school in the College of the Arts offers opportunities for students who have been accepted into one of the graduate degree programs to work as assistants. Graduate assistants work as tutors, aid faculty members in research projects, supervise laboratories and teach undergraduate courses. Assistantships normally are awarded only to students enrolled full time in their degree programs. For the expected level of enrollment, see “Courses and Course Load” in section 10100 below. Students interested in graduate assistantships should contact the director of graduate studies in their school for specific information.

Students receiving assistantships as well as financial aid should be aware that receiving an assistantship can reduce the amount of financial aid awarded.

Art & Design Scholarships & Fellowships

Description

Contacts

Graduate Coordinator
Wesley Harvey
wharvey@gsu.edu

College of the Arts
55 Park Place, NE, Ste. 910
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared here provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For official details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.