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Master of Fine Arts

The Master of Fine Arts degree is for you if you possess an undergraduate degree in interior design or architecture and seek professional career enhancement that includes foundation skills in conducting evidence-based design in interior design practice and application of that knowledge to a project. These abilities are desirable to architecture and interior design firms that are increasingly conducting in-house research to help them create more effective design project solutions and justify these choices to clients. The MFA degree is also supportive for a career in teaching interior design at those college and university institutions that do not require a Ph.D. (see also the Master of Science research track degree that prepares a student for a Ph.D. degree)

Mixed-Use Project for young professionals by Master of Fine Arts program graduate Brittany Hales

Mixed-Use Project for young professionals by Master of Fine Arts program graduate Brittany Hales

The Master of Fine Arts program consists of a minimum of sixty (60) semester credit hours including a minimum of six (6) hours of thesis.  In order to maintain close faculty supervision, only a limited number of candidates are accepted into the MFA program and final determination is made by the faculty Graduate Program Committee. The MFA degree is considered a terminal degree credential by many academic institutions. The program of studies provides many options for elective courses. You can apply these to FSU certificate programs in higher education teaching, project management, museum studies, entrepreneurship or other areas. Optional internships are highly recommended. You exit the program with a portfolio of work suitable for career interviews and a foundation skillset in conducting original research for applied practice.

View a sample student video from this program that enhances the student’s portfolio for securing design practice employment by Heather Dodd, now an interior designer with Gresham Smith in Tampa, Florida.

View a sample student video from this program that showcases the student’s master’s level project by Amanda Guerrier, now an interior designer with Steelcase in Tampa..

View what a sample schedule would look like for this program.

View a list of FSU graduates in university teaching and professional practice positions.


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Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Masters of Fine Arts program is based on University requirements as defined in the Graduate Degree Requirements section of the FSU Graduate Bulletin as well as those of the Interior Architecture & Design Department.

The Department requires the following items in order to be considered for the program. These are submitted to FSU through your online application.

  • An official undergraduate transcript indicating a minimum 3.0 grade point average on the last 60 hours of the completed undergraduate degree. Download a GPA Calculator Sheet.
  • A minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of 149 verbal and 145 quantitative. If GRE was taken prior to November 2011, minimum scores are 430 verbal and 540 quantitative. Note that GRE scores are one of many factors considered in admittance. NOTE: If your undergraduate degree grade point average for the last 60 hours of work is 3.25 or higher, then the Graduate Record Examination requirement is waived.
  • Students with English as a second language must meet the university standard of 80 for TOEFL scores or 6.5 for IELTS scores. Students with English language concerns should speak with Steve Webber, Director of Graduate Studies at
  • A completed Interior Design Supplemental Application that identifies your goals and reasons why you feel you will succeed in graduate school. This is available to complete via your application portal.
  • A digital portfolio of student and/or professional design work to be uploaded via your application portal.
  • A sample of academic writing to be uploaded via your application portal. This is a 2-3 page excerpt from a college writing assignment that describes your writing style. Ideally, this writing sample includes citations of others’ work within the text. This writing sample is necessary because MFA students will write a University thesis. Additionally, the sample helps faculty determine the degree of assistance you will need with writing.
  • A minimum of 3 letters of recommendation provided by professional or academic persons of your choice that are familiar with you and your previous work. This process is facilitated via your application portal.
  • A phone or in-person interview with the Department Director of Graduate Studies, Steve Webber. Once you have completed and submitted your application the Department will contact you to schedule the interview.

The deadline for submittal of an application is May 1 of every year for start of study in the fall semester. However, completion of applications by April 5th is encouraged to ensure availability and to enable consideration for graduate assistantships. International students are encouraged to complete their applications by March 1 in order to clear extra requirements for language and residency.
Application window for 2024-2025 school year is now open

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Application Questions? Contact us at