Master of Interior Design

What is Interior Design?

The design of interior spaces influences the way humans work, live, learn, play and manage health and wellness.  Interior environments are evermore complex and depend on visionary leaders and innovative professionals to help shape the way people engage and inhabit spaces.

The post-professional Master of Interior Design (MINTD) program in the School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID) at the University of Cincinnati (UC) is focused on educating and nurturing a new generation of leaders and professionals who will advance the development of specialized interior knowledge in user well-being and scholarly research. The MINTD curriculum combines design, practice, and theory aimed to meet the discipline’s evolving demands for creative practitioners, innovative researchers, emerging scholars, and skillful educators to participate in the emerging global design culture of the twenty-first century.

The MINTD curriculum is a comprehensive post-professional graduate program. The MINTD is 2 years in length, 5 academic semesters, for students with an accredited interiors degree. This requires students to complete four academic semesters and one semester of structured graduate practicum work related to their research interests. A 3 and a half-year curriculum is available for students with degrees outside areas of design and architecture. The MINTD curriculum is composed of interrelated topical areas of interest: Design, History, Theory, and Criticism supported by a required coop work experience. 

The Interior Design program at the University of Cincinnati ranks highly in several categories: No. 1 in the Midwest region by the 2015 Design Intelligence rankings and No. 1 in the nation as the most admired undergraduate interior design program by interior design deans. With hands-on cooperative education, a comprehensive practice-based curriculum, and cutting-edge research opportunities, the new Master of Interior Design degree prepares its students to not only practice interior design, but to lead the industry in practice and professional scholarship.


The MINTD program housed in the School of Architecture and Interior Design and within the comprehensive College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) offers several advantages over other similar programs:

1)         Co-operative Education (co-op): A fully integrated co-op work experience requirement. By graduation, MINTD students will have a full semester of professional work experiences within an interior design firm, gaining valuable hands-on experience in the field. This work experience is built directly into the MINTD’s curriculum, providing graduates with a significant advantage in the post-graduation job market.

2)         Cutting-Edge Research: At DAAP, the interior design faculty and students are pioneers in the field. Developing interdisciplinary partnerships and capitalizing on the resources of a top research university, students and faculty produce innovative solutions in collaborative design research, healthcare, extreme environments, furniture, materials / products, market innovation and digital technologies within a sphere of an intense design and architecture culture.

3)         Affordability: Compared to other top-ranked graduate programs in interior design, the School of Architecture & Interior Design is highly affordable.  The nationally ranked programs in the College of DAAP and School of Architecture and Interior Design are offered at state-school tuition costs: MINTD’s cost-benefit comparison is unparalleled.

4)         Global Programs: An option to enter into a program offering a certificate of International Master of Interior Architectural Design IMIAD. Currently in development, this will be a connection and exchange with four international universities in Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, and India.

5)         Interdisciplinary Curricula: The MINTD is connected to other DAAP graduate programs in architecture, design and planning and offers an option to continue into the PhD in Architecture program or other programs outside of DAAP.



The MINTD offers several curriculum options of study.  For students with an accredited interior design bachelor’s degree and having co-op or practice experience, a 2-year, 5 academic semesters program of study is offered. This core program incorporates a one semester graduate co-op or practicum experience folded into the final thesis year. Students holding a BS or BA degree from disciplines other than interior design or architecture and have little or no professional practice experience will begin with additional course preparation and practicum documentation is required before entering the 5 semester core MINTD curriculum. Students that are enrolled in or completed the 5 year BS INTD program at the University of Cincinnati may qualify for a reduced curriculum of study.

For the MINTD ‘core’ program sequence of 2 years and 5 semesters of academic classes includes seminars, research instruction and technical classes in support of a thesis topic. The first year of the curriculum is a research year of topics related to the body of knowledge of interior design and design relationships of contemporary culture. In preparation for the Thesis year students are expected to explore. The three semesters of Thesis year incorporate a co-op or practicum in between two academic thesis semesters. This allows for individual concentration of specialization with input from practicing professionals.

Students entering the MINTD curriculum with degrees from other disciplines will spend the first three and a half semesters in graduate foundation courses to establish a solid understanding of interior design and architectural design principles. The courses will focus on design and communication skill building and historical / theoretical content.

The curriculum sequence is available: 



The MINTD incorporates a one-semester professional co-op work experience or practicum scheduled for the fall of the student’s thesis year; positioned between the academic semester of summer and spring. This allows students opportunities to further their thesis topics by coordinating a work experience related to their thesis topic. A teaching practicum semester may qualify for the semester co-op.



Students can elect to specialize on topics of research and design such as design practice, adaptive reuse, maker technologies, human-centered design, evidence-based design, healthcare, retail, hospitality, illumination, extreme environments, furniture, material technologies, history and theory, historic preservation/re-use of historic buildings, digital fabrication, trends research, and socio-cultural factors.  Opportunities for collaboration and inter-disciplinary projects are also offered with the programs of Architecture, and throughout the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and across the university.



Admission Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree in interior design or closely related design discipline with relevant work experience for the 5 semester MINTD program
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education other than design for the 9 semester MINTD
  • Official Transcripts from previous college or university
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • 3.2 Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale
  • TOEFL iBT (required for international students only)
  • A digital portfolio of creative work. Portfolios must be submitted to: the application fee is $30.
  • A statement of your interest in graduate study in interior design
  • A brief resume of your academic and professional experiences
  • Three letters of recommendation


Applications are due by January 15, 2017.



Kim Lawson

Program Coordinator

School of Architecture and Interior Design


Phone: 513.556.6426