Parsons Paris

Parsons Paris.

MFA Double Major in Interior Design and Lighting Design

Since 2012, the School of Constructed Environments has offered an MFA double major combining the established Master of Fine Arts Interior Design and Master of Fine Arts Lighting Design programs. This unique curricular track allows students to investigate in depth the design of environments and human inhabitation with a focus on the relationship between light, materials, and interior volumetric space. The three-year MFA track will enable students to develop critical sustainable design thinking and technical skills associated with lighting design and interior design.

Founding Principles

Students enrolled in this unique multi-disciplinary track expand their knowledge of light and space relationships through research and design investigations of material, form, and surface interactions with light. Human perception within the interior, and the corresponding psychological and physiological effects of design decisions, are basic to all investigations. Design as a social practice is a guiding philosophy.

Design of the Interior

The MFA double major offers an opportunity for critical and speculative evaluation of the interior condition; its studio-centered, research-oriented focus challenges students to analyze the relationship between human behavior, comfort, perception, and social exchange with attention to light and the built interior. Human health and sustainable strategies associated with materials, indoor air quality, and energy allow students to position aesthetic and intellectual interests against tangible realities confronted in practice.

Through project-based learning and a culminating thesis year, students pose questions and develop independent ideas, interests, and problem-solving skills. Seminars focusing on technologies, analysis, application techniques, biology, and design theory complement the studio coursework. The MFA double major invites re-examination and innovation within the interior design, a discipline founded at Parsons in the early 20th century.

Resources for the Future

Assisted by Parsons' alliance with professional organizations and a distinguished faculty of prominent practitioners, theorists, historians, critics, and scientists drawn from New York City, students pursue professional internships and other partnerships during semester breaks and full-time positions subsequent to graduation with leading players on the global design and research stage.

Admission to the MFA Double Major requires acceptance into both the Interior Design and the Lighting Design programs.


To learn more about the double major's curriculum, see the Curriculum page.


Interested students should apply directly to their primary program of interest (MFA Interior Design or MFA Lighting Design), select the double major option on the first page of the online application, and address their candidacy and qualifications for the double major in their Statement of Interest.