NCIDQ Exam Eligibility Requirements

NCIDQ Exam Eligibility Requirements

EDUCATION: Formal interior design education is an essential foundation for a successful practice. Because of this, you must have completed most or all of your education before you start to accrue qualified work experience.

All eligible coursework must be taken for college credit; CIDQ doesn’t accept continuing education, audited or non-credit courses. The NCIDQ Exam evaluates education based on a review of your college or university transcripts.

If you have an architectural education accredited by NAAB or CACB, you may meet our educational requirements. The only degrees that meet this requirement are B. Arch and M. Arch.

If you have a B.S. or B.A. in architecture; or a B.S, B.A., or certification, degree or diploma in architectural studies, architectural technology, architectural history, environmental design or similar fields, you must also complete a formal program in interior design that includes at least 40 semester hours of interior-design-related coursework.

If you acquired your architectural education outside the United States or Canada, please read our information on foreign architectural education.

WORK EXPERIENCE: All of the work experience you use to satisfy the eligibility requirements must be related to interior design. Work experience can be full-time or part-time. To ensure that all of your work experience counts, we recommend working under the direct supervision of one of the following: an NCIDQ Certification holder, a registered interior designer or an architect who offers interior design services. Teaching in interior design doesn’t count.

Eligibility Routes: Education and Experience Combinations

The amount of combined education and work experience you need depends on factors that are detailed below. There are six different routes for determining when you are eligible to apply to take the NCIDQ Exam; please click on the link below to see these options.

Click here to see the eligibility requirements for earning the NCIDQ Certificate.

Qualified Work Experience

If you began accruing interior design work experience for the first time after January 1, 2008, you must obtain qualified work experience to earn an NCIDQ Certification. Whether or not your work experience qualifies depends on which route you take to enter the process.

•  When your direct supervisor is an NCIDQ Certification holder, a licensed/registered interior designer, or an architect who offers interior design services, all of your qualified hours count.

•  When you work in other supervisory relationships, your hours accrue at lower values. How much qualified work experience you need depends on factors such as the amount of education you’ve had and the type of qualified work experience you received.

NOTE: If you began accumulating your interior design work experience on or before December 31, 2007,all of your work hours apply, even if you did not work under an NCIDQ Certification holder, a licensed/registered interior designer or an architect. That includes all of the hours that you were self-employed, provided you have a reference who can verify your work, like a client or contractor.