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NCIDQ Examination Eligibility Pathways

Specific education and work experience requirements exist to be eligible to sit for the NCIDQ Exam, outlined below. 
Educated outside of the U.S. or Canada? 
Who Can be a Direct Supervisor and/or Sponsor?

A direct supervisor and/or sponsor must be a design professional, defined as someone who meets at least one of the following three criteria:


  • NCIDQ Certified Interior Designer

  • State/Provincial Licensed/Registered/Certified Interior Designer in the U.S. or Canada

  • State/Provincial Licensed/Registered Architect in the U.S. or Canada who provides interior design services


A Direct Supervisor is a design professional, as defined above, who provides substantial oversight and control of a candidate’s work and possesses detailed knowledge of the tasks performed.


A Sponsor is a design professional, as defined above, who agrees to review a candidate’s professional progress and affirm interior design work experience hours. A sponsor may or may not work within the same firm as the candidate.

Frequent and ongoing conversations are encouraged between candidates and supervisors/sponsors to ensure candidates have well-rounded experience, including the design categories listed below. A supervisor/sponsor can sign off on current or previous work.

Sponsor Requests

If you are unable to obtain verification/sign-off from a direct supervisor or sponsor, please reach out to Kayla Karpp. Share a short bio and resume, and Kayla will reach out to the sponsor community on your behalf. If a sponsor is willing and available, they will contact you directly. Sponsor requests should be sent at least one month out from the application deadlines (for spring and fall).

Eligibility for Candidates Outside of the U.S. and Canada

Candidates with an interior design education (degree, diploma or certificate) or Bachelor's degree (minimum) in architecture earned abroad may qualify for the NCIDQ Exam. These candidates must have their transcripts translated and evaluated by an education evaluator such as World Education Services or Education Credential Evaluators and may be eligible if the evaluation matches one of the eligibility paths. Submitted evaluations must include course titles with corresponding U.S. credit equivalency to ensure education meets CIDQ requirements of 60 semester credits of interior design coursework.

Alternative Review Program (ARP)
The Alternative Review Process is for candidates who are unable to document the minimum educational requirements. Candidates in Canada or the state of Nevada should contact the regulatory agencies in their jurisdiction prior to submitting an ARP application, in order to comply with local requirements.

Verify Work Experience

Verification of work experience is required to sit for the IDPX and Practicum Exam sections.
International Eligibility
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