Exam Application Information

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Taking the NCIDQ Exam requires two steps: application and scheduling. When you apply, we determine if you're eligible to take the NCIDQ Exam. If we receive your application by the proper deadline (which differs depending on the test and when you take it), you'll receive your application status by email within six weeks. 

To apply, you must 1) complete an online application form in your MyNCIDQ account; and 2) submit all required supporting documents via an upload in MyNCIDQ. 

When creating a MyNCIDQ account we recommend using a personal e-mail account so that you do not miss any communication from the database.

Once your application is approved, we'll send information about how and when to register for one, two or all three sections of the NCIDQ Exam, depending on which one(s) you're taking (see more on this below). If your application is not approved, we'll let you know which information you're missing or why you don't yet meet the exam eligibility requirements.

Here's when you can take each part of the exam:

1) Once you complete your formal education, you can apply to take the first part of the exam, the Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX). You can take this section regardless of whether or not you've had work experience.

Want to learn more about qualifying for the IDFX section without prior work experience? Watch this video to get the details.

2) After you pass the IDFX and complete all of the necessary work experience, you are ready to apply to take the remaining two sections of the exam, the Interior Design Professional Exam, or IDPX, and the Practicum Exam, or PRAC. When you pass all three, you earn your NCIDQ Certification.

OR If you have completed your education AND all of your supervised work experience, you can apply for approval to take all three test sections at once. These can be taken in any order over the course of 10 exam windows (5 years).

How to Apply:

To apply for the IDFX section, you will submit:

  • Online Application in MyNCIDQ
  • Transcripts submitted via an upload in MyNCIDQ. This can be a scanned copy of a paper transcript or an e-transcript from the University

For all other sections, you must submit these items in addition to the IDFX items:

  • Direct Supervision Work Experience Verification Form or Sponsored Work Experience Verification Form
  • Three Professional References. Note: References are part of the online application system. Names are submitted when completing the application and the references are contacted via an automatic e-mail upon payment. Paper references are no longer accepted.

If you plan to work in a regulated jurisdiction, please contact the appropriate government agency to verify the requirements for licensure or registration before you complete the application for the NCIDQ Exam. Some jurisdictions prefer that candidates seek approval through the government agency before taking the exam. So please check about such requirements before submitting your CIDQ Exam application.


To apply, create an account online on MyNCIDQ. Next, you'll download the documents to fill in. The online application review fee is $220 (U.S.), payable by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover). All forms and payment, must be received by the application deadline. NOTE: The application review fee is not refundable.

NOTE: We hold incomplete applications for one year only. If you haven't completed your application within that time, you need to re-apply, uploading all materials and submitting fees and meeting the eligibility requirements in effect at the time you re-apply.


To submit your application’s supporting documents, download all applicable forms and complete before uploading them to your MyNCIDQ account by selecting "Update Profile" in your MyNCIDQ account. Your references will be contacted via email after you submit their contact information and pay your application fee.


We require transcripts from all colleges and universities where you've taken coursework that you are using to satisfy the eligibility requirements. Transcripts are to be either e-transcripts from a university or a legibly scanned copy of a paper transcript.

We will review overseas educational transcripts, but you must arrange and pay for your transcript to be translated and converted to U.S. standards. Your converted transcript must show course titles, grades earned and credits awarded (in semester or quarter units). Two companies that offer this service are Educational Credential Evaluators and World Education Services.


Work Experience Verification Form outlines your work experience for each job that meets the NCIDQ Exam's work experience requirements. There are two types of Work Experience Verification Forms (below) that you can complete.

1) Use the Direct Supervision Work Experience Verification Form to verify work completed under a direct supervisor, that is, a person who has detailed knowledge and direct control over your work. This person may or may not work in the same physical location as you do.

2) Use the Sponsored Work Experience Verification Form if you are not directly supervised by a design professional or if you are self-employed. A sponsor is a design professional who agrees to oversee your work but does not have detailed knowledge of or direct control over your work -- an interior designer outside your firm, for example. If you are using self-employment as your work experience, you must provide the work experience form and proof that you own or owned the company.

3) Use the Educator Work Experience Verification Form to verify work completed as an educator. Educators can use up to half of the work experience hours required for their eligibility route to qualify for the exam. The remaining work experience hours must come from professional practice.