Skip to main content
Welcome to the Office of the Professions’ newly redesigned website. Portions of this site may still be under development, so if you experience any issues or have any questions please submit a Website Feedback Form.
  • NYSED Homepage
  • Disclaimer
  • Contact Us
  • NYSED Employment
  • Board Members Only

Any use of the title "Certified Interior Designer," within New York State requires licensure.

To be licensed as a certified interior designer in New York State you must:

  • be at least 21 years of age
  • meet education and examination requirements
  • meet experience requirements
  • be of good moral character

You must submit an application for licensure and the other forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee, to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 161, Section 8305 of New York Education Law and Section 52.18 and Subpart 79-3 of the Commissioner's Regulations.

You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.

The licensure fee for Certified Interior Design is $377.

The fee listed is the fee that is currently in place when this page was posted. Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in law when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). We will bill you for the difference if fees have been increased.

  • Do not send cash.
  • If you apply for licensure electronically using the online Application for Licensure, you will be required to pay by credit card.
  • Other payments must be made by personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. Your cancelled check is your receipt.
  • Mail any required forms and fees to the indicated address on the form.

NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned. Your canceled check is your receipt.

  • Partial refunds may be granted only if you submit a written request, fax, or email to withdraw your licensure application.
  • The New York State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing agency.

If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant and be required to pay the licensure and registration fees and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time of reapplication.

Eligibility for licensure is based on a combination of education and experience for which years of credit are awarded. The credit awarded for education determines the required number of years of experience.

You must accrue at least seven years of acceptable education and experience credits, including the following:

  • At least two but no more than five years of postsecondary education in an approved program of interior design, including an associate degree or its equivalent; and
  • At least two years of interior design work experience satisfactory to the State Board for Interior Design. To be acceptable for licensure your practical experience must:
    • be under the direct supervision of an interior designer, architect, or professional engineer;
    • within the bounds of interior design practice as set forth in section 8303 of the Education Law, demonstrate diverse experience in all aspects of project planning and execution; and
    • reflect increased levels of professional growth.

You may earn two years of education/experience credit for completion of an associate degree interior design program or four years credit for completion of a baccalaureate degree interior design program if the program is:

  • registered by the New York State Education Department as licensure-qualifying, or
  • accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency, or
  • considered to be an "equivalent" program.

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA - formerly FIDER, Foundation for Interior Design Education Research) is an acceptable professional accrediting agency for interior design for programs accredited at the professional level.

Earlier programs that were CIDA-accredited at the pre-professional assistant level will be reviewed for equivalency to an associate-degree curriculum.

For a program to be considered "equivalent:"

  • A baccalaureate degree curriculum must contain at least 48 semester hours of coursework in the following content areas:
    1. drafting and presentation techniques;
    2. fundamentals of space planning and design;
    3. materials and methods of construction;
    4. furniture, finishes, and equipment;
    5. history of architecture and the decorative arts;
    6. codes - construction, fire, safety, and accessibility;
    7. environmental and building systems;
    8. color theory and application;
    9. business practices and ethics; and
    10. construction documents.
  • An associate degree curriculum must contain at least 30 semester hours of coursework in content areas (1) through (6) listed above for a baccalaureate degree curriculum.
  • Additionally, you may also earn education/experience credit for postsecondary-level courses completed in the content areas listed for a baccalaureate degree curriculum if the courses are offered through an approved program as described at the beginning of this section.

You are required to pass all three sections of the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) Examination which is administered twice yearly in April and October. The examination consists of the following three sections:

  • Section 1 - Fundamentals - IDFX
  • Section 2 - Professional - IDPX
  • Section 3 - Practicum - PRAC 2.0

If you have taken the NCIDQ examination prior to October 2000, and were not successful in passing all sections of the examination, then you must take all three sections of the new examination.

If you have passed the NCIDQ examination prior to 1990, you must have also taken and passed the Building & Barrier Free Codes section of the examination prior to October 2000 or taken and passed Section I of the examination between October 2000 and January 2004.

Contact CIDQ for eligibility requirements, fees, and other examination information at:

225 Reinekers Lane
Suite 210
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone 202-721-0220, Fax: 202-721-0221

If you have a disability and may require reasonable testing accommodations for the examination, please contact the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) for information on the procedures for requesting such accommodations.

Last Updated: January 10, 2020