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Interior Design: Loudoun Campus

For more than 25 years the Interior Design program at NOVA has been producing some of the finest interior designers in the Washington, D.C. area. Our two year Associate of Applied Science degree prepares students to enter the workforce as junior designers or to continue their design education at an accredited four-year college or university.

About Our Program

The Interior Design Program, which is located only at the Loudoun Campus, is a two year degree program leading to an Associate in Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) in Interior Design. Currently, 65-credit hours are required for the degree which includes courses in interior design, art history and applied design. Coursework also includes an internship program. Students may take art and general education courses at any of the other NOVA campuses.

The program is designed to educate students whose initial career goals might include positions as interior design assistants in residential or commercial design or architectural firms; in retail stores, such as furniture stores or designer showrooms; or as manufacturers' representatives. Coursework is practical and theoretical with an emphasis on teaching the practical skills needed in the world of interior design.

Interior design education and interior design work are demanding undertakings. Students should anticipate spending long hours on projects, presentations and field trips. In addition, students may be required to attend client meetings, meetings with manufacturer's representatives, contractors and installers. Attendance at meetings and activities of ASID and IIDA and at trade shows is encouraged.

Students should consider extra course work in art history, fine arts-particularly drawing and design and computer graphics to hone their skills and knowledge of design principles, which are critical components.


The IDS program currently has an open enrollment policy consistent with NOVA's mission. However, to be successful, students should have some affinity for the interior design field before taking courses. This could be manifested through interests and ability in the arts, color, furniture and furniture history and other talents normally associated with the design field. For more information on enrolling at NOVA visit http://www.nvcc.edu/admissions/.

Advisory Board

The interior design program at NOVA is supported by an advisory committee composed of interior designers from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. These designers meet and support the instructors by identifying educational needs in the design community and reviewing curriculum issues. Board advisors may also provide internship opportunities to students, mentoring and networking.

Current Board Advisors Include:

  • Vincent G. Carter, FASID, NCIDQ; U.S. Government
  • Nancy Colbert, ASID, CID, NCIDQ; Design Partners, LLC
  • Donna Ralston-Latham, CID, FIFDA, ASID, NCIDQ, DRL Total Environments
  • Virginia Dyson, IIDA, LEED AP, AECOM
  • Kay Sargent, SID, IIDA, CID, LEED AP, NCIDQ; Lend Lease
  • Skip Sroka, ASID, NCIDQ; Sroka Designs, Inc.
  • Allie Mann, CKD, Case Design

Transferring to NOVA

Students who have an Associate of Arts (A.A.), bachelor's, master's or Ph.D. are typically not required to take the general educational college requirements (English, Math, etc.). However, they do need to have a transcript evaluation completed by the Admissions and Records Office. These students should request transcripts from former college registrars and have them sent directly to the registrar of the Loudoun Campus. Also, if a student wishes to transfer specific courses from another college, they will need to fill out a transcript evaluation request form and submit it with the transcirpt. After evaluation by Student Services, students will be able to view their transcripts and course progress online through NOVAConnect. Students with an Associate of Science may be required to take some further general education courses.

Transferring From NOVA

Some students may consider transferring their work to a four-year college. Students should consult with their future school to determine what courses will transfer, as each college or university has it's own requirements. Some IDS courses may transfer as electives if the transfer university has no apparent equivalent courses. NOVA has an agreement with Marymount University which allows NOVA interior design graduates to transfer to Marymount with junior standing upon successful review of a portfolio of design work.

Tools & Equipment

Tools & Equipment

Specific tools and equipment are required for execution of class projects, totaling in excess of $200 in the first semester, and somewhat less over the course of the remaining classes. While a considerable investment, these tools will be used in most of the IDS courses, some art courses and on into the student's professional life. Instructors will review the required tools and equipment during the first week of each class.

Computer Requirements

Students are not required to have a laptop or computer, but the use of the computer is required for all written work. All college campuses have computers available for students to use in the Open Computer Labs, but not all software, such as AutoCAD is available on all campuses. We recommend that you call ahead before visiting a lab.

Basic word processing skills and the ability to create a simple spreadsheet in Excel are an advantage, as are presentation skills such as Powerpoint. All instructors use Blackboard, an Internet-accessed tool for class assignments. All students are assigned an email account by the College and instructors require the use of this email account for class correspondence.

Courswork will require projects to be developed with word processing, spreadsheet or presentation software such as Microsoft Office or Google Docs. This software is available to students free or at reduced rates. For more information about software, see Student Software under the IT Help Desk.