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This program prepares students to become assistant designers or interior design technicians. The curriculum provides a basic education covering a broad range of topics in interior design, art history, furniture history, and basic design. Computer-aided drafting, rendering, and business practices round out the curriculum. Students become knowledgeable in both residential and contract design. Career opportunities exist not only in the retail marketing of furniture, fabrics, and accessories, but also in commercial design firms as space planners, drafters, and technical support staff. Students will be able to become student members of professional organizations related to the design industry, such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and through those organizations they can participate in professional events that encourage networking with designers in the local area.

Program Details

Coursework is practical and theoretical with an emphasis on teaching the practical skills needed in the world of interior design. Students learn the basics of the interior design profession, including its history, business intricacies, planning of space and issues related to building codes. They also gain skills including hand drafting and rendering and computer based drawing using current CAD drafting software, all of which are used in the preparation of projects for many of the courses. Specific course topics include materials, lighting, kitchen and bath design, portfolio design, and space planning among others.

Transfer Opportunites

Transfer is not the primary purpose of this credential; however, NOVA may have agreements that facilitate the transfer of this and other career-oriented programs to selected senior institutions. In order to learn more about possible transfer opportunities please visit: https://www.nvcc.edu/transfer/. Students interested in transferring should contact an advisor or counselor to discuss their options and plans.

Credit for Prior Learning

Northern Virginia Community College accepts industry-standard certifications, credentials and/or professional courses for credit. Broadly, licenses, credentials and/or certifications must be current and valid for consideration. For more information regarding the status of the certification and its eligibility for credit, please see an advisor or faculty members in the discipline area that awards CPL credit.

The most current information can be found here for CPL: Certifications and Credentials.

Program Degrees and Certificates


Career Prospects

Graduating students can find employment in a wide variety of markets including residential, model home, kitchen and bath, corporate, healthcare, hospitality, and government design. Job types include entry level design assistant, retail and furniture store sales, and manufacturer's representative for products used in interiors and architecture.

Get Started

Want to get started with this program? Speak with an adviser to start shaping your educational journey at NOVA.

Contact an Advisor