The Interior Design program at NOVA has been producing talented interior designers for more than 25 years. Our two-year Associate of Applied Science degree prepares you to enter the workforce as a junior designer or to continue your design education at an accredited four-year college or university.
The Interior Design program, offered only at the NOVA 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. You can take your art and general education courses at any NOVA campus.
The program is designed to educate you if your initial career goals include positions as entry level or junior designers 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. You should anticipate spending long hours on projects and presentations. In addition, you may be required to attend design industry events. Attendance at meetings, ASID and IIDA meetings and trade shows is encouraged.
The Interior Design program currently has an open enrollment policy consistent with NOVA's mission. However, to be successful, you should have some affinity for the interior design field before taking courses. This can be manifested through interests and ability in the arts, color, furniture and furniture history and other talents normally associated with the design field. Learn more about enrolling at NOVA.
The interior design program at NOVA is supported by an advisory committee composed of interior designers from the Washington metropolitan area. These designers meet and support 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
- Kay Sargent, SID, IIDA, CID, LEED AP, NCIDQ; HOK
- Skip Sroka, ASID, NCIDQ; Sroka Designs, Inc.
- Allie Mann, CKD, Case Design
Transferring to NOVA
If you have an Associate of Arts (A.A.), bachelor's, master's or Ph.D. you may not be required to take the general educational college requirements (English, Math, etc.). However, you will need to have a transcript evaluation completed by the Admissions and Records Office. You should request transcripts from former college registrars and have them sent directly to the registrar of the Loudoun Campus. If you wish to transfer specific courses from another college, you will need to fill out a transcript evaluation request form and submit it with the transcript. After evaluation by Student Services, you will be able to view your transcripts and course progress online through myNOVA. If you have an Associate of Science degree, you may be required to take some further general education courses.
Transferring From NOVA
You may consider transferring your work to a four-year college after receiving your A.A.S. in Interior Design. For example, NOVA has an agreement with Marymount University that allows NOVA interior design graduates to transfer to Marymount with junior standing upon successful review of a portfolio of design work. Besides Marymount, recent NOVA graduates have successfully transferred to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), James Madison University (JMU) and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). You should consult with your future school to determine what courses will transfer because each college/university has its own requirements. Some NOVA interior design courses may transfer as electives if the transfer university has no apparent equivalent courses. You will often work with your faculty advisor to determine what steps to take to transfer.
Tools & Equipment
Specific tools and equipment are required for execution of class projects, totaling in excess of $200 in the first semester. While a considerable investment, these tools will be used in many of the art and interior design courses, some art courses and on into your professional career. Instructors will review the required tools and equipment during the first week of each class.
You are not required to have a laptop or computer, but using a computer is required for all written work. All NOVA campuses have computers available for you to use in the Open Computer Labs, but not all software, such as AutoCAD, is available on every campus. Many students bring laptops/tablets to class to take notes or do in-class assignments. If you are going to purchase a computer, we recommend that you buy a PC, not a MAC, specifically because drawing software you will use in the program such as AutoCAD and REVIT are designed to run on a PC.
Coursework will require you to use word processing, spreadsheet or presentation software such as Microsoft Office or Google Docs. Basic word processing skills, the ability to create a simple spreadsheet in Excel, and presentations in PowerPoint will be advantageous. Some of the software is available to you for free and some at reduced rates. For more information about software, see Student Software under the IT Help Desk.
All instructors use Canvas, an Internet-accessed tool for class assignments. All students are assigned an email account by the College and instructors require you to use that account for class correspondence.