Skip to Main Content

Interior Designers

Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners

If you are considering pursuing a career in interior design, one of the first decisions you will make will be in reference to your education. Education lays the foundation for developing the skills and knowledge to not only practice a profession, but also to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

The current educational requirements for interior design registration in the State of Tennessee are: 1) a two-year, three-year, four-year, or five-year interior design degree that has been accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA, formerly FIDER), or 2) an interior design degree determined to be substantially equivalent to a CIDA-accredited degree.

Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental process of peer review. It requires an educational institution or program to meet certain defined standards or criteria and serves to notify parents and prospective students that a particular interior design program has met minimum educational standards for its graduates to enter professional practice.

For a list of Tennessee higher education institutions with CIDA-accredited interior design programs, see the Resources and Links page.

Note: Other institutions in Tennessee offering acceptable interior design programs include those located in Tennessee on April 16, 1991 that were either accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) or licensed by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).

For further information:
Regarding accreditation of interior design programs, how to select a program, and a complete listing of accredited programs in the United States Click Here.
Regarding interior design registration Click Here.
Regarding a career in interior design Click Here.

Listed below are the minimum requirements to be considered for registration as a registered interior designer:

Education and Experience Requirements:

  • A 5-year degree in interior design accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA, formerly FIDER), or that has been determined to be substantially equivalent to a CIDA-accredited degree, and 1 year of diversified interior design experience; or
  • A 4-year degree in interior design accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA, formerly FIDER), or that has been determined to be substantially equivalent to a CIDA-accredited degree, and 2 years of diversified interior design experience; or
  • A 3-year degree in interior design accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA, formerly FIDER), or that has been determined to be substantially equivalent to a CIDA-accredited degree, and 3 years of diversified interior design experience; or
  • A 2-year degree in interior design accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA, formerly FIDER), or that has been determined to be substantially equivalent to a CIDA-accredited degree, and 4 years of diversified interior design experience.

    [Substantial equivalency means comparable in program content and level of educational experience but not necessarily identical in format or method of delivery. It implies that the graduates of these programs possess the necessary competencies to begin professional engineering practice at the entry level. ]

Examination Requirement

  • Passage of the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Examination.

Other Requirement

  • Must be at least 21 years of age.

For further information regarding

  • Must have been previously registered in the State of Tennessee.
  • Must have obtained a minimum of 24 PDH’s in the two years prior to filing for re-registration.