Fairfield University:

Your Path to NCIDQ and ASID Credentials

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Fairfield University’s Interior Design program stands out as a beacon for aspiring professionals, paving the way for success through its strategic alignment with the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and partnership with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Here’s an in-depth exploration of the program’s unique offerings and the transformative impact of NCIDQ certification and ASID affiliation.

Fairfield Interior Design student rendering by Marjan Hamedani. Design includes modern dining area and fireplace.
Rendering by Fairfield University student, Marjan Hamedani.

Advantages of NCIDQ Certification and ASID Membership

Both professional membership in ASID and becoming NCIDQ certified are crucial differentiators in the competitive interior design field. The NCIDQ and ASID credentials are recognized at a higher professional level than interior designers who do not possess these credentials. Designers with these industry-recognized credentials are sought after and respected and have the potential to charge higher fees.1. They are also fully qualified to handle any residential and commercial interior design project.

Overview ASID Membership

ASID is the primary professional trade organization in the United States, sets high standards for membership, and requires the completion of a rigorous credit program. ASID members benefit from education, knowledge sharing, advocacy, community building, and being recognized as professional practitioners in the field. 

ASID supports the profession by working to introduce or advocate for state legislation that benefits the practice of interior design. ASID also sponsors continuing education unit (CEU) learning sessions to provide members with the latest education and ensure they stay current with industry regulations and best practices. The organization also provides these benefits: 

  • NCIDQ exam preparation. 
  • Offers foundation awards and scholarships. 
  • Supports working designers with health insurance options, liability insurance, contracts, trade pricing, and discounts.  
  • Directory listings for interior designers to attract new clients.

Aspiring members must have completed a credit program of at least 40 credits to become Allied Practitioner members. Completing our Fairfield University Professional Interior Design graduate certificate (which can also be applied toward the master’s degree) meets this requirement. Members who pass the NCIDQ exam can become full Professional Members and use the letters ASID after their name as part of their title.2.

Overview of NCIDQ Certification

The NCIDQ credential is the industry’s recognized measure of proficiency in interior design principles and reflects a designer’s commitment to the profession. It shows proven expertise in various interior design competencies, including building systems, codes, construction standards, and design applications.

It requires candidates to have completed either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in interior design and have completed two years of documented full-time work experience to qualify to sit for the exam. Passage of the exam qualifies each member to fulfill requirements that each state may have that affect the designer’s title and/or ability to practice in that state.3.

Fairfield University’s Affiliation with NCIDQ and ASID

Fairfield’s interior design curriculum enables students to create realistic projects and build a professional portfolio while preparing them to pass the NCIDQ exam. When students complete the program and graduate, they must complete the second year of work experience to become NCIDQ certified. We provide ongoing support to the student throughout that process. We consider students still part of the program until they become certified.  

Students also become student members of ASID once they enter the program and can advance to Allied membership once they complete the professional certificate on their way to completing the MA in Interior Design.  

Each state is associated with both its state chapter and the national chapter. Fairfield’s Interior Design program is recognized as an ASID Higher Education Partner and boasts its own long-standing chapter. The Connecticut chapter is very active and welcoming. Attending ASID meetings offers students opportunities to network with top professionals who can help offer guidance and potential employment opportunities. The ASID supports students with a portfolio review and competitions, as well as opportunities to highlight student work and meet professional members who provide mentorship.  

Professor Robert Hardy with student Timothy Beaupre. Student is working on an interior design on a drafting table.
Professor Robert Hardy with student Timothy Beaupre. Photograph by Elizabeth Hastings.

Significance of NCIDQ and ASID – Spotlight on Fairfield Faculty, Robert Hardy

I have been a professional member of ASID and NCIDQ certified since 1984. All the knowledge I gained from my affiliation with both organizations, combined with my practical experience, has served me well throughout my career. Over the years, I have applied knowledge and best practices from the organizations to lead complex projects with a comprehensive understanding of interiors as well as structure. 

NCIDQ and ASID provide minicourses in many areas of interior design knowledge, offering the accumulation of CEUs required by both NCIDQ and ASID. The CEUs have kept me current on the latest best practices in the field. Networking at ASID has also proved valuable in helping our local students find job opportunities. The affiliation has been instrumental in creating and running Fairfield’s Interior Design Program.   

Fairfield University MA in Interior Design Success Stories

There are many graduate success stories. Here are six highlights: 

  • Beth Krupa founded an award-winning interior design and renovations firm, Beth Krupa Interiors, based out of Greenwich, CT. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines. She is very active in ASID/CT and has served as chapter president. She is a guest speaker in the Business course in the interior design program.

  • Ellen Foley Broccolo owns ELLEN FB Design Studio in Miami, specializing in high end residential and commercial interior design projects locally and nationally. She combines her expertise as a Certified Classical Chinese Feng Shui practitioner and international experience to bring an elevated personal and global accent to all her projects.

  • Jonathan Gordon established his very successful firm, Design by The Jonathans, in New Haven, CT. He and his extensive design team specialize in residential design, including kitchens, baths, universal design, and aging in place, as well as Commercial design, including restaurants, hotels, and offices. His work has been featured in several publications.

  • Abigail Braden ’20 has established a very successful business in Ridgefield, CT, called August Interiors. She specializes in residential interior design, including kitchen design and Bath design. Her work includes projects not only in Fairfield County, but also in Westchester and the New York City area. Her work has been featured in the HGTV Magazine, Apartment Therapy, Bedford & New Canaan Magazine, Houzz, and other publications.

  • Jeanne M Muscolino, NCIDQ, LEED AP, has had a successful career serving as Principal for JCJ Architecture, a national architecture and interior design firm with 7 offices across the country. As Hospitality Sector Leader, Jeanne oversees the hotel, resort, gaming & entertainment side of the practice.

  • Bethany Beckerlegge has not only established a highly successful interior design firm but has recently joined our interior design program faculty.

    Read more about grad journeys in Fairfield’s Interior Design Program is One of its Best Kept Secrets

Unique Features of Fairfield’s Interior Design Program

In addition to our affiliation with NCIDQ and ASD, Fairfield’s program sets itself apart by understanding the importance of experiential learning in covering real-world applications. We do this through:

  • Ensuring that all projects are based on real-world scenarios, covering every aspect of interior design, from plumbing, electrical, and building construction to the aesthetic considerations required for a successful project. 

  • Promoting the value of being skilled in presenting a vision for a project and therefore requiring continuous practice pitching designs in front of faculty and peers. 

  • Designing a learning process that builds out a valuable portfolio utilizing projects and a capstone research project that is pitched to a panel of industry experts.

  • Encouraging students to seek field opportunities while studying and helping place them while still in the program.

Fairfield’s Interior Design program, fortified by preparing students for NCIDQ certification and offering ASID membership, not only equips students with the skills needed for a successful career but also fosters a community of professionals dedicated to continuous learning and excellence. 

Learn more about Fairfield University’s MA in Interior Design program


1. “How much more can you earn with the NCIDQ Certificate,” Q Practice, December 30, 2023, https://www.qpractice.com/what-you-earn-with-ncidq-certificate/   

2. “American Society of Interior Designers,” https://www.asid.org/. Please note that ASID information and benefits are subject to change. State requirements are also subject to change. It’s always a best practice to review your state’s requirements for the most up-to-date information and visit the ASID websites for more information.  

3. “Council for Interior Design Qualification – NCIDQ Examination,” https://www.cidq.org/. Please note that NCIDQ information and benefits are subject to change. State requirements are also subject to change. It’s always a best practice to review your state’s requirements for the most up-to-date information and visit the NCIDQ  websites for more information. 

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