About This Program
In the Sessions College Professional Certificate in Graphic Design program, students learn the software programs that every graphic designer needs to know: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Students discover how to produce digital images, illustrations, and page layouts, addressing concepts of color, typography, and composition. Class assignments involve hands-on photo editing, logo design, poster design, magazine design, and more.
I already have a BFA, but earning an online certificate will add to my credentials. My primary goal of enrolling is to get solid design skills. I am a working freelancer, and new projects can kick in at any time. Allowing me to study at home at my own pace is important.
Student Work By: Leah Kelly
Kick Start Your Creative Career
Advance your career in a flexible 9-month program.
Study With The Pros
Get expert feedback on your art and design work.
Grow Your Portfolio
Enhance your portfolio with creative projects.
Flexible, Self-Paced Program
Study at your own pace – no weekly deadlines!
Invest in Your Education
Affordable payment plans help you fund your education.
Enroll Today, Start Tomorrow
Get creative now with open enrollment and monthly class starts.
Designed for the busy adult learner, the Professional Certificate in Graphic Design is a 360 clock hour program completed in nine months studying part time.
Already have some design experience? You can customize the program around your learning goals. Browse our graphic design courses or course list and talk to an advisor.
4218 Photoshop Basics
Get a thorough grounding in Adobe Photoshop, the premiere image-manipulation tool for print design, Web design, and photography. You'll learn to choose and use the best techniques for common Photoshop jobs including selecting and isolating objects, creating image composites, masking and vignetting images, setting typography, and improving images with retouching and effects. Every designer must tame this creative powerhouse of a program.
4017 Color Theory
Focus on developing appropriate color systems for graphic design projects. Projects explore the principles, terminology, and applications of color theory, with an emphasis on manipulating color. A working knowledge of the expression and perception of color, and color interaction, lends credibility and sophistication to a designer’s work.
4226 Illustrator Basics
Build a working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, the graphic designer’s vector program of choice. Course projects explore selection tools, drawing tools, layers, the Pen tool, transformations/distortions, type tools, and modifying paths and shapes. Tapping the power of vector software allows you to produce detailed and scalable art for almost any application.
4221 Fundamentals of Typography
Explore the critical role of typography in graphic design. Course projects build an understanding of the anatomy of the letterform, the distinguishing features of different typefaces, and creative applications of type. An assured grasp of typography is essential in any visual communication project.
4020 Design and Composition
Discover the principles of effective composition in print design and advertising. Composition, literally the assembly of elements, is the artful arrangement that guides the eye and unifies a design work. Case studies and hands-on projects address closed/open space, negative space, movement, and more.
4228 InDesign Basics
Explore fundamental techniques for Adobe InDesign and develop an efficient workflow for both print and digital publishing. The course will impart a working knowledge of InDesign’s main capabilities, everything from basic features to using master pages, importing and manipulating objects, controlling text flow and style, and organizing content with tables, layers, links, and conveyor tools. Valuable methods for cutting-edge digital publishing techniques are explored, and projects give you training in a range of real world print/digital publishing projects: brochures, catalogs, magazines, ePubs, and even an interactive folio for the iPad.
4019 The Study of Graphic Design
A century of innovation has created the language of graphic design we know today. This course provides students with a historical context for creativity. Students learn to use research into and analysis of 20th century art and design movements and designers as a springboard for design projects. Class discussions provide a forum for talking about the evolution of design and incorporating such exploration into the creative process.
4221 Fundamentals of Logo Design
Explore the philosophy and process behind designing a logo. Students learn the importance of corporate identity and the different stages in a typical logo design project. The course establishes a solid conceptual and practical grounding for anyone interested in pursuing a career in visual identity, from a design or a marketing perspective.
4013 Graphic Design I
Establish a firm foundation for taking on professional design work. You'll gain insights from industry veterans and explore the challenges of designing posters, logos, magazine covers, book layouts, 3D designs, and brand identities. Looking to establish a career as a freelance designer? The course provides you opportunities to hone your design process, as you research each project, develop concepts, work with iterative feedback, and begin to develop quality pieces for your portfolio.
By completing the program, Professional Certificate in Graphic Design students develop the following competencies:
Create images and design layouts by effectively and efficiently using design software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and other industry technologies.
2. Art/Design Principles
Demonstrate the ability to produce visually compelling work by applying knowledge of color, typography, and composition.
3. Design Process
Develop strategic and compelling designs for a variety of audiences and social contexts.
Produce and present a range of standard professional graphic design projects including graphics, posters, ads, logos, page layouts, and packaging.
Sessions Student Work
What Our Students Say
VIEW ALL PROGRAM FACULTY
Get expert feedback in classes taught by our industry-leading faculty.
Andrew Shalat is an author, designer/illustrator, educator, and Mac expert who is a regular speaker at Macworld and has written several books on design for McGraw-Hill and Peachpit Press.
Boris Margolin is a veteran graphic designer who has worked as an in-house designer for several major international corporations including CIGNA, MetLife, and Nypro.
Bruce Bicknell is a writer, instructor, illustrator, animator, Web designer, video editor, marketing pro, and graphic designer based in Tampa, Florida. Bruce has worked on projects for Adobe Systems, ATI, Photoshop Elements Techniques, MacTribe, Yellow Machine, and Mac Design.
Jose Ramos is a publishing solutions specialist and Adobe consultant for the Caribbean region. Jose has Adobe certifications in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, InCopy, Acrobat Pro, and Dreamweaver.
Margaret Penney is a teacher, designer, writer and media artist. As a Web and motion graphic designer, Margaret has worked on projects for Verizon, DC Immediate Care, TIAA-Cref, Nike, Delia's girls clothing, MTV, author Rosalyn Hoffman and artist Sol Lewitt.
Michael Hamm is a Senior UX Designer who has worked for Oracle Corporation and Expedia, and an Adobe Illustrator expert with over 20 years of experience in the creative field.
Piper Nilsson is a graphic/Web designer and educator. Piper has been working with the Web since 1997, working in various roles as a designer, programmer, and information architect, Piper blueprinted sites for such global clients as MetLife, Pepsi, ETS, and Citibank.
View all faculty.
You want to make sure your work towards earning a graphic design certificate online is worth it. That means, you need to have a good outlook for potential jobs. Thankfully graphic design is a growing field with some nice opportunities.
Facts are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. For more information about art and design careers and the design community visit: AIGA or The Graphic Artists Guild.
Median Income for Graphic Designers in May 2017 was $48,700 a year, 24.4% higher than the median for all workers.
1 in 5
About 1 in 5 graphic designers were self-employed in 2016.
Our online application process makes getting started easy, fast, and convenient.
What's the Admissions Process?
The Professional Certificate is open admissions, with classes starting each month. To apply for the program, simply complete our free, no-obligation application and select your program options. Applicants are expected to have graduated high school.
How Long is the Program?
Nine Month Program.
The program can be completed in nine months studying on a part time schedule. Since you study at your pace, you may complete it sooner! If you need more time to complete, there is a painless extension policy for an additional 6 months of access for students who qualify based on academic progress.
Will the Program Fit My Schedule?
There are no set login times, so you can complete your program at your own pace in our most flexible program. A designated Student Advisor will track your progress from class to class, providing you support and motivation.
What Software or Supplies Do I Need?
To take this program, you’ll need the following:
- Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
- Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign CC.
- Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.
There are no textbook or course material costs to participate in this online program. Student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud software is available to enrolled students.
What are the Program Costs?
Sessions College programs are flexible and affordable. There are no textbooks required; tuition costs include all digital materials. Effective May 1, 2021, tuition and fees for Professional Certificate programs are as follows:
Paid in Full Discount: Total program cost is $2,700 for students who pay in full.
Enrollment in any certificate program requires a $200 registration fee (non-refundable five days after beginning of Orientation class or submission of first assignment). All tuition and fees must be paid on time, including those paid by third parties.
Can I Use a Payment Plan?
Most definitely. Affording your education is easier with our Payment Plan.
- Pay for your Professional Certificate with 11 monthly payments of $250.
- Once you’ve set up your plan, your payments are automatic.
- Your first payment which includes a $200 Registration Fee.
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