Graphic Design Certificate Programs at Sessions College

Graphic Design Certificate Programs

Professional Certificate in Graphic Design

Expand your creative, technical, and design skills
  • Software: Explore Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
  • Design: Gain fundamental visual design skills

    Unleash Your Creativity. Gain a Graphic Design Certificate Online, at Your Own Pace

    What You’ll Learn

  • Train in techniques using today's design software tools Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
  • Learn fundamental concepts in color, typography, and composition.
  • Create digital images, illustrations, and layouts.
  • Gain design project knowledge, including photo editing, logo design, poster design, magazine layout, more.
  • Feature Includes

    • Online. Study 100% online from anywhere with 24/7 access to classes.
    • Self-paced. Complete your program on your own time in 9 months or less.
    • Industry Relevant. Develop in-demand skills for your creative field.
    • Expert Instructors. Receive feedback on your work from industry pros.
    • Customize. Customize your program with added courses and concentrations.

    What Makes Sessions College Different

    Study at your own pace

    Study at your own pace

    Learn by doing

    Learn by doing

    Connect with pros

    Connect with pros

    grow your portfolio

    Grow your portfolio

    Professional Certificate in Graphic Design Courses


    Designed for the busy adult learner, the Professional Online Graphic Design Certificate is a 360-hour program completed in nine months or less studying part time.

    Level 2


    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. Learn more

    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. Learn more

    4023 Design Foundations

    Color is a fundamental medium for any artist or designer. Typography is what sets designers apart from other artists. Composition, literally the assembly or construction of elements, is the artful arrangement that guides the viewer's eye through an image. In this course, you will analyze everything from Grand Masters to Madison Avenue ads to tubes of toothpaste, and discover how color, type, and composition are combined to create effective and powerful visual communications. Class projects challenge you to build and apply your design skills in application to real-life creative scenarios. Learn 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. Learn more

    4023 Typography II

    Typography, technology, and culture are intertwined. Type has the power to communicate meaning and mood through its quirks and beauty, its history and diversity. In this advanced online typography course, you'll learn advanced concepts in typography, building your portfolio through hands-on projects. You'll experiment with type fusion, learn the details of text layout and information hierarchy, create a visual identity for product package and a civic authority, and even design your own currency. Learn more

    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. Learn more

    Build Your Own Graphic Design Certificate Learning Path

    This program is adaptable to a wide range of experience levels. Choose the option(s) below that best meet your learning goals.

    Option 1


    New to the field? Simply complete all required courses in the certificate program.

    Option 2


    Already have some industry and/or software experience? Customize up to 50% of your programChoose from courses in Web Design, Software, Motion & Video, and more by choosing alternate courses.

    Option 3


    Need more training? After you've completed your program, add concentrations at reduced tuitionChoose from concentrations in Web Design, Digital Photography, Illustration, and more to enhance your creative skills.


    Program Outcomes

    By completing the program, Professional Certificate in Graphic Design students develop the following competencies:

    1. Technology

    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.

    4. Projects

    Produce and present a range of standard professional graphic design projects including graphics, posters, ads, logos, page layouts, and packaging.

    Sessions Student Work

    What Students Say

    For me, the best thing about Sessions College is definitely the instructors. They are very helpful and don’t simply grade your work, but also give excellent feedback. Their feedback really pushed me to produce my best work and I believe it really helped me to learn to critique my own work as a designer.

    Dhani Mouttet

    Professional Certificate in Graphic Design, Class of 2022


    Piper Nilsson Faculty profile image Piper Nilsson is a graphic/Web designer and award-winning instructor.
    Michael Hamm is a senior visual designer, Web developer, and all-round Illustrator guru.
    Boris Margolin is a veteran graphic designer.


    Get expert feedback in classes taught by our industry-leading faculty.

    Instructor Biography Degree(s) Earned
    Andrew Shalat

    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.

    • MFA, Savannah College of Art and Design
    • MA in English and American Literature, Brandeis University
    • BA in English Language and Literature, State University of New York at Stonybrook

    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.

    • BS in Graphic Design, Mount Ida College
    • AS in Graphic Arts, Springfield Technical Community College
    Bruce Bicknell

    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.

    • Associate's of Science in Web Design and Computer Animation, International Academy of Design and Technology
    Jose Ramos

    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.

    • AS in Fashion and Illustration, Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

    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.

    • Diploma in Graphic Design, Art Institute of Houston, TX
    Piper Nilsson Faculty profile image

    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.

    • AOS in Graphic Design, Pratt, NY

    View all faculty.

    Job Facts

    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.

    Getting Started

    Our Graphic Design Certificate online application process makes getting started easy, fast, and convenient.

    What's the Admissions Process?
    Open Admissions.

    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.

    Tuition and FeesProfessional CertificateProfessional Certificate PLUS
    Registration Fee$200$200
    Total Cost$2,750$3,750

    Paid in Full Discount: Total cost is $2,700 (regularly $2,750) for Professional Certificate students who pay in full. Total cost for Professional Certificate PLUS students who pay in full is $3,700 (regularly $3,750).

    Enrollment in any certificate program requires a $200 registration fee (non-refundable after 5 days of enrollment in the program). 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.

    1. Pay for your Professional Certificate with 11 monthly payments of $250, or pay for your Professional Certificate PLUS with 13 monthly payments of $288.
    2. Once you’ve set up your plan, your payments are automatic.
    3. Your first payment which includes a $200 Registration Fee.

    Get Info Now

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