Online Advertising Certificate

Undergraduate Certificate in Advertising Design

Our Undergraduate Certificate in Advertising Design provides a foundation in print and digital advertising. In just two semesters, you'll develop an understanding of both the fundamentals of design—color theory, composition, typography, layout—and the application of those fundamentals in today's design software tools Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. You'll study how to create advertising and marketing campaigns that connect with consumers, using the principles of concept development and copywriting.



Student branding work by Amy Finder

Grow Your Advertising Skills in Just Eight Months

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OCT 2ND

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Complete Your Program in 8 months

Program Outline

The Undergraduate Certificate is a 24-credit program completed in two semesters. Part-time schedules are available.

First Semester

DES 104 Color Theory
DES 101 Typography I
DES 121 Photoshop I
DES 141 Illustrator I
ADV 207 Creative Concept Development

Second Semester

DES 201 InDesign I
ADV 205 Marketing Design
ADV 206 Copywriting
ADV 201 Advertising Design I

Program Courses

The program builds a foundation for entry-level design work or further study. All credits can be later transferred into the Associate in Advertising Design degree program.

DES 104 Color Theory - 1.5 credits

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.

DES 101 Typography I - 1.5 credits

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.

DES 121 Photoshop I - 3 credits

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.

DES 141 Illustrator I - 3 credits

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.

ADV 207 Creative Concept Development - 3 credits

In advertising, illustration, or design, you need to be able generate many ideas for your clients and projects. This class provides you with training in how to identify the needs of each project, brainstorm solutions, challenge your assumptions, and test/evaluate your ideas until you have a winner.

DES 201 InDesign I - 3 credits

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. Projects give you 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.

ADV 205 Marketing Design - 3 credits

Learn how to make design decisions through research, writing, and planning techniques that set marketing designers (and their clients) apart from the competition. Class projects challenge you to combine concept, research, planning, presentation, and visual design to build your marketing portfolio.

ADV 206 Copywriting - 3 credits

Every ad designer must grasp the basics of persuasive copywriting. In this class, students will study how text and image interact in effective ad campaigns, learning how to write and edit ad copy for print and digital advertising media and turn written ideas into visual expression.

ADV 201 Advertising Design I - 3 credits

Learn creative approaches to persuading with visuals as you gain an introduction to the history and business of advertising. Case studies from print, Web, and TV showcase advertising concepts at work: persuasion, color psychology and composition, copywriting and typography, and brand communication. Class projects include ads for a wide range of media and a final project in which you create an entire ad campaign.

Program Objectives
  • Create job-appropriate color palettes and use color and contrast effectively in their work.
  • Design and lay out typography for readability, impact, or expression.
  • Prepare images for professional publication with Photoshop retouching, correction, compositing, or collage.
  • Create simple, stylized logos, icons, and illustrations in Illustrator.
  • Develop strategies for brainstorming, evaluating, and testing effective designs based on client needs.
  • Create consistent and readable layouts in InDesign for multi-page print publications.
  • Develop marketing campaigns that communicate a consistent, engaging message over various publications and media.
  • Write and edit ad copy for print and digital advertising media that demonstrates an understanding of how text and image interact in effective ad campaigns.
  • Develop competence in various advertising design media including posters, magazine ads, large-scale ads, print campaigns, and Internet campaigns.

Financial Aid

Did You Know? Eligible students entering Undergraduate Certificate programs may be entitled to Federal financial aid. Grants and loans can help you cover the cost of your education.

Student Feedback

"Every class I took during my time here has been a collaborative effort for everyone to learn the techniques and get better..." Kyle Gilbreath, Associate Degree in Graphic Design

Student Work

Learn to design from a faculty of professional artists and designers.

Career Information

Program graduates are prepared for entry-level positions as designers in the fields of advertising or marketing. Potential employers for Advertising Design graduates include advertising firms, technology companies, publishing, broadcast media companies, manufacturing, and Fortune 500 companies. Job titles include Graphic Designer, Creative Coordinator, Marketing Coordinator, and more.

Visit our Career Center for more information, or browse the Federal Occupational Handbook or O*NET database. For Gainful Employment information on this program, visit this page.

Take advantage of our award-winning programs. They’re accredited, affordable, and delivered 100% online.

Getting Started

Enrolling online is easy and convenient.

Apply

Complete our free, no-obligation application form online.

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Ask us about program options and financial aid.

Register

Select your start date and preferred study schedule.

Program At a Glance

Students entering the program are expected to have earned a high school diploma, GED, or state-approved home school equivalent. Any students under 18 years of age will need to provide the signed permission of a parent or guardian.

Classes start in January, May, and August, with early start options in February, June, and October. Our online application is simple and convenient, and there is no application fee.

To take this program, you’ll need the following:

  • Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign CC software.
  • Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.
  • Webcam, headphones or speaker, VPN connection, and microphone connected to the computer for live proctored exams.

Student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud software is available to enrolled students.

The tuition for Undergraduate Certificate students is as follows:

Undergraduate Certificate Tuition
$425 per credit
$5,100 per semester
$10,200 total program tuition

Tuition for part-time students is $475/credit and paid by semester.

A $200 registration fee is required to process your enrollment in the program. Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from the scheduled beginning of program orientation. (Active service members are exempt from registration fees.) See Undergraduate Certificate Tuition and Payment options.

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