About This Program
The Sessions College Undergraduate Certificate in Advertising Design provides a foundation in print and digital advertising. Students develop an understanding of design fundamentals—color theory, composition, type, and layout—and how to apply them using today’s design software tools Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Students learn the fundamentals of creating advertising and marketing messages that connect with consumers, including concept development, campaigns, and copywriting.
The best thing about Sessions College is that all projects are designed to prepare students for real-life scenarios. Each week, the assignments resembled the type of projects that designers would actually encounter in their field.
Student Work By: Brandon Martin, Kara Gelles, Savannah Dimovski
Advance Your Creative Career
Advance your creative career in a focused 2-semester program.
By Creatives, For Creatives
Collaborate with a community of creative learners and industry professionals.
Enhance Your Portfolio
Enhance your portfolio with creative projects that put you through your paces.
Structure and Flexibility
Weekly deadlines keep you on track, but with no set login times you can build your studies around your schedule.
Education You Can Afford
Affordable programs with low per credit tuition, and financial aid available for those who qualify.
Open Enrollment Program
Open enrollment with a convenient application process.
Studying Online at Sessions
Founded in 1997, Sessions College has delivered accredited and affordable fully online programs for creative professionals for more than 20 years. Take a virtual college tour in this video!
The Undergraduate Certificate in Advertising Design is a 24-credit program completed in two semesters. Part-time schedules are available.
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.
By completing the program, Undergraduate Certificate in Advertising Design students develop the following competencies:
Conceptualize, create and present work that delivers strategic solutions to address business and customer needs.
Create images and design layouts by effectively and efficiently using design software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and other industry technologies.
3. Art/Design Principles
Demonstrate the ability to produce visually compelling work by applying knowledge of color, typography, and composition.
4. Design Process
Develop strategic advertising and marketing concepts and campaigns for a variety of audiences and social contexts.
Produce and present a range of professional marketing communication projects for print, digital/social media, and outdoor ads.
Sessions Student Work
What Our Students Say
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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.
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.
Kristen Becker is an educator and a graphic and business designer specializing in e-commerce. With over 12 years of experience as an award-winning educator, Kristen has developed curriculum and taught courses in graphic design, multimedia, and e-commerce/marketing.
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.
Dr. Taz Tally is the president of Taz Tally Seminars and Taz Tally Photography and author of numerous graphics and print production books and instructional videos, CDs, DVDs and online training courses on scanning, prepress and printing, Photoshop, and color correction.
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Our online application process makes getting started easy, fast, and convenient.
What's the Admissions Process?
Students entering the Undergraduate Certificate 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, April, and August, with early start options in February, June, and October. Our online application is simple and convenient, and there is no application fee.
How Long is the Program?
Two Semester Program.
The Undergraduate Certificate program is a 2-semester, 24 credit program. Students can graduate in under eight months and part-time schedules are available.
Will the Program Fit My Schedule?
Weekly deadlines help you stay on track. And with no set login times, you can build your studies around your schedule, wherever you are located. Many of our students complete their programs while working part-time or full-time.
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 software.
- Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.
- Webcam, headphones or speaker, VPN connection, and microphone connected to the computer for live proctored exams.
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?
Effective July 1, 2020, the tuition and fees for Undergraduate Certificate students are as follows:
|Undergraduate Certificate Tuition|
|$510 per credit|
|$6,120 per semester|
|$12,240 total program tuition|
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.
Is Financial Aid Available?
Federal Student Aid. Federal student aid is available to students who qualify. If you are eligible, you may be able to fund your program using Pell Grants and Federal student loans. Check out our Financial Aid Information pages and ask to set up an interview with our Financial Aid Director.
Military Student Aid. Military servicemembers and their families who are eligible for GI Bill Education Benefits or active service member Tuition Assistance (TA) may also be able to utilize these programs to pay for their education.