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Undergraduate Certificate in Graphic Design

Undergraduate Certificate in Graphic Design

NEXT CLASS: AUG 24th | FALL 2020 applicants: Enroll by JUNE 30th to lock in 2019/20 tuition.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

About This Program

The Sessions College Undergraduate Certificate in Graphic Design provides a thorough foundation in graphic design. Students gain an understanding of the fundamentals of color, typography, and composition and how to apply them using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Students apply current production methods and techniques to exciting projects that include poster design, magazine layout, identity design, and packaging design.

I work full-time, so studying online just made things easier for me. It allowed me to be go to work and do school on my own time without the added pressure of having to schedule classes at nights and weekends, causing me to be away from my family.

Donek Morton

Undergraduate Certificate in Graphic Design, Class of 2020

Student Work By: Anna Spankie, Donek Morton, Dominique Dunn, Oscar Merritt

Program Benefits

Advance Your Creative Career

Advance your creative career in a focused 2-semester program.

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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. 

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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.

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Open Enrollment Program

Open enrollment with a convenient application process.

The Curriculum

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

First Semester


Second Semester

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

The program builds a foundation for entry-level graphic design work or further study. All credits can be later transferred into the Associate in Graphic 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 111 Drawing I - 3 credits

Learn how to analyze what you see in the world around you and communicate it on paper. Through hands-on projects, and guided by a professional artist, you will explore the critical concepts of line, mass, form, perspective, value, and composition, building a solid foundation for all your art and design work.

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.

DES 105 Design and Composition - 1.5 credits

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.

DES 131 Logo Design I - 1.5 credits

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.

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. Valuable methods for cutting-edge digital publishing techniques are explored, and 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.

DES 102 Typography II - 3 credits

Learn advanced concepts in typography including type fusion, information hierarchy, expressive type, and 3D type applications. Assignments include advertising, product packaging, civic branding, and currency design. The focus of the course is on improving your design by learning to see type differently.

DES 211 Graphic Design I - 3 credits

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.

OUTCOMES

Program Outcomes

By completing the program, Undergraduate 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.

Outcomes Assessment

To learn more about our outcomes assessment process, visit our Academic Team

Sessions Student Work

What Our Students Say

FACULTY

Kristen Becker Kristen Becker is an educator, graphic designer, and entrepreneur specializing in e-commerce.
Jessica Peltz Jessica Peltz is an experienced creative director who has won advertising awards.
Andrew Shalat Andrew Shalat is an author, designer/illustrator, educator, and Mac expert.

VIEW ALL PROGRAM FACULTY

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
Jessica Peltz

Jessica Peltz has more than 20 years of industry experience in graphic design as an Art and Creative Director with ad agencies, design firms, publishing companies, and in-house corporations.

  • MA in Graphic Design, Savannah College of Art and Design
  • BA in Mass Communication, George Mason University
Jordon Schranz

Jordon Schranz is an audio/visual artist and designer whose work has been exhibited internationally in New York, Chicago, El Paso, Berlin, Bogotá, and Ciudad Juárez.

  • MFA in Combined Media, City University of New York
  • BFA in Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art
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
Kristen Becker

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.

  • MA in Digital Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art
  • BA in Environmental Systems, University of Maryland
Margaret Penney

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.

  • MFA in Writing and Media Studies, Columbia University
  • BFA in Writing, Minor in Film, Johns Hopkins University
Michael Hamm

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
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 Institute
Taz Tally

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.

  • PhD in Geology, University of California Santa Barbara

View all faculty.

GETTING STARTED

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

What's the Admissions Process?
Open Admissions.

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.
  • 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?

The current tuition for Undergraduate Certificate students is as follows:

Undergraduate Certificate Tuition
$440 per credit
$5,280 per semester
$10,560 total program tuition

Tuition for part-time students is $490/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.

**Effective July 1, 2020, the tuition for Undergraduate Certificate programs will increase to $510/credit, for full-time and part-time students. Applicants who complete enrollment and acceptance prior to June 30th can enroll at 2019-2020 tuition rates.

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.

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