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Online Illustration Certificate

Undergraduate Certificate in Illustration

NEXT CLASS: APR 27th | 100% Online Orientation Begins April 13th  

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

About This Program

The Undergraduate Certificate in Illustration provides a thorough foundation in digital and traditional illustration for computer artists. In just two semesters, you’ll gain an understanding of the fundamentals of vector graphics, still life and figure drawing, color theory, composition, painting, and how to implement these concepts using today’s digital arts software tools Photoshop and Illustrator. Students gain a valuable introduction to the practices and workflows of commercial illustrators.

I think the biggest thing, for me, is the ability to be flexible in the battle between work, life, and education. Being able to maintain my current work schedule and attend classes without having to make changes to either is perfect for me. There is no need to feel that I cannot further my career and fulfill my dreams because classes are only available during days/times that I am at my job. Shaun Edwards

Undergraduate Certificate in Graphic Design, Class of 2018

Student Work By: Maggie Brownstone, Rose Lauer

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 Illustration 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 illustration and design work or further study. All credits can be later transferred into the Associate in Illustration degree program.

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 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 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 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 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.

ILL 202 Digital Illustration II - 3 credits

Learn advanced illustration and Adobe Illustrator techniques for communicating your creative concepts. This course explores a professional illustrator approaches creating editorial illustrations, icons, retro poster designs, illustrations with depth, and identity designs. Open-ended projects will help you develop portfolio-quality illustrations, and peer discussions and critiques will provide valuable interaction opportunities.

ILL 111 Life Drawing I - 3 credits

Follow traditional method to learn the standard measures and proportions artists use to achieve naturalistic and expressive figure drawings. Illustrations and activities guide students through the structure of the human skeleton and help them understand how the body’s anatomy shapes its external form. The course builds progressively from the fundamentals to the challenges of portraiture, three-dimensional form, composition, and expression.

ILL 204 Painting I - 3 credits

After a thorough orientation to the painter’s materials (paint, canvas, brushes, and solvents), students study a systematic and time-honored approach to painting that enables them to capture proportion, perspective, and lighting. Students learn how to build a foundation with preparatory sketches and underpainting, then gain control over value through monochromatic painting and color studies.

ILL 209 Commercial Illustration - 3 credits

Explore business applications for your illustration work, from editorial and commercial to advertising and marketing. In this survey course, you will explore different genres of project work, learning how contracts and copyright work and how to represent yourself professionally and effectively.

OUTCOMES

Program Outcomes

By completing the program, Undergraduate Certificate in Illustration students develop the following competencies:

1. Drawing

Draw and paint utilizing traditional media and classic techniques, demonstrating a command of proportion, perspective, value contrast, and the human figure.

2. Software

Create high quality images and graphics utilizing software including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

3. Illustration

Conceptualize and create illustrations for a range of commercial applications in traditional or digital media.

4. Design

Create polished, professional artwork demonstrating knowledge of color and composition.

5. Projects

Confidently tackle a variety of illustration projects.

Sessions Student Work

Visit the Student Gallery

What Our Students Say

FACULTY

Jordon Schranz Jordon Schranz is an audio/visual artist and designer.
James Smith - Illustration faculty James Smith is a graphic artist and illustrator.
Fiorella headshot Fiorella Shalat is a sculptor, textile artist, and art educator.

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
Fiorella headshot

Fiorella Shalat is an artist and educator with expertise in commercial still life, microscope photography, and creative darkroom techniques.

  • M.Arch, CUNY City College of New York
  • BS in Art Education, CUNY City College of New York
James Smith - Illustration faculty

James Otis Smith is a New York based graphic artist and illustrator. As a freelancer he has worked in comics, illustration, motion graphics, and video and published several graphic novels.

  • B.A., Sarah Lawrence College
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
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
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 and Illustrator CC software.
  • Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.
  • Basic drawing and painting supplies including pencils, charcoal, newsprint, and sketch paper.
  • 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 1st, 2019, the 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.

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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