Special Topics I course at Sessions College

Special Topics I

3 credits

DEG 304: Special Topics I

Develop a multi-faceted project in support of your creative goals.

Professional designers apply design and communication principles, meet milestones, collaborate with clients, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize creative concepts, adhere to deadlines, and strive to exceed expectations. In this class, you will continue to advance the design strategy plan you developed in the DES 360 Design Systems and Planning course. In collaboration with your instructor, you will select or “spec out” and complete a multi-faceted project and/or set of projects that support your portfolio goals. In this course, your instructor will serve as your client, and your class grade will be based not only on the quality of your work but also on your ability to meet deadlines, synthesize design principles, and effectively present your work.

Gain perspectives from design industry professionals.

Course At A Glance

Course Features

  • 100% online
  • Project-based
  • Instructor-led
  • Credit-bearing: 3 Credits
  • Classes start January, April, and August


The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course developed by: Dr. Meryl P. Epstein

Take this course as a standalone or as part of the following program(s):

Course Projects

    1. What Direction to Pursue?

      We will explore potential directions to consider when deciding what project to produce during this course. The course outlines options for developing a professional or personal creative project, or choosing one of three trending design projects.

    2. Creativity: Your Super Power!

      Developing creative ideas for projects is an important skill for any designer. We will discuss strategies for generating and developing a multi-faceted and creative project idea, including brainstorming and mind mapping.

    3. Research: Your Secret Recipe.

      We will explore how to flesh out your idea with client, competitor, and customer research, so that your project has depth and dimension.

Sample Student Work

For sample work, visit student gallery

Course Outcomes

What Are The Course Projects?

Students will undertake a multi-faceted design project during the course of the semester. Students can develop a portfolio project that meets their portfolio needs, engage in a passion project that is complementary to their portfolio, or select one of three trending design projects.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?
  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign CC.
What Will I Learn?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Analyze, evaluate, and synthesize design industry trends and artistic styles when exploring and researching the work of graphic designers and other creatives.
  • Professionally present research and creative concepts in alignment with the course content, creative brief, project criteria/expectations, and presentation guidelines.
  • Actively and professionally participate in class discussions/meetings, constructively assess t
  • Demonstrate effective and efficient use of your digital and traditional design and sketching skills, and other image making skills to create quality portfolio ready pieces.
  • Effectively conceptualize, create, finalize, and present a multi-faceted design project based upon research, with consideration of the following (where applicable): industry trends, strategic marketing strategies, effective use of social media and other promotional venues, production planning with consideration for design principles such as composition, layout, color, and typography.
  • Apply and demonstrate technically proficient digital illustration/image making/page layout skills utilizing appropriate software such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.

Getting Started

Course Registration

  • Classes start January, April, and August
  • 3 Credit Course
  • Project-Based: Exercises, Discussions, and Critiques

Course Tuition and Fees
Registration Fee* $200
Total Course Price $1730

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for course content.

Course Registration Form

To register for this course, use the form below to enter your information and desired start date. An Admissions Advisor will contact you to arrange payment and provide you with an Enrollment Agreement.

PD: Course Registration

Contact Information

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What Are The Courses Like?

Our courses are project-based. In each course you’ll enjoy a series of lectures, projects, discussions, and critiques designed to stretch your creative skills, earning college credit for your completed course.

How Much Time Do I Need?

Classes start January, April, and August, and this course can be completed in a 15-week term. College credit from this course can be applied to a range of degree and certificate level programs at Sessions College.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our faculty of professional artists, designers, and photographers. This means that you’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).