2 students in art class

Certificate Program

A short-term, part-time program, the Graphic Design Certificate is appropriate for those who have some prior college-level background and/or significant employment experience in a related field. Please review the curricular requirements as outlined and admission requirements in order to determine whether this program is appropriate for you.

Graphic Design Certificate Program: 12 courses, 36 credits

The Graphic Design Certificate is designed for those who do not want the extensive training of the BFA, but who require more focused design training to complement existing educational or work credentials.

Within the framework of a 12 course (36 credit) sequence, the program provides real-world preparation built on a foundation of design and typography skills, coupled with a thorough grounding in the use of the computer as a design tool. The primary emphasis of all courses, however, remains the conceptual, creative process. The goal of the program is to provide students with the practical and technical design skills necessary to secure entry-level employment in the graphic design field.

The Certificate is designed as a part-time program and can be completed in two or more years (four semesters minimum). Students may choose from day and evening course offerings and may take as many courses per semester as scheduling, prerequisite requirements, and outside commitments allow.

Requirements for Completion of the Graphic Design Certificate Program

  • All students must earn a minimum of 36 credits, with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0, in order to be awarded a Certificate in Graphic Design.
  • All students must earn a minimum of 27 of the required 36 credits while enrolled as Certificate candidates and must satisfy all course requirements of the Certificate program. A maximum of 9 transfer or advanced-standing credits may be applied toward requirements for graduation.
    • Please note: credits earned as a NESAD continuing education student are considered transfer credits.

It is recommended that students take no more than five years to complete the program.

Certificate Requirements: 12 courses, 36 credits

  • ADF-S166 2D/Color

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This is an introductory-level course in the basic concepts and practices of two-dimensional design and color theory. The study of color and design is supportive of all studio disciplines and is vital to the understanding of all visual media. This course features an intensive, hands-on approach to color and design as students create, modify and master the three dimensions of color (hue, value, and strength) plus the principles of design(line, shape, value, composition and image). This in-depth study is essential and underlies all of the visual arts as they are practiced today. An understanding of color and design influences all artists' decisions, affecting the look, meaning and use of visual phenomena.

  • ADG-S201 Basic Typography

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S151 OR ADF S166

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will introduce students to the creative use of typography in the design process and will provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to design with type.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADG-S202 Computer Typography

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S201 and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This advanced course focuses on the translation of the historical knowledge and hand skills learned in Basic Typography into a digital format. Students will learn how to produce quality typography, as well as experiment with and explore letterform design and manipulation.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

  • ADG-S206 Graphic Design I

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S151 OR ADF S166

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Emphasizing the creative process from thumbnail to comprehensive, the course will also introduce the student to the language, tools, and techniques of the professional graphic designer. Attention will be paid to conceptualization, production and presentation in solving design problems. This course will expose students to a series of assignments designed to show step-by-step problem solving from observation and research, to the incorporation of these findings into the design of communication vehicles.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADG-S207 Graphic Design II

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S206 and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    A continuation of the skills learned in Graphic Design I, involving projects that are broader in scope, more in-depth, and address societal issues.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

  • ADG-S219 Computer Applications in Design

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    In this course students will learn the major software applications used by graphic designers, such as Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Through a series of problems, students will learn how and when to use specific software to produce their solutions and prepare portfolio-quality design.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADG-337 Professional Practice

    Prerequisites:

    Senior BFA status

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This senior-year course is designed to provide final preparation for employment in the field of graphic design. In addition to helping each student develop a professional portfolio, the course will provide students with practical knowledge of the business aspects of graphic design, interviewing skills, resume preparation, personal branding and help students target internship opportunities for the following semester.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADG-S344 Graphic Design III

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S202, ADG S207, and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This continuation of Graphic Design I and II (ADG S206, 207) will concentrate on increasing sophistication in creative problem-solving abilities. Students will also develop an understanding of prepress terms and operations and the impact of technology on those operations. It will also provide the knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to make appropriate prepress decisions regarding more complex projects. Senior status preferred.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADG-S345 Graphic Design IV

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S344

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    A continuation of the concepts and skills developed in Graphic Design III and their application to more complex, multi-pieced, in-depth projects.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

  • ADG-S354 Advanced Computer Applications

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S201, ADG S206, and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course is designed to further explore software applications for specific and experimental effects. It aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to choose the appropriate software application and to execute the desired design, focusing on the design itself rather than on the limitations of computer programs. The course also focuses on solving the technical and production problems when preparing artwork electronically for printing. Software applications include Adobe Creative Suite:InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

Studio Electives (2 courses, 6 credits)

These electives are subject to change and must be approved by the Graphic Design program director. Choose two of the following courses:

  • ADG-S213 Web Design I

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will introduce basic web site design and creation skills to students in order to prepare them for more advanced study in Web Design II. The class will use a variety of industry standard software to design and create basic working websites. Students will learn HTML, XHTML and CSS. Javascript, Flash and Action Scripting will be discussed and presented as supplemental tools. Information architecture, wire frames, interface design, user experience and web page layouts will be explored. The history, societal context and future of new media will be discussed throughout the semester.

  • ADIL-S214 Illustration for Designers

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S102

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course introduces the skills necessary for meeting clients' illustration needs in a variety of media appropriate to their context. Emphasis will be placed on developing the ability to draw real objects and real people while advancing a personal style. Development of visual research and photo reference, thumbnailing and rendering skills for ones presentation of ideas and concepts while designing the proper environment for their illustration will be required.

  • ADG-S302 Italian Journal: Painting and Drawing On Paper

    Prerequisites:

    Instructors Consent

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This faculty-led study abroad course introduces the skills necessary for meeting clients' illustration needs in a variety of media appropriate to context. Florence, Italy and its environs will serve as the subject matter and catalyst in developing the ability to draw objects, i.e. Architecture, people and landscape while advancing a personal style. Study will begin with a pre-departure journal/book binding workshop at Suffolk University and then to the outdoors in and around Florence, Italy, Tuscan hill towns and the Veneto, where students will explore basic illustration styles, methods and techniques.

    Term:

    Summer

    Type:

    Expanded Classroom Requirement

  • ADG-S305 Conceptual Typography

    Prerequisites:

    Take ADG-S202

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course is designed to build on core typography knowledge and further students' understanding of the conceptual possibilities of using type in design. Advanced typographic problems requiring the implementation of both traditional and alternative methods will facilitate a deeper exploration of modern communication issues including layered hierarchies, type in motion, typographic voice and illustration.

  • ADG-S311 Integrated Advertising

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S206 and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will provide instruction towards creatively translating marketing needs into innovative and effective advertising solutions through a series of challenging projects. Students will learn skills applicable to the advertising industry by focusing on creative executions across multiple-media applications including print, direct mail, collateral, outdoor, online, and other media. There will be emphases on idea generation and campaign development with the goal of message communication through the balance of various elements including page design, copywriting, typography, illustration, photography, and visual effects. The history of advertising from the early 20th century to the ever-changing complexity of today's digital landscape will be studied.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADG-S312 Packaging Design

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S201 or ADG S601 AND ADG S206 or ADG S606 AND ADG S219 or ADG S619 OR Instructor Permission.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    In this course, students will study the evolution and history of packaging design, discuss philosophies, learn industry terminology and examine contemporary designs. Using case studies, students will analyze the package design process from concept to production and over the course of the semester, develop a line of packaging and supporting marketing materials for one brand. Guest lectures and field trips will supplement readings and in-class discussions, which will address brand extension and consistency, packaging templates, professional procedures, product photography and printing.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADG-S328 Designing for the Greater Good

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S207 and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    In this class,students will study contemporary models of inspiring change through branding, systems design, and product design, and explore how design can have an impact in raising awareness and funding for social, environmental, political, and health issues. Students will work on three integrated design campaigns projects focused in social innovation, design of community, connected to health, and environmental impact to learn how to identify the opportunities to inspire change through design, and how to leverage print, social media, new fundraising tools, and online resources to create a successful effort. Students will also explore successful case studies in cause-related design.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADG-S330 Motion Graphics

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S219 OR instructor approval

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Enter the world of motion design and learn how to make movies that incorporate image, type and video. This class will focus on learning to create moving graphics that are geared toward being broadcast on television, web or film. Students will create time-based works such as title sequences, ads, and videos that they art direct. In the very near future, motion design will be a necessary skill for designers to compete in the marketplace. Motion design can be applied to many areas of graphic design from on-screen presentation to environmental design. During the class, students will build their motion design portfolio that will give them an edge above conventional print and web designers.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

  • ADG-S334 Publication Design

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S202 and ADG S207 and ADG S219 or Instructor's Consent.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will focus on the skills necessary to create publications such as books, magazines, annual reports and catalogs. The goals of this course are three-fold: to further enhance the understanding of typography in regard to publications, to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to design publications for either a print or digital environment, and to integrate the students' own art and/or photography in their work.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

  • ADG-S340 Web Design II

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S213 or Instructors permission

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course is intended as a continuation of the experience gained in Web Design I. The objective of the course is the development of advanced conceptual skills such as prototyping, usability testing, interactive philosophy, accessibility, project and content management. Students will further develop their professional multimedia skills by working with HMTL, XHMTL, CSS and other industry-standard tools. JavaScript will be discussed and we will use Flash for animation and video. Current techniques for distributions on mobile devices will be explored. Software that will be used during the class will include Dreamweaver, Flash, and other professional level software tools.

  • ADG-S348 Advanced Illustration for Designers

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S214

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course focuses on the preparation of illustration for specific markets within the graphic design product development and publishing fields. Independent development and proficiency in a variety of media and the learning of different methods of preparing artwork for reproduction in traditional printed and/or digital environments will be covered. The continuation of the development of a personal sketchbook, photo reference, and the shooting of photographs for research will be further explored.

  • ADG-S360 Corporate Design

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S202 and ADG S207

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course explores the issues of contemporary branding used to identify, establish and promote the business community. Specific emphasis will be placed on the analysis and development of corporate identity systems including the development of logotypes, stationery, signage systems, marketing collateral/advertising/direct mail campaign development, environmental graphics and websites.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADG-S365 Digital Photography

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course offers students the experience of creating digital and film photographs while studying concepts of art direction and techniques that can enhance their compositions. The primary objective is to generate professional still and motion images for digital media, including the Web. Students will manipulate their photographic images using Photoshop rather than the traditional darkroom. Students will also learn how to photograph their own artwork and use a digital camera. Advanced students will be encouraged to explore independent tracks of study.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADG-S366 Environmental Graphic Design

    Prerequisites:

    ADG S202, ADG S207 and ADG S219

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    A cross disciplinary course bringing together interior design students and graphic design students to collaborate on problem solving in the visual and built environments. In the studio, students will be exposed to design issues and problems, both experiential and graphic. Students will be working in teams bringing new insight to solutions for a variety of client/project types. Field trips to fabricators, professional firms and EGD sites will be included. This is a survey class designed to introduce students to ways of producing three dimensional graphic design projects within the built environment.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADG-S370 Artists' Books

    Prerequisites:

    Take ADG-S201 ADG-S206 or Instructor's permission.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course will cover traditional book design and construction techniques, as well as contemporary, non-traditional methods. Students will learn to blend design, craftsmanship and content to create books that are themselves works of art. This is a hands-on studio course.

    Term:

    Occasional

  • ADG-400 Graphic Design Internship

    Prerequisites:

    Senior BFA status.

    Credits:

    3.00- 4.00

    Description:

    Seniors are required to pursue an internship with a local graphic design firm, whose work is directly related to that students intended area of professional concentration. Interns will observe and participate in all office procedures permitted by their place of internship and will be required to maintain a notebook of their observations. Required classroom seminars will reinforce new skills, share learning experiences and answer questions or concerns.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

    Type:

    Expanded Classroom Requirement

  • ADFA-S251 Printmaking Studio

    Prerequisites:

    ADF S102

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course is designed to familiarize students with the printmaking studio and various techniques. Students will gain exposure to a number of techniques including non-toxic processes. Over the course of the semester, students will be expected to develop a portfolio of prints while working in class and independently. Open to NESADSU majors only.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

        Admission

        Admission Policies and Requirements

        All candidates for the Graphic Design Certificate Program must satisfy the following requirements:

        1. Have earned at least 30 credits from an accredited post-secondary institution (college or university); OR be recommended in writing by supervisor(s) who will attest to the candidate’s successful employment in a related field for the equivalent of one year. Written documentation of work experience must employ guidelines established by CAEL (Council for Adult & Experiential Learning).
        2. Submit a portfolio of original artwork representing the range of your talents and experience. Those without a portfolio will be required to take 2D/Color (ADF-S166), earning a grade of B or better to waive this requirement. Candidates may also meet with the Graphic Design Program Director for an admission interview in lieu of submitting a portfolio.
        3. All program applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the Macintosh computer operating system.
        4. Applicants must submit an official transcript of grades from high school and each college or university attended.
        5. Applicants must submit a current professional resume.
        6. Each application for admission to the Graphic Design Certificate Program must be accompanied by a non-refundable $50 Certificate Program Application Fee.
        7. Applicants to the Certificate Program must demonstrate proficiency in English. The university reserves the right to formally evaluate candidate’s language skills as part of the admissions process. This is a part-time non-degree granting program; the university will not issue I-20’s to international students in the Certificate Program. The program will not be accelerated or altered to accommodate students requiring visas.

        How to Apply

        Call Undergraduate Admissions for a certificate application at 617.573.8460 or download the Suffolk University Application for Certificate Programs.

        Gainful Employment Disclosure

        View the Federally Mandated Gainful Employment Disclosure for the Certificate in Graphic Design