2 students in art class

Certificate Program

A short-term, part-time, flexible program, the graphic design certificate program is very different from the BFA and is appropriate for those who have some prior college-level background and/or significant employment experience in a related field. Please review both the curricular and admission requirements as outlined in this section of the catalog 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 required 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 design and electronic skills necessary to secure entry-level employment in the graphic/electronic design field.

The certificate is designed as a part-time program and can be completed in two or more years (eight 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 Electronic 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 nine transfer or advanced standing credits can be applied toward requirements for graduation. Please note: Credits earned as a continuing education student are considered transfer credits.

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

Certificate Curriculum

    Required 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

      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-S206 Graphic Design I

      Prerequisites:

      ADF S151

      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-S219 Computer Applications in Design

      Prerequisites:

      Intended for majors only

      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-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 leaned in Basic Typography into an electronic format. Students will learn how to produce quality type in electronic format as well as experiment with and explore type through electronic manipulation.

      Term:

      Offered Spring 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 include societal issues.

      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 of preparing artwork electronically for printing. Software applications include Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Normally offered fall and spring semesters.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    Graphic design studio elective**

    or

    • 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 student's intended area of professional concentration, or complete a Thesis Studio (see below). 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. Students with prior documented work experience in the field may be waived from the internship requirement, with the approval of the Graphic Design Program Director.

      Term:

      Offered Both Fall and Spring

      Type:

      Expanded Classroom Requirement

    Graphic design studio elective** or

    • 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. Software: Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

    • 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-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, and resume preparation.

      Term:

      Offered Spring Term

    Elective courses may be chosen from the following (all are 3 credits):

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

      Prerequisites:

      Instructors Consent

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      This course introduces the skills necessary for meeting clients' illustration needs in a variety of media appropriate to context. Florence, Italy and it's 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 outdoors in and around Florence, Italy, Tuscan hill towns and the Veneto exploring basic illustration styles, methods and techniques. This course satisfies the expanded classroom requirement.

      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 your 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-S370 Artists' Books

      Prerequisites:

      Take ADG-S202 ADG-S207 ADF-S152; or Instructor's permission.

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Books are vessels of information. They can present your graphic design, photography or fine art, house a cherished collection, and even express non-linear thought. This class will cover traditional book design and construction techniques, as well as contemporary, non-traditional methods. You will learn to blend design, craftsmanship and content to create books that are themselves works of art. This is a hands-on studio course intended for graphic design and fine arts majors.

      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:

      Offered Fall Term

    • ADG-S365 Digital Photography

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Often mixed with other media, photography has evolved into a major tool for use by the contemporary artist and designer. 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:

      Offered Both Fall and Spring

    • 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:

      Offered Fall Term

    • 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-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-S334 Electronic Publication Design

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S202 and ADG S207 and ADG S219.

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

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

      Term:

      Offered Fall Term

    • 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 and using specific software 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-S328 Designing for the Greater Good

      Prerequisites:

      ADG S207 and ADG S219

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      Can designers who work for the greater good still make a good living? In a word, yes. 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, including the Obama campaign, FEED Projects, (RED), and Nike's Considered Program. Field trips are planned throughout the course, including a guided tour and talk at IDEO, one of the leading international design thinking companies.

      Term:

      Occasional

    • ADG-S317 Graphic Novel

      Prerequisites:

      ADF S101 and ADF S102 or portfolio review and instructor permission

      Credits:

      3.00

      Description:

      An introduction to comics and the graphic novel as a means of visual narrative and personal expression. The course will identify and examine some of the key principles that make this art form work. A deeper, working understanding of these principles will be gained by applying them to a series of specific narrative projects with stated objectives. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with different visual styles and a variety of materials as they work to develop a personal artistic voice.

      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:

      Almost everything in our lives is packaged. Peas and automobile accessories, prescription medication, and pearls; virtually every product requires a wrapper, a skin, a form of transport, a package. What you see on store shelves is a result of a complex process, involving the collaborative efforts of graphic designers, package engineers, printers, stylists, photographers and merchandisers. Package design is a team endeavor because in an overcrowded marketplace, it is crucial to a product's success and ultimately to the client's bottom line. 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-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.

      Term:

      Offered Both Fall and Spring

    • 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

    Gainful Employment Disclosure

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

    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

    Either call undergraduate admissions for a certificate application at 617-573-8460

    or

    Download the Suffolk University Application for Certificate Programs