The University of the arts


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Graphic Design Level I

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If you are interested in applying to this program for fall 2018, please contact our main office 215-717-6006

The Graphic Design Level I and Level II certificate programs are for people interested in taking the first step towards an entry level design position, freelancing, or for people interested in working within a brand on in-house design.

From ideation to final layouts, the graphic design process is about discovery. Our courses foster design thinking in context and embed core design principles into all your class projects. While the emphasis will be on print—you will be introduced to motion graphics, a growing trend in the field.

Each of the courses in this program will focus on projects where you will be given a set of design assets necessary to complete your assignment. These assets will mimic what a design client might provide, which could be text, color palettes, logos, or images; along with a procedure to follow and the evaluation criteria for successfully completing the project.


Graphic Design Level I introduces participants to the Adobe Creative Suite platform, while embedding design thinking into each course. The program culminates with Typography where students will develop a design project. In addition to the course sequence, students will be required to attend 6 guest presentations or special programs over the course of the program.

Program Structure

Participants can complete the Level I course sequence, for a total of 9.0 credits, in three semesters (Spring, Summer and Fall).

All classes meet on campus once a week from 6-9 pm. In addition, classes are supplemented with special topic presentations, field trips, and hands on experiences.

Tuition: $600 - $900 per couse
Fees: $30  - $40 per course.

Why You Should Participate in the Graphic Design Certificate:

  • You want to learn about ideation and the practical application of graphic design principles.
  • You want to become fluent in or refine your understanding of the Adobe Creative Suite design software.
  • You want to learn to work with composition and layouts.
  • You want to learn a flexible skill set for use with print and/or digital media.
  • You want to build a strong design portfolio. 

Ready to apply? Complete the digital form or apply online today!

Please join the Continuing Education mailing list to get updates on this program, and for information on the application deadline to join the next cohort. If you would like to schedule an advising session to discuss your options with Continuing Education staff, please email 

Required Courses

  • Orientation and Introduction to Graphic Design
First Course | 1 Day | $100

  • Design with Adobe Illustrator
Second Course | 5 Weeks | $630

When it comes to designing web layouts, Adobe Illustrator allows you to move and resize elements quickly and intuitively. Illustrator is the industry standard for creating vector-based graphics such as logos and typography. It is also a rich supporting tool in creating page layouts prior to starting design. This workshop focuses on a practical overview of Adobe Illustrator's interface, workspace, tools and techniques. It will provide the skills to create website layouts, graphics, icons and typographical graphics that add distinction and professionalism to any website or user interface.

  • Design with Adobe Photoshop
Third Course | 5 Weeks | $630

Explore Photoshop through hands-on web design exercises. The course starts with an introduction to the Photoshop interface and tools and the types of files that are used for web graphics. Th e course continues as you learn how to use layers, effects, text, filters and image optimization tools for the web. Once you gain familiarity with the tools of Photoshop, you will be able to use those skills to create website templates, rich graphics and web page elements such as content boxes and buttons.

  • Design with Adobe InDesign
Fourth Course | 5 Weeks | $630

Adobe’s page layout program lets you put together every kind of print-oriented product imaginable – brochures, ads, posters, billboards and more – using text, images and illustrations. InDesign allows the creation of multipage documents, and it works seamlessly with images from Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat. Learn how to integrate and use these tools more effectively.

  • Design with Adobe After Effects
Fifth Course | 5 Weeks | $630

  • Typography
Sixth Course | 10 Weeks | $940

Through a series of applied design projects, this course stresses the importance of typography and design in visual communication. Study basic letterform anatomy, type history, typographic contrast, characteristics of major type families and how to design words, sentences and paragraphs to visually communicate an idea. Develop your ability to create typographic layouts using the dynamics of a grid system as a design tool and to build an effective hierarchy. Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Design, Adobe InDesign or equivalent experience.

Total Required:                                                        12.0        6 courses