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UC San Diego Extension remains committed to helping you achieve your educational goals. In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have transitioned many of our courses to an online or live online format. Live Online classes are fully online with live virtual class meetings each week using our Zoom conferencing system. Online classes will have pre-recorded lectures each week and guided assignments from the instructor. We will resume in-person classes when it is deemed safe to do so.

Learn the essential skills needed to thrive creatively and professionally in the field of design




Communication design is a mixed discipline between design and message development and the intervention of the medium in which it is shared. As a communication designer you must develop the relationship between the viewer and visuals.


In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, design and messaging are more critical than ever to successfully engage people. Demand is growing for creatives who possess solid foundational principles in the aspects of design thinking in combination with the strategic, collaborative, and communication fluency needed to excel in the most demanding professional settings.

Our program addresses the constant flux within the field of digitally created media and covers essential principles of design and visual communication methodology, as well as business and professional practices that are necessary to succeed in the field. Additionally, the program will explain the “why” behind the role and function of design, as well as the “how” of successful communication design and visual storytelling. Students will learn professional practices and gain the skills necessary for portfolio development.



In-Class & Online

Est. Cost



*Cost varies depending on prerequisites and electives.
Textbooks/materials separate.



21 - 27 months

Varies by number of courses taken per quarter.

What You Will Learn:

  • Comprehensive understanding of design principles, techniques and tools, and how to translate your vision into real-world applications.
  • Technical fluency in industry standard software applications, including the Adobe Creative Suite.
  • An understanding of professional practices and business, and how to effectively collaborate in a cross-functional team setting.
  • Project management skills and how to execute design work from inception to completion.
  • The essential skills of speaking about design work and mastering the art of storytelling within a presentation.
  • How to present and market yourself as a designer.

The Specialized Certificate in Communication Design is for:

  • Individuals who would like to pursue a career in visual communications and graphic design and stand out among the competition.
  • Designers currently working in the industry who want to continue developing their skills to stay competitive.
  • Experienced professionals looking to gain a specialized certificate from a top ranked university.
  • Individuals looking to grow as visual artists and become effective collaborators within the design industry.

Questions about our classes or certificates? Contact our department at 858-534-5760 or


There will be a $95 fee upon acceptance into the program

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There will be a $95 fee upon
acceptance into the program