Graphic design skills are highly valued in today's workplaces, and the demand is always growing for employees who possess design-based abilities.
UC San Diego Extension's Specialized Certificate in Graphic Design focuses on building essential design skills, such as branding, web design, and page layout. Students will gain a strong foundation in typography and practice solution-based design thinking.
Options vary per course.
*Cost includes recommended prerequisites; may vary by curriculum updates.
*Varies by student and courses taken per quarter.
Upon successful completion of this certificate, students will have completed a portfolio and a gained a foundation in graphic design that can be applied immediately to their current jobs, as junior graphic designers, or as freelance designers.
Note: The Specialized Certificate in Graphic Design is geared toward students who already have a good understanding of design and are looking to sharpen or update their skill sets. For an accelerated professional program, please check out the Graphic and Web Design Professional Certificate. For detailed information about this specialized certificate, please enroll in the free online Information Session below.
There will be a $95 fee upon acceptance into the program
Onsite courses are offered in a PC lab at our University City Center campus. Students enrolled in online courses may work on a PC or Apple computer, except where specified in the course description. Software is not provided to online students. Before taking an online course, refer to the course description for exact software requirements. We recommend online students own the latest version of Adobe Creative Cloud.
From the 'Apply Now' button, login to your student account, complete the online application, and pay the application fee if applicable.
It is preferable that you create an account before proceeding if you have not already done so.
Candidates are encouraged to apply in the certificate program as early as possible to take advantage of program benefits.
See Certificate FAQs for more information.
Arts, Humanities, Languages & Digital Arts. Call 858-534-6731 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Students who wish to apply to the specialized certificate in Graphic Design should have a basic to intermediate knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud, especially in Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. This can be demonstrated, for example, by completion of the recommended prerequisites in the course matrix, or by submitting a portfolio for approval by the program manager.
Although a college degree or professional experience in the field are not required, applicants with such experience may receive preference for admission when program capacity is limited.
Current UCSD students may be considered for admission depending on their academic and career focus and educational performance.
Executive Design Director
Assoc. Professor, Co-Director
UC San Diego Design Lab
Dean of the Visual Arts, Broward College; Instructor
UC San Diego Extension
Art Director/UX Designer
Web and App Developer, Lead Certificate Adviser
UC San Diego Extension
Ownder and Creative Director
Urban Legend Design
Program Manager, Digital and Fine Arts
UC San Diego Extension
Graphic & Web Designer; Program Manager
UC San Diego Extension
Employment of Graphic Designers is projected to grow 5 percent over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
No, we do not currently offer job placement assistance, internships, or career services assistance.
Most courses combine theory with hands-on exercises. Our courses are taught by professionals who work in the field they teach, and will bring real-life projects and examples to your course.
This program will be available entirely online by late 2018. All assignments, discussion posts, and tests can be completed online and submitted through Blackboard, our online learning platform.
The link for UC San Diego Extension’s Blackboard is: https://ucsdextension.blackboard.com/
You can also preview Blackboard with a short tour.
Yes. Our programs are designed to be working-student friendly and most of our students are working professionals. The courses vary between two and three units, which amount to approximately 18-20 hours of class time for a two unit course and 27-30 hours of class time for a three unit course.
You officially have five years to complete all requirements for the certificate, although students can usually complete the entire program in 1.25- 1.75 years (5-7 quarters) by taking 1-2 courses per quarter.
All required courses cost $595 each. The estimated cost of the entire certificate program, including certificate fee, recommended prerequisites, enrollment fees, and textbooks/materials is $7,910.
Your mileage may vary depending on what electives you choose. How students pace their coursework may affect the program cost since many courses require software subscriptions, which are charged by month.
Students pay as they go when they register for classes, not in one lump sum.
Yes. Please contact email@example.com with a transcript (can be unofficial) of your previous coursework, or with a few samples of your work related to the software program.
How do I get my certificate once I have completed the requirements?
When you have paid your certificate fee and successfully completed all program requirements, you will need to request an audit by Student Services. To request an audit:
• In your My Extension account, click on “My Courses.”
• On the right side of the page under “My Certificates,” click on the name of the certificate.
• On the right side of the page under “Tools,” click on “Request Certificate Audit.”
• Complete and submit the form that appears.
Once you have formally submitted your audit request, your certificate will be mailed to the address we have on file for you within ten business days.
UC San Diego Extension facilitates private education loans through UC Approved Lenders for students officially enrolled in a certificate. Information on these programs can be found at extension.ucsd.edu/financial. State-Funded Training is available through EDD (Employment Development Dept.); more information can be found on their website: www.edd.ca.gov.
Yes, the program is open to non-California residents, including non-US residents. The tuition is the same for all students.
No student visa is required, nor does this program qualify for a student visa since it is a part-time, fully online program.
All required courses have a prerequisite of Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
Please view individual courses on our website for specific prerequisites. The Portfolio course must be completed after completing all other certificate required coursework and electives.
STEP 1: If you have a My Extension student account, skip to Step 2. If you do not have a My Extension account, go to myextension.ucsd.edu, click “Create an account” on the right side of the page, and follow the instructions to create an account. Once you have a My Extension account, continue to Step 2.
STEP 2: Click on the “Apply Now” button on the certificate page. Complete the required fields on the application. Then click the “Save” button. Once you have saved the application, the “Submit” button will appear. Click the “Submit” button to submit your application for review and consideration. Once submitted, your application cannot be changed. You can track the progress of your application at My Extension.
Current application or certificate enrollment fees, if any, are listed under the “Apply Now” button on the certificate page on our website.
Yes, you may enroll in the program at any time. However, it is recommended that you enroll as soon as possible. The program curriculum may be updated at any time; if certificate requirements change, you must adhere to the curriculum at the time of your enrollment into the certificate. Enrolling in the certificate also gives you access to quarterly, personalized enrollment reminders from the program manager.
Yes, you may take any course in this program except for the final capstone portfolio course without registering for the certificate, provided you have fulfilled any and all prerequisites for the course.
We recommend enrolling as soon as possible. Many of our core certificate courses will fill up before the course start date.
Each quarter we also offer an early enrollment discount of $25 on select courses if you enroll by the discount deadline.
To enroll in a class, click on the class link in the course matrix above and that will take you to the specific class page. On the class page you can find additional details about the course such as start date, time, classroom number, instructor and textbook info. To enroll click on “Add to Cart” which will lead you to complete the registration/payment process. You can also register over the phone with Student Services at 858-534-3400.
Why was my enrollment in a course blocked?
Enrollment in a class may be blocked in the following situations:
If you feel that you have fulfilled the prerequisites, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
When students enroll in a class they are given three grading options: Letter grade, Pass/No Pass, or Not for Credit. Students taking a class as part of a certificate need to complete their classes for credit (i.e. Pass/No Pass or Letter grade) and receive a C-/Pass or higher grade.
Grades below a C-, No Pass, and Not for Credit do not count towards certificate requirements.
The refund deadline for the language courses is typically six (6) days after the first class meeting. This allows students to attend the first class meeting to determine if the class is a good fit for them. The exact refund deadline for each section is listed in the section notes.
Students are expected to attend all class meetings, participate in class, and complete all homework assignments. Attendance is factored as a part of students’ final grades, and varies by instructor. Typically students can miss one class meeting without it impacting their final grade as long as they still complete their homework. Students who miss a class meeting should always reach out to their instructor regarding late work and homework.
You will have access to the online Blackboard class on the official start date of the class/exam/info session. Access will be available at 12:01am Pacific Time.
Enrollment to online classes can take up to 24 hours to process and sync up to our online classroom platform, Blackboard. For example, if a class started on Tuesday and that is the day a student enrolled, they will likely not have full access to the class until 24 hours later on Wednesday.
Each student has their own learning style so this can vary greatly. As a rule of thumb, expect to spend an average of two hours studying for every hour you spend in-class. For online courses, students should plan to spend approximately 8-10 hours per week viewing lectures and completing coursework.
Online courses will be asynchronous. Students do not need to meet at a specific time online, but will need to log in each week to view the lessons, participate in course discussion, and complete and submit coursework.
The program courses are taught by seasoned professionals and overseen by an advisory board of leaders in the field. You can view the advisor list under the “Advisors” section on the certificate page. You can find information about a course instructor, including a biography and credentials, on the course page.
Each instructor has his/her own preferred method of communication and response policy, which will be detailed on the course syllabus. However, most instructors utilize email or the discussion board and will respond within 24-48 hours.
One unit courses run for approximately 4 weeks. Three unit courses run for approximately 9 weeks. For exact course dates of upcoming sections, visit the webpage of the course you are interested in taking on our website.
All of our in-class courses are held at our La Jolla Extension complex or at our University City Center location. For directions, visit https://extension.ucsd.edu/maps
If your class is located at our La Jolla campus and takes place on a weeknight, you will need to pay for parking. No parking permit is required at our University City Center (UCC) location.
We recommend purchasing a quarterly night parking permit (~$43). If you are taking a 9-10 week class it is more affordable to buy this permit rather than use the hourly permit machines ($3 per hour). Quarterly night permits can be purchased online at: http://ow.ly/DnTP302mth0. Parking on weekends is free.
Materials and software requirements vary by course. For details, check the course page.
Students can transfer in up to two courses that match the content of our required courses. Please email email@example.com for more information about the transferability of previously completed courses.
UC San Diego Extension is not a degree granting institution, however many UC San Diego Extension courses can be transferred to other colleges or universities.
The transferability of credit is determined solely by the receiving institution. Students should discuss how your individual courses will transfer with the Office of the Registrar at the receiving institution prior to enrolling.
Quarter to Semester Unit Conversion
If the receiving institution operates on a semester system, credits will be converted to semester hours during their evaluation. As a general rule, quarter credits are converted to semester credits by dividing the number of quarter credits by 1.5. For example, if the student completed a course worth 4 quarter credits at UC San Diego Extension, the course would be worth 4 ÷ 1.5 = 2.66 semester credits.
If you are interested in taking courses at UC San Diego Extension, you will need to obtain written approval from your school principal or counselor. The approval must be signed and printed on school letterhead, and must be included with your registration. If you are homeschooled, your approval needs to be signed by your contact in your local school district.
The letter should verify that you, the student, have the maturity and academic readiness to attend a post-baccalaureate level or college-level course.
Approvals can be faxed to 858-534-8527, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to:
UCSD Extension Student Services
9500 Gilman Dr., Dept. 0176-H
La Jolla, CA 92093-0176
We are unable to accept letters signed by your parent, even if your parent is your teacher and/or school administrator. If you have taken community college courses, an official transcript from that college verifying coursework will be accepted in lieu of a letter from your high school or district. College transcripts must reflect a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
**Please note that some courses may address adult themes when discussing case studies.
For questions regarding our classes and certificates, please contact us at email@example.com or 858-534-6731.
There will be a $95 fee upon
acceptance into the program
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