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Graphic Design Certificate

Master the skills and tools of professional graphic design

In the world of print and digital design, good looks are everything. Fortunately, creating professional content for either your clients or your employer is made easier by understanding the fundamental concepts provided in our unique Graphic Design courses.

Five certificate courses and 65 total hours of instruction will cover the identification of multiple principles and elements within good design—color theory, composition, typography and more—while demonstrating how artistic decisions can create cohesive, expressive branding through the use of templates and style guides. We’ll also work within various Adobe Creative Suite software programs to explore effective visual communication strategies and best practices.

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The following types of students will benefit from this program:

  • Anyone wishing to learn more about graphic design and the technology it uses
  • Those who want to strengthen or refine their visual communication skills
  • Marketing professionals who want to better understand the creative side of their industry 

Program objectives

After successfully completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Describe the differences between raster and vector graphics, as well as identify when to use each type
  • Justify design decisions using their knowledge of color, composition, typography, and information hierarchy
  • Conceptualize and create clear visual solutions for complex communication problems in both print and digital media
  • Address real-world design challenges that accommodate multiple revisions and stakeholders
  • Critique, edit and refine their own and others’ work at a professional level

Certificate Requirements

To receive the Fundamentals of Graphic Design certificate, students must:

  • Complete all five (5) of the required courses listed above
  • Attend at least 80% of the class sessions in each course
  • Pass exams after each course with a score of 75% or higher
  • Satisfy all program requirements within 18 months

All Fundamentals courses are also offered open enrollment, meaning anyone can register for them regardless of affiliation with Emory or desire to complete the certificate program.

Technology Requirements

We are not able to provide Adobe Creative Cloud access to students completing this program or any of its courses in an online format. Students wishing to participate in this program must be comfortable using and navigating computers. 

Certificate overview

3-6 months


Time commitment
65 hours