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Graphic Design & Visual Communications Certificate

Graphic design certificate

Create your path to a graphic design career in just 3 months

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

In our fully online program, we 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. Throughout the program, you’ll complete multiple assignments designed to help you starting building a portfolio of your work and a personal brand to demonstrate your skills to prospective clients or employers.

Included in tuition, students will receive access to 20+ Adobe Creative Cloud apps and 15 Adobe Stock images per month for the duration of the program. Students are responsible for purchasing three textbooks, linked below. We recommend ordering the Book + Web Edition or eBook option, based on your preference for a physical or digital copy.

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June 27, 2024 - 12 pm ET – Join an online info session to learn more about the Graphic Design & Visual Communications Certificate and to share your questions. 

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Graphic Design badge

Program Badge

Feature your skills in Graphic Design through an official digital badge from Emory. These are issued at program completion and can be displayed in your online channels like Linkedin.

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Career Outlook

The data above is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Required Textbooks

Learning Outcomes

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 high level

Certificate Requirements

To receive the certificate, students must:

  • Attend at least 80% of live class sessions
  • Complete all assignments with a grade of 75% or higher

Certificate overview

3 months


Time commitment
39 hours

Program Modules

Tuition includes the following modules and coursework:

  • Visual Communication
  • The Artist – The Role and Duties of a Graphic Designer
  • Road Mapping – The Creative Process
  • The Power and Effects of Branding
  • Delivery – Digital vs. Print
  • Future Tech – Staying Ahead
  • Critical Skills for Graphic Designers Using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign


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