Visual Communication Certificate: Requirements to Enroll in and Complete a Visual Communications Certificate Program

Published Oct 30, 2009

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A certificate in visual communications prepares individuals for jobs in advertising, graphic design, print production and Web and multimedia design. Certificate programs are often offered through community colleges, vocational schools or independent schools of design. Programs are developed to provide students with technical computer skills and design expertise.

Visual Communication Certificate Program Enrollment Requirements

To enroll in a certificate program at a community college or vocational school, students usually need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may require prerequisite coursework. A familiarity with computers is expected and some knowledge of design programs can be helpful.

Many schools have open enrollment for certificate programs; students may register through the registrar's office or online. Most programs start during the fall semester. However, some may have rolling enrollment, allowing students to start the program at different points throughout the year.

Visual Communication Certificate Program Completion Requirements

While program lengths vary, many last approximately one year and require around 30 hours of course credits. Programs may require students to maintain a minimum grade point average in order to be awarded the certificate. Some programs follow a set curriculum; students in other programs may be able to choose from a list of courses.

Students learn design skills as well as computer and communication skills. Programs may include a history of visual and graphics communication. Most require coursework in design principles or theories and basic composition. Other course topics include typography, color, basic illustration and 2-dimensional design. Some programs focus on areas such as web design, digital imaging or multimedia applications. Programs may also have courses on specific design programs or tools, including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator or Quark Express. Required courses might cover topics in:

  • Graphic design principles
  • History of visual communications
  • Color and design
  • Page layout
  • Typography
  • Computer illustration
  • Digital imaging

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