Certificate in Graphic Design

Boston University’s Certificate in Graphic Design is a post-baccalaureate program that offers students a one-year, full-time intensive study in graphic design. The program includes core graphic design studio, design history, and typography requirements and allows students to self-select elective courses based on their specific interests and career goals. This is a unique, full-time residency program that provides students who have little prior coursework in graphic design the advanced training and critical thinking skills needed for enhanced professional opportunities. Additionally, this program prepares students for further study in an MFA program.

Students in the Certificate in Graphic Design program receive individual work areas in spacious open communal studios, creating a strong sense of community within the graduate program.

After one year of study, students receive a Certificate in Graphic Design. If students desire, they may apply to the Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design upon completion of the Certificate program. Note that the Master of Fine Arts program is a two-year program.

The College of Fine Arts policy on Academic Standing for Graduate Students applies to the Certificate program. All students in the program must maintain a 3.0 GPA and receive grades no lower than B– to remain in good academic standing.

Learning Outcomes

Students in the Certificate in Graphic Design will be expected to:

  • Develop an effective graphic design process and master key principles of design through programmatic studio work and discourse.
  • Demonstrate artistic, intellectual, and disciplinary engagement.
  • Develop and demonstrate graphic design agility across multiple mediums through the study and practice of design problem-solving.
  • Achieve a measurable degree of advancement in and fulfillment of craft and technical improvement through creative work, reading, writing, and presentation.
  • Develop an appreciation of design as a holistic practice and learn past/present/future models through historical and contemporary engagement.
  • Develop a significant body of knowledge and skills sufficient for evaluation and a professional proficiency observable in work.

Certificate in Graphic Design Curriculum

This program requires completion of 30 credits in continuous, sequential semesters, and generally takes one year to complete.

CFA AR 781, 782 Certificate Graphic Design Studio 16 cr
CFA AR 505 Certificate Typography 4 cr
CFA AR 580 History of Graphic Design 4 cr
Graphic Design electives (2 or 4 cr courses) 6 cr
Total credits 30 cr

Studio Elective Options:

  • CFA AR 425 Artist and the Book (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 502 Branding (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 518 Silkscreen (4 cr)
  • CFA AR 523 Studio Practice (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 571 Exhibition Design (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 573 Drawing Into Animation (4 cr)
  • CFA AR 576 Motion Graphics (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 577 Editorial Publication (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 581 Web Design 1 (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 587 Information Design (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 589 Interactive Design (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 594 Graphic Design Theory (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 595 Visual Systems (2 cr)
  • CFA AR 597 Experience Design (2 cr)

For application information, please visit our website.