Graphic Design Certificate

The Certificate in Graphic Design offers students a one-year, full-time rigorous and intensive study in graphic design. The program includes core studio and typography requirements and allows students to choose elective courses based on their specific interests and career goals. Students bolster conceptual and artistic skills through a professionally focused curriculum.

Degree Type

  • Certificate


  • In-Person


  • Full-Time


  • On-Campus
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The Certificate program is designed for students who wish to enter graphic design for the first time or for those already in the field who want to increase their skills.

This program is an ideal step towards an MFA degree in graphic design, and students can elect to apply to the two-year program during their course of study. Tuition for the Certificate in Graphic Design is equal to a year’s tuition in the graduate Graphic Design program.


Graduate Graphic Design Individual Studio

Graduate students have 24-hour access to design studios on the 4th floor of the 808 Building, including private studios spaces and larger communal work spaces.

Facilities also feature cutting-edge equipment to realize design projects, including large-format printers, a Risograph printer, vinyl cutters, and bookbinding equipment. Students have access to BU’s Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC), an impressive 15,000-square-foot, multi-million dollar engineering, and manufacturing facility located right near the College of Fine Arts buildings.

James Grady


Designer and educator with over two decades of experience, James Grady, assistant professor of graphic design at BU School of Visual Arts and creative director at BU Spark!, came to BU with an interdisciplinary career leading design projects for clients such as Google, Nike, and Samsung.

In CFA’s Faculty Feature series, Grady talks with CFA about what it means to him to teach graphic design at BU, what makes a graphic design certificate applicant stand out, and the teaching philosophy of providing students with a historical context of where graphic design has been, where it is, and where it’s headed.

Many of our Certificate applicants majored in another field in their undergraduate program but they had always wanted to do graphic design. Most of them have some experience in the working world in business, marketing, or even biology. They’re looking for a career shift and want to immerse themselves in graphic design. We introduce them to the culture of graphic design. We talk about what studios look like and how they operate. We give them real-world projects. We do that in the context of a fine arts college which encourages them to be more divergent in how they think about graphic design as an independent field.

James Grady, Assistant Professor

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Program Faculty

Next Steps for Applicants

The best way to determine if BU is right for you is to visit us in-person or remotely. Observe classes. Faculty members are available to meet with you and to discuss your educational interests, individual learning needs, and career goals.

Explore our admission requirements, financial tools, and resources to determine if the program is the right match. Reach out to with any questions along the way.

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