Certificate in Graphic Design

Boston University’s 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.

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.

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Certificate Curriculum Requirements (Total: 30 credits)

Curriculum requirements for the Certificate in Graphic Design can be found on the Academic Bulletin.


  • 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.
  • New facilities also feature cutting-edge equipment to realize design projects, including large-format printers, a Risograph printer, vinyl cutters, and bookbinding equipment.
  • With initial training, students are also granted access to the Printmaking facilities on the 4th floor of the 808 Building, directly adjacent to the graduate design studios. Printmaking facilities include etching, lithography, silkscreen, bookmaking, letterpress, and digital print studios.
  • Additional facilities available to graduate students include black-and-white darkrooms, a fully equipped wood shop, a welding shop, a ventilated spray room, ceramics facilities.
  • The Visual Arts Resource Library is a non-lending collection of art and design books, periodicals, and audio/visual resource for student use. Digital resources include Apple desktop computers, a large format scanner and copy stand, as well as equipment for short-term rental, including digital SLR cameras, projectors, lighting kits, and more.
  • Students frequently utilize the Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC), a 15,000-square-foot, $9 million facility on Commonwealth Avenue, just steps from the School of Visual Arts. This state-of-the-art facility features everything from laser etching to rapid prototyping, allowing designers to collaborate with engineering staff and students to see their projects through all stages of hands-on production.
  • Note: Although graphic design students have full access to the computer lab and media center in the College of Fine Arts, each student is required to own a personal laptop computer for work outside of the School.

Student Life

Visit the Boston University MFA Graphic Design Instagram to learn more about graduate student life at BU School of Visual Arts.