Who should apply to the Graphic Design Certificate program?

Mid to early career professionals or recent graduates who are interested in beginning a career in graphic design, or advancing within their current graphic design jobs.

What kind of background or knowledge is required for admittance into the program?

The program is appropriate for individuals with some art or design background. Pre-requisites for the program include a familiarity with basic graphic design concepts and a working knowledge with Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign). If a student is interested in pursuing the certificate but does not yet have the prerequisite knowledge, they will be encouraged to take courses through MCAD’s Continuing Education division.

Is the program accredited?

Yes, the Graphic Design Certificate program is accredited by both the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

What is the program like?

The program is cohort based, meaning you will join a group of students in the fall and progress together through the same sequence of classes. There are no electives. The class schedules are determined in advance by the program advisor. All of the courses are classroom-based, there is no online component.

How many people are in each cohort?

Over the past few years the cohorts have ranged from 5-10 students. The maximum number of students that could be accepted into the program each fall is 18.

How many classes do students take/how long does the program take?

The program is 30 credits. Students take 15 credits, or 5 classes, per year. The entire program takes 2 years.

When do the classes meet? How long do they last?

The program is year round. Each fall and spring students will take 2 courses- one will meet two weeknights from 6:30-9 p.m. and one will be a daylong class meeting on Saturdays. During the summers students will take 1 course meeting twice a week from 6-9 p.m.

One of the evening classes does not work with my schedule. Can I skip it and/or take it later?

No, students must commit to attending all of the courses in sequence in order to successfully complete the program.

I have taken some graphic design classes at other schools or through MCAD Continuing Education. Can I transfer any of those credits in?

No, this program does not accept any transfer credits.

Who are the faculty?

The faculty who teach in the program are professional graphic designers with extensive teaching experience. Faculty and graduate students from MCAD’s Graphic Design degree program also occasionally conduct presentations for the students during class time.

Does participation in this program qualify me for financial aid?

U.S. citizens are eligible for financial aid in the form of Stafford Loans offered by the United Stated Federal Government.

In addition to tuition, what other expenses will be incurred?

Students must have or purchase a laptop equipped with the required software. MCAD is able to offer a laptop package at a steep discount. In 2011 the price to purchase the laptop package through MCAD was $2499. Additionally there will be various textbook, supplies, and printing costs, depending on the requirements of each course.

What kinds of jobs do graduates of the program have?

Recent graduates have obtained work as graphic designers, account managers, and creative directors at a variety of companies, including: MCAD DesignWorks, 3e The Lifetime Agency, Augsburg Fortress, Hartung Kemp, Scales Advertising, Target, Initio Advertising, GAPRC Group, the Walker Art Center, as well as successfully working as freelance designers.