Interested in MCAD's master of arts in graphic and web design, but need to refine or enhance your portfolio before applying?

Here is a list of classes you may find beneficial to take prior to starting or completing your application.*

Please note that the classes listed below may not be offered every semester (fall, spring, summer) and final course descriptions may differ slightly. View the list of currently offered classes.


Introduction to Graphic Design, Campus-Based

Graphic design is everywhere. From tee-shirts to posters, traffic signs to logos, graphic design is used to visually communicate an idea, a message, or a statement. Students in this class will explore graphic design as a practice and learn to put to work the concepts and principles of design. Hands-on, in-class exercises, and real world, structured assignments will immerse students in the elements of graphic design, including typography, layout, color, and graphic form. Through detailed projects, exposure to current examples and contemporary practices, and experimentation with materials, students will become aware of the creative process of graphic design. They will develop concepts from an initial idea rendered in a sketchbook to final compositions using the Adobe Creative Suite.

Introduction to Typography, Campus-Based

It's one thing to make a message legible, clear to another person, and beautifully typeset (meaning how the letters have been arranged), but quite another to render that message so that it has emotional and aesthetic qualities. The ability to do so is grounded in a thorough understanding of the history of typography. In this class, students will learn how to do just that. They will explore the development of typography and then apply what they've discovered to an engaging series of assignments and projects. Over a period of 10 weeks, students will deconstruct, interpret, and build upon the major historical styles of typography from the beautiful centered layouts of the Renaissance to the exuberant explosion of fonts found in Victorian advertising, from the modernization of design through the Russian Constructivists and the Bauhaus in German, to the refined minimalism of 1960s Swiss typography. One-off experimental workshops and film screenings will supplement students' exploration of the history of printed communication. At the conclusion of the class, students will have been exposed to 500 years of typographic innovation, developed a greater sense of detail in their work, and created a series of original publications informed by individual interests.

Graphic Design Essentials with the Adobe Creative Suite, Online, Asynchronous

This class introduces individuals with little or no design background to the graphic design practice. Students work both on and off the computer to complete assignments that explore basic 2D communication principles integrating color, shape, texture, typography, and photography to build a visual language. Essential skills in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator that support the task of each assignment will be taught through weekly tutorials. Students will develop an understanding of the stages of the design process (research, ideation, sketching, etc.), and project outcomes include collages, patterns, posters, and a logo. At the end of the class, students will be guided through the process of sequencing and presenting a digital portfolio of their designs.

There are many additional Continuing Education classes and workshops in the areas of graphic design, web design, typography, and Adobe Creative software that can help you to create work suitable for an application portfolio. 

*General continuing education credits earned prior to enrolling in a graduate program do not count toward program requirements. Please contact with questions.

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