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Applied Graphics Certificate Computer Studies Total Units: 39
A newer version of this program is available. View the latest version here.

Catalog rights may apply, see a counselor for more information.

Term Effective: Fall 1981


The Applied Graphics Career Certificate is a two-year program designed to provide students with entry-level skills for business or industry in the field of graphic design, and is structured to provide a practical, hands-on experience in graphic fundamentals. The program addresses basic design principles, layout techniques, professional typographic treatments, computer applications, digital illustration, computer production techniques, offset printing requirements, and business practices. It provides the most current information, technology and equipment possible. Most of the instructors are practicing professionals in the field of graphic design. Students spend much of their time creating practical design pieces from initial sketches all the way through to final digital output that ultimately becomes an integral part of a professional student portfolio.

The graphics professional is a person who loves problem solving on a visual level. This individual enjoys collaborating with others to create effective communication pieces to address client marketing and advertising goals. The designer helps create identities, business systems, posters, flyers, brochures, book covers, advertisements, billboards, packages, magazines, newsletters, wine labels, web sites, compact disk packaging, etc. etc. Graphic design tends to be a fast-paced, deadline-driven profession that demands creativity, quick thinking, good organization, excellent technology skills and well developed visual as well as verbal communication skills.

The program is designed to address graphic design skill sets. The computer design core teaches students to use industry standard computer graphics packages in a project-based environment. The design and production fundamentals sequence addresses design, and offset printing fundamentals in a workshop setting with lots of feedback and group work as part of the curriculum. Additional coursework in business practices, and portfolio development helps to round out this very practical approach to instruction. Students will learn how to:

  • develop strong, effective visual communication concepts
  • communicate visually with hand-drawn sketches
  • create simple graphic treatments using basic illustration techniques
  • use the computer as a production and creativity tool
  • create mock-ups of all types of graphic design using hand skills
  • set-up computer files for off-set printing
  • use typography effectively
  • work with clients and printers
  • set up a freelance studio and bid graphic design projects
  • create a professional portfolio

The graphic designer has many employment opportunities in this exciting field including production artist, in-house graphic designer, free-lance designer, or computer illustrator. Many students in the program have jobs in the field before they graduate. We offer an intern program for qualified students to gain on-the-job experience with local businesses while acquiring new skills.

Students who complete the program work for a variety of businesses in the local community. Publishers hire them to do advertising design, production, PhotoShop work, layout, and design. Small businesses require data sheets, newsletters, websites, advertising and brochures. Graphic design studios need employees with strong computer backgrounds, good ideation techniques and precise mock-up skills. Many students graduate with the goal of owning their own free-lance businesses.

This certificate is the second step in a career ladder. Students who have already completed the Graphic Design Production Fundamentals Completion Certificate will have fulfilled a portion of the Applied Graphics Career Certificate. For students interested in an Associate degree, an Applied Graphics major is available. More information about the Applied Graphics program may be found at the Applied Technology Department website.

Program Requirements:

The requirements for the Applied Graphics Certificate program are:

  • Complete 39 units from
    • Applied Graphics Certificate Core Requirements
    • Applied Graphics Elective Requirements

Applied Graphics Certificate Core Requirements - complete 36.00 units
APGR 50Introduction to Typography2.00
APGR 51Computer Related Design Basics and Application2.50
APGR 52Intermediate Design Graphics4.00
APGR 53AAdvanced Design Graphics2.00
APGR 53BAdvanced Design Graphics4.00
Applied Graphics Elective Requirements - complete 3.00 units
Complete any combination totaling at least 3.00 units from the following:
APGR 54Commercial Illustration3.00
ART 12Figure Drawing1.50-3.00
ART 2AArt Appreciation & History3.00
ART 2BArt Appreciation & History3.00
ART 2CModern Art History & Appreciation3.00
ART 24Introduction to the Art of Prints1.50-3.00
ART 3Introduction to Art & Design1.50-3.00
ART 36Elementary Photography3.00
ART 37Intermediate Photography3.00
ART 4Principles of Color1.50-3.00
ART 51Beginning Graphic Design/Communication3.00
ART 50AIntroduction to Layout and Letterforms3.00
ART 50BComputer Aided Layout Design1.00-3.00
ART 52Graphic Design/Poster Production1.00-3.00
ART 57Advanced Photography3.00
ART 7ADrawing & Composition I1.50-3.00
ART 7BDrawing & Composition II1.50-3.00
ART 390.72Digital Photography1.00-3.00
WEOC 99IOccupational Work Experience-Intern Program1.00-8.00

Term Effective: Fall 1981

The requirements for this program of study are effective beginning the semester shown above. If you began working on this program before the effective semester, you may not be affected by the changes. Consult with the program contact person or the department chair to determine your eligibility to complete the program under previous requirements.

Term Inactive: Summer 2007

Course Prerequisites and Advisories:

Courses in a program of study may have prerequisites or advisories; that is, courses that must or should be completed before taking that course. Please check for prerequisites or advisories by clicking on the course numbers in the Program Requirements section.

It is important that students who are completing an Associate Degree and desire to transfer to a four-year institution meet with a counselor to plan their lower division coursework. While many majors at SRJC are intended to align with lower division major preparation required by California public universities, specific lower-division major requirements vary among individual campuses. See a counselor, visit the Transfer Center, and check Guides For Transfer in Specific Majors, and ASSIST to review transfer preparation guides for specific schools and majors.


The Applied Graphics program consists of core courses and additional electives in an area of emphasis: Graphic Design, Illustration, Multimedia, Web Design, or Applications Specialist. (Please consult the program coordinator to select appropriate elective courses.)

Phone Email Website
(707) 527-4909