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Graphic Design Certificate Computer Studies Total Units: 42
A newer version of this program is available.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: Summer 2007


The Graphic Design Certificate of Achievement 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 Skills Certificate will have fulfilled a portion of the Graphic Design Certificate of Achievement. For students interested in an Associate degree, a Graphic Design major is available.

Program Requirements:

The requirements for the Graphic Design Certificate program are:

  • Complete 42 units from
    • Graphic Design Certificate Core Requirements
    • Graphic Design Elective Requirements

Graphic Design Certificate Core Requirements - complete 39.00 units
APGR 50Introduction to Typography3.00
APGR 51AIntroduction to Graphic Design & Production Fundamentals3.00
APGR 51BBeginning Graphic Design & Production Fundamentals3.00
APGR 51CIntermediate Graphic Design & Production Fundamentals3.00
APGR 51DAdvanced Graphic Design & Production Fundamentals3.00
APGR 52AIntroduction to Computer Based Design3.00
APGR 52BComputer Based Design 23.00
APGR 52CDigital Prepress: Computer Based Design 33.00
APGR 52DComputer Based Design 43.00
APGR 54.1Production Techniques in Illustrator3.00
APGR 57Tools, Methods and Materials3.00
APGR 65The Business of Graphic Design1.50
APGR 70Creating the Professional Portfolio1.50
Graphic Design Elective Requirements - complete 3.00 units
Complete any combination totaling at least 3.00 units from the following:
APGR 54Commercial Illustration3.00
APGR 54.2Digital Design Production and Process3.00
APGR 61Digital Design Production and Process1.50
APGR 62Long Publication Production1.50
APGR 64Contemporary Hand-Lettering, Type and Calligraphy1.00
APGR 67Commercial Illustration: Basics1.50
APGR 68Commercial Illustration: Digital Imagery1.50
APGR 69Online Resources for Graphic Designers1.00-1.50
APGR 71Creativity Techniques for Designers0.50
APGR 72Principles of Screen Design1.50
APGR 73Animation Design for the Web1.50
APGR 74Applied Design Graphics for the Non-Designer1.00
APGR 75Interactive Multimedia Design1.50
APTECH 56Introduction to Computer-Aided Drafting2.00
APTECH 53Computer Modeling & Animation with 3D Studio Max3.00
ART 12Figure Drawing3.00
ART 18.1Introduction to Computer Graphics in Art1.00-3.00
ART 18.2Computer Graphics 21.00-3.00
ART 2.1Ancient to Renaissance Art History and Appreciation3.00
ART 2.2Renaissance to Modern Art History and Appreciation3.00
ART 2.3Modern Art History & Appreciation3.00
ART 24Introduction to the Art of Prints1.50-3.00
ART 27BSilkscreen Printmaking1.50-3.00
ART 3Introduction to Art & Design3.00
ART 36Elementary Photography3.00
ART 37Intermediate Photography3.00
ART 4Principles of Color3.00
ART 51.1Graphic Design: Principles of Visual Communication1.00-3.00
ART 51.2Graphic Design: Digital Imaging1.00-3.00
ART 51.3Graphic Design: Type & Letterforms1.00-3.00
ART 51.4Graphic Design: Digital Layout1.00-3.00
ART 52Graphic Design/Poster Production1.00-3.00
ART 57Advanced Photography3.00
ART 7ADrawing & Composition 13.00
ART 7BDrawing & Composition 23.00
ART 82Digital Photography1.00-3.00
ART 84Introduction to Computer Illustration1.00-3.00
CIS 173.50Adobe InDesign Exploration0.50
CIS 58.62ADreamweaver, Beginning1.50
CIS 58.62BDreamweaver, Intermediate1.50
CIS 58.65AAdobe GoLive, Introductory1.50
CIS 65.51Adobe PageMaker3.00
CIS 65.53Adobe PageMaker - Advanced Projects4.00
CIS 73.33Painter1.50
CIS 73.37QuarkXpress3.00
CIS 75.21AIntroduction to Macromedia Director1.50
CIS 75.21BUsing Lingo Scripting for Authoring in Director1.50
CIS 83.17ACreating Web Graphics with PhotoShop and ImageReady 11.50
CIS 83.17BCreating Web Graphics with Photoshop and ImageReady 21.50
CIS 74.11Microsoft Office3.00
CIS 73.21Adobe Photoshop 13.00
CIS 73.23Photoshop Advanced Concepts4.00
CIS 73.35AAdobe Illustrator 11.50
CIS 73.35BAdobe Illustrator 21.50
CIS 73.35CAdobe Illustrator 33.00
WEOC 99IOccupational Work Experience Internship0.50-8.00

Term Effective: Summer 2007

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: Fall 2010

Previous Versions:

Applied Graphics - effective Fall 1981

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 Graphic Design 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.)

CS 50.11A was CIS 58.51A
CS 50.11B was CIS 58.51B
CS 50.21A was CIS 58.53A
CS 50.21B was CIS 58.53B
CS 50.25 was CIS 58.57
CS 50.31 was CIS 58.54
CS 50.32 was CIS 58.55
CS 65.11 was CIS 74.11
CS 70.11A was CIS 73.21A
CS 70.12 was CIS 73.23
CS 71.11A was CIS 73.35A
CS 71.11B was CIS 73.35B
CS 71.11C was CIS 73.35C
CS 74.31A was CIS 75.31A
CS 74.31B was CIS 75.31B
(Part of the BOT/CIS to CS conversion. Curriculum Office 5/28/09)

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