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Graphic Design Certificate

Certificate

Western’s Graphic Design certificate will help transform your artistic talent into a practical skillset. With guidance from skilled faculty and ample opportunities for hands-on practice, this certificate emphasizes applied learning and will help you generate a portfolio of work to elevate your application to future employers.

Program Overview

A student is seated at an iMac and works on his project in typography class

Turn your passion into a career.

The 15-credit Graphic Design Certificate provides structured training in design principles, artistry, illustration, typography and shows you how to apply these skills through specialized, industry-level software programs. This certificate is available to both degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students, and provides as a hands-on, practical skillset that can be used in a multitude of industries.

With a focus on both print and web design, you’ll gain a versatile skillset that can serve as a valuable addition to your bachelor’s degree, or help you further excel on your current professional pathway.

Apply your artistry

Nearly every professional industry incorporates graphic design in some way, and this certificate will show you how to gain and apply these versatile skills.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

The Graphic Design Certificate is available to students who wish to enhance their respective majors with a focus on Graphic Design.  Graphic design is fundamentally about visual communication. It can help students develop skills in conveying complex ideas visually something that is valuable in any professional field. 

A minimum of 15 credits is required, including:

Course List
Code Title Credits
ART 173Foundation Design: Digital Art and Design3
CS 160Introduction to Web Design3
DES 270Introduction to Graphic Design and Illustration3
DES 271Typography3
DES 370Intermediate Graphic Design3
Total Credits15

Careers


Top Skills

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Design
  • Effective Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • UX & UI



Career Pathways

  • Art Director
  • Desktop Publisher
  • Graphic Designer
  • Special Effects Artist
  • Web Designer
  • Web Developer

Take the first steps toward your academic and personal growth.

Fostering your intellectual development is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling and enriched life after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to your intellectual and personal journey? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to explore the diverse opportunities and pathways within any degree program.

Scholarships

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works is Western’s tool for searching for, applying for and managing over 300 scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students.

Western’s Adult Degree Completion program is unique in many regards, and scholarship opportunities may be different to students in this program. Contact your academic advisor to see which opportunities you qualify for and begin your scholarship application process today.

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works is Western’s tool for searching for, applying for and managing over 300 scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students.

Western’s Adult Degree Completion program is unique in many regards, and scholarship opportunities may be different to students in this program. Contact your academic advisor to see which opportunities you qualify for and begin your scholarship application process today.

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 30 for 2024. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Close-up photo of a student sketching a mountain.

Take advantage of everything Western has to offer.

Take your education outside of the classroom-build your professional network, gain practical experience and jump-start your career.

 

  • Gallery Exhibits: Students have opportunities to display their work in numerous shows, exhibits, convocations and galas-on campus and in the community.
  • Pathfinder Magazine: An annual publication for student creative work.
  • Student Art League: A branch of the Council for Creative expression, the Student Art League is dedicated to providing visual arts, experiences, professional development, educational opportunities and outreach for Art students.

Tools for success

By providing access to industry-level software programs, the graphic design certificate ensures you’ll have an up-to-date skillset and a diverse portfolio to reflect your practice with these programs.

Department Information

Art & Design Department

Department Chairperson

Tina Butterfield, MFA

Professor of Art; Art & Design Department Chair

Administrative Assistant

Autumn Coleman

Administrative Assistant II

Contact Information

970.943.3093

970.943.2329

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Quigley Hall 202
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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