Graphic Design Certificate Program
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the steps to earning a Graphic Design Certificate?
- Attend a recommended free Information Session.
- E-mail or mail in a completed Graphic Design Certificate Enrollment Form.
- Create your curriculum plan using the Certificate Program Overview and plan your classes.
- You must complete all required and elective courses in your program before receiving a Certificate of Completion. Students starting the program Spring 2010 and beyond will receive recommendation for a certificate once their portfolio has been reviewed. Once you’ve met completion requirements, click here to Request a Certificate of Completion. You’ll be asked to complete a brief program survey, and then will be directed to the certificate request page. Your request will be forwarded electronically to an advisor for review. You will be contacted by the college if there are any questions. You can expect to receive your Certificate of Completion in the mail about three weeks after filling out your request.
Are there any prerequisites for this program?
There are no formal prerequisites to begin the program. The program is divided into three units:
- Unit 1: concepts and foundations of a career in graphic design
- Unit 2: hands-on skills with graphic design tools
- Unit 3: application of concepts and skills towards portfolio-ready graphic design pieces
Unit 1 and Unit 2 level classes can be taken simultaneously and in any order. Unit 3 classes are to be taken after successful completion of Unit 1 and 2 classes. It is also recommended that you have an understanding of MS Windows prior to taking the specific graphic design computer courses.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The program is designed to be completed in six quarters on a part-time basis. A student can take up to 13 quarters from the date of their first class to complete the program. There are 104 hours of required classes and a minimum of 100 hours of elective classes for a total of 204 course hours needed in order to earn a certificate.
Is there a minimum number of classes I need to take per quarter?
The program was created with a busy adult in mind. It is up to you to select the number of classes you take in a quarter. Our only requirement is that you complete the certificate within 13 quarters. It is also important to note that you must attend 70% of each class in order to receive course hours for the class.
What if I have extensive experience in some of the topics taught? Can I skip or substitute classes?
Yes, it is possible to substitute required classes with elective classes. Substitutions will be determined by the program advisor on a case-by-case basis and are subject to approval based on work history/experience and prior education. However, students must still complete a total of 204 class hours in order to earn a program certificate. To request a class substitution, please fill out the Graphic Design Certificate Program Class Substitution Request Form
Is there an enrollment process for this certificate program?
Please download and fill out the Graphic Design Certificate Enrollment Form
and email a copy to Cindi Johnston at email@example.com
What is the total tuition for the Graphic Design Certificate program?
The program classes are priced individually and there is no enrollment fee for this program. By the time you complete the program you will spend approximately $4,000 for the required and elective classes.
How much can I expect to spend on supplies and textbooks?
Many art supply lists, which are posted on our website, include an estimated cost for supplies. The course description lists the textbook if one is required for the class. These books can be purchased either online
or at Bellevue College Campus bookstores.
Is it required to purchase the software used in class?
No, it is not required to purchase any software for your classes. However, if you pursue a career in graphic design, you will need to have your own software, especially if you work as a freelancer. BC students are eligible to purchase full version software at a discounted student price at our Bellevue College Campus bookstores. Please note that this software is for academic use only.
How do I register for classes?
- In person at our North Campus, 14673 NE 29th Place, Bellevue, 98007
- By phone at (425) 564-2263
Where are the classes held?
Classes are held at the North Campus
. The current quarterly schedule always specifies the location of each class.
What kinds of computers do you use?
Our classrooms are equipped with PCs that utilize the latest versions of software to provide cutting-edge education.
Are the Adobe and web software computer classes geared towards design students?
The computer classes are not specifically for design students. The emphasis in these classes is on learning software tools and usage. The portfolio classes in unit three are when students begin to apply a design focus to the Adobe software.
If I complete this program with no prior experience, are there entry-level jobs and what is the salary range?
After finishing this program you will have enough tools to be successful as an entry-level graphic designer. The salary range depends on many factors and we suggest you look at the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook
, or the labor market information for King County
and Washington State
for more information.
What can I do as a graphic designer?
There are many companies that depend on the skills of a graphic designer. They include companies dealing with print publishing and multimedia visual communication, such as magazines, newspapers, posters, greeting cards, catalogs, electronic publishing, interactive presentations, User Interface (UI) Development, Web/Interactive development, and Kiosks/Touch screen displays.
What industries employ graphic designers?
According to the Washington State Employment Security Department
, the top 15 industries that employ graphic designers in King County are:
- Newspaper, Book, & Directory Publishers
- Specialized Design Services
- Advertising and Related Services
- Management & Technical Consulting
- Printing and Related Support Activities
- Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing
- Employment Services
- Architectural and Engineering Services
- Software Publishers
- Aerospace Product & Parts Manufacturing
- Misc Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
- Motion Picture and Video Industries
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services
- Management of Companies and Enterprises
- Religious Organizations
Are there websites listing graphic design jobs?
Yes, there are both industry specific and many general websites you can search for graphic design jobs. The list below is an example only and we do not endorse any specific company.
What are the technical and non-technical skills a graphic designer needs to have?
- Design, composition and typography principles
- Drawing skills
- Windows or Macintosh (file/folder management, shortcuts)
- InDesign – page layout
- Illustrator – technical drawing skills
- Photoshop – digital imaging
- Dreamweaver – web page lay out
- Flash – image prep & animation skills
- Developing design, drawing and painting skills and understanding color will help you create
more interesting projects and give you more ways of expressing your ideas.
- Creative flexibility and problem solving skills will help you adjust to changes or additions in a
- Willingness to take a project to completion, even if it means working long or extra hours, will
help build a reputation for reliability.
- Self-promotion and networking are an important part of a design career.