Professional Certificate in Digital Arts & Design

Professional Certificate in Digital Arts & Design

Hybrid Program


3 months


15 Units

UCR Extension

2017 Program Dates: January 28 - April 22

Join our blended/hybrid academy for working professionals. Begin in a face-to-face classroom session, and enjoy the flexibility of online instruction to be prepared to work in web or graphic design. Gain approximately 150 hours of professional level instruction in all key areas of digital arts and design.
Click here to view the detailed course calendar.

Designed For

Individuals who:

  • Want to sharpen current graphic and web design skills.
  • Have been novice artists who want to establish a career.
  • Hold a Preliminary or Clear, valid California Single Subject, Standard Secondary, or Specific Secondary Credential who are familiar with digital design software and are interested in teaching graphic arts.

What You'll Learn

  • Design fundamentals and visual communication skills
  • Digital media applications, digital photography and illustration
  • Latest techniques and standards of web design
  • Layout, production, branding and corporate identity
  • Professional portfolio
  • Use current Creative Cloud software by Adobe, including InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Positions are available in self-employment, private firms, corporations, government, or nonprofit organizations. They might include:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Digital Artist
  • Publications Coordinator

Program Overview


15 Units

“This program was amazing. The instructors were so knowledgeable. I gained the skills to go out and immediately start working as a graphic designer--something I had been wanting to do for a long time.”

Patricia Beebe

Graphic Designer
Local's Choice Printing
Rancho Mirage, CA

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Familiarity with digital design software or Adobe Creative Suite applications.


  • Teachers earn 15 units of credit.
  • Courses are CTC-approved to meet the requirements for: Specific Subject Supplementary Authorization in Graphic Arts

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Quarter 1

Digital Communications

ART X489.2

3.5 units

Emphasizes a gestalt process of design in the organization and development of visually compelling pieces with consideration of aesthetic sensibilities, spatial relations, color, typography, and layout. Class instruction and assignments center around:

  • The use of Adobe Creative Suite
  • InDesign
  • Illustrator and Photoshop applications that will take your work from concept to output as a design professional.

An introduction to digital photography basics and techniques will be incorporated into the development of design pieces.

Digital Art & Design

ART X489.21

3.5 units

Learn the basics of visual communication tools and methods with a more in-depth look into the art of design. Work with Adobe CS4 tools to use branding ID, unique business domain names, and the development of a portfolio of pieces that demonstrate the abilities to observe, think, and design. Business practices will be introduced, including the processes of thinking and acting like design professionals. Discovery and development of design sensibilities and personal preferences will emerge, including:

  • Discussions on how to relate to clients
  • How to design pieces that meet client needs
  • How to overcome the challenges of visual problem solving

Digital Design Process

ART X489.22

3.5 units

Learn how to complete a project. Instruction covers the seven-step production process which takes the designer from conception (the idea) to output (production and finished project). Utilize and move between each of the programs of Adobe CS and develop a broad range of skill sets as they relate to the needs of the assignment. Knowledge and experience for what is typically required in the marketplace is gained through refinement of projects and the development of various collateral materials. The course will also introduce students to creating content for the web using Dreamweaver.

Web Design for Graphic Designers

ART X489.23

3.5 units

Utilizing Adobe Dreamweaver, learn how to produce a consistent look and feel for a client by taking pieces designed for print and translating them for the web. Instruction will cover technical web topics such as CSS and XHTML, with a strong focus on how to integrate Dreamweaver with other design tools in Adobes CS. Issues such as site planning, optimization of the various web elements, usability, proper design techniques for the web and uploading to a web host will be covered. Assignments will include designing functional web sites that work well and are consistent with the goals of the design project.

Digital Design Portfolio Review and Presentation

ART X489.24

1 units

The last day includes a portfolio review by instructors of all design work and materials produced, and a final presentation to the class.

“Almost 30 years ago, I realized the need to merge traditional and digital design with the advent of computer technologies. As the need for contemporary online teaching environments emerged, I worked with UCR Extension to develop a unique program combining online and classroom instruction, and facilitating a high degree of interactivity, personalization, and efficiency.”

John Douglas Lane

Digital Arts Institute

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