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Communication Design Certificate

When you look at your cell phone, shop, drive, take a bus, surf the net, or engage in thousands of other daily activities, you are encountering the work of communication design. The brands, websites, apps, brochures, and other visual communications created by designers inform the way we understand the world and ourselves. Whether your goal is to pursue a new career in the design field, to gain skills that will make you more effective in your current position, or to expand your ability to brand and market an entrepreneurial venture, MassArt’s suite of Communication Design certificates offer rigorous programs that reflect MassArt’s focus on individualized learning. Our program is fully remote, yet all of our online courses include synchronous meetings. You will build relationships with faculty who are experienced teachers and leaders in the industry and join a community of MassArt design students.

Our Communication Design curriculum develops students’ skills in branding, print and digital publications, app and website design, packaging, event promotions, information design, and environmental graphics. Graduates of the full program enjoy careers as visual designers, brand strategists and brand designers, graphic designers, UX and UI designers, and product designers in design studios, agencies, companies, non-profits, and in their own freelance design businesses.

The program offers three stackable certificates, and the complete sequence of three can be completed in just over 2 years. Class meetings are generally held weekday evenings, to accommodate the diverse schedules of our students, including those students who work full-time.



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three levels of certification

Level 1 consists of 4 courses, which provide a solid foundation in communication design. You’ll gain insight into how to design impactful visual communications for any medium (print or screen-based)and gain a solid foundation of basic design skills that can be applied in your work and life.  Level 1 courses can be taken as a stand-alone certificate or as a foundation for proceeding to Level 2. 

Level 2 is a sequence of 3 courses and one non-credit workshop, which build on the basic skills learned in Level 1. In these courses students advance their skills in typography and in brand design, enter the world of UX Design, gain skills in interactive design for web and mobile interfaces, and build their own professional design portfolio. Completion of Level 2 gives graduates the skills to obtain a paid internship or  junior designer position at a design firm, agency, or in-house design department at a company or non-profit.

Level 3 is a sequence of 4 courses which challenge students to conceive of and design complex and comprehensive design systems at a more creative and sophisticated design level. Completion means you have achieved the portfolio and skills to launch your career as a professional designer.

Both Level 2 and Level 3 include portfolio reviews, in which students present their work to panels of professional designers. This is a great way to get feedback on your work and to build your network in the field of communication design.

learning outcomes

Students who complete all three tiers of the Communication Design Certificate are expected to demonstrate the following learning outcomes which are essential skills and knowledge for entry into professional design practice. Note: Completion of Level 1 or Levels 1 and 2 represent significant progress toward the following outcomes.

  • Design complex visual communications systems including consumer brands, print and digital publications, promotional and information campaigns, websites, apps, packaging and signage.
  • Develop and apply original, engaging design concepts that effectively communicate an intended idea and/or message to a defined audience
  • Apply visual design skills (including composition, color, and type/image integration), information design skills, professional typesetting techniques, and creative typography to a variety of communication design projects
  • Apply principles and processes of UX and UI design to the planning and design of interactive experiences for desktop, mobile, and other screen-based media
  • Identify a community problem or need and research, develop, and design an effective solution.
  • Employ skills in collaboration by effectively providing critical feedback to others and integrating feedback from various sources into one’s own designs.
  • Practice professional design process including research, idea generation, design iteration, presentation, incorporation of feedback, technical execution, and craft to a variety of communication design projects.
  • Utilize industry-standard design software and art media in creating designs, mock-ups, and prototypes.
  • Create an entry-level portfolio suitable for job search in professional Communication Design, UX Design and Graphic Design
Curriculum | Course sequence | faqs | app requirements | tuition | refunds and withdrawals


The Fall application cycle begins on February 1 and ends on June 15.
The Spring application cycle begins on September 1 and ends on November 1.
Those wishing to begin the Communication Design certificate in summer should apply by April 15.