6 Courses Required

In a competitive marketplace, brand recognition and design ingenuity are crucial. Businesses turn to graphic designers to create and maintain their brand identity and to support their marketing and online presence. Learn to plan, manage and deliver professional graphic design projects.

Who Should Attend?

  • Aspiring graphic design professionals seeking a strong foundation in the latest Adobe software
  • Seasoned graphic design professionals looking to transition from traditional hand-rendering to digital design on the latest Adobe software
  • Graphic design or administrative professionals seeking to enhance their design skills and training

Why Choose SMU?

SMU is consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the United States by both Forbes magazine and U.S. News & World Report. By earning your certification through SMU PRO, you will be recognized across the country as having qualifications endorsed by a prestigious and sought-after university

  • Convenient evening classes for working professionals
  • Up-to-date instruction on the latest tools and techniques
  • Instructors who are proven professionals

Key Benefits

  • Learn new skills utilizing the latest industry techniques and Adobe software.
  • Hone your new skill set as you work on assigned design projects between class sessions.
  • Create a robust final project to serve as the foundation for your professional graphic design portfolio.
  • Build relationships as you learn alongside your peers.

The SMU PRO Graphic Design Certificate program consists of over 100 hours of graphic design education, completed over 9 months, in both an online and in-class environment.

The SMU PRO Graphic Design Certificate program is offered in a cohort format. Each cohort is structured so that you and your fellow students progress through the program together, guided by expert instructors. Courses build upon one another with assignments and lessons, allowing you to hone your design skills in between class sessions. The certificate program culminates in a Capstone Course, in which you'll create your final, portfolio-bound design project, with the guidance of your instructor.

Entrance Requirements

Admission to the SMU PRO Graphic Design Certificate program requires:

A four-year undergraduate degree or four years of related professional work experience

A personal laptop computer (to bring to classroom sessions)

Adobe Creative Cloud software installed on the laptop

High-speed internet access

Basic computer knowledge

Certificate Program Completion Requirements

Complete and pass each class below with a score of 70% or better:

  • Introduction to Graphic Design (Online)
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Print Graphics with Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Graphic Design Certificate Capstone (pass with a score of 70% or better).

The following courses make up our Certificate in Graphic Design.

Introduction to Graphic Design

Graphic design is the visual expression of ideas. A graphic designer’s role is to translate, communicate — and sometimes advocate — by giving form to ideas. With more and more digital communication, graphic design is thriving since graphic designers are now needed for both print (flyers, brochures, etc.) and digital (web templates, digital billboards, banner ads, and so on) design.

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF) is the industry standard for exchanging electronic documents. Acrobat can maintain your page layout and prevent changes to documents, even when they are shared with others.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is the industry’s leading tool used to create professional vector graphics for print and web designs. Used by design professionals worldwide, Illustrator provides precise and powerful drawing tools and a host of time-savers for busy professionals.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign takes desktop publishing and design to another level. In this course, you'll learn to use the extraordinary power of InDesign to create multi-page documents and prepare them for print or export as a PDF.

Print Graphics with Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for producing professional graphics and an essential tool for most design professionals, whether they work on digital or print images. In this course, you'll learn to retouch digital photos by cropping, sizing and perfecting contrast, color balance and many other tools.

Graphic Design Certificate Capstone

In this course, you'll experience the process used by professional freelancers and design firms to create professional-quality design. You'll come to understand, in theory and practice, what makes good design — in form and space, in color fundamentals, in translating key messages into design and in utilizing typography and images effectively.

Tuition and Fees

  • Tuition for the SMU PRO Certificate in Graphic Design is $3,995.
  • There is a $50 non-refundable application fee before you submit your completed registration form.
  • Textbooks and Adobe Creative Cloud subscription are not included in the cost of the course and can be purchased online or at a bookstore of your choice. You will receive the book list by email before the first class begins.
  • SMU faculty, staff, students and alumni save 10%!
  • Some students may qualify for veterans’ benefits. For more information, please contact Robert Hurst, SMU Veterans Assistance and Outreach Coordinator, at 214-768-1104.
  • Corporate billing is available.

Financing Options

Students may qualify for a Smart Options Continuing Education Student Loan, offered by Sallie Mae. Your Sallie Mae Loan application must be completed and approved 14 days before the first day of the program. Loan cannot exceed the cost of tuition. Contact our admissions team for details.

Next Steps

  • Talk one-on-one with an advisor to answer your specific questions. Call us at 214-768-1184 or email us smupro@smu.edu
  • Complete and submit the application online.
  • SMU will confirm your acceptance and facilitate your payment.

More Info: https://www.smu.edu/Pro/Certificates/Certificates-In-Person/graphic-design

Additional Details


To enroll in this certificate start by selecting one of the following applications

Please click "Apply Now" to begin your application. You will be required to log in or create an account if you do not already have one.

If you need any further assistance, contact the SMU PRO office at 214-768-2273.


Minimum Required

0 Course(s)

Minimum Required

6 Course(s)

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