Graphic Designer School Online- Program Curriculum (2023)

Semester 1

  • (1 CREDIT)

    Today’s technology enables just about any properly trained individual to create highly sophisticated images using a computer. At the same time, the demand for trained digital artists has increased dramatically.

    Digital art is used to describe art that is or presented using digital technology. To get a complete digital painting experience, you’ll need a combination of both hardware and software components. The principles of art represent how the artist uses multiple elements of art to create an effect and to help convey the artist's intent.

    In this study unit, you’ll discover the benefits of using computers for artistic purposes. You’ll learn about a number of tools for creating and using digital art. You’ll also discover the benefits of using computers for artistic purposes. You’ll also learn about a number of tools for creating and using digital art. Identify different career options available to digital artists.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Describe some of the most common uses of computers in creating artistic works
    • Discuss different career options available to digital artists
    • Explain the term digital image and describe common digitizing tools
    • Identify other devices used to generate digital art
    • Identify system tools that support the creation of digital art
  • (1 CREDIT)

    Information literacy is a fundamental skill of writing and recording research. In this course, you’ll learn what it means to formulate correct and effective research questions. You’ll also learn how to conduct and refine that research for any given project.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Identify how to formulate focused and specific research questions and the need for information
    • Explain the different types of research tools, how they’re used to conduct different searches, and how to evaluate the quality and usefulness of the information found
    • Explain how to cite sources properly using various citation styles in consideration of academic integrity, plagiarism, and ethical use of resources
  • (3 CREDITS)

    Microsoft® Office allows people to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and databases. This course will teach you how to use three popular tools from the Microsoft® Office Suite — Word™, Excel®, and PowerPoint®. In this course, you'll learn how to use Word™ to create and edit text documents, insert figures and tables, and format pages for a variety of uses. You'll then learn how to use Excel® to organize and format data, including charts, formulas, and more complex tables. Next, you'll learn how to use PowerPoint® to create and deliver slide shows. Finally, you'll complete a graded project, which will test the skills acquired in Word™, Excel®, and PowerPoint®.

    By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

    • Create various Microsoft® Word™ documents.
    • Produce a thorough Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet.
    • Identify the basic skills needed to use Microsoft® PowerPoint®.
    • Synthesize what you’ve learned by integrating Word™, Excel®, and PowerPoint®.
  • (3 CREDITS)

    In this course, you’ll learn about the relationships among colors and how you can use these relationships to your advantage. You’ll develop knowledge of the different factors you should think about before starting your next project or design, along with an understanding of how you can use color to communicate to your viewers.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Categorize the different components and principles in the color studies
    • Point out the elements of color interaction, application of color principles, and color harmony
    • Analyze the various components of color research, experience, and computer application in the color studies
  • (3 CREDITS)

    This course teaches the skills and techniques of effectively developing, drafting, and revising college-level essays toward a specific purpose and audience: active reading, prewriting strategies, sentence and paragraph structure, thesis statements, varied patterns of development (for example, illustration, comparison and contrast, classification), critical reading toward revision of structure and organization, editing for standard written conventions, and use and documentation of outside sources. Students submit two prewriting assignments, three essays (process analysis, classification and division, argumentation), and a course journal.

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    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Use writing skills to construct well-written sentences and active reading skills to understand and analyze text
    • Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions
    • Describe the revision, editing, and proofreading steps of the writing process
    • Write college-level journal entries
    • Distinguish between different patterns of development
    • Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write a formal, college-level essay
    • Use division and classification to create an outline or graphic organizer
    • Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write a formal, college-level essay
    • Write college-level journal entries
    • Recognize how to determine the reliability of secondary sources and to give proper credit to sources referenced in an essay
    • Effectively use techniques of drafting, evaluating, and creating a sound written argument
    • Write college-level journal entries
    • Prepare the course journal for submission on specified topics
  • (3 CREDITS)

    The course covers the basic principles, elements, and mediums of design through the concepts, skills, and tools involved in developing a design piece through the applications of these concepts to visual and communication processes. This course also covers industry terminology, file types, balance, contrast, direction, economy, emphasis, proportion, rhythm, and unity as it relates to graphic design creations.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Identify the basic design principles for communicating visually
    • Incorporate the theories of Gestalt into your work
    • Identify which tools or processes will be best for your project
    • Display skill at four basic principles: contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity

Semester 2

  • (3 CREDITS)

    In this course, the student will gain an understanding of artistic media, historical periods and artistic movements, the roles of the artist and the viewer, and the principles of art criticism.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Define the language, visual elements, and principles of design of art
    • Identify two-dimensional media
    • Identify three-dimensional media
    • Explain the evolution of art from ancient Mediterranean cultures through eighteenth-century Europe
    • Identify features and popular examples of art throughout the history of African, Asian, Pacific, and American cultures
    • Compare the genres of the Modern and Postmodern eras of art from around the world
  • (3 CREDITS)

    Typography is an exploration of different components of type. This includes identification, legibility, visual organization, proportion, and weight of typefaces as well as procedures for and methods of their use in print and digital graphic creations.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Define key moments in the history of typography
    • Label key parts of a letterform
    • Differentiate among the five classic typefaces
    • Design with text type
    • Design with display type
    • Use both traditional and more recent typographic skills
    • Create your own design projects
  • (3 CREDITS)

    Though you may think that you’re new to multimedia, you’ve been exposed to it your entire life. In its most basic form, multimedia includes the combination of more than one medium, such as photos, music, animation, movies, and so on. With the explosion of the internet in recent years, there has been a growing interest in multimedia, especially for the web. This course will build on information that you already know about the web but assumes that you have little or no information about the various types of multimedia you can include for Internet projects. This course provides the basics for multimedia that you can use on the web, including graphics, sound, video, and animation. Therefore, success in this course will give you the invaluable knowledge that you’ll be able to apply at work and in your studies.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Point out the tools and best practices for text, images, and sound in creating multimedia projects
    • Categorize the best use of animation, video, and software tools in creating multimedia projects
    • Distinguish between the important steps of planning, costing, designing, and producing a multimedia project
    • Analyze the various tools and consideration for adding multimedia to the web and mobile platforms
    • Plan the steps in designing and developing a Web site using multimedia
  • (3 CREDITS)

    This course places emphasis on the conceptualization of computer illustration techniques using Illustrator and its implementation in page layout.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

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    • Use Illustrator to design and create an illustration
    • Manipulate lines, shapes, and more complicated objects in a variety of ways
    • Add text to your artwork and create special effects using text
    • Use color, transparency, and a variety of filters and effects to create powerful, unusual, or complex results limited only by your imagination
    • Create and use patterns, brushes, and symbols to expand your drawing options in a number of useful and unexpected ways
    • Create graphs in Illustrator and bring external data into your graphs
    • Work with layers to help manage complicated artwork
    • Prepare a document for prepress and printing, and prepare graphics for the Web
  • (3 CREDITS)

    This course begins coverage of Adobe Photoshop in regard to the production of print and web-based graphics. The students learn how to use the Photoshop software and apply smart design principles to multimedia products such as print brochures, dynamic graphics, animation, websites, video, and interactive CD-ROM content.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Create original imagery using shape and painting tools
    • Modify and enhance images
    • Extract selections from existing images to use in your documents
    • Add and apply special effects to type in your image
    • Correct flaws in existing photographs or images
    • Optimize images for the web
    • Create buttons, rollovers, and animations for the web

Semester 3

  • (3 CREDITS)

    The course focuses on visual communication through diverse theme-based projects where issues of representation and meaning production are emphasized. It also addresses main design notions, such as visual organization, information, hierarchy, and typography.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Set up your workspace for print and web
    • Use Bridge to manage your images
    • Scan various types of media
    • Create custom colors and describe color processes
    • Use nondestructive adjustment tools to correct and edit images
    • Use retouching tools and keyboard shortcuts
    • Create composite images using layers, layer effects, and blend modes
    • Employ selections and channels to edit and composite images
    • Use vector drawing tools
    • Find, use, and manipulate images
    • Save files in the proper format and resolution
    • Output files for proofing, page layout, printing, and the web
  • (3 CREDITS)

    Corporate Design explores the development of corporate communications and identity programs. Topics covered are trademarks, branding, logo design, brochure design, and online presence design.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Interpret branding and packaging design as a communication and marketing tool
    • Identify the market factors that affect packaging
    • Explain the importance of brand packaging design as it relates to the protection against spoilage, breakage, and tampering and as a method of transportation for an enclosed product
    • Distinguish between branding, brand packaging design, and other communication forms
    • Develop a clearly defined strategy for brand packaging design that stands out from market competition
    • Incorporate the use of typography, dimensions, and imagery as it relates to the communicable characteristics of a brand or product
    • Summarize the importance of sustainability as it relates to packaging design
    • Discuss general manufacturing and printing processes related to packaging design
  • (3 CREDITS)

    The Electronic Publishing course focuses on the integration of text and graphics using desktop publishing software. The student develops digital design skills.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Set up files for single- and multiple-page documents
    • Lay out text and images on the page
    • Format text
    • Use tools and shortcuts
    • Set tabs to align text
    • Set up master pages and styles
    • Use vector drawing tools
    • Locate, use, and manipulate images
    • Create custom colors
    • Output files for proofing and final print
    • Create transparency effect
    • Create long documents
    • Create web pages
    • Publish to the web
  • (3 CREDITS)

    Learn about the various methods of organizing material for a professional setting. Compose business documents using the ABC method such as memos, emails, outlines, reports, proposals, descriptions, and organizing materials. Discover how to improve your grammar skills.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Recognize how to use words correctly and effectively
    • Produce a well-constructed interoffice memo, workplace email, and business letter
    • Produce a brief business report based on findings obtained using research techniques and methods of documentation
    • Produce an informal report that lists findings of an investigation and provides recommendation for issues raised in the findings
    • Describe procedures for creating proposals, descriptions, instructions, and manuals for the workplace
    • Create a detailed proposal designed to solve an internal human resources issue
  • (3 CREDITS)

    Algebra is the mathematical language used to interpret and represent patterns in numbers by using variables, expressions, and equations. Like many others, you may think that algebra problems can’t really be applied to real-world situations. However, algebra is actually an essential tool used in business, science, and computer technology. Throughout this course, you’ll be introduced to algebraic concepts, along with real-world application problems from a variety of fields. Besides providing a springboard to the discovery of underlying mathematical properties, these applications illustrate the importance of mathematics in your world. If this isn’t reason enough to study algebra, think about this idea: Algebra is an excellent mental exercise. By understanding mathematical relationships and learning to apply them appropriately, your mind will be better suited for decision-making and creative problem-solving. People who have a solid understanding of algebra can generally expect to excel in college and in their jobs.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Explain basic algebraic concepts
    • Solve and graph linear equations and inequalities
    • Analyze relations, functionality, and systems of linear equations
    • Prepare algebraic operations on polynomial and rational expressions and equations
    • Solve problems involving radicals and complex numbers
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  • (3 CREDITS)

    This course covers biology and behavior, consciousness, memory thought and language, intelligence, personality and gender, stress, and community influences.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Describe the science of psychology, basic structure and function of the human nervous system, and basic
      structure and function of the sensory system
    • Explain various states of consciousness, learning theories, and thought processes and development
    • Summarize the nature of human motivation and development, the human development cycle, and approaches
      to understanding and assessing personality
    • Prepare an essay on the topic of conditioning, memory, or motivation and emotion
    • Recognize psychological disorders and available treatments
    • Explain social psychology as it relates to attitudes, influences, behaviors, and stress
    • Use critical thinking skills to determine the likely causes of behaviors of individuals and groups discussed in
      case studies

Semester 4

  • (3 CREDITS)

    Web Design teaches students about the guiding principles behind web and mobile usability. The course provides instruction on how to develop a usable, accessible website for desktop computers and mobile devices. Topics covered include writing for the web, designing navigation, and usability testing.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Apply the basics of web design and terminology, user experience design, and writing for the web
    • Design usable navigation systems and a usable home page
    • Conduct a usability test on a website
  • Earth Science

    (3 CREDITS)

    The primary purpose of your textbook, Foundations of Earth Science, Eighth Edition, is to explain the fundamental processes of our planet. This course covers a number of topics which are concentrated in four main categories: geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. Geology is the study of Earth, its minerals and rocks, and the many varied processes that formed our planet and continue to reform it today. Oceanography is the study of Earth’s oceans. Meteorology is the study of Earth’s atmosphere. Astronomy is the study of Earth’s place in space and all things related. These four elements combined make up the Earth and are essential in understanding how the world works and how it’s evolving.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Categorize the matters, minerals, and materials that compose the Earth
    • Differentiate between the elements and their ways of sculpting the landscapes
    • Distinguish between the various theories and forces behind Earth’s history
    • Point out the geological features of oceans and the important concepts of geology
    • Categorize the causes and effects of various phenomena affecting Earth’s atmosphere
    • Analyze the components of the solar system and the universe

    Introduction to Biology

    (3 CREDITS)

    Few subjects can teach you as much about the world around you as biology. During this introductory course, you’ll gain insight into the origin of life, the relationships among all living organisms and the environment, and even how your own body works. You’ll learn how a significant number of organisms are structured and how they work to enable you to discuss intelligently the various forms of life and their processes.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Analyze cells and their processes for obtaining energy and reproducing
    • Explain how traits are passed on from one generation to the next
    • Explain how different species of living things have evolved and are classified
    • Write responses to fundamental biology essay prompts
    • Identify the characteristics and behavior of plants and animals
    • Diagram the anatomy and physiology of the human body
    • Describe the ecology of living things
    • Summarize complex biological issues using research articles


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    (3 CREDITS)

    Nutrition is the science that investigates how the body takes in, breaks down, and uses foods. The course will provide you with basic information on how these processes take place, including information about nutrients and how they contribute to the way the body functions. This will help you to have a better understanding of your decisions about food and diet. You’ll also learn about physical activities that can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Because a central focus of nutrition studies is on health promotion, suggestions for individual nutrition choice will be discussed, as well as tactics for maintaining a healthy weight and keeping food supplies safe. 

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Describe how nutrition supports a body's wellness
    • Recognize the body's use of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins 
    • Identify the body's use of water, minerals, and micronutrients
    • Discuss what nutritional needs are for a healthy weight and for an athletic lifestyle 
    • Define food safety and the nutritional needs of humans over a lifetime
    • Prepare a research paper on a nutritional topic 
  • (3 CREDITS)

    This courses teaches you how to create web-pages with hypertext links, tables, frames, and forms. You’ll also learn covers cascading style sheets, programming with JavaScript, working with content and layout, controlling mouse and keyboard events, and creating new frames and windows.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Create a simple HTML webpage that contains lists, links, images, and tables
    • Recognize how to add forms, extra markup, flash, video, and audio
    • Make a webpage using CSS rules and CSS elements
    • Identify elements in HTML5, aspects of design theory, and practical tips for launching a site
    • Create a professional-looking website
  • (3 CREDITS)

    This course will provide instruction on how to develop engaging interactive projects integrating video, sound,
    graphics, and animation that you can publish to a variety of platforms.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Create and edit graphics, text, and symbols in Adobe Animate
    • Demonstrate proficiency in basic animation skills, such as tweening and animating symbols, shapes, and characters
    • Create and publish animations that include interactivity, sound, and video
  • (3 CREDITS)

    This course is a tutorial on Dreamweaver, a visual web authoring tool. You’ll discover how to use Dreamweaver software to design and develop websites using coding tools and a variety of features. You’ll also learn how to publish your website. This course shows you how to use Dreamweaver Help and Accessibility as well as how to publish to a remote site. You’ll also use Dreamweaver to complete several graded website projects throughout this program.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Identify the features of Dreamweaver, as well as how to use HTML and CSS when creating webpages
    • Explain how to create a website with multiple page layouts and design responsive pages
    • Explain how to create your own Dreamweaver template, as well as how to insert and style text, lists, tables, and images
    • Describe how to add hyperlinks and interactivity, publish a website, and work with code
  • (3 CREDITS)

    This course covers the process of developing and maintaining an electronic portfolio. Topics covered are the preparation and organization of graphic creations, such as logos, websites, and brochures. This course culminates in the presentation of an electronic portfolio utilizing graphics created throughout this course.

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

    • Prepare a professional verbal and visual presentation that includes a cover letter, résumé, and portfolio
    • Create a traditional portfolio
    • Produce linear and interactive digital portfolio
    • Create compelling type designs and layouts
    • Design a user-friendly interface for an interactive web-based portfolio

Note: We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.


Can I learn graphics designing online? ›

Where can I learn graphic design? Udemy, Alison Online, and Skillshare are some places where you can learn graphic design for free.

What classes are involved in graphic design? ›

Depending on what area of graphic design you wish to pursue, your curriculum may include website visual design, studio art, computerized design, motion graphics, printing techniques, commercial graphics production, typography, and other similar coursework that falls under a fine art or graphic design program.

Can graphic designing be self taught? ›

The honest answer is no—it's not absolutely necessary. There are certainly exceptional self-taught graphic designers who have launched careers without a formal education. While it's true that it can be done, that doesn't mean it's the best route for you.


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