Design Foundations Certificate | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Design Foundations Certificate

Learn the essentials of graphic design through topics such as design concepts and vocabulary, design history and theory, composition, and typography. 

Total cost: Variable depending on coursework; approximately $1305 noncredit, $5120 for credit.

Computer screen with typography that says "this type should b"


  • Gain an understanding of various design and typographic processes, systems, and styles, create portfolio-ready projects, and develop a knowledge of design-related vocabulary.
  • Gain experience utilizing typography for a variety of purposes: communication, expression, and organization while working through multiple formats. 
  • Learn important aspects of the history of graphic design, including design history and trends, as well as how the discipline of graphic design fits within a larger cultural context.


For the Design Foundations Certificate, take three different classes in the topic area of Graphic and Web Design. Two of the classes must be a minimum of 5 weeks or longer. Select classes apply to the certificate.

Recommended classes:

  • Graphic Design Essentials (10 weeks)
  • Introduction to Graphic Design (10 weeks)
  • Introduction to Typography (10 weeks)
  • Graduate level Typography class (15 weeks)
  • Graduate level Design in Context class (15 weeks)
  • User Experience (UX) Design Concepts and Mobile Apps (8 weeks)
  • Typography Intensive (5 weeks)
  • Web Development: HTML (5 weeks)