Visual Communications

Online Undergraduate Certificate in Visual Communications

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$0 Application Fee
$0 Transfer Credit Evaluation
$0 Textbooks & eBooks

About This Program

The global reach of both small and large organizations has created an ever-expanding need for graphic designers who visually differentiate organizations from one another. Learn the basic fundamentals of graphic design, animation, image manipulation, image enhancement, image storage, and website design with the undergraduate visual communications certificate from American Public University (APU).

In your online visual communication classes, you’ll learn how to design, develop, and deploy moving text and graphics to create dynamic and interactive digital experiences for an organization’s customers to enjoy. This certificate is ideal for enhancing your knowledge of visual communications without committing to a degree program.

What You Will Do

  1. Learn the purpose and usage of smart objects, layers, and vectors in editing; the differences between raster and vector images; and how to hide, link, and set layer styles
  2. Use Adobe Photoshop® to edit and restore digital images and enhance images by manipulating sharpness, color, contrast, hue, brightness, and resolution
  3. Study effective design principles and concepts for organizing information, performing site design, and determining navigation structure
  4. Become familiar with web page design principles, the use of style sheets, Adobe Flash®, and the use of tweens, anchors, guides, and onion skins to develop web animations
  5. Understand the differences between various image file formats on the web, including GIF, JPG, PNG, and SVG

Adobe Photoshop® is a registered trademark of Adobe.
Adobe Flash® is a registered trademark of Adobe. 

Program at a Glance

Number of Credits
18
Cost Per Credit
$350 | $250*
$315**
Courses Start Monthly
Online
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Program Requirements Printable Catalog Version

Must take all courses for this section.

Course ID: 2613

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This course introduces students to the principles and practices of image manipulation, image enhancement, and image storage. In this class, students will explore graphical file formats, color and perception, color balance, histograms, web-friendly colors, the impact of image size and resolution on screen size and resolution, brightness, contrast, image noise, noise reduction, and digital signal processing (blurring, de-blurring, Gaussian filters, sharpening, softening, spot healing, dodging, and burning). The course will also teach students about transparency, opacity, hue, saturation, image layering, color blending (multiplying and dodging), image transformation (rotation, resizing, and shearing), selections (pixel and vector), alpha channels, and image modes (grayscale, RGB, CMYK, HSB, and indexed color). NOTE: For this course, students must have access to Adobe Photoshop. This software is not provided by the course material grant and must be purchased/provided by students. Adobe Photoshop® is a registered trademark of Adobe, Inc.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 4533

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This course studies the principles, practices, processes, and disciplines related to using Adobe InDesign to create print media for effective communication. In this course, students will learn how to evaluate the design process and acquire the knowledge for planning, preliminary negotiations, pre-visual research and analysis, visual conceptualization, points of view, attitude, document design, document production, and post-production. This class also examines the principles of typographic design, word design, page organization, page layout, the integration of words and images, character styles, paragraph styles, layout design, tiling, scaling, textures, and illustrations. In addition, this course investigates color theory, additive and subtractive color models, complementary colors, patterns, and rhythms. Students will apply their knowledge to design flyers, brochures, CD/DVD covers, and product packaging. NOTE: For this course, students must have access to Adobe InDesign. This software is not provided by the course material grant and must be purchased/provided by students. Adobe InDesign® is a registered trademark of Adobe, Inc.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 2620

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This course examines the process of designing, developing, and deploying text and graphics using an industry standard vector graphics program, Adobe Illustrator. Students will create graphics that take advantage of the broad set of tools, effects, and attributes available in Illustrator. Also, students will learn to edit existing vector graphics files and structure and manage vector graphics files for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, the course will cover how to format files for use in other applications and for output to a variety of imaging devices. NOTE: For this course, students must have access to Adobe Illustrator. This software is not provided by the course material grant and must be purchased or provided by students. Adobe Illustrator® is a registered trademark of Adobe, Inc.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 2617

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This course introduces students to website development through a combination of readings and hands-on development exercises. This course covers coding with Hypertext Markup Language 5 (HTML5), website development essentials, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), graphical elements, hyperlinks, HTML table creation, web forms, video, audio and image techniques, website development for business, and website publishing and maintenance. Fundamentals of JavaScript® programming are also introduced in this course. Students will need access to a web browser such as Microsoft Edge Firefox, or Google Chrome. Microsoft Edge, Firefox, or Google Chrome are not provided by the course material grant and must be purchased/provided by students. To succeed in this course, students will also need basic computer knowledge such as creating files and folders, downloading and uploading files, creating zipped files, and working with a text editor such as Notepad++. JavaScript® is a registered trademark of Oracle America, Inc.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 4830

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This course teaches advanced website development concepts and skills through a combination of readings and hands-on development exercises. It builds upon students’ fundamental coding skills by emphasizing HTML5 structure elements, embedded video and audio elements, HTML5 APIs, cross-browser user-input forms, the use of JavaScript® to add interactive capabilities to webpages, and the use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS3) to enhance reusability and design consistent user interfaces. The class will also introduce advanced CSS3 techniques, including 2D and 3D transformations, transitions, animations, and user interface (UI) properties. Techniques for developing webpages, optimized for mobile devices, including Responsive Web Design (RWD), are emphasized. This course covers the Advanced HTML5 and CSS3 Specialist curriculum needed to pursue the CIW Web and Mobile Design Professional certificate. Students will need access to a web browser such as Microsoft Edge or Firefox. This software is not provided by the course material grant and must be purchased/provided by students. To succeed in this course, students will also need basic computer knowledge such as creating files and folders, downloading and uploading files, creating zipped files, and working with a text editor such as Notepad++. (Prerequisite: WEBD121) JavaScript® is a registered trademark of Oracle America, Inc.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 4866

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This course presents the principles and skills for how to design effective user interfaces for websites, with an emphasis on designing for mobile technologies. This course covers the content for the Certified Internet Web (CIW®) User Interface Designer certification in the Web and Mobile Design Series. Emphasis is on how to apply key usability concepts and user analysis techniques; how to design for multiple platforms using suitable color schemes, formatting and topography; and how to collect information from customers, users, and market analysis to better address ease-of-use and to enhance website experiences for mobile users. (Prerequisite: WEBD121) CIW® is a registered trademark of Certification Partners, LLC.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Courses Start Monthly

Next Courses Start Apr 1
Register by Mar 29

Admission Requirements

  • All APU undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e., GED).
  • Please read all undergraduate admission requirements before applying to this program and be prepared to submit the required documentation.
  • There is no fee to complete the APU admission application for this program. View steps to apply.

Materials Cost

Software and/or lab equipment required for some courses in this program must be purchased at the student’s expense, and are not included in the university book grant. Expenses may depend on courses chosen for electives and concentration requirements. Estimated costs can be found at https://apus.libguides.com/bookstore

 

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Disclosures

Maryland Residents learn more about costs, completion rates, median debt, and more.

 

1The University reserves the right to accept or deny credits according to policies outlined on our University website. Please see the University’s transfer credit policy webpage for complete information.

*Cost Per Credit Hour

American Public University's Preferred Military Rate is $250 per credit hour for all undergraduate and master's-level courses. This rate is available to all U.S. active-duty servicemembers, National Guard members, Reservists, and military families, including parents, spouses, legal partners, siblings, and dependents.
See all military student benefits.

Cost of Attendance

Learn more about American Public University's cost components and full cost of attendance