250.00 Hours Required

Delivery Options: IN CLASS

Course Schedule

If you work in a visually creative field, the Certificate in Visual Design could be an ideal addition to your resume. By pursuing this certificate, you will gain a basic understanding of design principles and valuable practical knowledge. This flexible 250-hour certificate allows you to tailor the program to your own specific needs.

Students choose one of four programs: a general certificate, the Specialization in Art Theory and Practice, and the Specialization in Interior Design.

Whereas the general program spans many aspects of design, including interior design and decorating, photography, graphic design, fine art, and landscape design, the specializations are more focused.

Specialization in Art Theory and Practice

In this specialization, students complete the four core courses that are common to all programs for 120 instruction hours plus a minimum of 80 hours from the Art Theory and Practice stream of options. To fulfil the 250-hour requirement, a maximum of 50 hours can be taken from the other specialization streams of options and other courses.

Like all Continuing Education certificates, this program is a great way for you to build on your education and work experience. You will learn with like-minded mature students who pursue their professional development with determination while, at the same time, tending to their family, work and community commitments.

At a professional level, this program is an excellent opportunity for individuals who already have some design knowledge and experience, but would like to expand that foundation, and formalize it within a certificate framework. At a personal level, this program will appeal to those interested in gaining knowledge and skills that can be applied to their creative interests in the fine arts including drawing, painting, and sculpting.

This certificate is perfect if you:

  • Work, or aspire to work, in a visual design field
  • Seek a solid foundation of knowledge leading to a credential in the field of art theory and practice

Courses are taught in the classroom weekday evenings and Saturdays at the University of Calgary main or downtown campus. Off campus field trips may be included.

All Continuing Education certificate programs have been developed with part-time learners in mind. To complete the Certificate in Visual Design specializing in Art Theory and Practice, a minimum of 250 hours of credit is required (120 hours of core credit, a minimum of 80 hours of Art Theory and Practice options and a maximum of 50 hours from the other specialization option streams). If you take at least one course per session, it is possible to complete the certificate in approximately three years.

Plan your certificate...

A degree or diploma is not required to enrol in this program.

You must be a minimum of 18 years of age to be admitted. Successful completion of a Grade 12 diploma and relevant work experience are recommended. If English is not your first language, please review the English language proficiency requirements.

You can take courses first and enrol in the certificate later; however, as programs are subject to change, we recommend you apply for admission to the certificate program as early as possible. The certificate admission fee is $105. Once admitted, you can be confident that completed and eligible courses will apply to your certificate.

Depending on selected options and required prerequisites, the approximate cost to complete this certificate is $3,600.

  Apply for Admission

Prior learning from other post-secondary institutions

Advanced standing may be granted for equivalent, graded courses completed at other post-secondary institutions. Credit may be granted up to a maximum of 50 hours towards this certificate.

To apply for advanced standing, click here.

Transferring credit from other Continuing Education certificates

If you have completed requirements for another University of Calgary Continuing Education certificate, you may be able to transfer some credits between programs. For details, please review the Transferability section in the certificate programs that you have completed. To transfer credits, please contact a student advisor.

Please Note:

The combined total of Transferability and Advanced Standing credits cannot exceed 120 hours for this certificate.

On completion of one certificate, you may wish to pursue studies in another.

On completion of this certificate, up to 120 hours of equivalent courses may be transferred towards certificates in Graphic Design, Integrated Digital Media, Visual Design, and Visual Design specializing in Interior Design. The number of hours will vary based on certificate requirements and courses.

If you wish to pursue another certificate program please complete the Application for Admission for your next certificate, and contact us requesting transfer of the equivalent course credits, or contact a student advisor for assistance at 403-220-2866. You must request the transfer of the equivalent courses credits to apply to your next certificate — this will not happen without your request.

Receive a discount of 5% per course by registering at the same time for three or more courses. During checkout, be sure to select the 'Apply a discount' option next to each eligible course. Choose '5% Bundle Discount' from the menu. Some restrictions apply (i.e. all courses must take place within the current academic year).

Note: ICT courses within the Certificates in Visual Design and Graphic Design are not eligible for the discount.

Awards are given to deserving students not only for their academic achievement, but also for community involvement. Award sponsors include both corporate and private donors.

To apply, you must meet eligibility criteria and submission deadlines. Students in this program may be eligible for:

It is the student's responsibility to ensure all requirements for graduation are fulfilled, and to apply to graduate.

View our Graduation page for details.

This certificate program is not eligible for application for a study permit. International students who wish to live and work in Canada should see our International Professional Programs.

Click here for contact information.

Additional Details


Minimum Required

120 Hour(s)

Maximum Allowed

120 Hour(s)

Required fields are indicated by .