Graphic Design

Graphic Design

SMU Graphic Design Certificate | Frequently Asked Questions

Program Fast Facts

DURATION 9 months
FORMAT In-Person
TUITION Priority Rate (two weeks before start date): $3,745
Standard Rate: $3,995
NEXT DATES Sep. 5, 2017

Applications are now open! Registration will open July 6, 2017.


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Program Requirements

Registration / Enrollment

General Information

Do I need to have a college degree to enroll in the program?

To enroll in the program, you need to have a bachelor’s degree or at least 4 years of professional work experience in any field. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, please highlight your 4 years of experience on your resume for clarification. Contact a Program Advisor to see if you qualify for enrollment.

I am not very technical; can I handle the graphic design program?

Whether you are an aspiring graphic design professional or a small business professional, this certificate program offers all practical aspects of graphic design. If you have a working knowledge of computers and the internet, we can equip you with a strong foundation in design skills and software.

I have been doing graphic design for several years; will I benefit from this program?

This depends on what kind of training you already have in graphic design. Take a look at the course details to evaluate whether they cover skill sets or topics you are not familiar with.

How many hours outside of class will I need to devote to studying?

Plan on spending an additional 3 hours a week on course material.

Will I receive a grade in each course? Are there exams?

Students receive letter grades for each course. Online exams are administered for each course, with the exception of Capstone where students complete a final project.

Are there any required textbooks or additional costs?

Some of the Graphic Design courses require textbooks. At least one week before each course begins, you will receive an e-mail notifying you of the books you will need. It is required to bring your own laptop to each course with Creative Cloud downloaded (see below).

What is the minimum software that I need to have in order to complete this certificate?

During the certificate program you will be working on a real-world graphic design project and will require use of the Adobe Creative Cloud software. This subscription is available through Please note: The Creative Cloud software needs to be downloaded and installed before your first class, the download is large and may take a considerable amount of time.

Do you have Capstone project examples I can view?

To receive links to examples of updated student projects, please e-mail Karoline Staton with your request.

Can I take the course online?

The first course meets in an online format, but the rest of the program must be taken in person.

I have a full time job; can I fit this certificate program into my schedule?

This certificate program is designed to fit the schedule of a working professional. Courses meet in the evenings over a 9-month period. If for some reason you need to miss a class, you must contact the instructor to receive missed materials; you cannot make-up a class.

Do you offer financial assistance? Will it cover the cost of textbooks?

Our courses are non-credit and therefore do not qualify for FASFA or veteran’s benefits.

SMU has a relationship with Sallie Mae for their Smart Options Continuing Education Student Loan. You can only apply for the loan if you are enrolling in the entire package. To apply for this loan, follow the steps outlined on the Enrollment and Financing page. Please note that your requested loan amount cannot exceed the program tuition. YOU MUST COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION FOR THE SALLIE MAE LOAN 14 DAYS BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF THE PROGRAM.

How do I register?

  1. Register for the application course online, and pay the non-refundable $50 fee. Payment of the application fee does not guarantee you a seat in the class / program.
  2. Upon registering for the application course, you will receive, via e-mail, a confirmation receipt along with the program application. Return the completed application and requested documents to or fax them to 214.768.1071.
  3. The CAPE student advisor will confirm your acceptance and send accepted students a welcome e-mail with the next steps towards enrollment.

*Please note, that your seat in the program is not guaranteed until registration is paid in full.

Can I make multiple payments throughout the program?

No, you must pay for the full amount at one time. Please view our Enrollment and Financing page for more details.

Can I still sign up if the program is full?

Our courses are first come first served and a spot is not guaranteed until registration is paid in full. If a course you want to take is full, please add your name to the waitlist and we will notify you if a spot opens up. Students on the waiting list are not obligated to register if/when a space becomes available.

My company is paying for me; how do I apply?

If your company is paying for your tuition, please contact a program advisor to receive a third party billing form and application. Please include whether or not your company is paying for the application fee, and then submit both your application and the third party billing form simultaneously. You will not be enrolled in the course until we receive the approved Line of Credit form with the necessary signatures.

Can I get a transcript for my course?

Yes, please contact the CAPE Student Advisor at 214.768.2273 for assistance. Transcripts cost $10 each and are processed within two business days of your paid request.

Do you offer discounts?

SMU students, alumni, faculty/staff, veterans, and non-profits receive a 10% discount on our courses. Contact the CAPE office at 214-768-2273 if you qualify for a discount. Please note that this discount is applied to standard tuition rate; not the priority rate.

Select corporate and group rates are available, contact a program advisor for more details.

Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you will be given the one with the largest savings.

Where do I park for my class?

You will receive enrollment confirmation and course reminders via emails for all CAPE courses. In addition, a parking pass with additional details and directions also will be sent to all attendees.

Parking in an undesignated parking area may result in a parking fine.

How can I get a copy of the catalog?

To request a course catalog, please use the online form or call 214.768.2273.

What if I need to withdraw from a class?

If you choose to withdraw from the certificate program, please notify us in writing (via email: or fax 214-768-1071) prior to the start of the program. If a withdrawal request is received in writing more than three full business days prior to the first course start date students may receive a refund, minus a $250.00 processing fee.

SMU CAPE professional certificate enrollment is final as of 3 business days prior to first course start date and programs are intended to be successfully completed in full. After that date, you will not receive a refund if you withdraw or quit the course before completion. We do not provide prorated refunds or credits for partial certificate program completion. Students enrolled in a certificate program may have the option to transfer to another cohort; this option is outlined in the student terms and conditions of each program, pending space availability and time remaining to successfully complete their program. Students may also put funds in escrow for up to 12 months for use by themselves or someone else if withdrawing prior to program start date.

Failure to attend class does not constitute withdrawal.

All refunds will be made in the form of the original payment. Please allow up to six weeks to receive check refunds.

Full details are available on the certificate application.

Can I take a tour of the campus?

Most classes are held in the CAPE building on East Campus, but you are welcome to join undergraduate tours. Campus tours are designed for prospective undergraduates but if you are interested, you can find more information here.

Do you offer job placement/internships?

Your success is important to us and we want to provide you with opportunities to reach your goals. That is why we offer a complimentary career coaching service exclusively for our certificate program participants. Career coaching is designed to help you explore topics relevant to your career success in a flexible and personalized format. Career coaching does not guarantee job placement.

Students also have access to our private job posting board on LinkedIn. Jobs are posted by employers in the DFW area who are eager to employ graduates of SMU programs.

I still have questions; can I speak with an advisor?

Yes, please contact Terry Teague (214.621.4834) or Karoline Staton (214.768.1086) and our program advisors will be in touch with you.