Design (Certificate)

Design (Certificate)

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The Art Department offers a Graduate Certificate in Design that builds on the recently instituted Graduate courses in Design and on the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design.

The Graduate Certificate in Design places strong emphasis on developing a visual language with a concentration on intelligent decision making within the multiple facets of graphic art, corporate communications, editorial design, industrial design, environmental design, product design, game design, advertising and interactive design.

Courses are heavily ingrained with the process of design, theory and developing a personal methodology. When the transmission of information come through sound, color, typography, environment, photography or interactive experience, designers have great challenges and power to give birth to messages that inevitably shape our culture.

The Design department encourages students to utilize these elements to seek exploration and a voice while utilizing contemporary technology leading to a successful career in a rich professional field of design.

  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at There is no application fee.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a recognized international equivalent.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Personal statement detailing artistic direction, professional goals, and reasons for pursuing the graduate degree.
    • One letter of recommendation from a faculty member.
    • Portfolio of professional work. Please provide a website address for your images and JPG files. You may include the website address on the first line of your Statement of Purpose. Your website should demonstrate at least 20 JPEG images of your most recent work with label information (Title, Medium, Size, and Year) and should be 8”x10” at 300 DPI.

    Students whose native  language is not English  or  who studied at a University outside the U.S.:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.


    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.
  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Robert Bradley

    Phone: 956-665-2897

    Office: Edinburg Campus, VABL 1204


    Program Coordinator: Mr. Donald Lyles

    Phone: 956-665-2966

    Office: Edinburg Campus, VABL 1302

    E-Mail: donald.lyles@utrgv.eduv

  • Deadlines


    Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.


    • This program only admits applicants during Fall and Spring semesters.
    • Students admitted only to a Certificate Program are not eligible to obtain a Student Visa from UTRGV.
  • Tuition Estimate

    Residency Per 3-Credit Hour Course Semester (9-Credit Hours) Total Estimated Cost
    Texas Resident $1,359.29 $3,563.87 $7,127.74
    Non-Resident/International $2,625.29 $7,361.87 $14,723.74

    *We estimate that tuition and fees will closely approximate the rates shown above; however, rates are subject to change. Please note that the rates above are estimated for on-campus students and those enrolled in 16-week online programs. The rate is different for Accelerated Online Programs (AOP). Visit the tuition and fees page for detailed information.

  • Course Requirements

    Required Courses 18
    ARTS 6337: Design Seminar (2‐D)
    (Must be taken once and repeatable for a total of 9 hours) 3-9
    ARTS 6338: Design Lab
    (Must be taken once and repeatable for a total of 9 hours) 3-9
    ARTS 6639: Design Studio
    (Must be taken once and repeatable for a total of 12 hours) 6-12
    Total hours required for completion: 18

    Course Descriptions

    ARTS 6337: Design Seminar (2‐D)               [3‐0]

    Concentration on design processes, research, and methodologies. Students work on project‐ specific assignments and assigned readings for discussion. Repeatable for a total of 9 hours.

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

    ARTS 6338: Design Lab              [3‐0]

    Provides students the opportunity to test and expand their ideas through implementation of design research in a lecture, exhibition, or publishing environment. Repeatable for a total of 12 hours.

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

    ARTS 6639: Design Studio              [6‐0]

    A structures course based upon advanced design issues. Students work in a collaborative environment using design as an effective method of change and research. Repeatable for a total of 12 hours.

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

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