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  • code: GDES
  • Program length: Six semesters
  • Credential awarded: Ontario College Advanced Diploma
  • Location: Oshawa
  • School: School of Media, Art & Design (MAD)
  • Domestic tuition: $3,339 (CDN)
  • Intake Statuses
    • International Intake Statuses
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      You get a broad spectrum of different aspects of graphic design. It was a fabulous course! 

      Jennifer Laughlin
      Graphic Design
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      My education is important to me and I chose Durham College so I could have a valuable learning experience. This was one of the only schools that of [...]

      Erica Rodrigues
      Graphic Design
      first-year student
      Graphic Design

      Graphic Design

      Graphic Design

      Graphic Design

      Graphic Design

      From magazine ads and interactive graphics to book covers and digital signage, graphic designers have the power to express emotions, influence decisions and bring ideas to life. Students learn to design and produce logos, brochures, magazine layouts and annual reports. Graduates of this program create advertising and branding campaigns, corporate identity systems, and packaging prototypes. They develop two and three-dimensional illustrations. and produce integrated media content for the web.

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      Program Description (Laptop program)

      NOTE: Students enrolling in this program are required to purchase their own laptop. For specific hardware and software requirements for this program click here.

      This program prepares graduates for work as entry-level designers. Students learn skills required to solve specific visual problems through practical work that covers a broad spectrum of visual communication in corporate, editorial, advertising and package design. The program of studies in first year includes:

      • Design concepts
      • Digital technology
      • Drawing
      • Fundamentals of design
      • Typography 

      Your second and third year will give you an opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of design problems.

      Other areas of study include:

      • Advertising
      • Branding
      • Editorial and corporate design
      • History of art
      • History of graphic design
      • Packaging
      • Photography

      You will spend your sixth semester off campus as an intern at a design or in-house studio. As a graduating student, you will have the opportunity to display design projects from your Portfolio Studies course at an annual student spring exhibit in Toronto.

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      Admission Requirements

      • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Mature Student Status
      • Grade 12 English (C or U)
      • Grade 11 mathematics (C, M or U)
      • Senior-level media or visual arts credit, or a portfolio of work
      • Interview (may be required)

      Please note: For applicants who have a senior-level visual arts or media arts credit on their high school transcript, a portfolio submission is not required. For those without a senior-level visual arts or media arts credit, applicants are required to submit a portfolio of work to be considered for admission, and may require an interview.

      Additional requirements

      In addition to the academic requirements, admission to this program requires the submission of a portfolio of artwork. The purpose of the portfolio is to allow students to demonstrate their drawing and creative ability. There are several free portfolio information sessions to attend designed to help in understanding how to put a portfolio together.

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      Career Options


      • Art director
      • Creative director
      • Digital art director
      • Digital production designer
      • Freelance graphic designer
      • Graphic designer
      • Marketing co-ordinator
      • Production artist
      • Prepress technician
      • Web designer


      • Advertising agencies
      • Graphic design studios
      • In-house corporate design studios
      • Interactive design studios
      • Package design studios
      • Printing companies
      • Publishing companies
      • Self-employment (freelance)
      • Web development studio
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      Program Costs

      YEAR ONE FEESDomesticInternational
      Compulsory Ancillary


      Program Incidental$400$400
      Total Fees:$4,880$15,052

      Please note: fees are based on the 2016-2017 academic year and do not include textbooks. For more information please see Other fees to consider.

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      Laptop Learning

      Students enrolled in laptop programs will enjoy an exceptional learning experience through the use of technology. The advanced technical skills and knowledge that employers look for in graduates will provide students with a decided advantage when entering the work force. Please pay close attention to the hardware and software requirements of your program as the requirements are not the same for all laptop programs.

      How laptop learning works:

      • Review your specific program page for hardware and software requirements
      • Acquire your own laptop from a vendor of your choosing including all of the hardware and software components listed below

      Please note: Some software may be included in tuition fees for some programs. Please ensure that you are required to buy software before making a purchase.

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      Laptop Requirements

      Hardware recommendations

      For a complete list of hardware recommendations please review the Hardware recommendations and FAQ document.

      Software requirements

      NOTE: Membership in Adobe Creative Cloud™ is included in the Student Fees and will be available for new students in the first week of classes.


      Creative Cloud brings together everything you need to create your greatest work. One simple membership gives you and your classmates to the very latest versions of all the Adobe professional creative desktop applications like Photoshop®, Illustrator®, and more — plus new features and upgrades as soon as they're available. And that's just the beginning. With Creative Cloud™, everything you need to create intuitively and collaboratively is included.

      Free downloadable software (please download and install prior to the start of classes):


      • USB flash drive for storing smaller amounts of data
      • External hard disk USB or FireWire powered 1 TB or larger
      • Wacom Intuous 3 6×8 inch digital graphics tablet

      All students should have a Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable 2 meters long to connect to the campus network.

      NOTE: These requirements were accurate at the time of posting and are subject to change. Please be aware that hardware and software versions are subject to change and will be updated as needed.

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      Field Placement

      Your learning experience will be complemented by a 14-week field placement in the last semester of your program, which provides the opportunity to integrate theory with practice at an agency or studio under the supervision of an industry professional. The placement must be approved by faculty, and your progress will be monitored. Many students are offered employment at the end of their field placement.

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      • code: GDES
      • Program length: Six semesters
      • Credential awarded: Ontario College Advanced Diploma
      • Location: Oshawa
      • School: School of Media, Art & Design (MAD)
      • Domestic tuition: $3,339 (CDN)
      • Intake Statuses
        • International Intake Statuses
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