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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 advertisements and interactive graphics to book cover designs and digital signage, graphic designers have the power to express emotions, influence decisions and bring words to life. You will learn to design and produce logos, brochures, magazine layouts and annual reports, along with two and three-dimensional illustrations. Graduates of this program will also be able to create advertising and branding campaigns, corporate identity systems, and packaging prototypes in addition to developing integrated media content for websites.

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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, M or U)
  • Grade 11 mathematics (C, M or U)
  • Media arts credits or portfolio of work
  • Interview (may be required)

Please note: For applicants who possess visual arts credits on their high school transcript, the portfolio requirement will be excluded. For those without visual arts credits, applicants are required to submit a portfolio of work to be considered for admission and may take part in 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 studio
  • Package design studio
  • Publishing company
  • Printing company
  • Self-employment
  • Web development firm
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Program Costs

YEAR ONE FEESDomesticInternational
Compulsory Ancillary


Program Incidental$400$400
Total Fees:$4,733$15,210

Please note: fees are based on the 2015-2016 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 requirements

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

Software requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or later (included with new Apple notebook computer purchase)
  • Apple iLife ’11
  • Adobe Type Classics for Learning
  • Microsoft Office for Mac Academic 2011

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 250 GB or larger
  • Wacom Intuous 3 6×8 inch digital graphics tablet

All students should have a Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable between 1 and 1.5 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 Placements

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: Three-year
  • Credential awarded: Ontario College Advanced Diploma
  • Location: Oshawa
  • School: School of Media, Art & Design (MAD)
  • Domestic tuition: $3,242 (CDN)
  • Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Open Open: September 2016
  • International Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Open Open: September 2016
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