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  • Graphic Design

    Graphic Design

Program Code:GRA
Duration:6 Semesters (3 Years)
Start Dates:Summer, Fall, Winter,
Start dates are subject to change
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Advanced Diploma

Program Description

Throughout the program, your studies will focus on the creative aspects of designing and producing graphic solutions and materials including print, websites, epubs, apps, packaging, environmental, and marketing campaigns for corporate, publishing, advertising and marketing clients.

You’ll learn the principles, materials, and skills necessary to bring a design problem to a logical solution. In your first year, you’ll concentrate on developing your understanding of design fundamentals. Your second and third years will provide you with the opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of design problems. In your third year, you'll produce campaign materials and a portfolio and you'll have the opportunity to participate in a field placement.

Note: This program is recommended for students interested in working as a designer within the communications industry.

Program Learning Outcomes:

This Seneca College program meets the system-wide standards as set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Develop and implement solutions to problems encountered in all phases of the graphic design process.
  • Create visual communications through the application of design theories and principles to develop effective design solutions.
  • Apply typographic skills and knowledge to create effective visual communications.
  • Use a variety of technologies to create, capture, and manipulate design elements in producing a final product.
  • Communicate effectively, credibly, and accurately with clients, supervisors, coworkers, and target audiences by using a variety of media.
  • Apply effective business practices and project management skills appropriate to his/her position in the graphic design field.
  • Develop personal and professional strategies and plans to improve job performance and professional relationships with clients, coworkers, and supervisors.

Essential Employability Skills:

Graduates of this program are also expected to demonstrate the essential employability skills learning outcomes as outlined on the Ministry of Training, College and Universities website.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s), or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading).

Applicant Selection:

  • As this is an oversubscribed program, applicants will be required to attend an orientation session and complete a mandatory $55 pre-admissions screening test. Please click here for a practice test. Applicants will also be required to complete program–related assignments. This includes satisfactory completion of a creative test and a drawing test. Three 8.1/2" x 11" design/art samples will be required. These samples will not be returned. A pamphlet with your testing information is available here.
  • Pre-Admissions English Test Exemption - If you have applied to transfer from our Arts Fundamentals (AFD) program, or have completed a College level English course at an accredited post secondary institution in Canada, OR a country where English is the first language, you may be exempt from writing the pre-admissions English test. However, you will still have to complete all program specific requirements (i.e. drawing test, applicant profile, portfolio). If you are not writing the English test, the $55 fee will no longer apply. Please notify Admissions if this exemption will apply to you.


  • Although not required for admission, the following are considered assets:
    • Any art and/or computer graphics credit;
    • Keyboarding skills.

The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be well–organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.


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Your Career

The world of art and design is calling. With the Graphic Design advanced diploma program, you’ll turn your passion for design into a career in the visual communications industry. In three years you could enjoy a creative and challenging career as a graphic designer, web designer, in– house designer for a corporation, advertising art director, interactive designer or print production.

Affiliations and Associations

  • Design Exchange
  • Graphic Design Education Association
  • The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Canada

General Education

One of the general education courses must be a literature course for which EAC150 is the pre-requisite.

For more information, please visit our website at

Diploma to Degree... and Beyond

Through transfer agreements and institution partnerships, graduates of this Seneca College program may be eligible for credit at the following post-secondary institution(s):

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant term.


Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
EAC150 College English 3
GRA120 Software Training I 3
GRA130 Typography I 3
GRA160 Colour Theory 3
GRA171 Design Thinking I 3
GRA180 Drawing 3
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
GRA210 Graphic Design I 3
GRA220 Software Training II 3
GRA230 Typography II 3
GRA242 Design History 3
GRA266 Photography and Video 3
GRA271 Design Thinking II 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 3 Course Name Hrs/Wk
EAC394 Effective Business Writing 3
GRA310 Graphic Design II 3
GRA320 Software Training III 3
GRA330 Typography III 3
GRA350 Design Production I 3
GRA361 Web Software I 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 4 Course Name Hrs/Wk
GRA410 Graphic Design III 3
GRA412 Branding Design 3
GRA430 Information Design 3
GRA461 Web Software II 3
GRA462 Interactive Design I 3
GRA491 Marketing Strategies 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 5 Course Name Hrs/Wk
GRA510 Graphic Design IV 3
GRA512 Marketing Design 3
GRA562 Interactive Design II 3
GRA570 Portfolio Preparation 4
Semester 6 Course Name Hrs/Wk
GRA610 * Graphic Design V 6
GRA612 * Current and Future Trends 6
GRA692 * Business of Design 4
GRA691 * Professional Practices 4
FPL600 or
GRA600 *
Field Placement
In-Studio Practicum

* Each course will run for half the term; the other half will be field placement or in–studio practicum.

Contact Us

For more information, please visit:
Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: Bridget De Vries
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22807
International Admissions Advisor: Salaha Fatima
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22081
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Sharina Khan
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33008
Program Contacts:
Student Advisor: Kinmond Smith
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33172
Program Coordinator: Lauretta Wood
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33404
Program Chair: Mark Jones
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33488
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GRA Video

Graphic Design student David talks about his program, his professors and the benefits of a Seneca education. Click on the image above to begin the video.

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