Certificate in Visualization and Design

An Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Certificate Between the USF School of Art and Art History and the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications

What is it?

If you’re passionate about a career in a creative field and want to build a portfolio of outstanding work to help land that first job; if you want to understand the increasingly important role of visual communication in today’s world; if you want to immerse yourself in the innovation of studying art or learn valuable skills no matter what your career, this certificate is for you. Offered in collaboration by the School of Art and Art History and the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications. It’s the perfect blend of fine art and commercial art, providing you the opportunity to enhance your degree while honing your creative talents.

The Certificate is comprised of 18 credit hours, including two core courses (ART 2201 Concepts & Practices I and VIC 3001 Introduction to Visual Communications) and your choice of two art electives and two mass communications electives.

A minimum of 12 semester hours of credit used to satisfy the requirements of a certificate must be from USF courses; at least 50% of the required coursework must be earned from the institution awarding the certificate

USF coursework for a certificate must have a minimum GPA of 2.00

Whether your goal is to be an animator, product designer, art director, graphic designer or any one of a number of careers in the growing field of visual communications, you can build a course of study to suit your needs and interests.

At completion of the Certificate, it will be listed on your permanent USF transcript and you will receive a separate Diploma.


All art courses must be taken on-campus


The Certificate in Visualization and Design provides theoretical studies and hands-on practice for all majors interested in the creative design aspects of visual communication. Outcomes include building a portfolio from a variety of visual media and prepares those who complete the certificate for fields (depending on course selections) ranging from media designers, to animators, to research and product designers, to graphic/data developers.


Required Courses (18 hours)
1. Required courses (6 credit hours):
  • ART 2201 C Concepts and Practices I
  • VIC 3001 Visual Literacy (USF Tampa online course only. USFSP VIC 3001 online course not applicable)

Art Electives (select two courses-6 credit hours):
  • ART 2301C Beginning Drawing • ART 3612C Beginning Video, Animation and Digital Arts
  • ART 3613C Live Action Filmmaking
  • ART 3616C 2D Animation • PGY 2401C Beginning Photography
  • PGY 3410C Intermediate Photography

Mass Communication Electives (select two courses-6 credit hours)
  • ADV 2214 Graphic Programs in Mass Communication (online only)
  • ADV 3200 Advertising Design • JOU 4212 Magazine Design and Production
  • MMC 4936 Selected topics in Mass Communication Studies*:
    • Graphics in Visual Communications
    • Visualization of Big Data
    • Visual Analytics Design Italian Style
  • PGY 3610C Photojournalism I
  • VIC 3943 Visual Communication Practicum
  • VIC 3400 Visual Design for Globalized Media

*Students must get pre-approval from Kevin Hawley (kevinhawley@usf.edu) for any MMC 4936 topic not listed above that they intend to utilize toward the certificate.

Students may also take courses approved towards the Certificate at Florence University of the Arts during any semester. We encourage students to, if possible, pursue a study abroad experience. For more information on Visualization & Design Certificate courses in Florence, Italy contact Kevin Hawley (kevinhawley@usf.edu).

How do I enroll in the Certificate?

For more information contact Rachel Lynch in the College of The Arts Advising Office, FAH 231, 813 974 2360, rhedrick@usf.edu

 To ENROLL in the Certificate program, complete the online form “UG Certificate in Visualization and Design

You will receive a confirmation of your enrollment in the Certificate Program.

How do I receive the certificate?
Once you have completed the required courses and applied for graduation you MUST notify Rachel Lynch at The School of Art and Art History Advising Office, FAH 231, 813-974-2360, rhedrick@usf.edu to approve completion of your certificate in order for it to be included on your permanent USF transcript.

GPA Requirement

A cumulative GPA of 2.5 in the certificate coursework is required.

Course Grade Requirement
The minimum acceptable grade for each course for the minor is a C (not a C-).

Grade Requirement
Courses must be taken on a letter-grade basis.