250.00 Hours Required

If you work in a visually creative field, the Certificate in Visual Design could be an ideal addition to your resume. By pursuing this certificate, you will gain a basic understanding of design principles and valuable practical knowledge. This flexible 250-hour certificate allows you to tailor the program to your own specific needs.

Students choose one of four programs: a general certificate, the Specialization in Art Theory and Practice, the Specialization in Interior Design, and the Specialization in Photography.

Whereas the general program spans many aspects of design, including interior design and decorating, photography, graphic design, fine art, and landscape design, the specializations are more focused.

Specialization in Interior Design

In this specialization, students complete the four core courses that are common to all programs for 120 instruction hours, plus a minimum of 80 hours from the Interior Design stream of options. To fulfill the 250-hour requirement, a maximum of 50 hours can be taken from the other specialization streams of options and other courses.

Like all Continuing Education certificates, this program is a great way for you to build on your education and work experience. You will learn with like-minded mature students who pursue their professional development with determination while, at the same time, tending to their family, work and community commitments.

At a professional level, this program is an excellent opportunity for individuals who already have some design knowledge and experience, but would like to expand that foundation, and formalize it within a certificate framework. At a personal level, this program will appeal to those interested in gaining knowledge and skills that can be applied to their creative interests, particularly in home decorating and design.

Courses are taught in the classroom weekday evenings and Saturdays at the University of Calgary main or downtown campus. Off campus field trips may be included.

All Continuing Education certificate programs have been developed with part-time learners in mind. To complete the Certificate in Visual Design specializing in Interior Design, a minimum of 250 hours of credit is required (120 hours of core credit, a minimum of 80 hours of interior design options and a maximum of 50 hours from the other specialization option streams). If you take at least one course per session, it is possible to complete the certificate in approximately three years.

Plan your certificate...

You can take courses first and enrol in the certificate later; however, as programs are subject to change, we recommend you apply for admission to the certificate program as early as possible. Once you are admitted, you can be confident that you have locked in the requirements leading to your graduation.

You must be a minimum of 18 years of age to be admitted to the program. Successful completion of a Grade 12 diploma and relevant work experience are recommended. If English is not your first language, please review the English language proficiency requirements.

A degree or diploma is not required to enrol in this program.

Apply for Certificate Admission

Prior learning from other post-secondary institutions

Advanced Standing* may be granted for equivalent, graded courses completed at other post-secondary institutions. Credit may be granted for up to a maximum of 50 hours towards this certificate. Advanced Standing may be granted for a maximum of one core course and three optional courses.

To apply for advanced standing:

  1. Submit an Application for Advanced Standing, specifying the course for which you are requesting exemption, and the equivalent course credits you have obtained.
  2. Include a non-refundable administration fee of $100 for the course credit you request (payable online by credit card).
  3. Include a course outline and description of the equivalent course that you are submitting for advanced standing.
  4. Include a proof of attendance and final grade of the equivalent course from the educational institution you attended.

Transferring credit from other Continuing Education certificates

If you have completed requirements for another University of Calgary Continuing Education certificate, you may be able to transfer* some credits between programs. For details, please review the Transferability section in the certificate programs that you have completed. To transfer credits, please contact a student advisor.

*Note: The combined total of Transferability and Advanced Standing credits cannot exceed 120 hours for this certificate.

Up to 120 hours of equivalent courses may be transferred towards a Visual Design general certificate, or the Visual Design certificate specializing in Art Theory and Practice, or Photography.

Up to 120 hours from this certificate may be used for credit towards the Certificates in Graphic Design, and Integrated Digital Media.

Receive a discount of 5% per course by registering at the same time for three or more courses. Register online or by calling 403-220-2952. Some restrictions apply (i.e. all courses must take place within the current academic year).

Note: ICT courses within the Certificates in Visual Design and Graphic Design are not eligible for the discount.

The Certificate in Visual Design with a specialization in Interior Design is recognized by the Canadian Decorators Association — the only national organization of professional interior decorators and designers in Canada.

Awards are given to deserving students not only for their academic achievement, but also for community involvement. Award sponsors include both corporate and private donors.

To apply, you must meet eligibility criteria and submission deadlines. Students in this program may be eligible for:

To graduate, a student must satisfy all certificate requirements including:

  • Successful completion of the core, optional and elective program requirements.
  • Attain a minimum of a C in all courses used to meet program requirements.
  • Attain minimum instruction hours to meet program requirements.

Note: If a student attains a grade of C-, D+ or D in one course only, a program director has the discretionary authority to approve a student for graduation. It will be the student's responsibility to contact the program director to request approval. Approval is usually granted for exceptional circumstances and it is the student's responsibility to contact the program director to request approval.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure all requirements for graduation are fulfilled, and to apply to graduate. Student advisors are available to meet with students to review status and determine outstanding certificate requirements.

Apply for Certificate Graduation

Questions can be directed to advisors in person, by phone or email.

Continuing Education Administrative Offices
Phone: 403-220-2952 or 1-866-220-4992
Email: adedlife@ucalgary.ca

Additional Details

Federal Financial Aid Available: