Skip to Header Skip to main content Skip to footer

Digital Design and Visualization Certificate

Digital Design and Visualization Certificate

Digital technology and visual communication are integral components of design practices. The application of computer-based knowledge and digital skills in the design process range from designing the built environment we inhabit to the printed digital media that surrounds us. The Digital Design and Visualization Certificate allows students to build expertise in design technologies and learn skills relevant to the evolving trends of current-day design practices. Graduates of this certificate are equipped with the latest software applications and knowledge for use in the design technology work environment.


The Digital Design and Visualization Certificate offers both online and on campus courses and is open to anyone interested in digital design who wants to learn new skills or to build on their current knowledge. This certificate can be completed online - if you are interested in learning more about the online options please contact us at

Requirements and Courses

The Digital Design and Visualization Certificate program requires the completion of four courses. Students can either choose any four digital media courses, or they can complete a four-course Suggested Certificate Track Option.

All Digital Design courses are 1.5 credits with the exception of DME2032 Autodesk Revit. This course is 3 credits and will satisfy one of the four program course requirements.

Courses are offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. See what Continuing Education Courses are coming up soon.

    Courses | 4 Courses Required:

    This course introduces digital image editing as an element in the design process. It discusses general topics such as conceptual graphic design and design communication, as well as specific skills in model photography, drawing reproduction, image adjustment and digital computer skills. Students use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign in the solution of design and communication problems. Graphic layout and presentation critiques will be continuous throughout the semester. This course will assist students in the production of well-conceived, well-designed portfolios and presentation graphics in design studio.

    This course is an introduction to digital image editing using Adobe PhotoShop. Discussions will begin with basic techniques such as using the toolbox, making and saving selections, photo retouching, applying color, adding text, and using layers. Students will then move into layers, masks, copying and pasting, and digital montages. Exercises in class will be complemented by group discussions of completed assignments.

    This project-oriented course builds upon the students' basic knowledge of Photoshop to explore a wider breadth of electronic imaging technology and its applications in design. Students are encouraged to use an experimental approach and to stretch the boundaries of the medium. Projects begin with digital image creation using sources such as digital cameras, video frame-grabbing and freehand drawing. As they develop their compositions, students explore manipulation, processing, and editing of the images using diverse programs. The course is intended to question both the aesthetic and technical limits of electronic image-making while building visual and aesthetic skills through frequent critical reviews of projects.

    *Pre-requisite: DME2022

    The Autodesk(r) Revit(r) parametric building modeler is a powerful building design and documentation system for architects, design-build teams, and other building industry professionals. In a parametric building model, every drawing sheet, every 2D and 3D view, and every schedule is a direct representation of information from the same underlying building database. Autodesk Revit offers substantial productivity, quality, and business benefits to designers seeking to improve how they use information technology to do their work.

    Rhino is among the most influential software to emerge in the community of academic and professional architectural practice. Due to its efficiency and economy of performance, it is currently in use by numerous design firms small and large. With roots in marine engineering, the target output is digital model construction. The relative strength of Rhino lies in its close command-line relationship with the AutoCAD interface widely in use in the architectural and design industry. This allows the flattened world of two-dimensional construction drawings to be realized in three-dimensional form. Utilizing a minimal number of guide poly-lines, students will construct digital models that range from relatively simple to complex. The mathematical concepts of lofting, sweeping, cutting, splitting, and Boolean operations will be addressed as well as methods of curve construction such as slicing, sectioning, and continuous contours.

    This course in computer-aided drafting introduces the basic concepts and operation of AutoCAD, emphasizing two-dimensional computer-aided drafting concepts, conventions and documentation production. The course provides hands-on instruction in AutoCAD. Students will have to complete weekly assignments, which will require approximately three hours of work to be completed outside of class, plus short readings. The course instruction and learning resources will be presented in windows only. Students may elect to use either Mac or Windows versions of the software to complete course work.

    This course will help students-individual users to earn fundamental design skills to create a set of drawings for any master plan from schematic design to design development, including 2D CAD drawing, illustration, and image post production. The course will outline the thinking process and typical workflows by using case studies and inviting guest speakers. The course encourages innovative design thinking and unique graphic representation.

    This second-level CAD course is for individuals already having a basic knowledge of AutoCAD who desire to explore and extend their expertise focusing on site design graphics. Students will learn about incorporating files from other design consultants and illustrative techniques available in AutoCAD to highlight pertinent information for site plans, sections, and elevations. Additional techniques will be covered in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator in order to create content for AutoCAD.

    *Pre-requisite: DME2042 or DME2044

    This course aims to familiarize the student to the concept of computational design, broadly defined and understood as formal investigations based on non-linear 3D modeling approaches that are considered in a traditional perspective as counterintuitive or anathematic to traditional generative design philosophy and processes. The course will identify and build these concepts using Grasshopper as a geometric modeler - a plug-in module for the Rhino modeling software - as the prime arena for these investigations. Computational analogues in support of design present themselves as open structures making explicit design as a modeling developmental process, adaptable to formulating and exploring new solutions to problems that were previously considered elusive or hidden underneath the final design outcome or byproduct. The recent capabilities of computational design environments have transcended to various fields of science with keen philosophical implications that expose the lack of acknowledgement of patterns previously misconstrued as non-orderly or, at the very least, incoherent, readdressing these as a complex behavior. Now, through digital and cultural meditation, computational environments have been adapted to design and an architectural practice in the form of specialized software modules such as is the case with Grasshopper. The Grasshopper plug-in for Rhino features an innovative interface described as a graphical algorithmic editor, one of the few of its kind in use for 3D modeling, exposing the process and allowing the easy flow and exploration of new ideas. The series of exercises throughout the course permit familiarizing with the interface, build upon each other and, with practice, allow understanding how to encapsulate complex instructions - given as inputs processed through the software as dynamically modifiable outputs - into user-definable and simpler modifiable units in order to subsequently re-evaluate the available parameters and develop new sequences and therein 3D geometric structures.

    *Pre-requisite: DME2034

    This course will offer an introduction to creating and managing a BIM (Building Information Model) using Autodesk Revit. It will also facilitate in the greater understanding of Building Information Modeling as it pertains to the industry as a whole. Using Revit as a tool, the course will teach the fundamentals needed to effectively produce and manage a “working” BIM, in terms of design and constructability. The course will also teach some finer points of the program and how they can be used to develop the BIM further. Please note: Revit requires the Windows Operating System to run; students will need to have access to Windows in order to use Revit.

    This required, all-online course teaches students skills of visual communication including techniques in the use of images, infographics, diagramming, maps, graphs, layout etc. The course utilizes both on-line software tutorials and instructor-led project-based digital workflow assignments. Learning Goals: 1. Create visually compelling presentation graphics which convey complex data and other non-visual information through the use of images, infographics, diagrams, maps, graphs and layout. 2. Use typography in meaningful ways to communicate written information - 3. Use color, scale, graphic arrangement, symbols, and other visual elements to communicate ideas 4. Create page layouts in both printed and digital platforms which effectively communicate research and arguments. 5. Effectively use concepts of visual hierarchy to organize and present work 6. Employ best practices in analog and digital workflows using Adobe Creative Suite 7. Effectively capture and reproduce high-quality images using scanning, photography, printing, and web space.

    Suggested Certificate Track Option

    Instead of choosing from the list of courses above, you may choose to tailor your certificate in a specialized area by choosing the Suggested Certificate Track Option.

    The Built Environment refers to any human created space that we inhabit; the industry is commonly referred to as AEC: Architecture (including Landscape and Interior), Engineering and Construction. In this industry, you’ll primarily utilize Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to communicate within the discipline.

    Within this track, you’ll begin with an introduction to the fundamental principles of CAD to develop familiarity with computational interfaces. Your remaining courses focus on developing a firm fluency in BIM utilizing the industry standard software Autodesk Revit, and Rhino.

    Students choosing to complete this track option must complete the following four courses. The suggested progression for completing these courses is listed below. 

    Suggested Course Progression
    DME2042 AutoCAD 1: 2D Drafting
    DME2032 Autodesk Revit: 2D and 3D Representation
    DME2034 Rhino 1: 3D Design
    DME2063 Autodesk Revit I: Building Information Modeling

    Related Jobs
    Project Manager / Job Captain
    Design Coordinator
    BIM Director
    BIM Consultant
    BIM Engineer

    How to Enroll in a Certificate Program

    To enroll in a BAC Certificate Program, submit the following application materials to Continuing Education and then register for courses during an open registration period:

    Please Note: An undergraduate degree is recommended for the Sustainable Design Certificate, the Real Estate Development Certificate, and the Historic Preservation Certificate. Courses in these certificate programs are taught at the graduate level.

    Certificate students must begin academic coursework in the program within two academic semesters of submitting the application materials. 

    Need Assistance?