University of South Florida

School of Art & Art History

USF College of The Arts

Certificate in Visualization and Design

This interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate includes courses from the USF School of Art & Art History and the USF Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications.

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 & 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.

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.

Certificate Curriculum (Total 18 credit hours)

Required Core Courses – 6 hours

  • ART 2201C Concepts and Practices I
  • VIC 3001 Visual Literacy (USF Tampa online course only. USFSP VIC 3001 online course not applicable)

Elective Courses – 12 hours

Art Electives (select two courses, totaling 6 credit hours)

Mass Communication Electives (select two courses, totaling 6 credit hours)

  • ADV 2214 Graphic Programs in Mass Communication (online only) 
  • ADV 3200 Advertising Design
  • PUR 4101 Public Relations Design and Production
  • JOU 4212 Magazine Design and Production
  • MMC 4936 Selected Topics in Mass Communications Studies*:
    • Graphics in Visual Communication
    • Visualization of Big Data
    • Visual Analytics
    • Promotional Video Production
    • Drone Videography
    • Student Communication Agency
  • PGY 3610C Photojournalism I
  • VIC 3943 Visual Communication Practicum
  • VIC 3400 Visual Design for Global Media

*Students must get pre-approval from Kevin Hawley ( for any MMC 4936 Selected Topic course not listed above that they propose to use 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 (

For more information contact Tracy Mack, the undergraduate advisor.

How do I receive the certificate?

Once you have completed the required courses and applied for graduation, you MUST notify Tracy Mack at the School of Art & Art History Main Office, FAH 120, (813) 974-1748, to approve completion of your certificate in order for it to be included on your permanent USF transcript.

Additional Certificate Requirements

This certificate is only for degree-seeking students in any major.

All art classes must be taken in-person. A minimum of 12 semester hours of credit used to satisfy the requirements of a certificate must be from USF courses; at least 50 percent of the required coursework must be earned from the institution awarding the certificate.