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Ontario College Advanced Diploma | 6 semesters | Barrydowne

Cambrian’s award-winning Graphic Design faculty will challenge you through course work and diverse, real-world projects to help you develop your creative talents and become a professional visual communication designer.

Using current industry software in the College's state-of-the-art graphic design labs, you will learn how to creatively develop ideas and manipulate space, type, images, and colour to take your work from concept sketch to strategically-designed printed, web-based, or electronic form. Projects provide you with practical experience in branding, identity and environmental design, website design, advertising design, illustration, photography and much more.

You’ll also graduate with a professional-grade portfolio that will be invaluable as you meet with potential employers and/or freelance clients.

Check out the 2017 graduate exhibition, “WTF is Graphic Design?” to see what you’ll get up to as a student in Cambrian’s Graphic Design program.

Program Highlights

  • 3 years – 6 semesters

  • 5-week placement in third semester

  • Multiple opportunities for paid design-related work through our close relationship with Cambrian's Applied Research division

  • Strong focus on website & UI/UX development so you can create websites using HTML 5, CSS3, and Javascript

  • Ongoing opportunities to showcase work in Cambrian’s Open Studio art gallery, a 1,200-square-foot design and art gallery space located in downtown Sudbury

  • Annual fieldtrip to attend the DesignThinkers Conference in Toronto to see world-class industry professionals present on topics related to the design field

  • Students are automatically registered as members of the Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD Ontario) and can participate in professional seminars, studio tours, and events organized by the association’s Sudbury chapter

  • Access to a variety of classrooms and labs along with the latest technology and software, including:

    • Multiple iMac studios featuring the latest generation of 27” iMac computers, running Mac OSX and Adobe Creative Cloud

    • Professional photo studio with boom lighting

    • Complete printmaking shop with etching, lithography, and silk screening presses

    • Full art and painting studio with natural skylights 

4D Learning Opportunities

  • Open Studio – You’ll showcase your design work in Cambrian’s Open Studio gallery in downtown Sudbury – a place where you’ll also connect with the local creative community.

  • DesignThinkers Conference – Join your classmates on a trip to Toronto to attend the RGD Ontario DesignThinkers conference (please note: students are responsible for covering costs of accommodation).

  • Sustainability Initiatives – You’ll have the opportunity to participate in various environmental activities that support the program’s dedication to sustainable design education, such as the annual tree planting excursion that to date added over 12,000 trees to Sudbury to help offset the carbon footprint of the graphic design program.

Quick Links

How to Apply

Creative Arts, Music and Design

Admission Requirements

For graduates of the new curriculum (OSS): Ontario Secondary School Diploma (30 credits) or equivalent or mature student status, including:

  • Any grade 12 English (C), (U), or (M)


  • Credits in Visual Arts and/or Media Arts

  • Computer competency in relevant software

Additional Requirements

Applicants are required to submit a portfolio, in hardcopy or digital format, for review. The portfolio should contain five creative and artistic works that showcase the applicant's breadth of creative and technical abilities. Pieces to be considered can be from the following disciplines: drawings (still-life, figure, landscape, technical, or interior), paintings (in colour), photographs (colour or black and white), sculptures, ceramics or three-dimensional work, computer-generated work (design, typography, animation, etc.), or web-based work. Where no portfolio exists, applicants are required to contact the Program Coordinator.

Additional Information

Additional expenses for digital photographic equipment, field trips, and portable digital storage should be anticipated. Students in the Graphic Design program are also student members of the Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD Ontario), and graduates are eligible for Provisional R.G.D. status upon graduation.


Program Delivery


This program will be delivered in the following terms:

Fall Term Start

  1. SEMESTER 1 Fall 2018
  2. SEMESTER 2 Winter 2019
  3. SEMESTER 3 Fall 2019
  4. SEMESTER 4 Winter 2020
  5. SEMESTER 5 Fall 2020
  6. SEMESTER 6 Winter 2021

For specific term start/end dates and other key dates/deadlines, please see the Academic Schedule on our website.

Program of Study

Semester 1Credits
ART 1006Digital Design I 4
ART 1106Design Foundations I 4
ART 1230Intro Graphic Design 3
ART 2356Graphic Design Photography I 3
HST 1002History of Graphic Design 2
The following General Education course:  3
Media and Current Events 3
 Term Credits: 19
Semester 2
ART 1240Design Foundations II 4
ART 1246Copywriting I 3
ART 2346Typography 3
ART 2351Digital Design II 3
ART 2456Graphic Design Photography II 3
HST 1003History of Graphic Design II 2
Select one of the following General Education courses:  3
Positive Psychology 3
Cross-Cultural Understanding 3
Health Wellness 3
Rock Music, Culture Technology 3
Canadian Political Studies 3
 Term Credits: 21
Semester 3
ADV 1001Advertising Design 2
ART 1001Screen Printing 3
ART 1345Copywriting II 2
ART 2305Illustration I 3
ART 2310Graphic Production Fundamentals I 3
ART 2360Website Design I 3
ART 2375Typography II 3
ART 2496Digital Design III 3
 Term Credits: 22
Semester 4
ADV 1002Advertising Design II 2
ART 1007Editorial Design 3
ART 1002Screen Printing II 3
ART 2415Production Fundamentals II 3
ART 2416Illustration II 3
ART 2461Website Design II 3
ART 3518Sustainable Design 3
ART 3570Professional Practices 2
 Term Credits: 22
Semester 5
ART 1003Website Design III 3
ART 3515Corporate Identity 5
ART 3556Graphic Design: Photography III 2
ART 3566Advanced Design Applications 4
ART 3595Work Placement 5
 Term Credits: 19
Semester 6
ART 1004Motion Graphics 4
ART 3611Portfolio Preparation 5
ART 3685Website Design IV 5
ART 3690Creative Thesis Project 4
Select one of the following General Education courses:  3
Positive Psychology 3
Cross-Cultural Understanding 3
Health Wellness 3
Rock Music, Culture Technology 3
Canadian Political Studies 3
 Term Credits: 21
 Total Credits: 124


Tuition and Ancillary Fees

Please see our fees page for the breakdown of tuition and mandatory ancillary fees by program and semester for both domestic and international students

Books & Supplies

The cost of books and supplies for Year 1 is approximately $2,200, which includes a one-time purchase of a DSLR camera kit (approximately $1300). This camera kit is then used throughout all 6 semesters of the program. This is the best information available at the time of publishing to the website and is subject to change.

Graduate Options

Employment Opportunities

Graduates may find employment in both the public and private sectors. These include:

  • Design studios

  • Web and new media developers

  • Advertising agencies

  • Architectural firms

  • Motion picture and television studios

  • Editorial and literary publishing houses

  • Educational institutions

  • Government agencies

  • Commercial printing industry

College/University Degree Opportunities

Graduates from this program may continue their studies at college/university and may receive credit for their prior College education.

Refer to College/University Agreements for further information.

Please note: Cambrian College strives to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website. Please note that the academic curriculum is continually reviewed and revised to ensure that Cambrian's programs and courses remain relevant. The College reserves the right to cancel or make changes to any course or program, fee, procedure, or campus location at any time.

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