Pre-Bachelor Online

Undergraduate Certificate in Visual Communications

American Public University

12 months
285 USD/credit 5130 USD/year
285 USD/credit 5130 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
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Graphics are valuable tools for communication in Internet applications. This Visual Communications certificate introduces the student to the principles and practices of image manipulation, image enhancement, and image storage.


The student will explore graphical file formats, color and perception, color balance, histograms, web-friendly colors, the impact of image size and resolution on screen size and resolution, brightness, contrast, image noise, noise reduction, digital signal processing (blurring, de-blurring, Gaussian filters, sharpening, softening, spot healing, dodging, burning), transparency, opacity, hue, saturation, image layering, color blending (multiplying, dodging), image transformation (rotation, resizing, shearing), selections (pixel, vector), alpha channels, and image modes (grayscale, RGB, CMYK, HSB, indexed color).

This certificate also examines the process of designing, developing, and deploying text and graphics in motion in order to create a dynamic and interactive experience for the web user. 

Students will develop storyboards, perform interaction design, animate type, and set illustrations in motion. 

Students will examine and apply the theories and concepts behind developing illustrations, character animations, layers, frames, masks, symbols, libraries, motion tweens, shape tweens, nested objects, and animated shows.

They will add audio and video to enhance the quality of the visual experience. Prior experience with using graphics software and with scripting languages such as JavaScript is recommended.

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss the purpose and usage of smart objects, layers and vectors in editing, also differentiate between a raster image and a vector image; also detail the layer concepts of hiding, linking, and setting layer styles.
  • Detail the capabilities of Adobe Photoshop as a tool for editing and restoring digital images, also describe the process for enhance digital images by manipulating sharpness, color, contrast, hue, brightness and resolution.
  • Appraise the principles and concepts of effective design for organizing information, for performing site design, and for determining the navigation structure.
  • Assess the principles for designing web pages, including the: content, typography, colors, images, and page layout; also examine the use of style sheets to enhance reusability and to design consistent interfaces.
  • Compare and contrast the various image file formats on the web, including (GIF, JPG, PNG, and SVG).
  • Assess the utility of Adobe Flash technology in streaming animations in web site; also assess the use of Tweens, Anchors, Guides, and Onions Skins to develop web animations


American Public University is part of the American Public University System (APUS), which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC accredits degree-granting institutions located in a 19-state region, and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Web Page and Web Site Design
  • Image Enhancement using Adobe Photoshop
  • Illustration and Design Using Adobe Illustrator
  • Motion Graphics Using Adobe Flash
  • Web Development Fundamentals
  • Web 2.0 Fundamentals

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines

You can apply for and start this programme anytime.



Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Our university welcomes international applicants from many countries around the world. We are an online university and students are not required to enter the U.S. Therefore, we do not issue I-20 or DS-2019 forms for the F-1 or J-1 student visas.
  • In addition to the admission requirements for undergraduate or graduate study, we may require additional documents related to residency, 
  • English proficiency, and educational background. Our institution maintains the right to require this documentation when needed.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    5130 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 285 USD per credit during 12 months.
  • National

    5130 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 285 USD per credit during 12 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Undergraduate Certificate in Visual Communications
American Public University


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