Course Overview

The Graphic Design Summer College – Online course is for high school students who are interested in learning more about design and communication on a college level. This experiential course introduces core design fundamentals with exercises that will encourage conceptual thinking and visual problem-solving skills. In addition to the development of Adobe software skills, this class will address visual literacy through visual analysis. There will be time spent on text and image relationships and the effects they can create.

Live discussions and critiques will be handled on a digital platform. Assigned projects will introduce students to visual organization and structure, simplification of form, graphic translation, graphic interpretation, creative writing, and art direction. Through project-based learning, students will engage in design problem-solving and processes, idea development, and the execution of final ‘deliverables’. They will also have the opportunity to learn about and discuss some of the areas of focus that are open to a professional designer. Students will also be introduced to the role of digital proficiency in the field of graphic design.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript.

Course Objectives

While the course will include some computer-based work, students are not expected to be proficient in any of the professional software programs. Software to be introduced include:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
    (these programs will be made available to students prior to the first day of class).

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 085

Format: Online

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior status – or a 2023 high school graduate. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail

Cost: $1,985
Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – Online: Explore college life before stepping foot on campus! High school students can enroll in a college-level course, pursue their academic interests, and meet likeminded students in daily virtual events and activities.

“Summer College’s Graphic Design program has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. One reason why I loved this program was the opportunity it gave me to learn from not only a very knowledgeable and helpful professor, but also from experienced TA’s who were able to share their personal advice and feedback. Along with this, it was exciting to work with and connect with students who have similar interests as me.”

— Jessica X. Summer College – Online Graphic Design Student, 2020

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesSynchronous Class Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – Online3-Week Session II: Tuesday, July 24 – Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023MTWTh*;
6-8 p.m.
The professor and TAs typically host lab hours in addition to the class time.
Looking for an in-person version of this course? View the Summer College – On Campus Graphic Design course here.

Course Requirements

Technology Requirements

  • Laptop or desktop computer with a webcam and mouse
  • Reliable internet access
  • A space conducive to taking an online class (without distractions)

Required Supplies

Students should budget for required textbooks and supplies. A supply and textbook listing will be sent to students before the start of the program.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students must attend live synchronous online sessions Monday – Thursday from 6-8 p.m. ET.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College virtual activities to meet and connect with other students across the world. Check out our Virtual Campus Experience page for more information!

Faculty Bios

Carmel Nicoletti 

Carmel Nicoletti has been teaching art and design for over 20 years. Her teaching has included courses in design, typography, glass,  sculpture, drawing, color, and the history of art. She has an MFA degrees in visual arts and education. Nicoletti’s work has been shown in galleries across the United States and in public installations. “My teaching style emphasizes the flow of one idea to another. I see each student as having a path towards both professional and personal development. My job as a professor is to help in the discovery of this pathway; leading a student to find connections between percept and concept.”