Frequently Asked Questions
That's our primary goal! One of the hallmarks of the UC San Diego - DAC program is that from the first day, we are grooming you to think, act and deliver like a professional. The projects you will take on are primarily directed by real-world needs and situations. We help you develop portfolio materials that are effective and look great. In addition, throughout the program we'll be teaching you about resume development and job interviewing, as well as business methods for those who really want to "do your own thing" from your home office. We also offer internships and externships for graduates who want to experience the real working environment. We also provide one-on-one coaching and career assistance. All the tools are in place to help you launch your new career.
Two of our certificate programs, Graphic Design and Video & Editing, currently require participation in twelve classroom/instructional hours per week. Two of our certificate programs, Mobile Game Development and Mobile Application Development, require participation in eight classroom/instructional hours per week. Additional outside instructional time is accomplished by utilizing an interactive wiki for project review and evaluation by students and instructors. Generally speaking, students spend double the classroom time with outside project production time. Students become so enthusiastic about the creative process that they devote numerous additional outside hours to the projects, as they strive to become the very best creative professionals possible.
UC San Diego Extension awards certificates for successful completion of a DAC curriculum. Completion of a certificate program provides documentation of specific, formal study; career-oriented training and increased job skills. Certificate programs provide an opportunity to examine a new field and demonstrate to others that you have the discipline to work toward a specific goal.
A UC San Diego Extension certificate is a widely respected credential certifying completion of a rigorous and specialized course of study. Designed by industry experts and academic faculty, our cutting edge programs meet high academic standards and provide the real world skills.
The UC San Diego Extension Professional Certificates available in Digital Arts are:
- Professional Certificate in Graphic Design
- Professional Certificate in Mobile Application Development
- Professional Certificate in Mobile Game Development
- Professional Certificate in Video & Editing
All classes are held in our new University City campus located adjacent to Interstate 805 near Governor Drive, a few miles from the main UCSD campus. Parking is free.
We observe all UC San Diego holidays and there is a short break between quarters.
- The Graphic Design program (12 months) meets three evenings per week from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
- The Mobile Applications Development program (12 months) meets two evenings per week from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
- The Mobile Game Development program (12 months) meets two evenings per week from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
- The Video & Editing program (12 months) meets three evenings per week from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Following successful completion of the Mobile Game Development, Graphic Design or the Video & Editing program, students will have acquired extensive digital design knowledge and be able to apply it to numerous professional level production projects as demonstrated by the projects in their portfolios.
As part of the basic curriculum, we touch upon the basic principles of business, marketing and self-promotional practices.
Business strategies, copyright and legal issues, marketing and job placement strategies are discussed.
Qualifying students have the opportunity to apply for internships and/or externships (optional)
We are looking for motivated, creative students, dedicated to pursuing their studies in the digital arts. The programs at the Digital Arts Center take dedication, commitment, time, forethought and planning. Once you have decided that you would like to move forward and have submitted your essay and application, we will setup an informal interview. We want to make sure that this is the correct choice for your education and career goals. Our admissions committee, which meets every six weeks, will carefully consider your application, essay and interview.
While there are no hard and fast pre-requirements for the Graphics Design and Video & Editing program there are pre-required skills for both the Mobile Game Development program and the Mobile Applications Development program.
Applicants to the Mobile Applications Development program please note: it is required that applicants have experience in programming. Candidates will be required to demonstrate a fundamental understanding of programming concepts and basic knowledge of C/C++, C#, Java or one of the comparable programming languages. Through an interview, the program advisor and/or a faculty member will determine student's facility and comfort with at least one of the programming languages, most probably a C-based language like C/C++, C# or Java.
The programs at the Digital Arts Center take dedication, commitment, time, forethought and planning. Once you have attended an information session, decided that you would like to move forward and submitted your application, we will setup a formal interview. We want to make sure that this is the correct choice for your education and career goals. Your application, essays and interview will be carefully considered by the admissions committee. Pending acceptance into the program, there is a $210.00 non-refundable application fee.
- Deadline for enrollment: Friday, August 30, 2013
- Deadline for tuition payment: Friday, September 6, 2013
Step 1: Attend an Information Session
The first step to learn more about our programs is to attend an information session. Meet faculty, tour the facility, and hear about our programs in more detail. If you think the Digital Arts Center is right for you, you may then apply.
Step 2: Complete an Application
After attending an information session, please fill out our application form. Upon receiving your application, we will contact you to schedule an interview.
Questions? Please give us a call (858) 534-6705, drop us a line email@example.com or attend one of our information sessions.
Each DAC instructor is a practicing professional - not just a professional teacher. Each brings current methods and experience into the classroom.
We welcome new students into the DAC program every fall (September). Our enrollments are limited. We encourage you to attend an Information Session. They are held monthly from January through August.
To apply for one of our four Digital Art Center programs, please attend an information session and then complete the application form and essay. Once received, we will contact you within 48 hours to proceed with an interview.
- For international students, the deadline for enrollment is July 1, 2013
- For international students, the deadline for tuition is August 26, 2013
“I liked that the DAC program was very concentrated. I don't feel like I know any less than my coworkers who went to 4 year design colleges. I also feel as though I can still contact the instructors with any questions, suggestions, or references. I liked that the classes were small and therefore could get a lot of personal attention.”
“I started working at a recording studio soon after finishing the Video & Editing program for a year. Now I work as the Lead Media Designer for Jim Bell Skateboard Ramps.”
“I really enjoyed having instructors that were in the industry as working professionals. They had a lot of insight on what to expect when you get into the workplace, and were able to give real-world applications to what we were learning. I also really like the accelerated pace of the program. We were able to concentrate on honing the skills needed to get out there and start working.”
“What I love about my career now is the variety of projects and clients. I've focused on web design since leaving DAC, but can also offer other skills like print design and marketing.”
“I'm thrilled at what I've learned and I’m shocked that I've been able to make money at it so soon. Thank you for helping me develop my inner artist.”
“I know it sounds clichè, but DAC definitely gives you the tools to be very successful in the digital design industry. What impressed me the most is the caliber of the instructors and they are all super cool. It's really hands on and I am loving every minute of school.”
“It was a vigorous program with a positive environment- which at times were very challenging but extremely rewarding.”
“Making the choice to enter the DAC program was one of the best career decisions I have made to date. UCSD's reputation as an outstanding school was confirmed over and over again as my efforts to build a business and strengthen my media skills were met with knowledgeable professors and cutting edge hardware/software.”
“I was impressed with the professional and friendly environment at the Digital Arts Center. If I have to characterize the Center with a few words, that would be a 'Center for Excellence'. I highly recommend it to everybody who wants to experience the joy of creativity and learning.”
“Enrolling in the Digital Graphics and Web Design Certificate Program at the UCSD Extension Digital Arts Center was probably one of the best career decisions I've made since graduating college. …I have not only been hired to do contract work, but I have started my own design company as well.”
“Today's marketplace is a multi-faceted maze of marketing potential. Creative professionals are required to understand just as many skill sets to effectively communicate through these ever-changing channels. The Digital Art Center at UCSD offers a comprehensive curriculum to prepare every student for success.”
Real-world experience is a highly valued commodity. The Digital Arts Center will work with all academically qualified students to coordinate internships or externships.
Learn more about interships >
Career opportunities for graduates of the Graphic Design program:
- Graphic Designer
- Website Designer
- Web & Print Publications Coordinator
- Digital Media Designer
- Photographer / Photo Retoucher
- Print Production Artist / Graphic Artist
- Advertising, Marketing and/or Promotion Designer
- Flash Artist / Flash Designer
- Exhibit and Display Designer
- Package Designer
- Lettering and Typeface Designer
- Print Production Artist / Manager
- User Interface Designer
- Assistant Art Director
- Assistant Creative Director
- Brand Identity Consultant
Career opportunities for graduates of the Mobile Application Development program:
- Mobile Designer
- Contract Android Developer
- Interactive and Mobile User Interface Designer
- Mobile Web Developer
- Interactive Designer
- BlackBerry Developers
- iPhone and iPad Developers
- iPhone Application Developers
- Mobile applications designer/developer - A new addition to The Creative Group 2011 Salary Guide, the mobile applications designer/developer role should command a starting salary of $73,250 to $102,500. Strong demand for these individuals is based on the growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers; companies want to develop applications and advertising to target users of these devices.
Career opportunities for graduates of the Mobile Game Development program:
- Mobile Game Designer
- Mobile Game Artist
- User Interface Artist
- Product Manager
- Java Game Programmer / Scripter
Career opportunities for graduates of the Video & Editing program:
- Production Assistant
- New Media Designer
- Motion Graphics Artist
- Special Effects Artist
- DVD Authoring
- Logger / Digitizer
- Sound Designer
- Audio Engineer
Most of the people featured are current students, instructors and alumni. Of those, the pictures are taken by talented DAC instructor, Aaron Serafino, and by Erik Jepsen of UC San Diego Publications. Makeup for Aaron's shoot was by our very own, Connie Castro.
Attend A Free Info Session:
(858) 534-6705 or (858) 534-6731
Parking is free.
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Making the choice to enter the DAC program was one of the best career decisions I have made to date. UCSD's reputation as an outstanding school was confirmed over and over again as my efforts to build a business and strengthen my media skills were met with knowledgeable professors and cutting edge hardware/software.