Multimedia Studies Certificate

Multimedia — the integration of images, text, sound, video and animation in an interactive medium — has evolved at an astonishing pace. Today, it impacts almost every facet of computer use including interactive games, websites, business presentations and training.

To better address the needs of students, Kansas City Art Institute has designed a stand-alone multimedia studies certificate program. The program is designed to accommodate beginners, those making the transition into the expanding multimedia industry or professionals seeking to update their skills.

Participants will learn to create videos and web pages, basic elements of multimedia production including project planning, image manipulation, 3-D image animation, sound editing, digital video editing and authoring. Students will be taught to use software tools for manipulating still images, sound and video, and for designing and developing interactive web pages.

General guidelines
Registration and tuition information
Financial aid
Required classes
Lifetime learning tax credit
Computer facilities
Complete the online application

General guidelines

Students should be proficient with the Macintosh operating systems, standard menus and commands, opening, closing and saving files.

Certificate students are expected to attend classes, complete in-class assignments and take examinations. The certificate in multimedia studies consists of 13 core requirements/courses.

Credits from other institutions or from previous semesters at KCAI will not transfer to the certificate program. Approval for course substitution may be obtained from the director of the School for Continuing and Professional Studies for students who have taken the equivalent of a required course at the college level.

Some advanced classes require submission of materials proving skill level. Documentation supporting experience or a portfolio of work should be submitted to the continuing education office prior to enrolling in these classes. For many of these, basic classes in the program or courses in the previous tier will act as documentation of experience.

Individual certificate program classes are open to all students. Anyone interested in taking these classes for professional growth or personal development is welcome. However, since class sizes are limited, priority will be given to enrolled certificate students.

Expectations of Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Meet our Multimedia Studies faculty

Program features

  • Five eight-week sessions each year offering a variety of classes each session

  • Students may enter the program in any one of the five sessions

  • Classes are held in the evenings and weekends

  • Each class meets once a week for two and a half hours

  • Approximately 10 hours of homework may be assigned per week for each class

Certificate issuance conditions

Required program courses must be completed with a grade of C or better within a recommended two-year period. At the end of the program, students must make a written request to the School for Continuing and Professional Studies office for the certificate.


Download the 2016 certificate program course schedule.

Registration and tuition information

Due to limited class sizes, students are encouraged to sign up for classes as soon as registration opens to ensure course placement. Students can obtain a course catalog by emailing

Online registration for a class may close before the registration period ends if the class is filled early. Classes are cancelled if the minimum enrollment is not met. Timely registration helps keep classes open.

Beginning students must complete the certificate program application, submit a one-time, non-refundable $35 application fee and proof of high school diploma or equivalent. An official transcript should be sent to: Continuing and Professional Studies, KCAI, 4415 Warwick Blvd., KCMO 64111.

Enrollment in subqsequent classes requires online registration for each class and payment of applicable fees. Tuition for each eight-week class is $400 plus a $25 lab fee, totaling $425 per class. The total certificate program cost is $5,100 and is not eligible for financial aid. Private lenders who support continuing education programs are available (see below).

Students wishing to request transfer credit, substitutions or prior learning experience should download the Credit Approval Form.  Complete the information related to the particular request and submit it to the Director for approval.

Students who have advanced through the program and would like to take a Directed Studies course for specifc curriculum that is not covered in the program should download the Application for Directed Studies Form, complete the required information and submit it to the Director for approval.

Financial aid

Financial aid for the certificate programs is currently unavailable. However, the School for Continuing and Professional Studies does accept the following sources for tuition payments:

Full Employment Council

Department of Secondary Education


Tuition reimbursement may also be available through your employer. Consult your human resources/benefits department or supervisor for more information.

For more information or inquiries about other sources of tuition payment available to you not listed above, contact

Required classes 

Certificate program classes are organized into a three-tier system, with each tier containing four to five required classes. As students advance through each tier, classes become more advanced. Students working towards a certificate must complete all classes within a tier before moving on to the next tier.

To see more information about each class, click on the course title.

Introductory Level

Design Principles for the Web

With a focus on the design aspects of developing websites and interactive media, this course explores the various phases of the design process in a professional environment. Topics include assessing client and user needs, flowcharting, storyboarding, preparing mock-ups and demos and production issues. Software: Photoshop, Dreamweaver

Digital Imaging I

An in-depth introduction to the most popular raster-based image editing and painting software program used by design professionals, Adobe Photoshop. Software: Photoshop

Fundamentals of Video Motion Graphics

Students will learn how to create a project and organize files; gather and import graphic, video and audio clips; and create a composition. Additionally, students will work with layers, filters and masks and render the composition for export and distribution. Software: After Effects

Fundamentals of Video Editing

An introduction to video editing, this course will include reading a storyboard and script, selecting video footage, graphic files and audio clips and rendering projects using the proper video codec.  Students will learn how to choose video footage using a basic visual vocabulary; choose audio clips that support video, create graphic elements that communicate using font, color and positioning and assemble and trim elements to communicate emotion to the audience. Software:  Final Cut Pro

Fundamentals of 2D Animation

Students will plan a story in a sequential and visual manner; use vector drawing tools; animate positions of elements on a stage; sync character expressions to dialogue; and incorporate audio for timing. Additionally, students will work to create clarity of complicated concepts in animation and communicate a story with movement and visual narrative.

Intermediate Level

Fundamentals of Website Development

We will begin with an overview of how the web works by teaching you to create a basic web site using Adobe Dreamweaver, design software that is used to create pages for the World Wide Web. We will continue with fundamental terms like ?interne? and?HTM? and will progress on to cover design techniques, image preparation and web site management. You will learn how to convert your Photoshop design concepts into working HTML pages and then organize them within the context of a web site.

Fundamentals of 3D Animation

This course will familiarize students with interface and concepts in 3D space. Familiarization with interface and concepts of 3D space. Students will work on modeling objects; create, edit and apply materials to objects; and animate objects and render for distribution. Students will learn how to communicate a story utilizing three-dimensional space and create realistic textures and environments via material mapping and lighting. Software: Cinema 4D

Digital Imaging II

This class is a continuation of Digital Imaging I, building on basic image manipulation and editing skills using Adobe Photoshop. Software: Photoshop

Applied Video Editing

Students will improve their skill set achieved in Fundamentals of video editing. Included in the class is working with advanced methods of visual effects, color correction, and advanced editing. Students will edit scenes using footage from multiple, simultaneous cameras. Additionally, instruction will be give on how to control the mood, employ visual effects to change a temporal location and to trim video and audio to make dialog seamless and draw the audience's attention.

Applied Video Motion Graphics

Students will be come more proficient in video motion graphics. Course goals include understanding advance lighting concepts to produce realism; create emotion with dynamic camera tracking; and transform static images into motion.

Advanced Level

Applied Website Development

The final class in website development will continue working with CSS and HTML 5 and how to effectively use it inside of code. It will integrate PHP, Java and other application code into HTML. This final class will give students the opportunity to put all of their website development instruction into practice by launching a website.

Portfolio Development

We recommend that you take at least two classes in this program before taking Portfolio Development.
The term portfolio is used in the larger sense to include the whole process, from documentation to completion of a finished product. Students will explore the portfolio as a design problem. A portfolio is a doorway to the professional world and is a reflection of the designer. Some fundamental principles explored will include tailoring a portfolio to speak to different audiences, establishing a hierarchy of content, using economy of information to avoid appearing scattered or unorganized, as well as the application of color, text and imagery as elements to help guide the viewer through the work.

Multimedia Strategies Capstone

This final capstone class will address all of the multimedia skills into a focused, culminating project. Students will incorporate storyboarding, animation, video and audio editing, website development, client needs, and visual design into a final, portfolio-worthy product. Software: Adobe Creative Suite

Lifetime learning tax credit

This tax credit applies to tuition and fees for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education course work. Students may be able to claim this credit if enrolled at or attending an eligible educational institution. The Kansas City Art Institute is an eligible institution. Amounts paid for any course that helps the student acquire or improve job skills are qualified expenses. In order to qualify for the lifetime learning credit, you must provide your legal name and social security number. Check with a tax professional to insure your eligibility for this tax credit.


Students enrolled in the certificate program have limited KCAI library privileges as well as some access to resources through Career Services.

Computer facilities

Two computer labs are available in The School for Continuing and Professional Studies, located at 32 E. 46th St. Students are also permitted to use the lab in the Jannes Library and Learning Center at 4538 Warwick Blvd.

Each lab is equipped with iMacs running current software applications. Scanners are capable of scanning all forms of two-dimensional media. All classes are hands-on with one student per computer. Additionally, lab time is available beyond classroom time, and hours are posted each semester. However, students are encouraged to purchase a computer if they don’t already have access to one outside of class time. Instructors can lend guidance on specifications prior to purchase. Students in the certificate program are eligible for hardware and software discounts.

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Click here to enroll today in a class at the School for Continuing and Professional Studies at KCAI.

Spring 2016 classes

Download a spring brochure with a complete list of all the classes we're offering.

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