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Degree Overview: Associate of Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) Degree in Graphic Arts and Design

Majors Overview March 30, 2014

Students will be provided with intensive training in illustration, computer graphics, and design with an Associate of Occupation Studies (A.O.S.) degree program in Graphic Arts and Design. Careers in multimedia and desktop publishing can be provided to students with an associate degree.

A.O.S. Programs in Graphic Arts and Design

Students enrolled in an Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) program are offered highly specialized coursework that is a combination of conventional design theories with contemporary trends and technology. Students are taught about the creation of designs for digital media, television, displays, packaging and print, through the use of both computer software, such as InDesign and Adobe Photoshop, and traditional hand-rendering skills. They are imparted knowledge on the preparation of art for printing in accordance with industry standards. The program engages students in the investigation and resolution of design problems, exploration of effective designs and development of industry specific skills in multimedia and Web.

Admission criteria may require the submission of portfolios by transfer students or high school graduates seeking enrollment.


Coursework requires undergraduates to delve into theories in visualization, computer graphics, communication, drawing and typography. Students are required to develop a resume including a personal portfolio through the completion of coursework and work done in studios. Coursework may commonly include:

•Publication scheme
•Art history
•Package design

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete the associate program in Graphic Design can seek entry-level technical positions; (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). These may be in record companies, publishing companies, printing businesses, photography studios, design studios and advertising agencies. Graduates of the program may choose from entry-level positions, such as those of:

•Assistant graphic designers and photographers
•Multimedia animators
•Prepress technicians
•Film and video editors

Continuing Education

Students enrolled in an AOS in Graphic Design are typically allowed to transfer credits earned towards enrollment into either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) program in Graphic Design. Those who aspire to become leading artists and designers in the field would benefit from earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Graphic Design (the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD)).

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