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Earn an Associate of Science Degree in Graphic Design

Majors Overview April 8, 2014

Receive information about an associate’s degree program in Graphic Design and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree Programs in Graphic Design

Students enrolled in 2-year associate degree programs in Graphic Design are intensively trained to seek entry-level careers or pursue further education in graphic design fields. Various associate degree programs in Graphic Arts are offered through community colleges, including Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Associate of Arts (A.A.) programs. Students enrolled in an associate degree program are imparted a foundation in Graphic Design; however, those seeking entry-level careers as digital or traditional graphic design professionals would need a bachelor’s degree in the field (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). It is possible to complete these programs within 18 months, in which students can develop professional portfolios to showcase the technical skills acquired during the program.

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Passage of the general education development test may also be required.


Coursework in Graphic Design programs is usually project-oriented and incorporates industry design problems, in addition to projects that demonstrate development of skills. Courses in design technology and design process are combined to impart the skills needed by students to work on particular design projects. Coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:

•Graphic design theory
•Computer graphics
•Color and design
•Media aesthetics

Career Choices

Those who embark on graphic design careers would often need to use different software applications to augment familiar traditional skills, such as illustrating or drawing by hand. Graduates of an associate degree program may choose from several career options such as:

•Graphic design assistant
•Freelance designer
•Freelance artist

Continuing Education Choices

Associate degree graduates who seek entry-level careers in graphic design would need to earn a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. Coursework in bachelor’s degree programs covers computer graphics, and 3-D and 2-D design, in addition to studio classes, wherein they would be required to participate in projects to demonstrate their skills.

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