NHCC’s Graphic Design program starts with a fine arts foundation that gives students hands-on experience with design concepts. Drawing, painting, color theory, photography, dimensional design (2D, 3D) and art history classes help students to begin thinking like designers, with or without a computer. Of course, as foundation skills are gained, graphic design courses then emphasize industry-standard digital tools and software (Apple computers, Adobe Creative Suite) to harness design thinking and developing technical skills for more advanced concepts and projects.
NHCC graphic design majors work across different media: print, packaging, and book publication; web design and web animation; video and social media; sometimes street art and temporary installations. We learn digital and technical tools, but also how the design industry operates. We learn the actual language of design, we learn about audiences and work cultures, we learn strategies for developing a professional network of contacts, we learn about accepting constructive criticism and acknowledging the importance of other opinions, we learn interpersonal communication strategies to prepare for real professional situations. We work with real clients in advanced classes on projects that have an impact in the “real world.” Small class sizes and one-on-one time with accomplished faculty artists and designers allow students to form the skills and opportunities needed to pursue, and get, jobs with graphic design industry employers. In fact, starting in the spring of 2015 NHCC’s Graphic Design Program began working with metro area employers for paid graphic design internships. Students with consistently strong performance in their degree coursework are able to compete for these opportunities.
NHCC alumni have gone on to own their own graphic design studios and have worked for a long list of employers such as The Minnesota Twins, Nickelodeon, 3M, the Smithsonian Institution, Target, Best Buy, Colle+McVoy, and Minnesota Public Radio, to name just a few. NHCC's annual collection of student art and writing, Under Construction, is designed by students and has earned 30 national awards for content and design since 1968. It offers a rare chance to be a published writer and/or artist as part of a community college experience. See Under Construction as an e-publication at http://nhcc.edu/publications.
The NHCC Associate of Science in Graphic Design degree is for students who are interested in:
Working as graphic designers, web/interactive designers, art directors, production artists, illustrators or in related jobs at design studios, advertising agencies, marketing and public relations companies, corporate art departments, magazines, websites and newspapersWorking as self-employed (freelance) graphic designers, web/interactive designers, or illustratorsContinuing study in a baccalaureate or professional degree program for graphic design, web/interactive design, or illustration.The degree is friendly towards continuing studies in graphic design at a 4-year college/university.NHCC has a graphic design articulation agreement with Concordia University in downtown St. Paul, also with Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Minnesota. Articulation agreements allow all credits from a two year degree to count as progress towards the 4-year degree with the partnering College or University.Talk with an academic advisor (http://nhcc.edu/student-resources/academic-advising) about possibilities for continuing study, and about determining the best sequence of fine arts core courses to take before moving into graphic design courses.
Make your dreams take shape, literally, with Graphic Design at NHCC!
2015 - 2016
Develop a foundation of essential knowledge about the cultural, social, and natural worlds, and individual well-being by:
- Demonstrating skill in the foundation studio arts courses
Develop intellectual and practical skills, including:
- Verbally and visually communicating their knowledge of design
- Competently critiquing design
- Designing effectively with type and images
- Communicating traditional design concepts with the latest technology so as to be effective graphic designers in today’s environment
Demonstrate personal and social responsibility, including:
- Developing constructive, organized work habits and professional presentation skills
- Developing an understanding of the creative accomplishments of other people and cultures, past and present, in the development of the field of graphic design
- Studying the ethics in the use of ideas and technical information as a foundation for respect of intellectual ownership
Integrative Learning, including:
- Managing a design problem from conceptualization to a finished layout
- Writing and designing a professional portfolio
- Demonstrating visual problem solving that employs technical skills and comprehension of the historical context of graphic design with application for contemporary design
Be prepared to transfer to and succeed at an upper-level academic institution.
Information on careers, including salary and employment outlook data, is available on the iseek and Bureau of Labor Statistics websites: www.iseek.org and www.bls.gov.
If you are planning on transferring to another institution, follow the guidelines available on our transfer resources web page to help you plan the process: Transfer Information
The Associate of Science (A.S.) degree is intended for students whose primary goal is to complete the credentials for a specific career and/or prepare for transfer to complete a bachelor’s degree at a college or university with whom North Hennepin Community College has an articulation agreement. The A.S. degree provides a balance of general education courses and the required scientific, professional or technical courses in the degree program.
A student shall:
- Earn a minimum of 60 semester credits as required in the program, with a grade point average of 2.00 (C) or above in courses taken at North Hennepin Community College. Specific programs may have additional requirements or a higher minimum grade point average.
- Earn a minimum of 20 semester credits at North Hennepin Community College. A student must complete at least 50% of career specific courses at North Hennepin Community College.
- Earn 30 credits in at least 6 Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) goal areas.
- Earn 30 professional/technical credits.
- Have four years to complete the graduation requirements as published in the catalog in effect at the time of their initial enrollment. Students taking more than four years to complete their graduation requirements may follow any catalog published during the four-year period preceding their graduation.
Completion of an A.S. degree fulfills the Goal Area 2 requirement of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC).
Some students may need preparatory course(s) in Math and/or English. Courses numbered below 1000 will not apply toward a degree.
Equal Opportunity Employer and Disability Access Information
North Hennepin Community College is a member of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and an equal opportunity employer and educator. This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling 763-493-0555 or through the Minnesota Relay Service at 1-800-627-3529.
North Hennepin Community College is accredited by the:
Higher Learning Commission
30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504