Graphic Design A.S.

Harness your creativity for a career in graphic design. Learn the fundamentals of artistic expression and how to translate those skills into digital media such as internet/web design, print design, typography, and e-publishing. Class projects range from web animation to audio, video, street art, book publication, brochure design and many areas in between. NHCC's Graphic Design program also includes studying the social side of having a job – such as professional networking, informational interviews, working with clients and accepting constructive criticism. Work on-on-one with faculty artists and designers who stay current with industry trends and exhibit their work in galleries both nationally and internationally. Become a more media-savvy consumer and citizen. Learn creative problem-solving, a skill prized by employers. Your dreams can take shape, literally, at NHCC.

The Associate of Science in Graphic Design 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 newspapers
  • Working as self-employed (freelance) graphic designers, web/interactive designers, or illustrators
  • Continuing study in a baccalaureate or professional degree program for graphic design, web/interactive design, or illustration

Our program integrates current and emerging computer graphics technology with fine arts concepts and understanding. We understand the importance of the past, embrace the job market and cultural context of today, and look ahead to the future of the design industry. Classes such as drawing, color theory, painting, three dimensional design, photography and art history all merge as the foundation for our Graphic Design students to be creative beyond what is possible with just a computer. Learn to think like a designer — strategize and adapt to changing needs, audiences, and capabilities to be ready for your future.

Students take appropriate prerequisite Art core courses as necessary before taking Graphic Design courses. Psychology and sociology are recommended, though not required, elective courses that complement Graphic Design because they give insight into human behavior and how audiences perceive art, advertising, and domestic/international media cultures.

Our graduates have gone on to own their own graphic design studios, have worked for a long list of clients such as The Minnesota Twins, Nickelodeon, 3M, the Smithsonian Institution, and have landed in-house design jobs at nationally recognized companies such as 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, has earned 30 national awards for content and design since its first publication in 1968. Awards have been granted by such highly regarded organizations as The Society for Professional Journalists, The Community College National Literary Magazine Competition, IAPHC/The Graphic, Print Magazine, and The Community College Humanities Association, among others. It is a highly anticipated project, offering students the opportunity to be published writers and artists as part of their college experience, and is poised to bring home new awards every year. See Under Construction as an e-publication at

It is recommended that students begin their Graphic Design studies by visiting with a counselor or advisor to determine the proper sequence of fine arts core courses to take before moving into graphic design courses. The Associate of Science in Graphic Design degree is designed to articulate to:

  • Concordia University St. Paul B.A. in Graphic Design degree
  • Minnesota State University at Moorhead B.A. in Art with emphasis in Graphic Design degree


    2014 - 2015

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    Contact Information

    Admissions and Outreach Office
    Educational Services Building