The Graphic Design degree program prepares students for positions with graphic design firms, in-house design departments, exhibit and package design firms, publishers, broadcast media, printers and media design companies. The Graphic Design curriculum is based on professional standards in creating a designer portfolio, preparing the graduates for a variety of full-time or freelance employment in the graphic design industry. Students have an opportunity to develop or upgrade drawing and computer graphics skills for communicating visually. Emphasis is on design for print and media, studio skills and critical thinking applications. Problem solving and research concept development projects are explored and applied as they relate to the graphic design professional.

Program contact: Learn more

This degree program contains one or more embedded certificates which will be automatically awarded when the certificate requirements are completed. If you do not want to receive the embedded certificate(s), please notify the Office of the Registrar at RegistrarOffice@tri-c.edu.

Learn more about how certificate credits apply to the related degree.

Program Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma/GED highly recommended, but not required
  • ENG-0990 Language Fundamentals II or appropriate score on English Placement Test highly recommended
  • MATH-0955 Beginning Algebra or appropriate score on math placement test highly recommended
  • Complete VC&D-1000 Visual Communication Foundation

Other Information

  • Non-degree students may enroll in individual courses with departmental approval.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Communicate and connect verbally and in writing to clients, colleagues, and other professionals.
  2. Conduct yourself professionally and ethically according to professional standards.
  3. Develop team skills including taking and giving constructive criticism, leading and/or following directions.
  4. Apply basic production knowledge, including fundamental understanding of page layout, typography, photography, color, and use computer and design software skills to effectively execute all aspects of production print and/or web.
  5. Apply the knowledge of basic business and design concepts, including design history and trends, photography and illustration, basic typography skills, appropriate mediums and business concepts including dealing with vendors, organizational hierarchy and workflow, written and verbal communication skills in order to translate ideas into final art that meets business need.
  6. Use design principles (color, composition, and type) to executive project objectives.

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
VC&D-1000 Visual Communication Foundation 3
VC&D-1015 Digital Studio Basics 3
VC&D-1061 History of Graphic Design 3
VC&D-1200 Typography and Layout 3
Arts and Humanities 3
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I  
Honors College Composition I  
 Credit Hours18
Second Semester
ART-1050 Drawing I 3
MATH-1xxx 1000-level MATH course or higher 3
VC&D-1430 2D Design 3
VCGD-1500 Advertising and Design 3
Communications requirement 3
 Credit Hours15
Third Semester
VC&D-2301 Graphic Design and Illustration 3
VCGD-2231 Publication Design 3
VCGD-2331 Brand Identity Design 3
VCXX-xxxx Visual Communication & Design elective 3
Social and Behavioral Sciences requirement 3
 Credit Hours15
Fourth Semester
VC&D-2701 Media Design 3
VC&D-2991 Portfolio Preparation 3
VCGD-2431 Package Design 3
Select one of the following: 3
Advertising Studio I  
Graphic Design Studio  
 Credit Hours12
 Total Credit Hours60