Courses & Syllabi

Graphic Design courses are only offered in Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters. Some classes are concurrent and require prerequisites. Our software courses can be taken at any time during the academic school year with the exception of Summer Quarter. 

The two-year Graphic Design Program is an intensive course of study preparing students for entry-level jobs in design studios, advertising agencies, corporate in-house design departments and other businesses using computers to create design, advertising, websites and promotional pieces.

In addition to the core classes listed below, students are required to take a variety of software courses in order to receive their degree.

Click the links for full program maps of all required courses for the AAS and AAS-T Degrees.

 

First Quarter:

GRDSN 101 Design Process I
Students in this course design and produce basic-level design projects. Projects are assigned, assessed at the midpoint, and critiqued when finished. The design process, technology, and lab time for these projects are delivered in GRDSN 101 and 102.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 102 Design Tech I
This course is a basic introduction to the technology platform used in the design profession. Emphasis is on the operating system(s), computer operations, file types, format, and management. Students learn fundamental software skills necessary to complete design projects. Content includes the operation of page layout, drawing, and scanning software applications.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 105 Drawing for Design
This class is an opportunity to learn and practice the techniques needed to create imagery that is vital to the initial implementation of any successful visual communication. You will leave this class with a toolbox of drawing techniques that will help you to communicate with art directors, designers, clients, and pretty much anyone about your ideas, a visual shorthand that will enable you to add images to your vocabulary in any conversation about design and visual communication.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 181 Web Dev I
Students are introduced to design and construction of web pages using HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript. Students will learn standards-based web development techniques in structuring effective and accessible web pages for browsers and mobile devices. Emphasis will be placed on the use of graphic design principles in the design of web pages.

Course Information & syllabus >

Second Quarter:

GRDSN 111 Design Process II
This course expands on the fundamentals of design, visual communication, and conceptualization introduced in GRDSN 101. Students demonstrate skills at a higher level of performance. In addition to typography, color, and composition, students are engaged in problem solving and critical thinking activities in order to solve fundamental design problems. Students apply learned skills to the completion of more complex projects in GRDSN 113.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 112 Design Tech II
This intermediate-level course focuses on the technology platform used in the design profession. Emphasis is on computer graphics software applications, type formatting, and appropriate file construction. Students learn fundamental and intermediate software skills necessary to complete projects in GRDSN 111. In addition to page layout, drawing, and software applications, students focus on fundamental photo manipulation and web technology.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 151 Type & Layout
This course introduces students to the history, nomenclature, and practical application of typography. Projects range from simple typographic compositions to complex multi-page documents in print and digital media. In addition to conventional type formatting, students will explore creative solutions using type as an expressive visual form.

Course Information & syllabus >

Third Quarter:

GRDSN 121 Design Process III
Students in this course design and produce basic-level design projects. Projects are assigned, assessed at midpoint, and critiqued when finished. The design process, technology, and lab time for these projects are delivered in GRDSN 121 and 122.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 122 Design Tech III
This course is a survey of design technology as it applies to the production of design work in print, web, and multimedia. Emphasis is on file construction, file formats, and software. Students work with print production processes, Industry Standard Web Publishing software or HTML/CSS, as well as web and multimedia authoring software. Students learn software skills necessary to complete projects in GRDSN 121.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 109 History of Design
This course focuses on major design movements as they relate to visual communication. Beginning with the invention of writing and continuing to present day key ideas, social/political/cultural developments, and technologies are examined. Through observations and comparisons, the course illustrates the relationships between various design disciplines. This course requires reading, research, writing, and presentation of exploring visual communication’s role in society and popular culture.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 182 Web Dev II
Students are introduced to the JavaScript programming language and its use in creating dynamic and interactive web pages. Students will continue to learn standards-based web development techniques using HTML and CSS in structuring effective and accessible web pages for browsers and mobile devices. Emphasis will be placed on the use of graphic design principles, user experience (UX), and prototyping tools in the design of web pages.

Course Information & syllabus >

Fourth Quarter:

GRDSN 201 Design Process IV
In this course, students compare the design process as it applies to a wide range of computer-generated imagery. Students engage in intermediate-level design, communication, problem-solving and conceptualizing activities.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 202 Design Tech IV
Students explore the production aspects of realistic graphic design projects and the technical issues that develop within their own designs. Students develop production techniques and solutions to various media.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 235 Multimedia I
Students learn to create interactive media at a beginner level. Students learn design and technical skills necessary to create and combine text, graphics, video, and audio for digital distribution.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 183 Web Dev III
Students are introduced to the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) and its use in managing the creation and modification of digital content. Students will continue to learn standards-based web development techniques using HTML and CSS in structuring effective and accessible web pages for browsers and mobile devices. Emphasis will be placed on the use of graphic design principles, user experience (UX), and prototyping tools in the design of web pages.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 266 & 267 Internship
GRDSN 266 Co-op Education Seminar (1cr) Course Description:

In this course, Graphic Design students will study areas such as self-awareness, self-assessment, career awareness, career exploration, career decision making, career planning, career placement, success factors, attitudes on the job, motivation, initiative, human behavior, human relations, employability skills and interviewing.

GRDSN 267 Co-op Education Work Experience (3cr) Course Description:

Cooperative Education is an organized program of study and educational field experience. You must enroll in the appropriate co-op seminar and field experience related to your academic or occupational goals.

An instructor/coordinator will teach the co-op seminar and assist you in locating an appropriate full or part-time field site. If you are currently employed, the instructor/coordinator will determine if the work site is appropriate for a co-op field experience in your field of study.

As a co-op student, you may receive cooperative education credit and paid or volunteer positions. The instructor-coordinator will visit the student at the work site at the mid-point of the quarter or at the mid-point of the experience. Students are required to complete 99hrs of cooperative work experience.

The student may receive variable credits for hours of structured work experience during a quarter. The credit award is based on a maximum of 1 credit for every 33 cooperative education hours during a quarter. Graphic Design students are required to complete 3 credits of cooperative work experience (99 hours) to meet graduation requirements.

Course Information & syllabus >

Fifth Quarter:

GRDSN 211 Design Process V
Working with real-world design problems, students in this course apply their expertise in developing design solutions for various media. Emphasis is on organizing information, typography and imagery to create clear, creative design solutions. Through problem-solving activities, students develop an increased awareness of graphic design principles and skills.

This course is a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, group activities, and supervised studio projects. Students research contemporary design projects, brainstorm, create thumbnail sketches, develop roughs and finalize their comprehensive designs. Guest designers address the critical thinking process as it relates to real-world projects.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 212 Design Tech V
Students explore the production aspects of realistic graphic design projects and the technical issues that develop within their own designs. In conjunction with GRDSN 211 students develop production techniques and solutions for various media.

This is an intermediate-level course that prepares students for work in the print and interactive media industries. Through projects assigned in GRDSN 211, students use Macintosh computers to refine and render visual images. This course focuses on solving technical problems and producing digital artwork to send to a service bureau or internet service provider. Students are evaluated on the completion of competencies for each project. The projects focus on the logic of page layout, image manipulation, and vector drawing.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 236 Multimedia II
Students learn to create interactive media at an intermediate level. Students learn design and technical skills necessary to create and combine text, graphics, video, and audio for digital distribution.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 266 & 267 Internship
GRDSN 266 Co-op Education Seminar (1cr) Course Description:

In this course, Graphic Design students will study areas such as self-awareness, self-assessment, career awareness, career exploration, career decision making, career planning, career placement, success factors, attitudes on the job, motivation, initiative, human behavior, human relations, employability skills and interviewing.

GRDSN 267 Co-op Education Work Experience (3cr) Course Description:

Cooperative Education is an organized program of study and educational field experience. You must enroll in the appropriate co-op seminar and field experience related to your academic or occupational goals.

An instructor/coordinator will teach the co-op seminar and assist you in locating an appropriate full or part-time field site. If you are currently employed, the instructor/coordinator will determine if the work site is appropriate for a co-op field experience in your field of study.

As a co-op student, you may receive cooperative education credit and paid or volunteer positions. The instructor-coordinator will visit the student at the work site at the mid-point of the quarter or at the mid-point of the experience. Students are required to complete 99hrs of cooperative work experience.

The student may receive variable credits for hours of structured work experience during a quarter. The credit award is based on a maximum of 1 credit for every 33 cooperative education hours during a quarter. Graphic Design students are required to complete 3 credits of cooperative work experience (99 hours) to meet graduation requirements.

Course Information & syllabus >

Sixth Quarter:

GRDSN 221 Design Process VI
Working with real-world design problems, students in this course apply their expertise in developing design solutions for various media. Emphasis is on organizing information, typography, and imagery to create clear, creative design solutions. Through problem-solving activities, students develop an increased awareness of graphic design principles and skills.

This course is a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, group activities, and supervised studio projects. Students research contemporary design projects, brainstorm, create thumbnail sketches, develop roughs and finalize their comprehensive designs. Guest designers address the critical thinking process as it relates to real-world projects.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 223 Portfolio
This course prepares students for entry-level employability. Students create a personal brand, cover letter, resume, online portfolio, and an interview presentation of their best work promoting their qualifications to design industry employers.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 237 Multimedia III
Students learn to create interactive media at an advanced level. Students learn design and technical skills necessary to create and combine text, graphics, video, and audio for digital distribution.

Course Information & syllabus >

GRDSN 266 & 267 Internship
GRDSN 266 Co-op Education Seminar (1cr) Course Description:

In this course, Graphic Design students will study areas such as self-awareness, self-assessment, career awareness, career exploration, career decision making, career planning, career placement, success factors, attitudes on the job, motivation, initiative, human behavior, human relations, employability skills and interviewing.

GRDSN 267 Co-op Education Work Experience (3cr) Course Description:

Cooperative Education is an organized program of study and educational field experience. You must enroll in the appropriate co-op seminar and field experience related to your academic or occupational goals.

An instructor/coordinator will teach the co-op seminar and assist you in locating an appropriate full or part-time field site. If you are currently employed, the instructor/coordinator will determine if the work site is appropriate for a co-op field experience in your field of study.

As a co-op student, you may receive cooperative education credit and paid or volunteer positions. The instructor-coordinator will visit the student at the work site at the mid-point of the quarter or at the mid-point of the experience. Students are required to complete 99hrs of cooperative work experience.

The student may receive variable credits for hours of structured work experience during a quarter. The credit award is based on a maximum of 1 credit for every 33 cooperative education hours during a quarter. Graphic Design students are required to complete 3 credits of cooperative work experience (99 hours) to meet graduation requirements.

Course Information & syllabus >

Software Courses

The software courses are an at-your-own-pace, competency-based, introductory set of courses that introduce you to Adobe’s Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, After Effects, and Animate software for Macintosh computers. Through reference materials, tutorial exercises, and projects, students use software tools and menu commands to create a variety of media for Print, Web, Digital, or Multimedia projects.

Detailed information and a list of available courses can be found on the Software Courses page.