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Computer Graphic Design Associate Degree

Pursuing an associate's degree program in computer graphic design could lead to a career at advertising agencies. This article looks at the typical courses involving typography and drawing that you can find in an associate's program, along with admission requirements.

What's an Associate's Degree in Computer Graphic Design?

Associate's degree programs in computer graphic design are commonly referred to as associate's degrees in graphic design, and some programs in this field are combined with related fields; for example, you could enroll in an associate's degree program in interactive media and graphic design. This is a 2-year course of study that prepares you for entry-level careers in art or gives you the opportunity to continue your education at the bachelor's degree level. This program can be completed in online and on-campus formats. Online classes could require you to watch video lectures, e-mail your professors about assignments, use chat rooms or take digital exams.

Program DetailsTwo years in length; online and on-campus options
Class SubjectsWeb design, design theory, portfolio development, digital photography
PrerequisitesHigh school diploma or GED
Career OptionsAnimation, illustration, advertising
Median Salary (2018)$50,370* (for graphic designers)
Job Outlook (2016-26)4%* (for all graphic designers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Classes Are Available?

Curricula in associate's degree programs in graphic design commonly include training in various artistic techniques in addition to training in industry-standard graphic design technology. You will learn about illustration, coloration, design layouts or advertising design. Most courses of study also require you to complete general education requirements as well. The following are examples of classes you could take:

  • Typography
  • Drawing
  • Web design
  • Interactive design techniques
  • Design theory and principles
  • Portfolio development
  • Digital photography
  • 2D design

What Are the Admissions Requirements?

To be considered for admission into associate's degree programs in graphic design, you typically need a high school diploma; if you don't have one, some schools will accept a GED instead. You should also expect to submit high school transcripts and letters of recommendation. While some schools require you to submit standardized test scores, others may include it as an optional way to strengthen your application. If you want to prepare to study graphic design, consider taking classes in art and computer science in high school.

What Jobs Could I Get?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), for graphic design positions, most employers prefer job applicants with a bachelor's degree in graphic design. As a graduate from an associate's degree program in graphic design, you may be eligible for assistant or entry-level careers in animation, illustration or advertising.