Graphic Design
Award: Associate of Fine Arts Degree
No. of credits required: 
For more information: Contact Assoc. Prof. Kenneth Jones, 443-412-2726, or Advising, Career and Transfer Services , 443-412-2301.

The Art + Design program offers students an Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A) degree and preparation to transfer to some B.F.A. Art + Design programs. The A.F.A degree is a pre-professional degree. In comparison with an A.A. in Art + Design, there is a higher concentration of studio classes and fewer general education courses. Students wishing to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) at a private art college, or who need more intensive development of their portfolios for transfer to any institution, should choose this degree. Students planning to transfer to a state institution may want to consider enrolling in the Associate of Arts (A.A.) Art + Design degree. Please consult with an advisor. The B.F.A. is the best choice for students who plan on pursuing their M.F.A.

The Graphic Design concentration focuses on the design process by investigating the methods of researching, creating, and presenting visual communication. By embracing the elements of design and complex relationships of forms in our visual culture, students learn critical thinking strategies for conceptualizing and problem solving and work towards establishing design literacy in their practice. Through the study of images and symbols, typography, and layout, students create sophisticated advertising, identity, and branding projects for print and screen media culminating in the production of a professional portfolio. Students develop production skills in the studio as they relate and are integrated to the creative processes of design. Graduates are prepared for further study as art/creative directors, graphic and web designers, print production artists, industrial designers, public relations and marketing consultants.

Upon completion of the Associate of Fine Arts in Art + Design degree students will be able to:
  1. Create works with proper use of design elements.
  2. Create works with a demonstrated proficiency in the use of materials, tools, techniques, and processes.
  3. Clearly communicate and demonstrate critical thinking to articulate ideas in visual, verbal, and written forms.
  4. Demonstrate good habits and behaviors of self-reflection, motivation, confidence, and work ethic.
  5. Create work that shows the clear evolution of concept development and increasing sophistication.
  6. Successfully transfer to a four-year B.F.A. program.

HCC graduates have successfully transferred to art schools and universities, both In and out of Maryland. Some art schools require portfolios for admission and financial aid consideration. HCC faculty are well-versed in these requirements and assist students In portfolio preparation.

The Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree is well-suited for those transferring to a private art college. Students planning to transfer to a state institution may want to consider enrolling in the Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree. Please consult with an advisor.

Nationally, 673,656 businesses are involved in the creation or distribution of the arts, and they employ 3.48 million people. This represents 4.01 percent of all U.S. businesses and 2.04 percent of all U.S. employees—demonstrating statistically that the arts are a formidable business presence and broadly distributed across our communities. Arts businesses and the creative people they employ stimulate innovation, strengthen America's competitiveness in the global marketplace, and play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy.

Art + Design graduates are offered educational opportunities and critical thinking skills that give them the flexibility to use their visual training in many related fields. Opportunities for employment may also be found in architecture, arts administration, art criticism, industrial design, theater set design, film and video production, game design, emerging markets in technology, and public relations, among others. Employment is usually secured by the presentation of a portfolio that shows evidence of appropriate skills and talent.


Recommended Course Sequence

First SemesterCredits
ART 101Fundamentals of 2D Design 3
ART 103Introduction to Graphic Communications 3
ART 120Digital Foundations I 3
ENG 101English Composition 3
Biological/Physical Science Elective *3
 Semester Total15
Second Semester Credits
ART 107Fundamentals of 3-D Design 3
ART 204Typography I 3
PHOT 131Digital Photography I 3
ART 111Studio Drawing I: Observation 3
Mathematics Elective **3
 Semester Total15
Third Semester   Credits
ART 160Time-Based Media  
ART 122Color: Art, Science & Culture 3
ART 233Portfolio Workshop 3
ART 201History of Art-Ancient and Medieval 3
ART 207Graphic Design 3
ART 208Digital Foundations II 3
 Semester Total15
Fourth Semester Credits
ART 202History of Art-Renaissance to Modern 3
ART 229Design for the Web 3
ART 192Independent Study:Art *** 
PHOT 192Independent Study: Photography ***2
ART or PHOT Elective 3
Physical Education Elective 1
Behavioral/Social Science Elective 3
 Semester Total15

*A four-credit Biological/Physical Science Lab course may be substituted.
**A four-credit course in mathematics may be substituted.
***A three-credit course in ART or PHOT may be substituted, and in most cases would be a better option for transfer.

Courses in this discipline may require field trip(s).

Students who wish to pursue further study in art may, with instructor permission, enroll in Independent Study.