Graphic Design
Award: Associate of Arts Degree
No. of credits required: 
For more information: Contact Assoc. Prof. Kenneth Jones, 443-412-2326,; or Admissions, 443-412-2109.

The Art + Design program offers students an Associate of Arts degree and preparation to transfer to a B.A. or B.F.A. Art + Design program. This program challenges students with an intensive, hands-on, studio-based curriculum that emphasizes art-making skills and critical thinking. Classes are taught by professional, exhibiting artists who have expertise in their disciplines. This program also provides the community with the opportunity to study for personal enrichment.

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.

Students planning to transfer to a private art college, or who need more intensive development of their portfolios for transfer to any institution, should enroll in the Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree. The Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree is well-suited for those transferring to a state institution. Please consult with an advisor.

Upon completion of the Associate of 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.
  6. Successfully transfer to a four-year institution.

HCC graduates have successfully transferred to art schools and universities, both in and out of Maryland. Students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution should check the requirements of that institution. If they are significantly different from the courses listed, students should consult with an advisor for academic guidance. 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.

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 111Studio Drawing I: Observation 3
ART 120Digital Foundations I 3
ENG 101English Composition 3
Behavioral/Social Science Elective 3
 Semester Total15
Second Semester Credits
ART 103Introduction to Graphic Communications 3
ART 108Digital Media Culture 3
PHOT 131Digital Photography I 3
Behavioral/Social Science Elective 3
Mathematics Elective *3
 Semester Total15
Third Semester   Credits
ART 201History of Art-Ancient and Medieval 3
ART 204Typography I 3
ART 107Fundamentals of 3-D Design 3
Arts/Humanities Elective 3
Biological/Physical Lab Science Elective 4
 Semester Total16
Fourth Semester Credits
ART 202History of Art-Renaissance to Modern 3
ART 207Graphic Design 3
ART 233Portfolio Workshop 3
Biological/Physical Science Elective 3
Physical Education Elective 1
General Elective*1
 Semester Total14

* If a four-credit course in mathematics is substituted, the one-credit General Elective in the fourth semester is not necessary.

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.