AAS, Graphic Communications, Graphic Design

Program Description

The Associate of Applied Science, Graphic Communications, offers classes that lead to the completion of a professional, industry-based AAS degree. The Graphic Design Emphasis develops skills and knowledge in areas of creative problem solving, research and design thinking, design history, typography and layout using technologies for a variety of print and screen-based media. Instruction includes the use of industry standard graphics software, and program computer labs are equipped with the latest Apple computers with support scanners, printers, a sound recording facility and a complete prepress/print shop facility.

Recommended Course Schedule

Plan of Study Grid
1st semesterUnits
ART 101 Drawing I 3
GRC 100 Introduction To Graphic Arts and Media Technologies 3
GRC 116 Introduction to Digital Art & Design 3
English 1 3
Math 2 3
 Semester Total15
2nd semester
GRC 117 Introduction to Motion Graphics 3
GRC 200 Design Thinking & Methodologies (GRC/ART/MKT Elective) 3
GRC/ART/MKT Elective 3 3
Communications 1 3
Fine Arts-Humanities-Social Science/Diversity 2 3
 Semester Total15
3rd semester
GRC 153 Commercial Printing Processes 3
GRC 175 Web Design I 3
GRC 210 Typography I 3
Science 1 3
US/NV Constitution 2 3
 Semester Total15
4th semester
GRC 220 Graphic Design I 3
GRC 275 Web Design II 3
GRC 294 Portfolio Workshop 3
GRC/ART/MKT Elective 3 3
Human Relations 2 3
 Semester Total15
 Total Units60

See approved General Education list for the AAS Degree.


See program recommendations or requirements.


See Graphic Communications Faculty Adviser for graphic communications elective requirements.

AAS degrees are generally non-transfer degrees that are designed for students to enter the workforce.

To earn an AAS degree, students must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (see requirements for graduation.)
  2. Complete a minimum of 15 units within the college.
  3. Satisfy General Education requirements for the AAS.
  4. Have no financial or library obligation to the college.
General Education Requirements
History of the Built Environment 1
Business English (English)
Business Speech Communications (Communications)
Fundamentals of Speech Communications (Communications)
Composition Enhanced
Composition I (Communications or English)
Composition II (Communications or English)
Technical Communications I (Communications or English)
Composition I for International and Multilingual Students (Communications or English)
Composition II For International and Multilingual Students (Communications or English)
Fine Arts/Humanities/Social Science3
History of the Built Environment
Human Relations3
Leadership and Human Relations
Educational, Career, and Personal Development
Business Calculations and Methods
Fundamentals of College Mathematics
U.S. and Nevada Constitutions3
Introduction to American Politics
American Experiences and Constitutional Change
Degree Requirements 2
ART 101Drawing I3
GRC 100Introduction To Graphic Arts and Media Technologies3
GRC 116Introduction to Digital Art & Design3
GRC 117Introduction to Motion Graphics3
GRC 200Design Thinking & Methodologies3
GRC 294Portfolio Workshop3
Graphic Design Emphasis Requirements 2
GRC 153Commercial Printing Processes3
GRC 175Web Design I3
GRC 210Typography I3
GRC 220Graphic Design I3
GRC 275Web Design II3
Electives - choose two classes 26
Introduction to Digital Photography
Digital Video Production
Motion Graphics for Video
3D Modeling and Texturing
Introduction to Animation
Marketing Principles
Total Units60

Course may also count toward additional degree requirements. Please consult with Academic Advisement.


See Graphic Communications Faculty Adviser for sequencing of graphic communications requirements.

Students completing the degree will:

  • Identify and apply historical and current design theories and concepts in the production of visually engaging media that meets the requirements of the graphic communications industry.
  • Acquire a broad skill set in current graphics related technologies, including computer software applications, processes and other production techniques used in the graphic communications industry.
  • Develop and assemble a portfolio of work that will illustrate and communicate their visual design skills at a professional level.