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Associate in Graphic Design Degree: Requirements, Admissions and Universities


Associate in Graphic Design Degree





An associate’s degree is a bachelor’s degree earned during undergraduate study (the first stage after secondary school). Its goal is to provide students with the fundamental technical and academic knowledge, as well as transferable skills, that they will need to pursue employment or further education in their chosen profession. 

Associate’s degrees are most widespread in the United States, although they’re also available in Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, and the Netherlands. Similar programs exist in other countries, but they are known by a different name, such as foundation degrees in the United Kingdom. 

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Associate’s degrees are offered at a variety of colleges in the United States, including community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges, university linked colleges, and university institutes. An associate’s degree usually takes two years to finish full-time. 

For some students, an associate’s degree serves as preparation for a bachelor’s degree, while for others, it serves as a stand-alone credential, allowing them to boost their work prospects over those who have simply completed secondary school. 

An associate’s degree in graphic design might be the starting point for a creative profession. An associate degree in graphic design, web design, or desktop publishing can lead to entry-level graphic design, web design, or desktop publishing jobs. Students can also work as junior designers to gain experience before pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Should I Pursue a Graphic Design Associate’s Degree? 

For junior-level design positions in print design and visual marketing, an associate degree in graphic design covers the minimum education requirements. Graduates with an associate degree can work as assistants to senior graphic designers to get experience before pursuing a higher degree. Interns with an associate’s degree are frequently hired by employers. 

Many online associate degrees in graphic design provide faster paths to graduation, although most associate degrees take two years to complete. Many ambitious graphic designers go on to obtain a bachelor’s degree, which is required for the majority of graphic design jobs. 

While earning an associate degree, students may discover a new area of artistic interest. Graphic design associate programs include an introduction to basic art and design principles, photography, web development, and the creation of a professional portfolio, making them ideal for creative types. Following graduation, some graduates pursue a career as a freelance artist.

What Can I Do With a Graphic Design Associate’s Degree? 


Illustrators produce messages through visuals and digital drawings. They collaborate with a marketing and design team to come up with innovative ideas. Their illustrations can be found in books, periodicals, and greeting cards, among other places. 


When presented in quick succession, animators create a series of images that appear to be moving. They make these moving images with computers and diverse tools, and they collaborate with a production team to determine project goals, construct storyboards, and design animations. Customers are shown animations by animators, and contracts are negotiated. 

Website Designer 

The layout and visual look of a website or webpage are created and coded by web designers. They assist in maintaining the usability of a website, testing and improving website designs, brainstorming new ideas with clients, and establishing design guidelines. 

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Graphic Designer 

Graphic designers collaborate with their clients and design team to come up with visual communication concepts. These concepts are created with design software. Graphic designers also create designs for magazines, books, brochures, logos, and websites, among other publications. 

 Printing Manager

A print production process is overseen by print managers. They collaborate with customers and other corporate executives to guarantee that print tasks are completed on schedule. They also offer printing services to consumers and growing enterprises, as well as negotiate rates, send bids, keep track of stock levels, and purchase print production supplies as needed. 

Author of technical documents 

For a specific readership, technical writers provide technical documentation. They draft, review, and modify these documents, as well as determine user needs before producing technical documentation, edit information, examine product samples, and decide the best media for a given audience or message. 

Multimedia Designer

Multimedia designers generate multimedia content for many mediums such as websites, television, and films using computer software. Animations, audio, and visual effects are some of the aspects they create. Multimedia designers also make revisions depending on stakeholder feedback and develop project mock-ups based on the entire scope of the project. 

Web Designer 

Web developers are in charge of the technical parts of a website. They construct websites from a web design using their programming skills. Web developers may also diagnose website issues, present design specifications, update websites as needed, track website traffic, and produce website content. 

Product Designer 

Product designers oversee the entire design and development process for a product. They figure out what’s wrong with the product and come up with fixes. During the product design process, product designers also update existing product designs, provide product concepts and ideas to appropriate team members, stay up to date on industry trends, suggest product design and performance improvements, and ensure clear communication and efficiency.

How much does an online graphic design associate cost? 

The price of an online graphic design degree is determined by a number of factors. Since many institutions charge greater tuition for out-of-state students, state residency is usually very important. Some colleges, on the other hand, charge a set tuition for online students regardless of where they live. One essential cost is technology fees, which usually apply to online students but not to their other counterparts. 

An online graphic design associate degree normally costs between $80 and $240 per credit. Total tuition should cost between $5,000 to $16,000 for students. 

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Choosing an online graphic design degree program that is accredited 

One of the most essential concerns for prospective students is accreditation status. Accrediting is granted to colleges and universities in the United States by agencies authorized by the United States Department of Education; the accreditation process includes a thorough examination of a school’s educational programs and student services. 

Because a school’s accreditation affects course credit transferability and federal financial aid eligibility, students should check to see if the school delivering the program has received national or regional accreditation. 

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Students who acquire an online associate degree in graphic design concentrate on visual communication, which prepares them for a variety of design positions. Fundamental courses, such as the history of graphic design, are often offered in these degree programs. 

Students also delve into more specialized design fields including typography, photography, and web design. Specific design software packages, like Dreamweaver or Adobe InDesign, are also covered in some curricula.

The Benefits of a Graphic Design Degree 

An associate’s degree in graphic design earned online is an excellent initial step toward a profession in visual design. Associate graduates have a strong foundation in core knowledge as well as many of the skills required to create captivating digital work. Graphic design employment, like those in many other artistic fields, can be very competitive. 

Associate degrees usually meet the educational requirements for entry-level positions in related fields such as desktop publishing and web development. Many organizations, on the other hand, demand that entry-level graphic designers have a bachelor’s degree and a considerable portfolio of professional work. By pursuing freelance graphic design chances, skilled associate grads can avoid the typical employment process entirely. However, contract work can be difficult to break into, with traditional classroom learners and self-taught artists all fighting for a limited number of positions.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Graphic Design Degree? 

An online graphic design associate’s degree typically involves 60-72 credits. The majority of full-time students finish all course requirements in two academic years. Full-time students who enroll during summer semesters and pursue a heavy course load can complete an associate program in as short as 1-1.5 years. However, other students decide to enroll part-time to accommodate employment or family obligations. In this situation, an associate’s degree usually takes 3 to 4 years to complete. While part-time education offers more flexibility, it can result in higher overall costs for students enrolled in schools that charge by semester or year. 

By transferring credits to their program, students with past college experience, such as an incomplete associate degree or dual-credit high school subjects, can typically reduce their time to graduation. Transfer policies differ from one school to the next.

What makes a bachelor’s degree different from an associate’s degree? 

Bachelor’s and associate’s degrees are both classified as “undergraduate” degrees, indicating that they are both available to students after they have completed secondary school. Usually, postgraduate degrees, such as master’s and PhD programs require students to complete a bachelor’s degree program before you’re admitted. 

So, how do you choose between a bachelor’s degree and an associate’s degree? Here’s a rundown of some of the major distinctions: 



You’ll need to complete a certain amount of study hours or course credits to earn either certification. An associate’s degree normally takes two years to complete full time, though this might vary depending on the institution and area. This translates to 60 credit hours in the United States, as opposed to the 120 credit hours required for a bachelor’s degree, which takes around four years to finish full time. 

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Many associate’s degree students opt to study part-time, which, of course, extends the time it takes to finish the degree. On the other side, completing the degree in a shorter amount of time is achievable by enrolling in a “fast-track” course, working at a faster pace, and even studying during holidays. 

Students with an associate’s degree may be able to transfer certain relevant course credits toward a bachelor’s degree, reducing the time required to finish the latter. 


Associate’s degrees have cheaper tuition rates, and because the courses take less time to complete, the entire cost is significantly less than a bachelor’s degree. The cost difference will vary based on the institution, but an associate’s degree will normally cost two to three times less than a bachelor’s degree. You’ll also spend less money on expenditures like housing because you’ll be spending less time studying. 

Prerequisites for Admission 

Finally, associate’s degree admissions are normally less difficult than bachelor’s degree admissions, and admissions deadlines are typically later. They can be a good option for students who don’t meet the prerequisites for a bachelor’s degree, perhaps because they took more vocational courses or didn’t receive good grades.

Graphic Design Associate Degree Programs at Universities 

Columbus State Community College is a renowned public community college based in Columbus, Ohio. 

Each year, CSCC welcomes more than 45,000 students to its two campuses, regional learning centers, and online programs. 

The institution offers an associate of applied science in digital design and graphics that can be completed entirely online. Students will be prepared for a number of employment in marketing, interactive media, advertising, and other related sectors after completing the program. Every student takes a mix of general education classes, major requirements like Storyboarding and Branding, and electives like Website Design Creation. Throughout their degree, students develop a portfolio. 

Gateway Technical College is a two-year technical college 

Gateway, the nation’s first public technical college, was founded in 1911 and today serves over 20,000 students each year. 

Gateway University provides a graphic communications associate’s degree online. Students may use the on-campus computer labs, which are equipped with tools such as 3D printers and projection equipment, if needed. During their program, all students create a portfolio and have the opportunity to compete in a district design display. 

Applicants must submit high school transcripts with a minimum grade point average of 2.6 or college transcripts with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher. 

Surry Community College is a public community college in Surry County, 

SCC, which was founded in 1964, today enrolls about 21,000 students each year. 

The college provides a digital media technology-graphic design associate’s degree online. The 72-credit degree is completed in four full-time semesters. Art Appreciation, User Interface Design, and Professional Practice in Digital Media are just a few of the design courses available to students. A final design project is required of all students. 

Official transcripts are required of all applicants. Unless they have proof of satisfactory SAT or ACT scores or have successfully completed college-level English and math programs at another school, all candidates must take placement testing.

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