Graphic Design - One-Year Certificate of Completion (CC1)


The Graphic Design One-Year Certificate of Completion provides a thorough foundation in the fundamentals of design: color, typography, composition and how to apply them using an industry standard approach. Students apply current production methods and techniques to relevant projects that consider branding and target market. Courses cover unique aspects of graphic design including print and digital designs, vector art and graphics, digital photography, and brand/style guide development. The combination of courses is intended to give students the knowledge and skill set to augment their transfer degree and/or consider a career as a freelance or entry level graphic designer.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Create designs with industry standard software.
  2. Model effective and professional communication when collaborating with industry professionals and clients.
  3. Produce a portfolio that demonstrates the variety of skills and creativity developed.

Entrance Requirements

Academic Entrance Requirements


  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completion of WR 065 Rhetoric and Critical Thinking II or higher or minimum placement Wr/Comm Level 7
  • Completion of MTH 060 Beginning Algebra or higher or minimum placement Math Level 10
  • Basic computer competency or CIS 010 Computer Keyboarding

Additional Program Costs (Beyond Standard Tuition/Fees and Textbooks)

Material Costs

  • 32GB to 2TB portable storage (USB drive or SSD): $20 to $100
  • A desktop or laptop computer capable of running the latest version of the Adobe Creative Cloud and the latest version of Microsoft Windows or Apple macOS: approximately $500 to $2000
  • Reliable high-speed internet access

Course Requirements

Course Title Credits
Core Courses
ART 102Introduction to Art and Design Careers3
ART 110Beginning Graphic Design3
ART 115Basic Design: 2-D3
ART 116Basic Design: Color3
ART 141Vector Art Illustration3
ART 230Intermediate Graphic Design3
ART 265Photography: Digital Basics3
ART 267Photography: Digital Editing3
ART 297GDCapstone Project: Graphic Design1
SOC 250Sociology of Popular Culture3-4
or COMM 234 Introduction to Visual Rhetoric
or BA 232 Branding
Other Required Courses
ARH 269Design and Illustration History4
ART 295Portfolio Development and Business Practices 14
or BA 214 Business Communications
or WR 121Z Composition I
MTH 105ZMath in Society (or one math course from the foundational requirements math list)4
Total Credits40-41

BA 214 Business Communications and ART 295 Portfolio and Business Practices do not fulfill the foundational writing requirement for the AAOT with a focus in Art.

Advising Notes

Planning is important. Some courses are offered only once per academic year, offered in only one delivery format, and many need to be taken in sequence. 

Speak with the program director or an advisor to about course scheduling.

Program may take longer than a year to complete depending on support courses necessary to meet minimum course requirements.

Performance Standards

  • Academic Requirements: 
    • Students must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA to earn a COCC certificate or degree.
    • All courses in the program must be completed with a grade of C or higher. 

Sample Plan

Sample Plan Grid
First TermCredits
ART 102Introduction to Art and Design Careers3
ART 115Basic Design: 2-D3
ART 141Vector Art Illustration3
ART 265Photography: Digital Basics3
Second Term
ART 110Beginning Graphic Design3
ART 116Basic Design: Color3
ART 267Photography: Digital Editing3
SOC 250
Sociology of Popular Culture
or Introduction to Visual Rhetoric
or Branding
MTH 105ZMath in Society4
Third Term
ART 230Intermediate Graphic Design3
ARH 269Design and Illustration History4
ART 295
Portfolio Development and Business Practices 1
or Business Communications
or Composition I
ART 297GDCapstone Project: Graphic Design1
 Total Credits40-41

BA 214 Business Communications and ART 295 Portfolio and Business Practices do not fulfill the foundational writing requirement for the AAOT with a focus in Art.

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