Graphic Design

Associate of Applied Science degree in Graphic Design

Turn your creative side into a career. Take classes in design, layout, typography and earn a degree in graphic design

Degree Overview

Degree Quick-Stats:

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The graphic design degree emphasizes ideas and creativity above all else, while also providing a firm technical foundation in software and production. Classes in design, color theory, illustration, typography, layout and software form the basis for designers as they learn to solve communications challenges. Classes take a projects-based approach to instruction, with many hands-on, practical assignments in a collaborative environment.

Students also have the opportunity to work with outside clients on live projects in the Design Studio course. Students will produce both a print and a digital portfolio of work including a personal logo, résumé and website in preparation for entering the job market.

A portfolio show, introducing you to the business community, is at the end of spring term your final year.


Students earning the Graphic Design AAS can work in a number of different positions, including:

  • Junior Graphic Designer
  • Production Designer
  • Prepress Professional
  • Web Designer
  • Print Service Representative
  • Quick-Print Production Specialist

Job Outlook

Graphic design employment is expected to grow 10-15% over the next 5-10 years. Creative individuals with technical expertise are limited only by their skill and capacity for work.

Graphic Design AAS Degree Outcomes

Students completing the degrees should be able to:

  • Work with others in the creation and production of original ideas and graphic design and/or interactive media.
  • Research and present design solutions to communication projects.
  • Use current and evolving industry standard methods and processes in the production and crafting of graphic design and/or interactive communications.
  • Articulate and apply the trade practices, ethics, and copyright laws related to graphic arts.
  • Participate in a client-designer relationship in the implementation and evaluation of projects.
  • Organize and present a portfolio of work that gives evidence of the skills, knowledge, and abilities to begin a graphic design and/or interactive media career or transfer to a four-year college for additional study.

Course of Study for Graphic Design

VC Students: Be sure to pick the course of study that matches your entrance year to the program (year of fall of first term).

2024 Graphic Design Tracks

2021, 2022 & 2023 Graphic Design Tracks

Student Work Examples

Our students create amazing work. We've shared some of their best work to help you see what class projects are like.

View Graphic Design Work

Overview Sessions

If you would like information about graphic design and other degree options at Chemeketa, we invite you to attend an overview session of the Visual Communications program. During the session, a VC faculty member presents on the program options, shows student work, provides information about the application process, discusses transfer and career possibilities and answer all your questions.

The next overview is Wednesday May 8th, 2024; 4:30–6:00 PM in Building 4/225 on the Salem campus in Building 4, room 225. Everyone is welcome and reservations are not required.

Next Steps

Interested in joining the Visual Communications program? Follow these links to help you prepare to apply.

  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more of the practical details of being a VC student.
  • Thoroughly review the How To Apply section for information on the application process.
  • Plan to attend an Overview Session to hear first-hand about the VC experience, and get your individual questions answered.

For More Information

For more information about graphic design or other degrees or classes offered by the VC program, contact the Program Chair Peter Hoelter at or 503.399.6475.