Visual Communications Media & Technology-Graphic Design, AAB
$36,000 - $39,000*
These estimated earnings are for employees who have completed their associate degree in Graphic Design. Career advancement is available if you transfer your credits toward a bachelor’s degree. As experience and education increase, you can expect to earn significantly more during your career.
For more information on regional jobs and pay, go to NC State’s Career Coach page.
*Earnings figure is based on EMSI employment information for north central Ohio.
$17,011 - $12,690 = $4,321 in net cost*
The calculation above includes the following:
- The estimated current cost of tuition, fees and books to complete this two-year associate degree at NC State is $17,011.
- Minus the average amount of financial aid ($6,690 x 2 years) students received. NOTE: Your financial aid could be higher or lower than this average.
- Leaving just $4,321 to be funded by other sources — which may include additional scholarships, grants and loans. Many students opt for payment plans to avoid debt. Employed students should inquire with their employers about the possibility of reimbursement for educational expenses.
Three out of four NC State graduates have $0 college debt. We will work with you to explore every source of financial aid available.
*These figures were calculated using data available when this information was published.
Estimated cost of two years of instruction and attendance at a four-year public institution in Ohio.
Estimated cost of two years of instruction and attendance at a four-year private institution in Ohio.
*This estimate is an average of the cost including room and board for residential students.
The Graphic Design Major of Visual Communications Media and Technology focuses on graphic design and print skills but includes multimedia, video production and web design. The Graphic Design track has a balance of design theory, practice, and production. Class work focuses on typography, digital image manipulation, and printing. Students will gain experience utilizing a variety of software applications, design techniques, as well as learning about the creative process. Classes will cover design skills, technical training, problem solving and critical thinking skills. Students must have a mastery of computer operational skills.
Students graduating with skills in Graphic Design may seek careers in the traditional advertising and printing fields, and web design. Traditional print media careers include graphic designer, desktop publisher and image specialist, photo retoucher, prepress technician, and print production.
In order to graduate all VCMT and ARTS courses must be completed with a C‐ or better. The Associate of Applied Business degree is awarded for the completion of this program.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Students are able to use multimedia technology to assemble graphics, text, sound, and video into a meaningful production.
- Students will demonstrate software skills using multimedia software currently used in industry.
- Students will follow the graphics design process and be able to produce original, complex digital graphics.
- Graduates will have a strong sampling of a variety of graphic arts skills in their technical area in their portfolio.
- Graduates will be able to perform effectively in a job interview.
- Students will develop oral and written skills to communicate effectively.
- Visual Communications Media and Technology majors will demonstrate knowledge, skills, professionalism, and creativity in graphic design.
Where You Could Go
Graduates in Visual Communications Media & Technology will find employment and freelance opportunities in service businesses like advertising agencies, multimedia companies and printing companies, as well as in the marketing/ public relations and communications departments of corporations.
Qualities Needed to Work in This Field
Students in this major:
- Need to be detail oriented
- Need to like working at the computer
- Need to be a good communicators
- Need to be a creative problem solver
NC State has transfer agreements with the University of Findlay and Bowling Green State University.
ARTS 1010 - Drawing I
This course presents drawing concepts that can serve as a foundation for drawing itself and benefit other visual arts disciplines. The basic fundamentals of drawing, line form, gesture, and spatial illusion, perspective, composition, and use of light & shadow to describe space and volume. Studio practice will emphasize observational drawing to provide concrete and measurable examples of pictorial space. (TAG# OAH001)
ARTS 1070 - Digital Photography
This hands-on course presents an introduction to the design issues, historical and contemporary approaches, of digital photography as they are applied to print, web, and video production. This course will provide theory and practical aspects of the parts of the camera as well as taking well-composed photographs that visually communicate a message. Other elements such as exposure, lighting, portraiture, print tonal qualities, and style will be introduced. Students must provide a digital camera with manual focus/aperture/shutter capability preferred. (TAG# OAH002)
ENGL 1010 - English Composition I
This is a basic course in expository writing and critical reading. Students read a variety of nonfiction works and write summaries, analysis, essays, and a researched argument in response to their reading. Students learn to read actively and accurately and to organize, develop, and revise coherent papers appropriate for a college-educated audience. (OTM for First Writing Course TME001)
VCMT 1050 - Imaging I
This course will teach the students how to create, edit, manipulate, and manage digital imagery using Adobe Photoshop. Students will also use Adobe InDesign to focus on visual communication through various mediums including print, web, and multimedia. Students manipulate images by improving image quality, adding graphic design elements, and building compositions for the use in other interactive media projects or as their own documents. Raster graphics will be exported using the appropriate output method for their intended use. (CTAG #CTGRPH001) Raster Graphics.
VCMT 1085 - Visual Communications I
This course provides an overview of the Mac Computer platform, Vector Graphics, and Visual Communication practices. It will enable the student to employ digital drawing tools and the elements and principles of design to create vector graphics and illustrations. The student's projects will be based on conceptual sketches transferred to the computer utilizing digital illustration practices and techniques in Adobe Illustrator. The vector graphics and digital illustrations will be created for independent compositions or layouts and exported using the appropriate output method for their intended use as seen in the industry. (CTAG# CTGRPH002) Vector Graphics.
BUSM 1170 - Business Communications
This course introduces foundational business communication principles and practices. Students will learn to analyze different communication situations; to plan and design oral and written communications; to communicate effectively using appropriate formats, styles, and technologies; and to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills in order to achieve desired communication objectives. (TAG# OBU005)
HUMA 1010 - Introduction to the Humanities
This course is a genre-based introduction to the humanities and the fine arts. The student will explore the six major means of artistic expression within the fine arts: painting, literature, drama, film, photography, and sculpture. The course focuses on an understanding of the genre itself as well as the various critical theories that apply to the fine arts, including but not necessarily limited to mimesis, formalism, didacticism, and postmodernism. Field trips are required in the course. This course meets the requirements for OTM in Arts and Humanities TMAH.
STAT 1010 - Probability and Statistics
This course provides the student with an overview of probability and statistics. Probability terminology, concepts and rules are emphasized in solving probability problems. Descriptive statistics, including measures of central tendency and dispersion, charts, tables and diagrams are used to summarize data. The student is introduced to the binomial, Poisson, hyper-geometric, normal and t-distributions. Confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, and linear regression are used to make conclusions concerning population parameters from sample data. This course meets the requirements for OTM Introductory Statistics TMM010.
VCMT 1190 - Video Production I
Digital video focuses on the development of video from the pre-production process through the production and post-production phases. Students plan, shoot, edit, and distribute videos as part of a production team. Topics include preparing a script, developing a shot list, videography, editing footage, adding soundtracks, exporting, and rendering video for various uses in various formats. Single camera style, creative teamwork, and storytelling will also be applied. (TAG# OCM008) (CTAG #CTIM006)
VCMT 1280 - Visual Communication II & Typography
Expanding on student's knowledge of graphic design elements and principles covered in VCMT 1085, students will further explore page design. Emphasis will be on typography. History of typography, graphic design, and printing processes will be studied. Projects may include advertisements, letter shapes, logos, brochures, tables, form documents, grid layouts and mass media communication.
VCMT 1550 - Imaging II
This course will expand on the vocabulary and production processes learned in VCMT 1050 - Imaging I . Emphasis will be on raster based images produced from the leading graphic software applications. Digital photography, developing images for the Internet, and more complex compositing techniques will be covered.
BUSM 2110 - Promotion and Advertising
The purpose of this course is to examine advertising as both a science and an art. We will attempt to blend the basic skills as detailed in the textbook with a variety of practical experiences that will culminate in group ad presentations. Topics covered will include the structure of the advertising business, knowing the consumer, selecting appropriate media, the uses of research, the preparation of "ad" copy and design layouts, and the future of advertising. Special attention will be directed to the goals of local advertising. (TAG# OCM012)
ECON 1510 - Microeconomics
This course of study focuses upon how the condition of scarcity affects the decisions of individuals, households, and business firms in their roles as producers and consumers. In particular, the price mechanism is addressed at length and explained by the conceptual and graphical representations of supply and demand. Applications of such concepts as elasticity of demand, as well as marginal cost and revenue calculations are used by the student to determine optimum pricing, profit, and revenue strategies for the firm. The advantages and disadvantages of relative economies of scale in both the long-run and short-run are explored. The market conditions of monopoly, oligopoly as well as perfect competition are analyzed with the goal of giving the student an understanding and appreciation of their socio-economic implications. (TAG# OSS004)
VCMT 2070 - Web Design I
VCMT 2280 - Editing & Publishing for Visual
This course blends both copy and design to further develop skills in writing for publications, designing, and producing publications. Students will get experience in two related areas 1) writing and editing documents for publication, and 2) using design publication software to produce multiple page documents like books, newsletters, magazines, ebooks, and interactive publications. Students will produce copy for their publishing projects prior to placing it in their layout, will edit copy for technical correction, and will copy fit text to complete their projects. The use of grids, master pages, style sheets, tables, forms, and variable data, for print and electronic publication will be covered. This course will be team taught with the English department.
VCMT 2550 - Imaging III
This course will cover advanced vector & raster imaging techniques. Vector imaging techniques will cover information graphics, cartography, package design, 3 D gradient mesh, and technical illustration. Students will produce samples for their portfolio that demonstrate their skills in image manipulation, including advanced color correction, advanced photo retouching techniques, and photo montage.
ARTS 1770 - Digital Photography II
This hands on course builds on the principles learned in ARTS 1070 - Digital Photography and applies the retouching and color correction principles learned in VCMT 1050 - Imaging I . Students will develop their skills in different kinds of lighting including the use of natural lighting, continuous lighting, speed lights, and strobe lights for products and portraiture. Posing, working with subjects and equipment, planning for photo sessions, and working with clients will be covered. Post processing of photos will be addressed using Adobe Lightroom. Organizing, customizing, retouching, controlling color, using special effects and ordering prints will be covered. Students will be required to build a photography portfolio of prints from a photo processing lab. Many out-of-class photography projects will be assigned, some of which will require recruiting models and time outside class in the Kehoe photo studio. A digital SLR camera is required.
ITEC 1810 - Microsoft Office for IT Professional
This course prepares students to use the advanced features of Microsoft Office in a business environment. The skills learned in this course will prepare students to support business users, use the integrated tools within Microsoft Office, and apply advanced skills for analysis, reporting and presentations. Students are expected to be familiar with the fundamentals of Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate competency by producing integrated presentations, documents, spreadsheets, and relational databases.
BUSM 1150 - Marketing
Marketing activities, analysis, strategies, and decision making in the context of other business functions. Topics include: integration of product, price, promotion, and distribution activities; research and analysis of markets, environments, competition, and customers; market segmentation and selection of target markets; and emphasis on behavior and perspectives of consumers and organizational customers. Planning and decision making for products and services in profit and nonprofit, domestic and global settings. (TAG# OBU006)
PSYC 1010 - Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Psychology is an introductory level course and is a study of the basic human behavior. Topics include the history of psychology, scientific methods, biological processes, cognitive processes, sensation and perception, consciousness, learning, intelligence, human development, personality theory, psychopathology and treatment, stress and health, and social psychology. Please note outcomes are written to OBR standards using OBR language. Ohio Articulation Number OSS015. This course meets the requirements for OTM in Social and Behavioral Science TMSBS
VCMT 2060 - Principles of Printing Technology
An overview of printing processes including individual hands-on experience with the major printing processes including offset lithography, large format inkjet, digital printing and silk screen printing. Printing materials and finishing techniques will be included. Hands-on experience printing in the lab will be required.
VCMT 2700 - Capstone Multimedia Portfolio
This course is designed to take a project idea from pre-production to finished product. Students will be expected to utilize all skills acquired in their VCMT program to assemble an electronic portfolio which can be used for employment interviews. All VCMT classes completed or concurrently enrolled. This class should be taken within 20 credit hours of graduation.
VCMT 2800 - Cooperative Work Experience
The cooperative work experience is an opportunity for students to obtain practical work experience in the Visual Communications Field, while earning college credit. This on or off campus employment experience can be paid or unpaid. The work experience is coordinated by a faculty member who visits the job site for a conference with the student and the supervisor at least once per semester. Students must complete 150 hrs of work experience. This class is pass/fail.
VCMT 2850 - Seminar
This course is taken concurrently with VCMT 2800 - Cooperative Work Experience . Students will discuss their work place experiences that occur during their Cooperative Work Experience. Students must get permission of the instructor in order to enroll in this class.