Graphic Design

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Program Information

  • Location: Downtown Milwaukee Campus
  • Pathway: Creative Arts, Design & Media
  • Program Code: 10-201-1
  • Offering: In-class
  • Degree Type: 2-Year Degree (Associate)
  • Start Dates: August/January

About the Graphic Design Degree


You will be introduced to the range of opportunities in this field: design of print-generated and computer-generated graphics for books, newspapers, magazines, web applications and marketing materials; and additional design applications for point-of-purchase, packaging and outdoor advertising.

Today’s digital world reduces the geographic limits for finding clients. Employers include advertising agencies, corporations and nonprofit groups.

You can earn the Production Artist technical diploma on the way to completing this associate degree.

Additional program details: Coursework includes producing a professional portfolio to show potential employers. Students should have a well-developed imagination with a talent for visual problem-solving. Computer keyboard skills and math, algebra and geometry skills are helpful in this industry, which demands precision and neatness in finished art and presentation.

Related Programs

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Production Artist

Gain the skills in industry-recognized software required for entering the graphic design field. You will learn to prepare designs, layouts and make modifications according to production standards.

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Web & Digital Media Design

MATC’s coursework in interface design, responsive web design, user experience, and website development through coding with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP/MySQL, etc., offer a comprehensive background in web design and front-end web development.

Detailed Program Information

2020-21 Curriculum

Semester Course Course Name Credits
(1) ENG-195 Written Communication ^
(or) ENG-201 English 1 ‡
(1) GRDS-103 Design Elements and Principles ^ 3
(1) GRDS-107 Digital Imaging: Adobe Photoshop ^ 3
(1) GRDS-115 Typographic Fundamentals ^ 3
(1) GRDS-122 Vector Graphics: Adobe Illustrator ^ 3
(1) PSYCH-199 Psychology of Human Relations
(or) Any 200-level PSYCH course
(2) ENG-197 Technical Reporting
(or) Any 200-level ENG or SPEECH course
(2) GRDS-104 Researching and Concepting ‡ ^ 3
(2) GRDS-110 Layout and Publishing: InDesign ‡ ^ 3
(2) GRDS-111 Advertising Design ‡ ^ 3
(2) GRDS-117 Packaging Design ‡ ^ 3
(2) GRDS-128 Portfolio Pathway ^ 1
(3) CAS-126 History of Advertising Media/Design 3
(3) CAS-142 Brand and Media Strategies 3
(3) GRDS-121 Exhibition Design 3
(3) GRDS-129 Motion Graphic Design ‡ 3
(3) MATH-134 Mathematical Reasoning
(or) Any 200-level MATH course
(4) GRDS-112 Graphic Design Workshop 3
(4) GRDS-113 Digital Media Preparation 3
(4) GRDS-116 Integrated Design Thinking ‡ 3
(4) GRDS-153 Portfolio Assessment 3
(4) SOCSCI-172 Introduction to Diversity Studies 
(or) Any 200-level SOCSCI or HIST course



( ) Semester order for full-time students.
‡ Prerequisite required.
^ Counts toward earning the Production Artist technical diploma.

Program curriculum requirements are subject to change.

This Associate in Applied Science program will transfer to one or more four-year institutions.

Current MATC students should consult their Academic Program Plan for specific curriculum requirements.

To see course descriptions, class times, locations or to register online:
Students already enrolled in an MATC program can visit Self Service Student Planning.
All others can access this information through INFOnline.

2020-2021 Program Card

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Important Dates

Deadlines and important dates can be found on:
Cost & Aid Deadlines

Also, you can find dates and deadlines on the MATC Calendar

Program Outcomes

  • Apply the principles of design to develop strategic marketing and communication products and services
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of design software, tools and technology
  • Implement creative solutions from concept through completion using a formal process
  • Apply effective legal and ethical business practices and project management skills
  • Communicate artwork rationale in formal and informal settings

Career Outlook

Today's digital world reduces the geographic limits for employment. Typical job duties include illustration, typesetting, layout and design, signage, corporate identity, 3D and multimedia design.

Possible Careers

Art Director
Creative Director
Digital Media Specialist
Graphic Artist/Designer
Imaging Specialist
Layout Artist
Prepress Technician
Production Artist
Web Designer


Learn about scholarship opportunities here.

Learn about Scholarships available for this program here:
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Creative Arts, Design & Media Academic & Career Pathway

Downtown Milwaukee Campus, C Building, Room C210
Mequon Campus, Room A108-110
Oak Creek Campus, Room A121
West Allis Campus, Room 103

Last updated: 08/31/2020