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Graphic Design

Associate of Applied Science Degree

Program Director: Rhonda Kueffler

NOTE: This program is in moratorium and will not be accepting new students.

As a Graphic Design student, you’ll be using the industry standard software to discover tips and techniques for creating digital images, illustrations, and layouts. In addition, you’ll be addressing fundamental concepts in brainstorming, color, typography, and composition.

What do Graphic Designers Do?

Graphic designers create visual concepts, by hand or using computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Job Opportunities:

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 7 percent from 2012-2022. Graphic designers are expected to face strong competition for available positions.

Advertising, publishing, or design firms employ most graphic designers. About 25 percent of designers are self-employed. Graphic designers with web design experience will especially be needed as demand increases for design projects for interactive media.

Median Annual Wage:

  • The U.S. Department of Labor reports the median annual wage: $44,150 in May 2012.
  • The Montana Department of Labor reports the median annual wage $30,270 in May 2013.

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Create appropriate typographic solutions for a variety of applications and situations.
  • Decide the correct medium (printed materials, packages, manufacturing and fabrication techniques, environments, websites, kiosks, or virtual environments) based on use and overall intended effect on the viewer.
  • Utilize aesthetics (principles of organization, composition, color, hierarchy, balance, contrast, emphasis, depth, rhythm, use of symbolism, and overall level of craft in execution) to create an emotional impact.
  • Maintain a structured approach to creative process development (research, observation, analysis, prototyping, testing, and evaluation) while remaining flexible and adapting to changing circumstances and parameters and giving rigorous and unfailing attention to detail.
  • Work with diverse teams (clients, audiences, content providers, researchers, and administrative personnel) in an intense collaborative environment.
  • Persuade clients, creative directors, sponsors, and colleagues to go along with a plan, and deliver the results of the plan on time.
  • Ask precise questions, convert research into design strategy, and successfully evaluate and discuss their own design efforts and the efforts of others.

Estimated Resident Program Cost*

Tuition and Fees$6,380
Application Fee $30
Lab Fees$55

Fall 2016 MUS Student Health Insurance Premiums will be changing. Please check the Health Insurance website and/or Student Central for confirmed premium rates. Students will be charged an additional fee of $21 per credit for online/hybrid courses.

Many students need preliminary math and writing courses before enrolling in the program requirements. These courses may increase the total number of program credits. Students should review their math and writing placement before planning out their full program schedules.

GFC MSU Additional Graduation Requirement

COLS 103Becoming a Successful Student +1
First Year
ARTZ 105Visual Language-Drawing +3
BGEN 105Introduction to Business +3
CAPP 120Introduction to Computers +3
GDSN 101Design Topics Principles *,+3
WRIT 122Intro to Business Writing **,+3
Term Credits15
ARTZ 101Art Fundamentals +3
BMKT 240Advertising *,+3
COMX 115Intro to Interpersonal Communc +3
GDSN 130Typography +3
MART 231Interactive Web I *,+4
Term Credits16
Second Year
BMKT 225Marketing *,+3
GDSN 248Digital Illustration II *,+3
GDSN 249Digital Imaging II *,+3
MART 232Interactive Web II *,+3
M 108Business Mathematics **,+4
Term Credits16
GDSN 200Intro to Desktop Publishing *,+3
GDSN 221Publishing and Pre-Press *,+3
ITS 299Capstone:Internship *,+3
PHOT 154Exploring Digital Photography *,+4
Elective Option 3
Term Credits16
Total Credits63

Suggested Electives

CAPP 158MS Access *,+3
MART 233Interactive Web III *,+3



Indicates prerequisites needed.


Placement in course(s) is determined by placement assessment.


A grade of C- or above is required for graduation.