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Graphic Design Overview

Using a mixture of arts and digital technology, successful graphic designers are creative, have strong attention to visual details, and embrace new technologies. Throughout this two-year Graphic Design Associate Degree, you will develop a foundation of technical skills while working toward creating a personal style to be displayed in your final design portfolio.

The Graphic Design program teaches students traditional art fundamentals like drawing and typography, but also digital art skills for print and electronic media using the latest Adobe Creative Cloud applications: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Animate, and After Effects. Coursework builds on itself during the program as students work with real clients and projects aimed at strengthening communication, project management, and time management skills.

Graphic designers today work on a wide variety of projects from logo creation, branding, document layout, advertising, signage, social media graphics, and web design. They also work in a variety of business settings, including advertising and marketing agencies, printing companies, in-house corporate marketing departments. Some designers also choose to work for themselves as freelancers.

If you are looking to turn your artistic ability and passion into a career, the Graphic Design program is for you!

In this program, you will learn:

  • Design Communication
  • Publication & Document Design
  • Digital Illustration Basics
  • Typography
  • Design Photography
  • Print Production
  • Adobe Creative Suite Applications
  • Interactive Media
  • Web Design Fundamentals
  • Project Management Skills

As a student in this program you'll be required to purchase and use a preapproved laptop to complete much of your coursework.

Career Opportunities

Graphic Designer

Desktop Publisher

Just the Facts

Graphic Design
60 Credit Associate Degree

Length of Program //
Two Years

Delivery Method //

Program Location //
Eau Claire

Program Location //

Start Months //

Start Dates //


Financial Aid Eligible

Estimated Program Cost 

Term 1



Term 2



Term 3



Term 4









 Estimated Total: $11,336

  Earn credit for prior learning! Do you have previous educational or work experience in the field? You could be eligible to receive credit for prior learning. Explore your options today!

Capstone Creative


Let us help with your graphic design projects!

The CVTC Graphic Design capstone course is the final step in the program and provides student with real-world experience before graduation. This community service project offers services that correspond with the course which runs each year between January and May. Learn more.



Program Courses

These are a few of the courses you can take in the Graphic Design program.

Drawing and Illustration Concepts
Drawing and Illustration Concept is designed to help give the designers the basic concept and perspective of drawing before digital. The students will learn the fundamentals of drawing, typography drawing, sketching human forms, layout design, and other essential assets needed to help further their skills as designers.

Typography Fundamentals
Typography Fundamentals is a course to help the learners and designers understand the principals and importance of typography. The students will learn more about the drawing and perspective art of typography, the terminology, history, digital form, and other aspects that are crucial to the design aspects of artistic and digital typography.

Design Photography
Photography will be implemented into the curriculum to show and help students understand the importance photography is to design. Design Photography will introduce perspective, lighting, features of all cameras, Adobe Photoshop basics, and other assets of photography needs.

Graphic Design Outcomes

CVTC graduates are ready for the workforce. Each year, we send our graduates the Graduate Follow-Up Survey asking where they are working, whether it is in their degree field, and several other questions related to employment. Below are the program outcomes and job data.

// Program Outcomes

Yearly Salary

Graphic Design professionals make an average starting salary of $44,831.


Regional Jobs

There are 34 job openings in the CVTC district for the Graphic Design industry.


Credits to Other Institutions

Transfer your CVTC credits to another institution to continue your education. Explore transfer agreements.

* This wage is not specific to CVTC graduates. Wage estimates are based on entry-level positions and are gathered from Lightcast which is an economic modeling software that blends historical and projected industry and occupation trends within CVTC's 11-county district. Wage estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics and the American Community Survey.

Related Programs & Certificates

Whether you're looking to continue your learning to another program or to gain continuing education credit, CVTC offers a variety of learning opportunities for students.

Degrees & Diplomas

Digital Marketing, Associate Degree

Marketing, Associate Degree

Professional Communications, Associate Degree

Continue Your Learning

CVTC can help you achieve your learning goals whether you are looking to advance your career or enrich your personal life.

// Explore Continuing Ed Opportunities

  Unsure of which program you'd like to go into? Learn more about our Career Assessment to help narrow down your options.