Graphic Design

A man in a blue shirt sits in a graphic design lab in front of a computer and printer surrounded by colorful print posters.

Graphic Design

Subject Area: Business, Marketing and Hospitality

Award: Associate of Applied Science

Minimum Credits: 72

Location: Peosta

Entry: Summer, Spring, Fall


The Graphic Design program is a design-based educational program that equips students with skills and materials necessary to compete for professional design positions upon graduation. Additionally, students are well-prepared to major in design, marketing, communications or journalism if they choose to continue their education.

Admissions Requirements
  1. Apply for admission.
  2. Submit official high school, high school equivalency and/or college transcripts to the Admissions Office of the campus you plan to attend.
  3. Complete ACCUPLACER® reading and writing assessment and ALEKS® math assessment. Testing may be waived based on previous college coursework or submission of valid ACT®, ACT Compass® or ALEKS® test scores. Scores are valid for three years.
Academic Requirements

View the printable Ed Plan.

Term 1
GRA:139 Photoshop 3.0
GRA:156 History of Graphic Design 3.0
GRA:179 Publication Software 3.0
GRA:216 Exploring Photography 3.0
SDV:179 The College Experience 3.0


Term 2
GRA:110 Graphic Arts Principles 3.0
GRA:129 Illustrator 3.0
GRA:151 Web Design 3.0
GRA:158 Web Multimedia 3.0
GRA:173 Typography 3.0


Term 3
ART:120 Two-Dimensional Design OR 3.0
ART:133 Drawing I 3.0
* General Education Electives 6.0


Term 4
GRA:154 Advanced Web Design 3.0
GRA:210 Graphic Layout and Design 3.0
GRA:214 Electronic Prepares and Printing 3.0
GRA:217 Exploring Illustration 3.0
** Elective 3.0
* General Education Elective 3.0


Term 5
GRA:273 Advanced Typography 3.0
GRA:310 Advanced Graphic Layout and Design 3.0
GRA:800 Graphic Design Portfolio Seminar 3.0
GRA:805 Graphic Design Occupational Experience 3.0
* General Education Elective 3.0


Two Communication Electives: ENG:105 and SPC:112
One Math/Science Elective: MAT:102, MAT:744, transfer-level BIO, CHM, ENV, MAT, PHS, PHY
One Sociology/Psychology Elective: PSY:111, PSY:112, PSY:251, SOC:110, SOC:208

**One course from: ART:101, ART:203, ART:204, DRA:112, MKT:110, MKT:150

Employment Information

The annual income range for Graphic Design graduates is $24,105 - $34,790.

Source: EMSI; Salary range represents 10th percentile - median annual wage for related occupations in the NICC district.

Employers NICC Alumni

AJG Times 3, Dubuque, IA
Fidelity Bank & Trust, Peosta, IA
McGraw Hill, Dubuque, IA
Micka Lenz, Waukon, IA
The Stevens Company and Evergreen Construction, Dubuque, IA
Volt Design and Tech Services, Cedar Falls, IA

Sample Job Titles

Customer Service Representative
Graphic Designer/Illustrator
Marketing Development Assistant

Transfer Information

The Graphic Design program maintains formal articulation agreements with the institutions listed below. Students are encouraged to speak with their transfer college or university to verify that their planned courses at NICC will meet necessary requirements. Learn more about transferring from NICC.


Carla Heathcote
Graphic Design Faculty
800.728.7367, ext. 438