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, Communications and Marketing

Award: Associate of Applied Science

Minimum Credits: 73

Location: Peosta

Entry: Summer, Spring, Fall

Contact email:


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. Complete ACCUPLACER® admission testing. 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.
  3. Submit official high school, high school equivalency and/or college transcripts to the Admissions Office of the campus you plan to attend.
Academic Requirements

View the printable Ed Plan.

Term 1
BCA:112 Intro to Data Processing OR 3.0
BCA:212 Intro to Computer Business Apps 3.0
GRA:109 History of Graphic Design 2.0
GRA:139 PhotoShop 3.0
GRA:151 Web Design 3.0
GRA:179 Publication Software 3.0
SDV:179 The College Experience 3.0


Term 2
GRA:110 Graphic Arts Principles 3.0
GRA:129 Illustrator 3.0
GRA:154 Advanced Web Design 3.0
GRA:158 Web Multimedia 3.0
GRA:230 Exploring Photography 2.0


Term 3
ART:101 Art Appreciation OR 3.0
ART:203 Art History I OR 3.0
ART:204 Art History II OR 3.0
DRA:112 American Film 3.0
ART:120 Two-Dimensional Design OR 3.0
ART:133 Drawing I 3.0
* General Education Elective 3.0


Term 4
GRA:113 Electronic Prepass and Printing 2.0
GRA:173 Typography 3.0
GRA:210 Graphic Layout and Design 3.0
GRA:223 Exploring Illustration 2.0
MKT:110 Principles of Marketing OR 3.0
MKT:150 Principles of Advertising 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:801 Graphic Design Portfolio Seminar 2.0
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

Employment Information

With an annual income range of $24,440- $49,649, the career outlook for Graphic Design graduates is steady.

Salary Source: Institutional Effectiveness; Salary range represents 10th-90th percentile earnings for related occupations in the NICC district. Growth rate based on projections from 2010-2020.

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.


Todd Ecklund
Dean of Business and Computer Science
800.728.7367, ext. 208