The requirements for this program of study are effective beginning the semester shown above. If you began working on this program before the effective semester, you may not be affected by the changes. Consult with the program contact person or the department chair to determine your eligibility to complete the program under previous requirements.
Associate Degree Requirements:
The major is one of several requirements students need to fulfill in order to be awarded the Associate Degree, the highest level of academic achievement recognized by Santa Rosa Junior College. Please note that all of the following requirements must be met in order for the degree to be conferred:
For all students admitted for the Fall 2009 term or any term thereafter,
a grade of "C" or better, or "P" if the course is taken on a pass/no pass basis,
is required for each course applied toward the major.
The Graphic Design major is designed to provide students with
entry-level skills for business or industry in the field of graphic
design, and is structured to provide a practical, hands-on experience
in graphic fundamentals. The program addresses basic design
principles, layout techniques, professional typographic treatments,
computer applications, digital illustration, computer production
techniques, offset printing requirements, and business practices. It
provides the most current information, technology and equipment
possible. Most of the instructors are practicing professionals in the
field of graphic design. Students spend much of their time creating
practical design pieces from initial sketches all the way through to
final digital output that ultimately becomes an integral part of a
professional student portfolio.
The graphics professional is a person who loves problem solving on a
visual level. This individual enjoys collaborating with others to
create effective communication pieces to address client marketing and
advertising goals. The designer helps create identities, business
systems, posters, flyers, brochures, book covers, advertisements,
billboards, packages, magazines, newsletters, wine labels, web sites,
compact disk packaging, etc. etc. Graphic design tends to be a
fast-paced, deadline-driven profession that demands creativity, quick
thinking, good organization, excellent technology skills and well
developed visual as well as verbal communication skills.
The program is designed to address graphic design skill sets. In
partnership with the Computer Studies application offerings, Graphic Design students master the Adobe graphics standard computer
application programs: Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign. The
companion design, production and illustration classes operate in a
workshop manner with lots of real world projects, feedback and group
work as part of the curriculum. Additional coursework in business
practices, and portfolio development helps to round out this very
practical approach to instruction. Students will learn how to:
- develop strong, effective visual communication concepts
- communicate visually with hand-drawn sketches
- create simple graphic treatments using basic illustration
- use the computer as a production and creativity tool
- create mock-ups of all types of graphic design using hand skills
- set-up computer files for off-set printing
- use typography effectively
- work with clients and printers
- set up a freelance studio and bid graphic design projects
- create a professional portfolio
The graphic designer has many employment opportunities in this
exciting field including production artist, in-house graphic
designer, free-lance designer, or computer illustrator. Many students
in the program have jobs in the field before they graduate. We offer
an intern program for qualified students to gain on-the-job
experience with local businesses while acquiring new skills.
Students who complete the program work for a variety of businesses in
the local community. Publishers hire them to do advertising design,
production, PhotoShop work, layout, and design. Small businesses
require data sheets, newsletters, websites, advertising and
brochures. Graphic design studios need employees with strong computer
backgrounds, good ideation techniques and precise mock-up skills.
Many students graduate with the goal of owning their own free-lance
There is also a certificate which is the second step in a career
ladder. Students who have already completed the Graphic Design
Production Fundamentals Skills Certificate will have fulfilled a
portion of the Graphic Design Certificate of Achievement. For
students interested in a Certificate of Achievement, see the certificate site.
For more information, see the Computer and Information Sciences website.
Recommended Sequence of Courses
Follow the link to view the recommended course sequence for this program of study.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this major, the student will be
- Develop professional level communication visuals from initial
concept all the way through printed materials using design
principles, an understanding of graphic design history, typographic
knowledge, hand mock-up and illustration skills, advanced computer
skills using the Adobe Suite, and pre press knowledge;
- set-up and manage a one person freelance studio complying with
governmental regulations, estimating projects, writing up proposals,
negotiating with clients, keeping records, billing clients, and
managing finances; and
- create and present a professional portfolio of at least fifteen
finished projects to potential employers and clients using
professional level interviewing skills and well designed
It is important that students who are completing an Associate Degree and desire to transfer to a four-year institution meet with a counselor to plan their lower division coursework. While many majors at SRJC are intended to align with lower division major preparation required by California public universities, specific lower-division major requirements vary among individual campuses. See a counselor, visit the Transfer Center, and check Guides For Transfer in Specific Majors, and ASSIST to review transfer preparation guides for specific schools and majors.