About Graphic Design

Develop your creativity and ideation skills, learn the elements of communication design and apply this knowledge to a broad range of design projects.

Visual media design surrounds us. The social media sites that connect us, the websites that inform, the magazines that entertain, the logos that brand our favorite products—all of these are thoughtfully designed using problem-solving skills, creativity, and technical skills. Our graphic design programs include both an AA degree and certificates that can get you started on a new career, prepare you for transfer to a four-year school or upgrade your current skills. Communication in all forms—visual, verbal and written—is emphasized.

Explore Potential Careers

Studying Graphic Design can lead to a variety of different jobs or career paths. Below are just some of the many options you will have!

  • Graphic Designer
  • Visual Designer
  • Web Designer
  • UX Designer
  • UI Designer
  • Graphic Artist

Program Options 

Click on the degree or certificate you're interested in earning to see a sample map of courses to take to complete your goal from start to finish. 

Please note that the course maps provided are just an example to help you get started. Please meet with a counselor to personalize the plan to you and your Academic goals. 

View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
VMD 100

Orientation to VMD

1  
VMD 101 or DSGN 101 or PHOT 100 Design Fundamentals 3  
VMD 105 Digital Skills for VMD 3  
ENGL 1A + 1AS University-Parallel Reading and Composition + Support 4-6  
GE Area A Communication and Analytical Thinking 3  

Total Units: 14-16

Semester 2

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
VMD 120 Graphic Design I 3  
VMD 130 Typography I 3  
VMD 140 Web Production I 3  
VMD 152 InDesign I 3  
MATH 46, MATH 60 or 860, ET 108B, or ET 50, or PSYC 5, or ECON 5, or LALS 5, or PHIL 12A, or FIN 136M or higher math course (or equivalent) Math Graduation Requirement 3-8  

Total Units: 15-20

Semester 3 (Summer)

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
VMD 150 Illustrator I 3  
GE Area H Ethnic Studies, Women's and Gender Studies and LGBTQ Studies 3  

Total Units: 6

Semester 4

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
VMD 122 Graphic Design II 3  
VMD 127 USER Experience 3  
VMD 131 Typography II 3  
VMD 154 Photoshop I 3  
GE Area D Social and Behavioral Sciences Requirement 3  

Total Units: 15

 

Semester 5

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
VMD 124 A or B or C Graphic Design Focus (III) 2  
VMD 190 Portfolio 3  
VMD 200A Design Studio Practicum 3  
GE Area C Natural Sciences Requirement 3-6  
GE Area F United States History and Government Requirement 3  

Total Units: 14-17

View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
    3  
    3  
     
    3  

Total Units: 

Semester 2

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Semester 3

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Semester 4

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
       

Tota Units:

View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
    3  
    3  
     
    3  

Total Units: 

Semester 2

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Semester 3

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Semester 4

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
       

Tota Units:

View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1 

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
    3  
    3  
     
    3  

Total Units: 

Semester 2

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
       
       

Total Units: 

Semester 3

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Semester 4

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Tota Units:

Transfer Options

The program coursework you complete at City College will satisfy lower-division requirements for related majors at several colleges and universities. Start planning your transfer by exploring Graphic Design programs at the following institutions: 

  • San Jose State University
  • Chico State University
  • San Francisco State University
  • California College of the Arts

Have questions about transfer? Visit the Transfer Center for help, transfer information, and/or to speak with college representatives.