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Are you searching for a career where you can stretch your creative muscles, help organizations problem solve and create work both by hand and with technology?

Graphic design is a flexible field. You can work for a large design agency, the government, a small nonprofit or run your own freelance business. You can do digital work or create work by hand. And at AACC, you’ll enjoy small class sizes, one-on-one time with faculty and state-of-the-art software, hardware and labs. You’ll develop a portfolio that can help you jump-start your career right now or prepare to transfer to a top design school.

Career Degree

AACC offers the following Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees. The state of Maryland refers to the A.A.S. as a career degree, because it's intended to provide you with skills to enter the workforce. In some cases, AACC has entered into transfer agreements that allow these degrees to transfer to select colleges. A list of active agreements may be found on this website. You can also learn more about transferring from AACC to continue your education.

Graphic Design, Visual Arts Professional, A.A.S.

Cultivate the fundamental skills of graphic design, including drawing, typography, digital imaging, photography, page design and layout. You’ll gain valuable real-world experience through internships, service-learning projects and work with local organizations. Our faculty will help you polish your portfolio and achieve your goals. You’ll be ready to start a new career or get ahead in your current one. This A.A.S. is not intended as a transfer degree, nor is it optimal for very recent high school graduates.


Transfer Degree

The Visual Arts and Humanities department is proud to offer the Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Visual Design. 

Visual Design (Web and Graphic), Visual Arts Transfer, A.A.

You’ll gain a broad background in photography, design and the history of Western art, with the ability to take specialized courses in illustration, typography, color and so much more. You’ll build a foundational portfolio that you can display during our annual Student Art Portfolio, where more than 20 local, regional and national schools come to meet and review the portfolios of our graphic design and visual arts students. When you finish, you’ll be well prepared to transfer to a four-year college or university. And our transfer students are better prepared and more apt to receive scholarship money than many of their four-year peers.


Credit Certificate

The following certificate prepares students for employment and feeds into the A.A.S. degree, if desired.

Visual Arts, Graphic Design

You’ll gain a broad background in the fundamentals of design such as imaging, photography, typography and page layout and design. This certificate is for professionals already holding a degree who wish to make a career change or update their skills in the graphic design industry.


Job Outlook

You can transfer to a four-year university, create your own freelance business or enter the workforce. Our graduates pursue a number of rewarding careers, such as:

  • Graphic designers
  • Graphic specialists
  • Instructional designers
  • Junior designers
  • Media specialists
  • Visual designers
  • Web designers

They work at a variety of companies as well, such as design agencies, web companies, large corporations, government entities, nonprofits or small businesses. 

Learn more about career opportunities, median salaries and job outlook for these programs by checking out AACC's Career Coach:

What Our Alumni Say


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School of Liberal Arts
Visual Arts and Humanities

Jennifer Schuster, assistant professor


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Meet Assistant Professor Jennifer Schuster

Headshot of Jennifer Schuster

Jennifer Schuster has been active in the design community for more than 20 years. Her personal work explores the concept of blog technology as a platform for the unspoken words we collect. 

Learn more about Jennifer.

Program Planner for Graphic Design A.A.S.

Program Planner for Graphic and Web Design A.A.