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Graphic Design

Program Pathway

Graphic Design Associate of Applied Arts (AAA) Degree

Program Details

Award Associate of Applied Arts (AAA)
Credits 63
Program Start Fall
Number of Terms 4
Time to Complete 2 years
Admissions Application Select Academic Program:
Graphic Design – AAA
See Program Admission

Suggested Sequence of Study and Cost

Program Courses

Term 1
  • Design and Layout I
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Drawing and Composition or
    Drawing * and
    Drawing II
  • Written Communication in the Workplace
Term 2
  • Applied Math
  • Design and Layout II
  • Electronic Illustration
  • Graphic Imaging
Term 3
  • Design and Layout III
  • Human and Work Relations
  • Web Design and Layout
  • Web Page Graphics
Term 4
  • Advanced Design and Layout
  • CMS Web Design
  • Interactive Multimedia
  • Portfolio Preparation
Graphic Design Electives
  • 2-D Design
  • Art Appreciation
  • Art History I
  • Art History II
  • ETC: Art and Literary Magazine
  • Honors Project
  • Independent Study
  • Internship
  • Painting
  • Painting II
  • Photo Direction
  • Photography
  • Principles of Illustration
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Special Topics

See the Suggested Sequence of Study for the full list of courses, cost, and additional course details.

You have completed the Graphic Design Associate of Applied Arts (AAA) degree program. Check out the Computers and Technology continuing education courses to keep up to date in your profession.



Graduates have found work in many environments, including agencies, small businesses, and companies. They work as:

  • Advertising designers
  • Art directors
  • Brand identity designers
  • Creative directors
  • Freelance designers
  • Illustrators
  • Layout artists
  • Logo designers
  • Multimedia designers
  • Package designers
  • Photo editing / Photoshop artists
  • Pre-press technicians
  • Publication designers
  • Web designers

Example Careers and Average Wages

Entry Average Experienced
Desktop Publishers $34,300 $44,100 $49,000
Graphic Designers $29,600 $44,400 $51,900
Web and Digital Interface Designers $43,400 $111,200 $145,100
Web Developers $31,800 $66,000 $83,100

Source: 2022 Iowa Wage Report, Iowa Workforce Development


The following is a partial list of employers who have hired graduates from this program:

Business Location
Almon, Inc. Dubuque, IA
AMPERAGE Marketing Cedar Falls, IA
Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. Cedar Falls, IA
John Deere Moline, IL
J.W. Morton & Associates Cedar Rapids, IA
McCullough Creative Dubuque, IA
Mudd Advertising Cedar Falls, IA
North Forty Hiawatha, IA
Scientific Games Interactive/Williams Interactive SoCaMo Cedar Falls, IA
Spinutech Cedar Falls, IA
VGM Forbin & VGM Creative Waterloo, IA

Program Admission

Step #1: Apply at Hawkeye

  1. Apply for admission at Hawkeye.

  2. Send official transcripts to Admissions.

Step #2: Program Admittance Score Requirement

In order to be eligible for the Graphic Design program, all students must meet minimum score requirements in math and math and literacy. For appropriate college success course placement, work with your program advisor.

Minimum score requirements
Math 6 240 Arithmetic
241 Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics (QAS)
40 Arithmetic 24 Pre-Algebra 14 2.00
Literacy 239 Reading or
240 Writing
58 Reading or
64 Sentence Skills
69 Reading or
41 Writing
16 Reading or
16 English

The ALEKS Placement Assessment can be taken online. ACCUPLACER Next Generation and ACT can be taken at Hawkeye. ACCUPLACER Classic and COMPASS are no longer offered, but if you've taken either in the past your test scores can be used for program admittance.

Step #3: Program Acceptance

Applicants successfully demonstrating college readiness criteria are eligible for acceptance.

Applicants falling short of successful demonstration of college readiness criteria will be accepted to a Pre-Program. As a pre-program student, you will begin with general education and prerequisite classes. An advisor will help you create an academic plan to meet your program admission requirements. Once you have completed your pre-program coursework contact Admissions.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Program Contacts

Email Admissions 319-296-4000 Hawkeye Center 114
Academic/College Success Advisor
Honey Lynn Email Honey Lynn 319-296-4014 ext.1083 Hawkeye Center 208E
Faculty Advisor
Last Names A – M
Dan Jensen Email Dan Jensen 319-296-2329 ext.1295 Black Hawk Hall 158
Faculty Advisor
Last Names N – Z
Terry Juhl Email Terry Juhl 319-296-2329 ext.1437 Black Hawk Hall 147A

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