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Associate of Science Degree
Graphic Design

The Associate of Science Degree in Graphic Design prepares students for entry in graphic design and associated communication design industries and assists students seeking an undergraduate degree at a four-year institution. Courses listed in the degree provide the student with the technical and critical-thinking skills needed to produce and present visual communication solutions. This degree will enable students to build a portfolio of graphic design work in-line with industry standards and expectations including (but not limited to) branding and identity design, publication design, advertising and entertainment design, package design, website and interaction design, and other types of communication design.

Please contact the Student Success Team for this program if you have any questions.

Sample Education Plan

This sample education plan represents one possible pathway through the program. Be advised that each university (UC, CSU, private, and others) has their own transfer requirements. Please see a counselor to create an education plan that is customized to meet your needs. Map is for reference only for the 2020-2021 catalog year. Please refer to the College Catalog (in pdf or flipbook format) for additional course descriptions.
Select sample path/map:
CourseUnitsTypically Offered
1st Semester
GDSN 164 - Digital Illustration DesignM3.0
GDSN 164 - Digital Illustration Design (3.0 units)

Advisory:NVOC 285;READ 022 or appropriate placement; ENGL 030 or ENLA 034 or appropriate placement
Transfers to: CSU

This introductory course is an introduction to Graphic Design and uses vector software (Adobe Illustrator) as the principal digital tool. Topics include the Principles and Elements of Design, typography, color, shape stroke, illustration techniques, page layout design, as well as introductory critical concepts and professional practices employed by Graphic Designers. This course includes exercises, projects and portfolio building with an emphasis on professional standards. This course is for the student interested in a degree or certificate in Graphic Design and those interested in 2-dimensional design and layout applications employed as tools by Graphic Designers.

GDSN 110 - History of Graphic DesignM3.0
GDSN 110 - History of Graphic Design (3.0 units)

Advisory: ENGL 035 or ENLA 100 or appropriate placement; READ 043 or appropriate placement
Transfers to: UC, CSU

This course is a survey of historical developments in graphic design from the Industrial Revolution to the Digital Age. Students will analyze the development of graphic design, its origins as a CTE area and the influences of political, social and economic climates of the different historical periods. This course provides a historical framework for analysis of current and future trends in graphic design and explores various historical art and design movements in order to recognize and evaluate the contexts of fine art, design, and science.

ENGL 101 - College Composition and ResearchGE3.5
ENGL 101 - College Composition and Research (3.5 units)

Prerequisite: ENGL 035 or ENLA 100 or appropriate placement
Transfers to: UC, CSU

This is a composition course that enables students to generate logical, coherent essays and reports necessary to academic and professional success. Students will become proficient in research techniques, learn critical reading and thinking skills through expository and persuasive reading selections, and apply these skills to creating original essays and a final research paper. The lab component of this course is designed to assist students in improving and refining their writing and language skills. Students will complete lab activities that enhance their ability to compose logical, well-supported arguments that exhibit grammatical fluency and correct documentation form. Students will meet with composition instructors through individual conferences that address students’ specific writing concerns. This course is designed for students who wish to fulfill the General Education requirement for Written Communication.

RHC GE 4 - American InstitutionsGE3.0

Note: All honors courses have a prerequisite.

Select one:
POLS 110, 110H;
HIST 143, 143H, 144, 144H, 156, 157, 158, 159, 159H, 170

RHC GE 3 - Physical EducationGE1.0

Select one: KINA or DANC activity course.
Students who have completed a Fire, Police, Wildland Fire, or Corrections Academy from an accredited institution are automatically waived from this requirement, as are students with a DD214 on file. Exemption may be granted to those students physically unable to complete this requirement. Exemption forms are available in Student Health & Psychological Services.

Total Semester Units:13.5 
2nd Semester
GDSN 162 - Introduction to Web Design: User Experience Design (UX)M3.0
GDSN 162 - Introduction to Web Design: User Experience Design (UX) (3.0 units)

Advisory:NVOC 285; READ 022 or appropriate placement; ENGL 030 or ENLA 034 or appropriate placement
Transfers to:UC, CSU

This introductory Web Design class is a practical introduction for students interested in UX (user experience) and visual interface design and the challenges it poses for the Graphic Designer. Using Web Design applications (like Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Photoshop), students are introduced to the steps involved in creating a basic functional interactive website. Topics include aesthetic design considerations, front-end technology, interaction, UX, UI and CSS design, file optimization, and website principles and practices. For the student interested in a degree or certificate in Graphic Design and those interested in web design and interactive design.

GDSN 165 - Branding and Identity DesignM3.0
GDSN 165 - Branding and Identity Design (3.0 units)

Prerequisite: GDSN 164
Advisory:NVOC 285; READ 022 or appropriate placement; ENGL 030 or ENLA 034 or appropriate placement
Transfers to: CSU

This course is an exploration of Branding and Identity Design, a sub-discipline of Graphic Design. Topics include the research and development of Trademarks and Logos for clients, the Principles and Elements of Design, typography, color, shape stroke, illustration techniques, page layout design, as well as intermediate and advanced critical concepts and professional practices employed by Graphic Designers. This course includes portfolio building with an emphasis on professional standards. This course is for the student interested in a degree or certificate in Graphic Design and those interested in 2-dimensional design and layout applications employed as tools by Graphic Designers.

ART 124 - Color TheoryM3.0
ART 124 - Color Theory (3.0 units)

Advisory: ENGL 030 or ENLA 034 or appropriate placement; READ 022 or appropriate placement
Transfers to: UC, CSU

This course is an introduction to the characteristics of color and its interaction suited for all art majors transferring to a four-year college or interested in working in the arts as a painter, illustrator or designer. The course will cover the principles, theories, and applications of additive and subtractive color in two dimensions. Topics will include major historical and contemporary color systems, production of projects in applied color, and the elements of design as they apply to color.

RHC GE 2 - Math CompetencyGE3.0†

† some classes may have higher units.
Select one:
Math 060 (F09), 062, 070 (F09), 070D, 072 (F10), 073, or 073B with a 'C' or better or higher level quantitative reasoning course or
Score of 3 or better on AP Calculus AB or BC or AP Statistics or RHC Proficiency Exam (Available in the MSCS-300) or
Score of 50 or higher on CLEP Calculus, College Algebra-Trig, or Trigonometry exam.

Note: Students intending to transfer should begin at transfer level math. Transfer math courses are numbered 100+. Please meet with a counselor to discuss course options.

RHC GE 7a - Fine ArtsGE3.0

Note: All honors courses have a prerequisite.

Select one:
ART 101, 104, 105, 105H, 106, 106H, 107, 108, 109, 110, 112, 113, 115, 120, 130, 135, 140;
DANC 179, 179H, 199, 199H;
GDSN 110:
MUS 101, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135, 136, 141;
MUST 151;
PHTO 130, 185;
THTR 101, 105, 105H, 110

Total Semester Units:15.0† 
Summer 1
RHC GE 3 - Physical EducationGE1.0

Select one: KINA or DANC activity course.
Students who have completed a Fire, Police, Wildland Fire, or Corrections Academy from an accredited institution are automatically waived from this requirement, as are students with a DD214 on file. Exemption may be granted to those students physically unable to complete this requirement. Exemption forms are available in Student Health & Psychological Services.

RHC GE 7b - HumanitiesGE3.0†

Notes:
All honors courses have a prerequisite.
† some classes may have higher units. 

Select one:
ASL 101, 124, 201, 202;
CHIN 101, 102;
CHST 146;
ENGL 126, 131;
FR 101, 102, 201, 202;
HIST 101, 102, 122, 131, 143, 143H, 144, 144H, 156, 157, 158, 159, 159H, 167, 170;
HUM 110, 111, 125, 125H, 130, 140;
JAPN 101, 102;
LATN 101, 102;
LIT 102, 102H, 112A, 112AH, 112B, 112BH, 114, 114H, 117, 117H, 130, 130H,140, 140H, 141, 142, 142H, 144A, 144B, 145, 145H, 146A, 146AH, 146B, 146BH, 147, 147H, 148, 149;
MSCM 128;
PHIL 101, 101H, 120, 124, 126, 128, 128H, 135, 140;
SPAN 101, 101S, 102, 102S, 201, 201H, 202;
SPCH 130, 132;
POLS 128, 128H

Total Semester Units:4.0† 
3rd Semester
GDSN 163 - Intermediate Web Design: Interactive DesignM3.0
GDSN 163 - Intermediate Web Design: Interactive Design (3.0 units)

Prerequisite: GDSN 162
Advisory:NVOC 285; READ 022 or appropriate placement; ENGL 030 or ENLA 034 or appropriate placement
Transfers to: CSU

Focusing on usability, this intermediate class offers broader and more advanced instruction into the ‘front-end’ visual design and aesthetics of interactive media as well as the technical and design requirements of designing a fully functional website. Using intermediate web design applications like Adobe Dreamweaver, students are instructed in the techniques needed in increasing the quality of user experience (UX). Students continue to perfect the creation of a fully functional website using multifaceted applications. Topics include interactive design software, front-end aesthetics, technology, interaction, UX, UI and CSS design, the principles and elements of digital design and aesthetics, and interactive design business practices. This course is for the student interested in a degree or certificate in Graphic Design or those interested in expanding their knowledge of web design and interactive design.

GDSN 178 - Digital Imaging DesignM3.0
GDSN 178 - Digital Imaging Design (3.0 units)

Advisory: NART 285; READ 043 or appropriate assessment; ENGL 035 or ENLA 100 or appropriate assessment
Transfers to: UC, CSU

This introductory graphic design course uses bitmap software as the principal digital tool. Topics include the principles and elements of design, typography, color, photo/raster/bitmapped-based scanning, vector graphic integration, time-based design, image formats, optimization, re-touching, adjustments, compositing, blending, color, conceptual, narrative and time-based techniques, technical and creative methods and styles employed by graphic designers as well as well as introductory critical concepts and professional practices. This course includes exercises, projects, and portfolio building with an emphasis on professional standards. This course is for the student interested in obtaining a degree or certificate in graphic design, transfer, and those seeking to pursue a career in graphic design or related professions.

RHC GE 6 - Social and Behavioral ScienceGE3.0

Note: All honors courses have a prerequisite.

Select one:
AJ 101
ANTH 102, 102H, 103, 104, 110, 115, 125;
CD 106, 208;
CHST 101, 146, 148,150;
ECON 101, 101H, 102, 102H, 106, 135;
GEOG 102, 103;
HIST 101, 102, 122, 143, 143H, 144, 144H, 156, 157, 158, 159, 159H, 167, 170;
HUM 110, 111, 125, 125H, 130;
MSCM 128;
PHIL 128, 128H, 135;
POLS 110, 110H, 125, 128, 128H, 130, 135,140,150;
PSY 101, 101H, 112, 114;
SOC 101, 101H, 102, 105, 110, 114, 116, 120, 127, 130, 148;
SPCH 150

RHC GE 5 - Natural Science with LabGE4.0

Note: All honors courses have a prerequisite.

Select one Natural Science with Lab:
ANTH 101, 101H & 101L;
ASTR 110, 110H & 112;
BIOL 101, 105 & 105L, 111 & 111L, 112, 120 & 120L;
BIOT 100;
CHEM 110, 120, 130;
GEOG 101 & 101L;
GEOL 150 & 151;
PHY 120, 150, 160, 211, 212, 213

Total Semester Units:13.0 
4th Semester
GDSN 179 - Advanced Digital Imaging DesignM3.0
GDSN 179 - Advanced Digital Imaging Design (3.0 units)

Prerequisite: GDSN 178
Advisory:
NVOC 285; READ 022 or appropriate placement; ENGL 030 or ENLA 034 or appropriate placement
Transfers to:UC, CSU

This course is for the student interested in the theory and practice of letterforms and typography as they apply to graphic design, advertising and other areas of design and visual communication. Focus is on the compositional use of type as a principle design element and its relationship to issues of visual hierarchy, readability and page structure. Students continue their exploration of typography as an expressive visual form through typographic design projects.

GDSN 150 - TypographyM3.0
GDSN 150 - Typography (3.0 units)

Advisory: READ 022 or appropriate placement; NVOC 285, ENGL 030 or ENLA 034 or appropriate placement
Transfers to: UC, CSU

This course is for the student interested in the history, theory and practice of Typography as it applies to graphic design, advertising and other areas of design and visual communication. Students will learn and practice hand-rendered and mechanical aspects of Typography and how Typography attracts, informs, educates, inspires and creates retaining impressions and modifies human actions and behavior. Through discussions, exercises, and projects, students will develop an understanding leading to the clearer interpretations of Typography and it's role in human history, communication, design and art. Activities include the history and principles of typography, letter structure, typeface selection, fundamentals of typesetting and introductory typographic layout.

GDSN 172 - Publication DesignM3.0
GDSN 172 - Publication Design (3.0 units)

Advisory:NVOC,285; READ 022 or appropriate placement; ENGL 030 or ENLA 034 or appropriate placement
Transfers to: CSU

This introductory course is an exploration of Publication Design, a sub-discipline of Graphic Design and uses page-layout software (Adobe InDesign) as the principal digital tool. Topics include the Principles and Elements of Design, page composition, creative use of typography, color, imagery and the grid, discussion of output and pre-press considerations for print and digital distribution as well as current methods/styles critical concepts and professional practices employed by Graphic Designers. This course includes portfolio building with an emphasis on professional standards.

RHC GE 8b - Communication/Analytical ThinkingGE3.0†

Notes:
All honors courses have a prerequisite.
† some classes may have higher units.

Select one:
CIT 101, 125, 135;
ENGL 125, 201, 201H;
FIN 101;
LIB 101;
MATH 130, 130H, 140, 150, 160, 170, 175, 180, 190, 190H, 191, 250, 260, 270;
PHIL 110, 110H, 112, 112H, 115;
PSY 190;
SPCH 100, 101, 101H, 140;
READ 101;
VOCB 101

ElectiveEL3.0

Select any course that is numbered 40 or above. Please see a counselor to discuss course options.

Total Semester Units:15.0† 
Total Units for Graphic Design AS program 60.5† 
Notes:
Some classes may have higher units
MMajor course; course may also meet a general education requirement
GEGeneral Education course
ELElective Course
† Some classes may have higher units.
** this course has prerequisite, please click on course name to view.
GE = General Education Course. Some of these courses also meet degree requirements. Please see a counselor to find out which ones meet both the general education and degree requirement
M = Major Course
EL = Elective Course

Advising Sheet:
Graphic-Design-20-21.pdf
   

Program Learning Outcomes

1

When completing a graphic design project, students will be able to demonstrate fluency in the visual vocabulary and technical skills relevant to graphic design.


2

When assigned a graphic design project, students will demonstrate an understanding of the design process through research, ideation, development, and presentation of graphic design.


3

When considering the context of a graphic design solution, students will understand the cultural, social, and economic environment in which their ideas, products, and strategic solutions apply.


4

When evaluating graphic design, students will be able to demonstrate through critiques, discussions, and coursework the principles and elements of design.


5

When creating a portfolio of graphic design work, students will apply professional awareness, and understand the physical preparation needed to enter the graphic design workspace.


Gainful Employment Disclosures

  • This program is designed to be completed in ______
  • This program will cost $______ if completed within normal time (including books, materials, and additional fees). There may be additional costs for living expenses. These costs were accurate at the time of posting, but are subject to change.
  • Of the students who completed this program within normal time, the typical graduate leaves with $0* of debt. *Fewer than 10 students completed this program within normal time. This number has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students.
  • License Requirements. This program qualifies students to sit for licensure exam in California.

For more information about graduation rates, loan repayment rates, and post-enrollment earnings about this institution and other postsecondary institutions please click here: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/

Labor Market Information in California

Salary

not avaiable
not available

Career Growth

not available
n/a
Career Growth

Annual Avg Openings

not available

n/a
Annual Avg Openings
Source: Employment Development Department (EDD), State of California.

About RHC

Rio Hondo College, serving the communities of El Monte, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, and Whittier for over 50 years.

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Rio Hondo College
3600 Workman Mill Road
Whittier, CA 90601

Phone: (562) 692-0921
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