May 19, 2024  
2022-23 Academic Catalog 
2022-23 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graphic Design - CART.AS

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The Graphic Communications & Photography Department offers a curriculum designed to prepare students for careers in printing, graphic design, social media, and commercial photography. The department’s courses cover a wide cross section of imaging technologies, from traditional printing and print preparation techniques through the latest digital processes, including studio-based digital photography. They combine a strong theoretical foundation with hands-on laboratory experiences in practical application.

An associate degree in Graphic Communications & Photography will provide the education necessary to begin a successful career in the graphic design or photography, as well as many of the diverse emerging technologies such as social media. Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as other institutions offering programs in the various imaging technologies, accepts credits from the STCC Graphic Communications and Photography programs toward their advanced degree programs.

The department offers two Associate in Science degree options, one in Graphic Design, and one in Digital Photography. In addition, two Certificates of Completion are offered in Graphic Design and Digital Photography. Minimum Grade Requirement: The minimum passing grade for any individual course in this department shall be a “C-” (70%). The minimum average for graduation from the program is a “C” (73%).

The Associate in Science Graphic Design program prepares students for careers in all areas of graphic design, typography, layout, digital prepress production and workflow, publishing, packaging, web design, and Macintosh technician. Graduates will be able to work on their own, or be well-qualified for a variety of entry-level positions as a professional graphic designer, prepress production technician, and web designer. This program is best suited for students desiring an Associate in Science degree that may be transferable to 4-year colleges, and includes a wider range of coursework than included in the one-year certificate of completion.

Upon the successful completion of requirements for this program, the degree of Associate in Science in Graphic Communication and Photography will be awarded

Program Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in technical terminology of traditional and digital typographic principles, correct font usage, and applying primary type elements to page layouts using current industry page layout software programs.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in artistic styles, aesthetic theories, and design principles.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in logo design, packaging design and 3D construction design.
  • Demonstrate proficiency using grid layouts for publications, digital production techniques, and applying design and layout skills from basic to complex using current industry page layout software programs. •
  • Demonstrate proficiency in Macintosh OS basics through advanced, reading computer specifications, installing & updating MacOS software, using OS applications and utilities, connecting peripherals, networking & file sharing, disk management, troubleshooting, and multimedia presentation.

Computer and Software Requirements

The Graphic Communications & Photography Department now requires that all of our students have a computer and subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud software.

We anticipate that the cost of a new laptop will be from $550 to $2400 depending on the computer chosen (less if choosing a refurbished or reconditioned computer). Either Mac or Windows PC platforms, and either laptop or desktop models are acceptable. However, if you plan on purchasing a computer, a laptop computer is preferable due to its mobility. Reconditioned, refurbished, or new computers are acceptable, as long as the specs are met. While the basic minimum computer is acceptable to run the required software, a computer with 16GB of RAM is recommended for the best results.

Apple Mac Specs: Intel core i5 or higher (2.0 GHz or faster processor); 8GB (16GB recommended) of system RAM; minimum 256GB hard drive; minimum screen size: 13 inches (15 or 16 inch recommended); OS 10.13 (High Sierra) or higher 

PC Specs: Intel core i5 or AMD Ryzen; 8GB (16GB recommended) of system RAM; minimum 256GB hard drive; minimum screen size: 13 inches (15 or 16 inch recommended); nVidia GeForce GTX 1050 or equivalent, nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 or Quadro T1000 video card is recommended; Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 update (64-bit) version 1809 or later

Again, we recommend 16GB of RAM to ensure that your computer will run software as smoothly as possible, especially for those of you that will be taking Digital Media Production (DMP) courses. Adobe requires 8GB of RAM for their programs. 

Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Students pay $19.99/mo the first year, and $29.99/mo after that. Go to and click on “Learn More” under “Students save over 60% on Creative Cloud.”

(CART.AS) Curriculum

Total: 17 credits

Total: 16-17 credits

Total: 18 credits

Total: 15 credits

Total (CART.AS) Curriculum Program Credits: 66-67


GAT-280 and GAT-281, Cooperative Education: Recommended as additional courses, but not certified as substitution for any of the above

Program Personnel

Name Title Office Phone


Matthew Kriftcher Professor 14/211 413-755-4312
Philip Ruderman Professor/Department Chair 14/210 413-755-4324


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