Program Overview

The Graphic Design associate degree program prepares students for entry-level positions in visual media production environments. The program fosters creativity, marketing, and design with technical agility. Our coursework allows students to generate a wide-range of portfolio-ready projects for print, screen, or web. From day one, students will begin the practice of design principles and design thinking. Their visual acuity will grow through the use of digital cameras, Adobe tools, and web content management systems.

Upon completion of the Associate in Science degree in Graphics Design, students will have the opportunity to matriculate into the challenging and rewarding Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design.

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Full Description

The Graphic Design associate degree program prepares students for entry-level positions in a variety of emerging media and desktop production environments. The underlying goal of visual creativity is central to all of the technological coursework, and each student will produce and design a personal “brand” to package and promote their online portfolios.

Starting with the core skills of digital photography, design, and computer graphics, students receive hands-on, project-oriented instruction in website design, graphic design, e-publishing, interactive digital multimedia, branding, and typography. A wide variety of industry standard software is used.

Upon completion of the Associate in Science degree in Graphic Design, students will have the opportunity to matriculate to the Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design.

Potential Career Opportunities

Our associate degree program in Graphic Design will introduce graduates to plenty of graphic design positions and related job opportunities. Individuals will be qualified to pursue positions across the design industry such as:

Website Designer

Graphic Designer

Multimedia Designer


UI/UX Designer

Production Artist

Packaging Designer


  • What can you do with an associate degree in graphic design?

    Individuals with an associate degree in graphic design can pursue a number of different career options. A graduate of graphic design degree programs may work as a multimedia designer, multimedia artist, production artist, or graphic design artist. Professionals in these fields remain in high demand.

  • Is graphic design a good career?

    If you are interested in graphic design, then a career in Digital Media and Graphic Design is a great option to pursue. Multimedia designers are able to entertain different career options across a variety of industries, from public relations, film and television, animation, video game production and more.

  • What is a design degree?

    Design degrees will introduce students to both creative and technical skills to prepare them to join the workforce. Degree programs provide the experience needed to pursue a career in web development, computer programming languages, digital imaging, drafting, art and animation.

Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The mission of the Digital Media and Graphic Design associate degree program is to prepare students for entry-level positions in a variety of creative new media environments. The program is designed to teach students core design skills, hands-on project-oriented instruction in graphics, web design, multimedia, ePublishing, and web animation.  Students will also design and produce a personal “brand” to package and present their portfolios.

Program Goals

The Digital Media and Graphic Design program will:

  1. Provide learning opportunities for students to acquire the theoretical knowledge, applicable skills and attitude necessary to function as an entry-level multimedia, web, or graphic designer.
  2. Instill in students the ability to continue with life-long learning, digital desktop creativity, and professional growth.
  3. Prepare students to create projects on their own or in teams with each student assuming responsibility for the production process.
  4. Prepare students to create and maintain their digital portfolio deployed via cloud or web server.

Program Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of various software applications and hardware to build project-specific content.
  2. Recognize and create effective versus ineffective elements of design content.
  3. Understand and practice respect for copyright laws and regulations as they pertain to digital creation.
  4. Demonstrate effective critical, creative thinking, and effective oral and written communication skills.
  5. Demonstrate effective  development and execution of creative assignments.

Courses Offered

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When do my classes meet?
    Day Classes: Technical classes normally meet for at least three hours a day for up to five days a week. Classes normally begin in the early morning (7:45 a.m.), late morning (usually 11:25 a.m.), or mid-afternoon. A technical time slot may vary from term to term.Evening Classes: Technical classes meet on the average of three nights a week, although there may be times when they will meet four nights a week. Classes normally begin at 5:45 p.m.In addition, to achieve your associate degree, you will take a total of approximately eight liberal arts courses, which will be scheduled around your technical schedule over the course of your entire program. Each liberal arts course meets approximately four hours per week. Liberal arts courses are offered days, evenings, and Saturdays.At the beginning of each term you will receive a detailed schedule giving the exact time and location of all your classes. The university requires that all students be prepared to take classes and receive services at any of NEIT’s locations where the appropriate classes and services are offered.When a regularly scheduled class falls on a day which is an NEIT observed holiday (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day), an alternate class will be scheduled as a make up for that class. The make up class may fall on a Friday. It is the student’s responsibility to take note of when and where classes are offered.
  2. How large will my classes be?
    The average size for a class is about 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  3. How much time will I spend in lab?
    Almost half of your technical courses consist of laboratory work. In order for you to get the most out of your laboratory experiences, you will first receive a thorough explanation of the theory behind your lab work.
  4. Where do my classes meet?
    Students should be prepared to attend classes at any of NEIT’s classroom facilities: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campus.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?
    A candidate for admission to an associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements.
  6. How long should it take me to complete my program?
    To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you should take the courses outlined in the prescribed curriculum. For a typical six-term curriculum, a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months.To complete all your degree requirements in the shortest time, you should take at least one liberal arts course each term. Students who need more time to complete their curriculum may postpone some of the liberal arts courses until after the completion of the technical requirements. Students are provided up to two additional terms of study to complete the liberal arts requirements without any additional tuition assessment fee. During these additional terms of study, students are required to pay all applicable fees.Students may also elect to complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Terms. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees.Students wishing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.
  7. Is NEIT accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  8. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?
    The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Office of Teaching and Learning for further information.
  9. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?
    Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at an accredited institution will be considered upon receipt of an official transcript for any program, biology, science, and mathematics courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the past three years and for English or humanities courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the last ten years. An official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students will receive a tuition reduction for the approved technical courses based on the program rate and will be applied against the final technical term of the curriculum’s tuition amount. No tuition credit is provided for courses which are not a part of the technical curriculum.
  10. What is the “Feinstein Enriching America” Program?
    New England Institute of Technology is the proud recipient of a grant from the Feinstein Foundation. To satisfy the terms of the grant, the university has developed a one-credit community enrichment course which includes hands-on community enrichment projects. The course can be taken for a few hours per term, spread over several terms. Students who are already engaged in community enrichment on their own may be able to count that service towards course credit.
  11. How many credits do I need to acquire my Financial Aid?
    In order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award, you need to maintain at least 12 credits per academic term.
  12. What does my program cost?
    The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with your cost for books and other course materials. Students who decide to take more terms than the enrollment agreement describes to complete the technical courses in their curriculum will be subject to additional fees and possible additional tuition costs. Students who elect to take the technical portion of the degree requirements at a rate faster than the rate prescribed in the curriculum and the enrollment agreement will be assessed additional tuition.Students who require prerequisite courses will incur additional tuition and fees above those outlined in their enrollment agreement.If a student elects to take a course(s) outside of the prescribed curriculum, additional tuition and fees will be assessed.Remember, students who withdraw and re-enter, one time only, pay the tuition rate that was in effect for them at the time of their last day of attendance for up to one year from their last day of attendance. Second re-entrees and beyond pay the tuition rate in effect at the time they re-enter. The most economical way for you to complete your college degree is to begin your program now and continue your studies straight through for the six terms necessary to complete your degree requirements.
  13. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?
    The Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing a job search strategy. Upon completion of their program, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates employment or a specific starting salary.
  14. Where will job opportunities exist?
    Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the most exciting aspects of this program is the ability to look nationally (even internationally) for employment opportunities. You will find some of your best opportunities in smaller design firms or in corporate settings, which typically offer more entry-level jobs. However, since this is a relatively new field, job opportunities may be found in many different industries seeking web and multimedia support for traditional business activities.
  15. What kind of jobs will I be qualified to look for?
    Generally, jobs may exist in graphics production areas of independent graphic design, video, and multimedia production houses as well as in corporate communications and marketing. Competition for jobs will be keen and requirements will increasingly emphasize an applicant’s training, education, and portfolio. The job best suited to you will depend upon your individual strengths and interests.

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the Graphic Design Program, establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to these programs to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies to enter these fields. The successful student must possess the following skills and abilities or be able to demonstrate that they can complete the requirements of the program with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Cognitive Ability

  • Ability to interpret ideas and concepts visually and/or graphically
  • Good reasoning and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to learn, remember and recall detailed information and to use it for problem solving.
  • Ability to deal with materials and problems such as organizing or reorganizing information.
  • Ability to apply theory to specific technical situations.
  • Ability to break information into its component parts.
  • Ability to understand 2-D and 3-D spatial relationships.
  • Ability to perform tasks by observing demonstrations.
  • Possession of basic computer skills, file management, and ability to perform computer operation tasks.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty and students, both verbally and with storyboards

Adaptive Ability

  • Ability to maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with other members of the faculty and students in a responsible manner.
  • Ability to accept constructive criticism from faculty and peers.

Physical Ability

  • Able to stand and/or sit and continuously perform essential course functions in the graphics lab, using a high degree of eye/hand psychomotor skills.
  • Ability to sit for long periods of time.
  • Ability to perform learned skills, independently, with accuracy and completeness.

Manual Ability

  • Sufficient motor function and sensory abilities to participate effectively in the classroom laboratory.
  • Sufficient manual dexterity and motor coordination to coordinate hands, eyes and fingers in the operation of a computer keyboard, and other equipment.

Sensory Ability

  • Visual
    • Acute enough to enable the adjustment of an electronic image into sharp focus.
    • Ability to properly distinguish colors.
    • Acute enough to read small print.
    • Acute enough to read small numbers on precision measuring instruments.
  • Auditory
    • Acute enough to distinguish low level (weak) audio signals.