Academic Catalogs

Digital Arts, Associate in Arts Degree

Banner Code: 2_AA_DART

Control Number: 03923

Financial Aid Eligible


This major will prepare students for employment in the fields of graphic design, illustration, website design, advertising and marketing, and social media marketing. It consists of experiences in applied design, digital imaging, graphic design principles, layout and design, and website design. The focus is on an introduction to design thinking, visual communication, and skills in graphic design, illustration, web design, and graphic art for print and digital delivery.

Potential careers students may enter upon completion are as follows:

  • Web Designer
  • Animator
  • Corporate Designer
  • In-house Designer
  • Advertising Designer
  • Freelance Designer
  • Editorial Designer
  • Typography Designer
  • Illustrator

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Apply graphic design principles in the ideation, development, and production of visual messages.
  2. Communicate solutions that address audiences and contexts by recognizing the human factors that determine design decisions.
  3. Identify design history, theory, terminology, and criticism from a variety of perspectives.
  4. Utilize software applications and technology in the creation, reproduction, and distribution of visual messages.
  5. Synthesize design processes and strategy from ideation to production to creatively solve communication problems.

Associate Degree Graduation Requirements

(See GWC website for the most up-to-date information on Associate Degree Requirements.)

  1. Completion of General Education Requirements by one of the following methods:
    1. Completion of a minimum of 18 units as listed under Areas A through E, including the Cultural Diversity Requirement.
    2. Completion of a minimum of 39 units of CSU General Education requirements. Students who complete this pattern are also eligible to receive the Certificate of Achievement in CSU General Education Breadth.
    3. Completion of a minimum of 34 (UC) or 37 (CSU) units of Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) requirements. Students who complete this pattern are also eligible to receive the Certificate of Achievement in IGETC.
  2. Completion of a Major or Area of Emphasis—a minimum of 18 units.
  3. Completion of additional elective units to a total of 60 units.
  4. 2.0 overall Grade Point Average at GWC and 2.0 overall Grade Point Average for all colleges attended.
  5. At least 12 units completed at GWC.

Students should consult a GWC counselor in order to select the best pathway to meet their educational goals. For students who intend to transfer, the choice of general education will be specific to both their major and transfer institution.

Course Title Units
Required Courses
ART G115Typography3
DART G100Introduction To Digital Arts3
DART G105Digital 2D Design & Color Theory3
DART G135Digital Illustration: Adobe Illustrator3
DART G150Digital Image Editing I: Beginning Photoshop3
DART G152Digital Imaging II: Intermediate Photoshop3
DART G170Graphic Design Principles3
DART G174Print and Digital Publication Design3
DART G177Graphic Design Principles On The Computer3
DART G178Web Design I3
PHOT G190Digital Photography 13
Major Total33
GE Pattern (Local, CSU GE-Breadth, or IGETC)18-39
Total Units60

Recommended Program Sequence

These sequences are general course maps for students to finish all major and general education requirements for two-year completion of degrees, completion of short-term certificates, and/or fulfillment of transfer requirements. However, this may not be an appropriate path for all students.  The two-year sequence is based on English and Math placement and meeting other course prerequisites. Students are advised to meet with a GWC Counselor to review course selections and sequences to ensure that completion of this program will meet a student's transfer and career goals.

Year 1:

Course Title Units
Semester 1
DART G100Introduction To Digital Arts3
DART G105Digital 2D Design & Color Theory3
ENGL G100Freshman Composition ^4
ART G115Typography3
Area E: Lifelong Understanding and Self-Development or Area A: English Language, Area B: Natural Sciences, Area C: Arts & Humanities, Area D: Social & Behavioral Sciences3
Units16
Course Title Units
Semester 2
DART G135Digital Illustration: Adobe Illustrator3
DART G150Digital Image Editing I: Beginning Photoshop3
DART G152Digital Imaging II: Intermediate Photoshop3
Area C: Arts & Humanities course3
Select one of the following or satisfy Math competency (completion of Algebra 2 in High School with a "C" or better):
MATH G030Intermediate Algebra4
MATH G040Accelerated Elementary and Intermediate Algebra5
MATH G080Pre-Statistics5
If Math competency is satisfied, take Elective coursework for a total of 3 units.3
Units15-17

Year 2:

Course Title Units
Semester 3
DART G170Graphic Design Principles3
DART G178Web Design I3
Area B: Natural Sciences course3
Area D: Social & Behavioral Sciences course3
Elective coursework for a total of 3 units3
Units15
Course Title Units
Semester 4
DART G174Print and Digital Publication Design3
DART G177Graphic Design Principles On The Computer3
DART G179Digital Prepress3
PHOT G190Digital Photography 13
Cultural Diversity requirement #3
Units15
Total minimum units required60