Are you a creative? (Use an adjective as a noun – that’s the cool way to describe yourself.) Learn the business of art here.
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Recent Graduates
There are 57 recent graduates of this Madison College program.
Job Placement
89% job placement within six months of graduation.
Student Satisfaction
91% of our recent graduates report they are satisfied with their Madison College education.
Graphic Design
Program Number: 102011
Your Degree:
Associate Degree
Area of Study:
Arts, Design and Humanities
Delivery Method:
100% Online
Some Online / Some In Person
Estimated Time to Complete:
68 Credits | Finish in 2 years (full-time attendance)
financial aid icon Financial Aid Available
transfer icon Program Transfers
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What You'll Pay
Use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your tuition costs.
Estimated Tuition


$9,588.00 Tuition
$1,273.80 Materials/Supplemental Costs
$1,050.00 Other Costs
  • Program Overview

    Build solid skills and define your style in the graphic design field with the two-year Graphic Design associate degree at Madison College.

    Successful Graphic Design students are creative and aware of visual details. Throughout the program, students apply those strengths to projects based on technical requirements and deadlines. 

    At Madison College, you'll understand design fundamentals, learn about emerging trends, and develop professional graphic design skills for big-picture projects and day-to-day tasks. 

    Your Graphic Design instructors have knowledge and experience across this creative field and develop courses that combine traditional graphic arts and new media technology. 

    As a Graphic Design student at Madison College, you'll have access to more than 100 computers with industry software tools for computer graphics and web page design. 

    Once admitted to the Graphic Design program, you may choose to earn an additional associate degree in Visual Communications or Web & Digital Media Design with only two more semesters of study. Attend an Advising, Application, Information & More (AAIM) Session to learn how.

    Program Details

    Students in the Graphic Design program can attend full or part time.

    Graphic Design classes may be offered at these Madison College campuses:

    • Madison - Truax

    Your advantages at Madison college

    • Learn from award-winning faculty who share real-world experiences in the graphic design field.
    • Combine a foundation in traditional graphic arts styles and tools with new media and computer graphics.
    • Join the Madison College chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) to start networking while you are still in school.
    • Show your graphic design work to potential employers in Madison College’s biannual portfolio show.


    Prospective employers throughout Madison consider Madison College Graphic Design graduates top candidates. Associate degree graduates are ready for a range of professional positions in the field of graphic design, including:

    • Graphic Designer
    • Art Director
    • Production Artist
    • Illustrator
    • Web/Interactive Designer

    Graphic design jobs are in advertising agencies, publishing companies, art studios, and advertising and art departments within companies. Madison College classes also prepare Graphic Design graduates with business skills to become freelance graphic artists.

    Students are encouraged to join the Madison College chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) to start networking while in school.

  • Curriculum and Experience

    Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2021-2022 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

    Current and newly admitted program students, go directly to your Degree Progress Report to view:

    • Progress toward your specific requirements
    • Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements

    If you have questions after reviewing your degree progress report (advisement report), please see Advising Services.

    First Semester
    3 credits
    3 credits
    2 credits
    1 credit
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    Second Semester
    2 credits
    3 credits
    2 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    Third Semester
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    2 credits
    3 credits
    Fourth Semester
    2 credits
    3 credits
    2 credits
    2 credits
    3 credits
    6 credits
    Recommended Electives
    2 credits
    2 credits
    2 credits
    1 credit
    3 credits
    3 credits
    2 credits
    3 credits
    1 credit
    2 credits
    3 credits
    2 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
  • Admission

    To Apply

    Earning a degree is a great way to advance your career development opportunities, so apply today!
    International students who wish to apply for, maintain, or transfer their F-1 student visa status to Madison College are required to complete the International Admission Process.

    Spring 2022 Application Dates

    • Application open
    • Application completion deadline is January 15, 2022

    Summer 2022 Application Dates

    • Application open
    • Application completion deadline is June 15, 2022

    Fall 2022 Application Dates

    • Application open
    • Application completion deadline is August 31, 2022

    Spring 2023 Application Dates

    • Application available on February 1, 2022
    • Application completion deadline is January 15, 2023

    1. Admission Application

    The online application allows you to save your work as you complete it and ensures fast, secure delivery to our office.

    2. Education Completion
    Graduation from high school, completion of GED/HSED/GED02, or completion of an associate degree or higher is required; submit official transcripts for one of the following:

    • High school or charter school transcript (current high school seniors may submit an in-progress transcript) or GED02 transcript
    • GED/HSED score report
    • College transcript showing an associate degree or higher

    3. Residency Requirement
    Based on historical trends at Madison College a waitlist is not expected to form for these programs. Therefore all applicants, regardless of residency status, are eligible for application review.
    Learn more about residency determination and program availability.

    Additional Notes

    Course prerequisites differ from admission requirements; admission into a program does not guarantee eligibility to enroll in courses or success in the program. Refer to program curriculum for details.

    After Acceptance

    Once you are admitted into your program, review the Start of Semester Checklist to prepare for your first day of classes at Madison College. 


    Contact the Enrollment Center at or 608.246.6210.

  • Transfer Opportunities

    Wisconsin Schools

    Students who complete any associate degree at Madison Area Technical College will have no additional general education core curriculum requirements to meet but must satisfy the Kirkpatrick Signature Series requirement. This applies to students who are pursuing a bachelors of arts, bachelors of science or bachelors of fine arts at Bellevue University.
    Entering students who have completed Madison College general education courses with a grade of "C-" or better may apply them toward satisfying Stritch Liberal Arts requirements.
    Students who complete the Graphic Design degree at Madison College will be guaranteed admission to Edgewood College when students transfer directly from Madison College to Edgewood College within 5 years of completing the Associate Degree. Completion of the Graphic Design degree from Madison College guarantees graduates at least 55 transfer credits.
    Student who earn an Associate Degree from Madison College can transfer a minimum of 60 credits and a maximum of 72 credits to Lakeland College to be applied to the requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences degree.
    Students who complete the graphic design program can transfer up to 64 credits toward the Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Leadership offered through the College of Adult and Graduate Studies.

    Non-Wisconsin Schools

    Students who complete any associate degree at Madison Area Technical College will have no additional general education core curriculum requirements to meet but must satisfy the Kirkpatrick Signature Series requirement. This applies to students who are pursuing a bachelors of arts, bachelors of science or bachelors of fine arts at Bellevue University.
    Students graduating with an associate degree from MATC with a 2.0 GPA or higher are guaranteed admissions into CSU-Global and can transfer up to 64 semester credits from MATC to be applied toward earning a Bachelor’s Degree at CSU-Global.
  • Career Outcomes

    After completing the Graphic Design program at Madison Area Technical College, you will be able to:

    • Implement creative solutions from concept through completion.
    • Apply the principles of design to develop strategic marketing and communication products and services.
    • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of design software, tools and technology.
    • Apply effective legal and ethical business practices and project management skills.
    • Communicate artwork rationale in formal and informal settings.
    • Create innovative visual solutions for a variety of design, advertising, media and artistic applications.

    Graduates are fully prepared for the graphic design process including the assessment of client needs, solutions development and analysis, collaboration, concept design, client consultation, pre-press and production. These are some of the aspects of creating graphic designs and illustrations to effectively communicate clients’ messages to their target audiences.

    • Graduate Summary

      Graduate Report Summary Overview

      2018 2019 2020
      Number of Program Graduates 49 56 57
      Number of Surveys Sent 49 56 57
      Number of Surveys Returned 38 41 35
      Percent of Surveys Returned
      Available for Employment 36 40 35
      Percent Available for Employment 94.7% 97.6% 100.0%
      Not in Labor Market 2 0 0
      Percent Not in Labor Market 5.3% 0.0% 0.0%
      Available for Employment

      2018 2019 2020
      Graduates Employed 34 31 25
      Percent of Graduates Employed 94.4% 77.5% 71.4%
      Employed in Related Occupation 25 27 13
      Percent Employed in Related Occupation 73.5% 87.1% 52.0%
      Employed in Unrelated Occupation 9 3 12
      Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 26.5% 9.7% 48.0%
      Employed - No Response 0 1 0
      Percent Employed - No Response 0.0% 3.2% 0.0%
      Seeking Employment 2 9 10
      Percent Seeking Employment 5.6% 22.5% 28.6%
      Reaction To Training at Madison College

      2018 2019 2020
      Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.8 3.6 3.5
      Number of Satisfaction Responses 37 41 35
      Very Satisfied (4) 28 26 21
      Percent Very Satisfied 75.7% 63.4% 60.0%
      Satisfied (3) 9 14 11
      Percent Satisfied 24.3% 34.1% 31.4%
      Unsatisfied (2) 0 1 1
      Percent Unsatisfied 0.0% 2.4% 2.9%
      Very Unsatisfed (1) 0 0 2
      Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.0% 0.0% 5.7%
      Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

      2018 2019 2020
      Number of Primary Reason Responses 37 41 35
      Preparation for Getting a Job 20 26 22
      Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 54.1% 63.4% 62.9%
      Career Change 10 10 9
      Percent Career Change 27.0% 24.4% 25.7%
      Improvement of Existing Skills 4 2 2
      Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 10.8% 4.9% 5.7%
      Preparation for Further Education 1 1 1
      Percent Preparation for Further Education 2.7% 2.4% 2.9%
      Personal Interest 2 2 1
      Percent Personal Interest 5.4% 4.9% 2.9%
      Other 0 0 0
      Percent Other 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
      When Employment was Obtained

      2018 2019 2020
      Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 32 30 25
      Before Enrollment 3 1 3
      Percent Before Enrollment 9.4% 3.3% 12.0%
      While Attending the College 7 6 3
      Percent While Attending the College 21.9% 20.0% 12.0%
      After Training at the College 22 23 19
      Percent After Training at the College 68.8% 76.7% 76.0%
      Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

      2018 2019 2020
      Number of Employment Location Responses 35 32 25
      In College District 31 25 17
      Percent In College District 88.6% 78.1% 68.0%
      In Wisconsin, Not in District 1 3 6
      Percent of In Wisconsin 2.9% 9.4% 24.0%
      Outside of Wisconsin 2 3 1
      Percent Outside Wisconsin 5.7% 9.4% 4.0%
      Employer Location Unknown 1 1 1
      Percent Location Unknown 2.9% 3.1% 4.0%
      Salary Trend
      Salary Trend 2018 2019 2020
      Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 18 18 9
      Average Monthly Wage $3,210 $3,130 $3,039
      Average Hourly Wage $18.66 $18.20 $17.67
      Average Work Hours per Week 41.2 41.7 39.8
      Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 4 6 2
      Average Hourly Wage $13.40 $14.21 $17.00
      Average Work Hours per Week 22.6 22.5 25.0
    • Graduate Employers

      Graduate Employers for academic year: 2020
      Employer(s) Job Title City* State** Positions
      Concept Co Graphic Designer Milwaukee
      Express Custom Products Graphic Designer Lake Mills
      Filament AG Graphic Designer
      Flagrant Designer
      KW2 (Knupp & Watson & Wallman) UX Designer
      LaFleur Marketing Junior Designer Grand Rapids MI
      Layer Cake Shop Social Media Coordinator Oregon
      LeMans Corp Digital Designer Janesville
      Madison Forms LLC Pre-Press Technician McFarland
      Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Design & Communications Coordinator
      Worldbuilders Graphic Designer Stevens Point

      * - Only cities outside of Madison will display.

      ** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.

      *** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at

Ready to get started?
Your first step is to apply to Madison College. It's easy and free to apply, so get started today!
Contact the School of Business and Applied Arts

Madison Truax Campus
Main Building, D3631

1701 Wright Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
608.246.6003 (Ext. 8)


Service Hours

  • Monday – Thursday: 8 am - 4 pm (In-Person and Virtual)
  • Friday: 8 am - 4 pm (Virtual Only)