Graphic Design

Associate Degree

Program number: 102011

Credits: 66

Area of Study: Arts, Design and Humanities

Financial Aid Available

Estimated Program Cost:

Tuition - $9,009.00
Materials/Supplemental Costs
Other Costs
Total Estimated Program Costs*:

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

Explore financial aid eligibility for this program.

Some of the courses for this program may be available online.

Graphic Design

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.

To Apply

After Acceptance

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


Contact Enrollment Services at or (608) 246-6210.


Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2020-2021 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

Current program students (including newly admitted), go directly to your Degree Progress Report (also referred to as an Advising Report or Academic Requirements) to view:

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

If you have questions after reviewing your report, please see Advising Services.


Madison College has the following Transfer Partnerships for this program. Review the list and identify the right college or university to earn your bachelor’s degree. 

After you identify your best transfer options, review the steps to transfer, attend transfer events, and meet with your program advisor every semester to keep your transfer plans on track.

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.

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.


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.

Find open jobs in this industry on Wisconsin TechConnecttm

Wisconsin TechConnect Connecting Skills with Jobs

  • Graduate Summary
    Graduate Report Summary Overview

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Program Graduates 46 64 49
    Number of Surveys Sent 46 64 49
    Number of Surveys Returned 33 40 38
    Percent of Surveys Returned 71.70% 62.50% 77.60%
    Available for Employment 29 37 36
    Percent Available for Employment 87.90% 92.50% 94.70%
    Not in Labor Market 4 3 2
    Percent Not in Labor Market 12.10% 7.50% 5.30%
    Available for Employment

    2016 2017 2018
    Graduates Employed 24 35 34
    Percent of Graduates Employed 82.80% 94.60% 94.40%
    Employed in Related Occupation 15 31 25
    Percent Employed in Related Occupation 62.50% 88.60% 73.50%
    Employed in Unrelated Occupation 8 4 9
    Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 33.30% 11.40% 26.50%
    Employed - No Response 1 0 0
    Percent Employed - No Response 4.20% 0.00% 0.00%
    Seeking Employment 5 2 2
    Percent Seeking Employment 17.20% 5.40% 5.60%
    Reaction To Training at Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.3 3.7 3.8
    Number of Satisfaction Responses 33 40 37
    Very Satisfied 13 27 28
    Percent Very Satisfied 39.40% 67.50% 75.70%
    Satisfied 18 12 9
    Percent Satisfied 54.50% 30.00% 24.30%
    Unsatisfied 2 1 0
    Percent Unsatisfied 6.10% 2.50% 0.00%
    Very Unsatisfied 0 0 0
    Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Primary Reason Responses 33 40 37
    Preparation for Getting a Job 18 17 20
    Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 54.50% 42.50% 54.10%
    Career Change 9 18 10
    Percent Career Change 27.30% 45.00% 27.00%
    Improvement of Existing Skills 2 2 4
    Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 6.10% 5.00% 10.80%
    Preparation for Further Education 2 2 1
    Percent Preparation for Further Education 6.10% 5.00% 2.70%
    Personal Interest 2 1 2
    Percent Personal Interest 6.10% 2.50% 5.40%
    Other 0 0 0
    Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    When Employment was Obtained

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 23 35 32
    Before Enrollment 1 2 3
    Percent Before Enrollment 4.30% 5.70% 9.40%
    While Attending the College 10 12 7
    Percent While Attending the College 43.50% 34.30% 21.90%
    After Training at the College 12 21 22
    Percent After Training at the College 52.20% 60.00% 68.80%
    Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Employment Location Responses 24 35 35
    In College District 21 32 31
    Percent In College District 87.50% 91.40% 88.60%
    In Wisconsin, Not in District 1 3 1
    Percent of In Wisconsin 4.20% 8.60% 2.90%
    Outside of Wisconsin 1 0 2
    Percent Outside Wisconsin 4.20% 0.00% 5.70%
    Employer Location Unknown 1 0 1
    Percent Location Unknown 4.20% 0.00% 2.90%
    Salary Trend
    Salary Trend 2016 2017 2018
    Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 11 24 18
    Average Monthly Wage $2,893 $3,063 $3,210
    Average Hourly Wage $16.82 $17.81 $18.66
    Average Work Hours per Week 39.2 42.8 41.2
    Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 4 4 4
    Average Hourly Wage $17.25 $18.00 $13.40
    Average Work Hours per Week 17 25.2 22.6
  • Graduate Employers
    Total Positions Open for academic year: 2018
    Wisconsin TechConnectTM Jobs* Madison Non-Madison
    Number of Full Time Positions Open 48 78
    Number of Part Time Positions Open 32 54
    Total Jobs 80 132
    Graduate Employers for academic year: 2018
    Employer(s) Job Title City** State*** Positions
    Dept of Health Services Communications Specialist
    Filene Research Institute Junior Designer
    Healthgrades for Hospitals Graphic Designer
    ImageWorks Graphic Designer
    ImageWorks Production Designer
    Johnson Health Tech North America Visual Designer
    Lion Tree Group Web Designer
    Madison Area Technical College Casual Instructor
    Mattel Production Artist Middleton
    Media Bridge Advertising Graphic Designer Minneapolis MN
    Pisten Msg Graphic Designer
    Pizza Hut of Southern Wisconsin, Inc Graphic Designer
    Planet Propaganda Motion Graphics Intern
    Proclips Usa Digital Media Specialist
    Rob Grether Graphic Designer & Manager
    Self-Employed Self-Employed Portage
    Spectrum Brands Web Design Intern Middleton
    Spectrum Brands Web Designer Middleton
    Stewart & Associates Multimedia Designer Freeport IL
    Swink Graphic Design Intern
    The Hiebing Group Associate Art Director
    Tingalls Dzyn LLC Intern
    UW - Foundation Graphic Designer

    * - Wisconsin TechConnectTM jobs are posted through a statewide consortium operated and funded by all 16 of the technical colleges in Wisconsin.

    ** - 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