Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

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Information sessions

The first step to getting started in the Graphic Design program is to attend an information session.

Portland companies have a reputation for requiring high-end graphic design skills that are world-class. Firms such as Nike, Adidas, Tektronix, and Weiden + Kennedy all seek a higher caliber of talent in graphic design because the talent pool is competitive, and clients have come to expect higher quality and innovation from designers, production artists, and illustrators. This close connection to a thriving local design industry is a great asset—one that you can leverage with the right skill set.

PCC’s Graphic Design program helps you acquire the skills and concepts that many of these local companies require. In our program, you’re introduced to the fundamentals of graphic design, such as page layout, typography, color theory, and more to help you build a solid foundation. Not only can you learn these fundamental concepts, you can enjoy a state-of-the-art facility with seasoned professionals whose connections with local industry makes your education relevant and provides cutting-edge skills.


In this program you can earn the following:

  • Associate of Applied Science Degree

See the Catalog for information regarding program requirements.

Please refer to the New Student Information Packet and plan to attend one of the information sessions below before contacting the program advisor.

Transfer Program

Students in the Graphic Design program at PCC are eligible to apply the completed PCC Graphic Design Associates degree toward a Bachelor's degree at Portland State University and enter the program in the junior year. The program is a "Block Transfer" meaning the student must complete the entire PCC Associate of Applied Science Graphic Design Degree in order for their credits to be directly accepted toward a Bachelor's Degree.

A Unique Standard

Graphic design is the art of visual communication. In a profession that combines artistic talent, typography and computer knowledge, graphic designers are challenged every day to communicate using a variety of media. In PCC’s Graphic Design program, we offer you the opportunity to acquire the skills you need to enter a highly competitive and rewarding career.

Our class work is designed to simulate industry situations and standards. Compared to similar programs, ours is unique in that it doesn’t require a portfolio of artistic material to be accepted. Instead, we require students to complete three core courses in the first term with a "B" grade or better in order to qualify for the program and gain experience in graphic design.

What's Next?

Graphic Design program flag

Students must complete the three program prerequisite classes of GD 120, GD 114, and GD 101 with a B or higher before they are given permission to enter the Graphic Design course program sequence beginning Winter of 2017. GD 101 and GD 114 will be offered Summer and Fall terms 2016; enrollment is based on priority registration times. Please refer to the PCC Academic Calendar for more information about registration times.

  1. Begin with the Portland Community College Admissions process. Visit a PCC Orientation Center if you need extra help!
  2. Read the information in the graphic design new student information packet.
  3. Attend an information session. Most students find this session answers all their questions and provides the information needed to make educational decisions. All sessions are located at the Sylvania Campus, no RSVP is required.
  4. Take the COMPASS placement test in reading, writing and math. OR: If you wish to have credits from other schools transferred, your transcripts will need to be evaluated by the PCC Student Records Department.
  5. Register early! Space is limited and classes fill up quickly.

Important: If you intend to continue in the GD program courses winter term, you must place into WR 121 and MTH 60 and complete GD 120 Graphic Design I, GD 114 Introductory Typography and GD 101 Macintosh for Graphic Designers with a "B" grade or better prior to winter term.