Arts, Media, and Entertainment

Graphic Design

Design Your Career with the Stroke of a Pen and Click of a Mouse


Justin Martin

Justin Martin

“SMC has helped me make an enjoyable transition from being in the military to starting my career in graphic and interaction design.”

About the Graphic Design Program

Graphic designers are multitalented content creators who produce visual concepts and experiences across many different industries. With graphic arts and design, the applications and career opportunities are endless.

In this program, you'll learn:

  • How to solve real-world problems using images, graphics, designs, and words
  • How to create wireframes and website design elements, motion graphics, magazines, corporate reports, advertisements, packaging, logotypes, brochures, and more
  • Color theory, art, design principles, and industry software
  • How to apply these concepts in class and beyond

Our graphic design program is comprehensive. You will build a diverse portfolio that will help you secure work in-house for a company, brand or organization; at a design agency; or as a freelance graphic designer. Additional job roles include web designer, user experience (UX) designer, animator, and photographer.

With on-campus and fully online program options, SMC offers a format that works for you.

Find the path that fits your personal needs and professional goals:

Transfer Preparation

Many colleges and universities offer baccalaureate degrees in this field. Students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university need to know which courses completed at Santa Monica College will be accepted at the specific college/university. Please consult a Counselor. SMC has transfer articulation agreements with the many UC and CSU campuses, as well as many private and out-of-state institutions.

Degrees and Certificates

Associate in Science Degree - Graphic Design

40 units + General Education Requirements

Certificate of Achievement - Graphic Design

40 units

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to solve a variety of communication problems utilizing imagery and typography, will possess fundamental graphic design skills as well as a working knowledge of current technology, and will have the ability to work successfully as an entry-level graphic designer.

Program Map View Requirements

Certificate of Achievement - User Experience Design Essentials

User Experience (UX) Design prioritizes the needs and wants of the user. The UX designer's goal is to create useful, meaningful, and ethical/sustainable interactions with a product, service, or design. This certificate of achievement will provide an overview of the design process and tools used within the UX field with a specific focus on mobile or web-based solutions. Students will collaborate to research, critique, and design a real-world project or projects to present to stakeholders. Project outcomes may also be equally diverse with projects ranging from interactive campaigns to speculative prototypes.

Program Map View Requirements

Certificate of Achievement - Web Design Essentials

A web designer works to shape the visual and interactive aspects of a user’s experience of a website, web application, or mobile app. They work closely with web developers and content creators.  In this certificate, students will learn necessary web design skills including application of color theory, typography, layouts, images and graphics, and other elements of design systems.  Students will outline user behaviors and interactions, and create portfolio-ready websites for various purposes.

Program Map View Requirements

Potential Career Options

More Career Options and Resources


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