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Graphic Design

Graphic Design

Explore design history, typography, digital imaging, editorial design, branding, illustration, web design and professional graphic design practice.

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years
$3,515 (Domestic) • $11,350 (International)
Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.
+Locations & Availability

September 2020
Campus/Location DeliveryIn-class – Complete your program through courses that are held at a campus.

Online – All program courses are delivered online.

Blended – Complete your program through a combination of online and in-class courses (some courses are delivered 100% online). In-class courses are held at a campus.

Collaborative – program is delivered virtually on campus
Ivany Campus • Dartmouth Full time • In-class Seats available


Graphic Design solves communication problems visually. Logos, posters, package designs, websites, billboards, brochures, letterheads, advertisements, interpretive exhibitions and publications are examples of the types of communication needs Graphic Designers fulfill.

The skills required for successful visual communication design include the ability to develop strong original concepts and select the appropriate communication medium and style for the target audience.

In this program, you learn the essential skills required to be a successful Graphic Designer by covering subjects such as design process and management, design history, typography, digital imaging, editorial design, branding and professional graphic design practice. You also learn about entrepreneurship while working in a studio environment.

Explore this program on YouTube »

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • A portfolio is a significant factor in determining your admission into the program. For detailed information on what your portfolio needs to include, see the Graphic Design Portfolio Requirements (PDF 152KB). Drop your portfolio off at any campus and it will be delivered to the Admissions Office for you.

Program requirements

  • As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that tuition values on these pages are for 2019/20 and are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
  • Co-op provides an opportunity for paid, full-time work placements that last 12 to 16 weeks.
  • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Career options

  • Design and advertising agencies, newspapers, magazines, publishing companies, web design and multimedia design firms and printing companies all hire Graphic Designers. Many graduates have also found success as freelancers.

Choose NSCC

  • When you graduate, you have an in-depth understanding of what employers are expecting. Deadlines, responsibilities, teamwork and technical abilities are stressed, along with the ability to develop fresh and effective concepts in graphic design.
  • You complete a work term assignment that puts you in a real business environment, for hands-on learning that goes beyond any classroom.
  • Learn from experienced, enthusiastic instructors who support your success.
  • Develop solutions that incorporate environmental sustainability and cultural awareness.
  • You graduate with an entrepreneurial skill set which you use, whether you work as an employee, freelancer or decide to open your own shop.
  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Courses may include

Course descriptions
Code Course
BART 3015   Business & Entrepreneurship for Graphic Designers
BART 4015   Design Matters: The Business of Sustainable Design
GDES 1000   Studio Practice I
GDES 1010   Typography I
GDES 1015   Visual Communications I: Fundamentals
GDES 1020   Digital Illustration Techniques
GDES 1025   Intro to Web-Based Media
GDES 1030   Design History
GDES 1040   Graphic Design of the 20th Century
GDES 1050   Drawing Techniques for Visual Communication
GDES 2000   Studio Practice II
GDES 2010   Web Design Basics
GDES 2020   Conceptual Illustration
GDES 2030   Photography for Graphic Design
GDES 2040   Professional Strategies for Graphic Design
GDES 2045   Visual Continuity
GDES 2050   Pre-press
GDES 3010   Typography II
GDES 3015   Visual Communications II: Strategies & Solutions
GDES 3025   Interactive Web-Based Media
GDES 3030   Art Direction
GDES 3040   Design Culture
GDES 3050   Studio: Print
GDES 4010   Studio: Web
GDES 4015   Visual Communications III: Analysis
GDES 4020   Self Promotion and Entrepreneurship
GDES 4050   Production
SAFE 1000   Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
SAFE 1001   Introduction to NS OH&S Act