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Graphic Design Program

  • Communication Design students presenting their work.

Welcome to the Communication Design Program at NOVA's Alexandria Campus. This curriculum, in existence for more than 30 years, is one of the largest and most highly regarded in the metropolitan area. Upon completion of two years of classes, as described in the college catalog, a student receives an Associate in Applied Science degree. The curriculum is designed for individuals who seek full-time employment in the communication design field.

Many graduates of the program have also successfully transferred to four year colleges, universities and professional art schools such as The Chicago Art Institute, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and Virginia Commonwealth University. The program further serves a large population of students who already have some college background and are preparing for career changes or upgrading their job skills. Students who have enrolled in this program have competed solidly in graphic design competitions regionally, nationally and internationally. Many graduates are employed, or have been employed or interned, at prestigious firms including USA Today, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museum, Civilization Magazine, Discovery Communications, Mobil Oil Corporation, the Newseum, the Washington Post and National Geographic Society. Several graduates have ultimately founded their own companies.

Our primary educational approach is one of concept development and creative problem solving. Students learn to develop various design concepts from inception to conclusion. After the planning stages of a project, the work is frequently produced in one of the state-of-the-art Macintosh labs available in the building. The application programs used in the curriculum are: Adobe® Creative Suite for Print, Web and Multimedia Design, and Final Cut Pro and Maya for Multimedia. Our highly successful program has two flagship specializations in Communication Design (Graphic Design) and Interactive Design. We also offer two certificates in Web Design and Multimedia Design.

The faculty consists of dedicated professionals, each combining years of teaching experience and firsthand expertise and experience in the field. To complement the talents of the full time faculty, several classes are taught by adjunct instructors who are presently working in the field. A full time instructional assistant contributes in a number of ways.

The Communication Design Program hosts two exhibitions annually in the Tyler Teaching Gallery - one professional, and the other of student works. Our program's Communication Design Curriculum Advisory Board is a hardworking team of professionals from various specializations within the communication design industry. In addition to keeping faculty in touch with the profession, the advisory committee develops extra-curricular symposia for students each year. Advisory committee members further provide resources and assistance with the job search for graduating students.

Thank you for your interest in our program. We invite you to make an appointment to visit our facility and speak with a faculty member. We will be glad to answer your questions regarding your educational and professional goals.