UC Blue Ash College

Applied Graphic Communication


Why study Applied Graphic Communication?

Applied Graphic Communication concerns the process of creating visual materials that effectively convey information using text and/or images. This discipline encompasses many creative and technical fields involved in all phases of design, production, finishing and distribution of two- or three-dimensional artwork, products or electronic transmissions. The Applied Graphic Communication major is for students seeking foundational skills appropriate for further study in the design field or for employment in areas of design support.

Graphic communication is a professional field encompassing a broad range of design formats for both print and web-based media. Included among these are advertisements, newsletters, brochures, magazines, technical literature, identity and branding systems, package design, Web pages and multimedia. Students in the Applied Graphic Communication programs participate in small classes with considerable personal attention and direction from faculty. Art and design classes are taught in well-equipped studio facilities and labs using industry-standard computers and software.

The Applied Graphic Communication program may be completed full time in either two or three years. Students should meet with an academic advisor regularly to ensure that they take courses in the correct sequence and that they meet prerequisites. 

Admission Requirements

This program is open to all students with a high school diploma or GED and the desire to succeed
in college. Although admission is open, students accepted into the program must meet the
academic standards of the program to advance to upper levels of study. To proceed to the second
year of the program, students must participate in a mid-program portfolio review at the end of their
first year. Please refer to course syllabi for specific requirements.

For additional information on admission requirements please refer to the Art & Visual Communication Admission Requirements website. 


Students who succeed in the field of graphic communication are creative thinkers who possess kinetic and visual learning styles. They are detail-oriented and have strong motor skills. People who work in this field must demonstrate excellent time- and project-management skills and possess strong listening and communication skills. 

Students who complete the Applied Graphic Communication program will be qualified for entry-level design and creative support positions. Generally, these positions include: assembly and presentation of comprehensives, electronic file formatting and preparation, electronic pre-press, image manipulation and management, scripting and programming for web design, and computer template design.

Graduates of this major pursue careers in a variety of professional settings. These include graphic and interactive design studios, digital production and printing companies, advertising and marketing agencies, or other areas of media, communications, and public relations.

With further education students may seek positions requiring a higher level of skills.

Applied Graphic Communication is not offered as a minor.

Current and admitted students can locate advisor contact information for Applied Graphic Communication via the UCBA advising website.

Graduates of this major have strong foundational skills appropriate for further study in the design field or for employment in areas of design support. They may seek employment in a variety of professional settings requiring design support including advertising agencies, printing companies, in-house art departments, or other areas of communications and public relations. Art and Visual Communication Department faculty are committed to transforming students’ expectations into reality through rigorous course standards. The program’s accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) assures the high standard of education provided to students.

Enrolling at UCBA allows the student to begin a college program with smaller class sizes and individual attention from well-qualified faculty. The regional campus is conveniently located and has lower fees for tuition, technology, student life and parking.

Computer Requirements: All undergraduate students entering the Applied Graphic Communication program are required to purchase a personal laptop computer with specific requirements for hardware and software. You can review the current requirements here. Please note that these requirements may be slightly altered as equipment evolves. The requirements listed on the website will always be the most recent and accurate. Therefore, students new to UCBA are encouraged to delay their computer purchase until the summer prior to entering to make the most informed computer purchase. Many university programs have additional technology requirements for students in the later years of study.

Internships and field experience will be available with this major for students who meet department qualifications. Interns acquire professional experience while earning college credit and attending classes.

The Art and Visual Communication Department sponsors a student chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design in America. Student members gain access to AIGA resources and activities created to enhance their education and help in their eventual transition to the workplace as professional designers.

To qualify for a degree, you must fulfill the requirements of the program from which you expect to graduate and must have at least a 2.0 cumulative university grade point average. It is your responsibility to take the courses necessary for graduation. After freshman requirements have been completed for UCBA, no more than nine sophomore credits should be taken in another college. Those credits and courses must have the approval of the academic adviser before they are taken. A student who changes programs or extends work beyond a two-year period must meet the published requirements of the program in the year of expected graduation. Transfer students must take at least one-half of the required course work in a selected program at UCBA to qualify for graduation.

Note that the minimum passing grade for most courses in the Applied Graphic Communication program is a C-. To qualify for graduation, students must achieve at least a C- in each CMDS studio course, including the Capstone and Portfolio Review course (CMDS 2050). Please refer to course syllabi for specific requirements and maintain contact with faculty and program advisors to stay on track.

Students must complete an application for degree, usually the term before expected graduation. You should see your advisor for specific information well in advance of your final semester.

Transferring to UC Blue Ash 
Transfer applications are individually reviewed, and acceptance is based on receipt of application materials, as well as official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. An official evaluation of transfer credit from other colleges will be processed after the student’s file is complete.

Credits are accepted from any institution currently accredited by any of the six regional accrediting agencies. Enrollment Services shall have discretionary authority to accept credits from other institutions in consultation with program directors or department chairpersons. Application of transfer credit to the student's program is at the discretion of the appropriate program director or department chairperson. 

Transfer requirements among different colleges and programs at the university will vary. It is essential for students who plan to transfer to other colleges or programs to confirm transfer requirements with an academic advisor from the department to which they seek admission prior to applying for transfer. 

For priority consideration, complete transfer applications should be received by March 1 for the following fall term.

Students who did not graduate from a high school in the United States must take an ability-to-benefit test and achieve the minimum specified score to be eligible for admission to a degree or certificate program at UCBA. The scores will be used for placement in English courses and general advising for all courses.

Application Deadlines

You may enroll in UCBA if you graduated from an accredited high school or preparatory school, or have a GED certificate (minimum composite score of 45). The college's rolling admissions policy allows you to start any semester: fall, spring or summer. Many courses are sequential, however, and are offered only one term per academic year. Entering during spring or summer semester may extend the length of the program.

High school students who are considering UCBA should take either the SAT or ACT college entrance examination for use in guidance and counseling. All students entering a degree program must also take the college's placement test prior to registering for classes. This test is given on the UCBA campus.

Students seeking to transfer to other colleges and programs at UC or another regionally accredited university or college should submit a complete application for admission by the priority deadline of March 1 for the following academic year.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The Applied Graphic Communication program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Contact Information

Art & Visual Communication Department
Blue Ash College
Cincinnati, OH 45236
(513) 745-5655

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Program Code: 28ASC-AGC-AAB