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Visual Communications Courses in Grand Rapids, MI

There are two schools within 45 miles of Grand Rapids, Michigan, that have visual communications programs. Read an overview of the schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Grand Rapids, MI, Schools with Visual Communications Courses

While no schools in the Grand Rapids area have designated degree programs in visual communications, there are two community colleges in the city that offer related courses of study. Continue reading to learn more about these programs, and compare some key school statistics in the accompanying table.

  • Students interested in graphic design can explore the degrees and certificate programs at Muskegon Community College. This school is located about 32 miles from Grand Rapids.
  • Students interested in graphic design can enroll in certificate and degree programs at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. At 45 miles, this college is the furthest away from the downtown.

Comparison of Schools

Prospective undergraduates can use this table to compare the tuition rates for in-district, in-state and out-of-state students, campus locations, enrollment, graduation percentages and retention rates for the two featured community colleges.

Muskegon Community College Kalamazoo Valley Community College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 4,311* 8,316*
Campus Setting Small city Midsize suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) In-district, $5,550; in-state, $9,190; out-of-state, $12,310* In-district, $3,381; in-state, $5,646; out-of-state, $7,491*
% of First-Time Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 84%* 80%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2017) 62% for full-time students; 44% for part-time students* 64% for full-time students, 45% part-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2014) 16% (29% transfer-out rate)* 15% (23% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Muskegon Community College

Muskegon Community College is a public 2-year institution located northeast of Grand Rapids in the city of Muskegon. The college serves over 4,000 students and primarily grants certificates and associate degrees.

Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Design

Graduates of the graphic design program are prepared to enter the workforce in the advertising or computer graphics fields. This associate degree is not intended for individuals who plan to transfer to a 4-year school. Students complete 62-63 credit hours of coursework, including 15 credits of general education classes. Courses for the graphic design component cover Photoshop, drawing for graphic design, Illustrator, design principles and typography.

Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Design Entrepreneur

This 62-credit program teaches students to operate a freelance graphic design business. In addition to 18 credits of general education coursework, students develop their skills in both print and web-based media. Course offerings cover graphic design tools, like InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. The program also requires 12 credits in the entrepreneur core curriculum, which teaches skills such as e-business, selling and planning and professionalism.

Graphic Design Certificates

Muskegon offers graphic design certificates in video/audio and web design. The video/audio certificate program requires 27 credit hours of coursework. Topics include business law, mass media, typography and television production. The web design certificate requires 30 credit hours of coursework. This certificate program covers content management systems, web programming, database management and HTML.

Kalamazoo Valley Community College

Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) is a 2-year college located in the city of Kalamazoo. The school primarily awards certificates and associate degrees and serves over 8,000 students. Students can find courses related to visual communications through the school's graphic design certificate programs or its associate degree program in art and new media.

Certificate of Achievement in Graphic Design

The Certificate of Achievement offered by KVCC consists of 30 credits specifically in graphic design; no general education or elective courses are needed. Subjects covered include typography, digital photography, graphic design (beginning and advanced), vector design, concept development and 2-dimensional design.

Illustration Certificate

This certificate program focuses on digital media, drawing, painting and design. Coursework will be completed in areas like Adobe Creative Suite, watercolor, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, colored pencil media and concept development. The certificate requires a minimum of 30 credits for completion.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) in Art and New Media

All art and new media majors take some of the same core curriculum courses that address color theory, Photoshop, Adobe Creative Suite, illustration drawing basics. Areas of specialization include graphic design, animation and game art, illustration, multi-media/video and web design and development. Students complete a total of 66 credit hours of coursework to earn this degree.


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