Graphic Arts

Two-Year Associate in Specialized Technology (AST) Degree Program
Available at the State College Main Campus

Take the First Step Into Your Graphic Design Career

Providing easy-to-digest visual information in a technology-heavy world, graphic artists work in a wide variety of settings - including commercial businesses, advertising agencies, graphic design firms, corporate communications departments, as well as for newspapers, magazines, and other publishing companies. At South Hills School of Business & Technology, you’ll study the history of the field, learning from the past as you become part of its ever-evolving future.


Our two-year Associate in Specialized Technology (AST) Degree Program prepares you for employment in visual communication through a variety of media, including:

Why South Hills?

Start designing on day one.

Graphic Arts
You’ll develop your creative process, graduating with a versatile print portfolio and well-rounded website, ready to hit the ground running in your Graphic Arts career.

Small class sizes.

Graphic Arts
Keeping our student-to-faculty ratios low ensures you receive the kind of one-on-one attention and mentorship you need to succeed.

Experienced instructors.

Graphic Arts
You’ll learn from working professional designers, including professional copywriters, art directors, and videographers, with experience in every facet of the field.

Real-world job insights.

Graphic Arts
A second-year internship will give you critical exposure to the current state of the industry.

Student Internship Locations

  • Flyland Designs
  • Centre County Gazette
  • Barash Media
  • DePiro Entertainment
  • Pneu-Dart

A Practical Curriculum

The Graphic Arts program prepares students to:

  • Apply fundamental traditions of design through concept development, color, composition, image making, typography, and verbal and written communication.
  • Engage in creative problem-solving to produce effective solutions in visually communicating information about products, services, companies, or individuals.
  • Create graphic design using software including Adobe® Creative Suite and website design and productivity software commonly used in the graphic arts industry.
  • Create a complete print and digital portfolio that reflects the professional skills acquired through project-based curriculum and a second-year internship.

Using well-known software and resources, our faculty will train you in the fundamentals of:


Course Highlights

  • Computer Graphics
  • Video Production & Editing
  • Social Media and Marketing for Designers
  • Advanced Web Site Design

Complete Course List

Graphic Arts Course List

Graphic Arts Course List for 2020-21

TermCourse #Course NameCreditsClock Hours
First TermGE183Business English I460
GA116Color Theory2.536
GA133Electronic Design460
GA130Fundamentals of Design460
GA120Fundamentals of Drawing360
PD110Professional Development224
Second TermGE184Business English II460
GE234Geometry for Design336
GA128Collateral Design3.560
GA124Introduction to Computer Graphics (Photoshop)460
GE213Oral Business Communications224
Third TermGA230Advertising Design3.560
GE231Art History for the Graphic Designer560
GE233Business Writing3.560
GA225Computer Graphics - Illustrator460
GA121Graphic Design Studio I3.560
CP134Web Site Design460
Fourth TermGE178Human Relations in the Workplace2.536
CD207Job Search Skills224
GA220Packaging Design3.560
GA217Concept Development2.536
GA222Publication Design3.560
GA235Social Media and Marketing for Designers460
IT218Web Site Design II460
Fifth TermGA236Advanced Web Site Design (Motion Graphics)460
GA228Digital Pre-Press3.560
GA219Graphic Design Studio II3.560
GA221Print Portfolio3.560
GA227Typography - Expressive & Experimental348
GA231Digital Photography3.548
GA233Video Production and Editing3.548
Sixth TermCD106Career Preparation0.510
GA232Freelance Business Development221
GA234Graphic Arts Internship11330
119.5 Credits1,993 Clock Hours

Meet the Faculty

Program Advisory Committee

State College Main Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
Jennifer NortonAssistant DirectorPenn State Press
Steve KressOwnerSteve Kress Design
Chip MockOwnerMock Creations
Jim Lukens-GableArt DirectorPenn State Multimedia and Print Center
Dennis ManeySenior Graphic DesignerPenn State College of Health and Human Development
Doug IrwinGraphic DesignerPenn State Housing and Food Services
Tiara SnareSenior Graphic DesignerThe Barash Group
Mark Dello StrittoOwner/Senior Art DirectorLoaded Creative
Jorge JovelOwnerBlack Sheep Media
Ryan CherryOwner/FreelancerGrizzly Design Company

GA Program, Student, & Alumni News

South Hills Utilizes Local Experts to Prepare Students for the Workplace

To keep the curriculums for its 11 specialized associate degree programs current and relevant to the community's workforce needs, South Hills School of Business & Technology relies on input from Program Advisory Committees that are comprised of local employers, internship site supervisors, and South Hills alumni.
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South Hills School of Business & Technology’s Graphic Arts Students Hold Gallery Show

In the days leading up to receiving their degrees at South Hills School of Business & Technology's Fall Commencement, the Graphic Arts Class of 2018 held an art exhibit at the Art Alliance of Central PA to showcase their work from the past two years.
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South Hills Announces the 2018 Recipient of the Kari Schlegel Memorial Scholarship Award

Hayley Butcher, Williamsburg High School graduate and student of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills School of Business & Technology, has been awarded the 2018 Kari Schlegel Memorial Scholarship Award.
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More Than 100 Graduate From South Hills for Fall 2017

South Hills School of Business & Technology held its commencement ceremony for the fall graduating class of 2017 at The Penn Stater Conference Center on Monday, September 25, 2017.
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South Hills Digital Art Gallery to Honor Memory of Graduate Who Died Last Year

Words like “bubbly,” positive,” “outgoing,” and “kind-hearted,” were just some of what Kari Schlegel’s friends had to say about her. They also said it’s fitting that an online art exhibit created by people affiliated with South Hills School of Business & Technology was recently named in her memory.
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Ninth Annual Infusive Designs Art Show Held

In the final days leading up to commencement, the Graphic Arts Class of 2016 held an art exhibit at the Art Alliance of Central PA to showcase their hard work from the past two years.
Read More

Ready to enroll in the Graphic Arts program at South Hills?

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