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Graphic Communications

Degree Type: Associate in Applied Science
College(s): College of Business

Why Choose Graphic Communications?

The printing and graphic communications industry is the third largest industry in the United States, employing more than three quarters of a million people. It is estimated that nearly one third of those employed by the print media industry are over age 55. In addition to the aging workforce, nearly 5,000 new jobs are created each year due to the rapidly changing methods of printing and graphic image transfer and distribution.

Graphic Communications processes are used in the manufacturing, marketing, and communications industries on just about every item that we use. Whether it is the label on an item that you purchase or the dashboard of your car, it was printed. The way we communicate through the internet and mobile devices has increased the demand for graduates with the knowledge and skills to choose the correct communications method for the desired outcome. The internet has actually caused a major increase printed products as much as 20 percent.

Career Opportunities

Graphic Communications is a lot more than putting ink on paper. The creation and generation of high-resolution digital graphic files and the distribution of those images via Local Area Networks, the Internet, and mobile devices are all part of the job. There is a job for just about everyone with an interest in working with their hands, mind, deadlines, computers and an interest in creative problem solving.

While the AAS degree in Graphic Communications sets the stage for a BS degree in Graphic Media Management, those who choose not to pursue a bachelor degree may find many great job opportunities in the print media industry with an average starting hourly wage of $11.00.

Admission Requirements

New Students: 2.5 high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and two of the three criteria below: (1) English ACT score of 16 or higher, or SAT Writing score of 370 or higher; (2) Math ACT score of 19 or higher, or SAT Math score of 460 or higher; (3) Reading ACT score of 19 or higher, or SAT Reading score of 430 or higher.

Transfer Students: Combined college or university GPA of 2.35 (on a 4.0 scale) from all institutions attended. GPA is based on completion of 12 credit hours or more. Transfer equivalency for FSU ENGLISH 150 or placement during the first semester at FSU which would require an ACT English score of 16 or higher; Compass score 70 – 100. Transfer equivalency for FSU MATH 115or placement during the first semester at FSU which would require an ACT Math score of 19 or higher; Compass Algebra score 46 - 74 and HS Algebra with 2.0. 

Exceptions for New and Transfer Students: Applicants not meeting the above criteria but having a 2.35 High School GPA and at least a 16 ACT in Math or Reading (2.00 Overall GPA for Transfer Students) can be considered for conditional admission in a College of Business Pre-Program. Any mitigating circumstances will be considered on an individual basis by the College of Business Dean’s Office.

Pre-Program students must complete a minimum of 12 FSU credits (excluding developmental courses) with a 2.35 GPA; courses must include ENGL 150 and MATH 115 before being considered for admission into their program of choice. Students must meet admission criteria for their chosen degree program by the time they have earned 30 credits.

More Information:
Additional guidance can be found on the College of Business Webpage under the Admissions tab.

Graduation Requirements

The Graphic Communications program at Ferris terminates with an associate in applied science degree but leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Media Management. Graduation requires a minimum 2.0 GPA in core classes, in the major and overall. Students must complete all general education requirements as outlined on the General Education website.

More Information

Marketing Department
College of Business
119 South Street, BUS 212
Big Rapids, MI 49307 - 2284
Phone: 231-591-2426

Graphic Communications is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communication, Inc.
Next accreditation review is 2014.

Required Courses
Credit Hours


Finishing and Distribution Sys
Portable Document Files
Printing and Imaging Systems
Digital Color Reproduction
Prepress Workflow Automation
Substrates, Inks, and Coatings
Pre-Press Practicum
Press and Finishing Practicum


Principles of Accounting 1
Desktop Publishing
Interactive Media Development
Database Design-Implementation

University General Education

Communication Competence
English 1
English 2
Communication Elective
Quantitative Skills
Intermediate Algebra
If MATH ACT is 24 or higher, substitute a general education elective
Cultural Enrichment
Cultural Enrichment Elective
Social Awareness
Principles of Macroeconomics
Social Awareness Elective
Scientific Understanding
Science Elective with Lab
Minimum credit hours required: