Student FAQs

Design & Digital Media is not just a “vocational program” – students are expected to have critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and be self-directed. A majority of the courses are transferable, so there is academic rigor involved. The D&DM courses are not just learning about how to use software or how to make posters; students are taught to become visual thinkers and innovators in the field.

Students who enroll into 2-3 D&DM courses in the same semester should expect to put in 8-10 hours of work per week for each class. Every D&DM course requires projects and/or designs which are time-consuming and require extra lab work outside of class.

Students who are interested in Graphic Design and have not taken D&DM courses in the past should focus on DDSN 311, DDSN 331, or DDSN 341. Other “foundational” courses include DDSN 301 and DDSN 360. These courses do not have prerequisites, though it is advised that students complete DDSN 311 or DDSN 341 before taking DDSN 301. Students are also encouraged to take ART 300 or ART 320 to enhance their skills.

Students who are interested in Web Design and User Interface/User Experiences and have not taken D&DM courses in the past should begin with DDSN 360 and DDSN 331 or DDSN 311. Students are also encouraged to take CISW 306 or CISW 327 to enhance their technical skills.

Students who are interested in Animation, 3D Modeling or Game Design and have not taken D&DM courses in the past should focus on ANIM 301, MODL 301, or GAME 301. These are entry-level courses with no prerequisites and no experience needed. Students are also encouraged to take ART 300, ART 304, or ART 370 to enhance their skills.

Although students learn to use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and XD, Autodesk Maya, and other programs in the D&DM courses, there is more to it than just learning about software. Students are not just learning software mechanics – they learn to create effective and thoughtful designs.

Although a college degree (BA/BS level) is favorable, many companies focus on a potential employee’s portfolio. Students are encouraged to start building their portfolios early, especially since many universities require them for admission into the impacted programs.

Take DDSN 490/491/493 – Work Experience and/or Internships are essential gateways to being successful in these fields. We offer a series of hands-on “design studio” courses, that lead you in this direction. Take advantage of this opportunity and create the bridge into a successful career.

Many students from SCC are successfully admitted into the Graphic Design program at CSUS because of the preparation received from the various D&DM courses. Only about 40 students are selected each semester to the Graphic Design program at CSUS and the portfolio development is a key piece.

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”         –Antoine de Saint-Exupéry