CIS Digital Design, Associate of Applied Science

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) CIS Digital Design degree is designed to successfully prepare students for careers in the expanding fields of digital design and media productions through an integrated curriculum exposing students to design principles and technical strategies. Upon successful completion of the AAS CIS Digital Design degree, students are prepared for a variety of entry-level positions in numerous digital design fields. Students attain knowledge and learn skills to seek careers in creative and support professions within such media industries as film and video, graphic design, production, game development, animation, and web design. Some of the careers available in media include: Production designer, camera operator, visual effects production, multimedia producer, duplication, production assistant, graphic artist, art assistant, web designer, and other emerging opportunities.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 90 credit hours with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better. All courses must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better. Twenty-four (24) credits must be completed at Southwestern before the degree is awarded.

Complete the graduation application process one term prior to the term of completion (e.g., spring term graduates must apply during winter term).

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate professional design principles and practices.
  • Plan, design, develop, and edit digital images and graphics.
  • Plan, design, develop, and edit digital time-based media.
  • Plan, design, develop, and edit interactive webpages.
  • Work effectively as part of a design team.

Math and writing placement are unique to each student and are determined during the admissions and intake advising process.  Additional math or writing courses may be required prior to taking the math or writing program requirements in this degree.

Program Guide

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ART115 Basic Design I Intro to Elements of Art and Principles of Design 4
ART131 Introduction to Drawing I 3
CIS120 Concepts of Computing 4
CIS125PH Computer Applications: Photoshop 3
DD160 Digital Design Orientation 3
ART110 Digital Photography I 3
ART116 Basic Design II, Color Theory 4
CS195 Web Development I 3
DD235PH Digital Design App: Photoshop 3
WR115 Fundamentals of Report Writing (or higher) 1 4
ART117 Basic Design III, Intro to 3D Desgn 4
BA285 Human Relations in Organizations 2 3
CIS125IL Computer Applications: Illustrator 3
CIS125MA Computer Applications: Maya 3
CS133WS Computer Language I: Web Scripting 4
Second Year
ART210 Digital Photography II 3
BA150 Introduction to Entrepreneurship 3 3
CIS125DW Computer Applications: Dreamweaver 3
MTH60 Algebra I (or higher) 7 4
BA223 Principles of Marketing 4
DD250 Projects in Digital Media 3
DD280 CWE: Digital Design 4
SP100 Basic Speech Communications 8 3
DD297 Digital Design Capstone 3
PE231 Wellness for Life 5 3
Specific Elective 6 6
 Total Credits90

A higher writing may be substituted excluding WR241, WR242, WR243, and WR250.


BA110, BA120, BA285, PSY100, PSY201, PSY202, PSY203 will satisfy this requirement.


CIS250 may be substituted for BA150


PE231, HE250 or three (3) credits of PE185 sport/activity courses will satisfy this requirement.


Specific Electives may be substituted:  Any ART, BA,CS/CIS, or DD course not otherwise required within the degree; MTH course higher than MTH60.


MTH65, MTH95, MTH98, or higher, excluding MTH211, may be substituted for MTH60.


SP100, SP111, SP218, SP219 will satisfy this requirement.


All Honors courses may substitute for their equivalent requirements.