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.

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Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 91 credit hours with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better. All courses must be passed with a grade of ‘C’ or better. Twenty-four (24) credits must be completed at Southwestern before the AAS CIS Software Development 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).


Students must take the following prerequisites:

CIS90Computer Basics (or demonstrate proficiency)2
MTH60Algebra I4
WR90Paragraph Fundamentals (or placement in higher writing course)3-4
or WR90R Academic Literacy

Program Guide

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ART115 Basic Design I, Intro to Elements 4
ART131 Introduction to Drawing I 3
Concepts of Computing
or Problem Solving for CIS Majors
CIS125PH Computer Applications: Photoshop 3
DD160 Digital Design Orientation 3
ART110 Digital Photography I 3
CS195 Web Development I 3
ART116 Basic Design II, Color Theory 4
DD235PH Digital Design App: Photoshop 3
WR115 Introduction to Expository Writing (or higher) 3
ART117 Basic Design III, Intro to 3D Desgn 4
BA285 Human Relations in Organizations 1 3
CIS125IL Computer Applications: Illustrator 3
CIS125MA Computer Applications: Maya 3
CS133WS Web Scripting 4
Second Year
ART210 Digital Photography II 3
Introduction to Entrepreneurship
or Technology Entrepreneurship
CIS125DW Computer Applications: Dreamweaver 3
Digital Design App: Maya
or Digital Design App: Indesign
MTH86 Computer Technology Mathematics (or higher) 4
BA223 Principles of Marketing 3
DD250 Projects in Digital Media 3
DD280 CWE: Digital Design 4
SP100 Basic Speech Communications (or higher) 3
DD297 Digital Design Capstone 3
PE231 Wellness for Life 3 3
Specific Elective 2 6
 Total Credits91

BA110 Group Dynamics for Teams, BA120 Leadership DevelopmentPSY100 Introduction to Psychology, PSY201 General Psychology, PSY201H General Psychology w/HonorsPSY203 General Psychology, or PSY203H General Psychology w/Honors may be substituted for BA285 Human Relations in Organizations.


Specific Electives:  Any ART, BA,CS/CIS, or DD course not otherwise required within the degree; MTH course higher than MTH86 Computer Technology Mathematics.


HE250 Personal Health or three (3) credits of any PE185 sport/activity course may be substituted for PE231 Wellness for Life.

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 web pages.
  • Work effectively as part of a design team.