College of Southern Maryland


Graphic Design Programs at the College of Southern Maryland

College of Southern Maryland appears in our ranking of the 20 Most Affordable Associates in Web Design and Development Online.

The Department of Arts, Humanities, Social Science and Education at the College of Southern Maryland offers programs in art and design. A graphic design certificate program is available and requires just three semesters of work. Students take four courses in the first semester, three classes in the second semester and two courses in the final semester. Those classes include Basic Drawing I, Graphic Design I, Color Theory and Practice and Graphic Design II. Students can submit their work to the college and have their portfolios evaluated before or after they finish the certificate too.

An Associate of Arts program in Art is also available from the college. This two-year program includes some general education courses that students can transfer to a university or college and art classes that help them become better artists. The college gives students the freedom to pick art electives based on what they want to create. They can choose from photography and ceramic classes as well as drawing and painting courses. The college also allows students to take art history classes for elective credits.

One of the shortest programs offered by the college is a studio art program that awards students a letter of recognition. They will take Basic Drawing I and Two Dimensional Drawing. The college also requires that they take one elective such as Beginning Ceramics or Intermediate Drawing. Color Theory and Practice is another course that will count towards this elective. It takes just one semester for students to get their letters.

Students who want to major in graphic design can also enter the college’s Associate of Arts in Digital Media Production program. It teaches students how to create content used by productions on film and television. They have the option of working for networks and stations affiliated with the college and will create a reel of their work by the end of the program. Students will take 60 credits of digital production courses, including Introduction to Media Writing, Television News Production, Documentary Production, and Web Graphics and Multimedia. During their third semester in the program, students will also do an internship.

About the College of Southern Maryland

The College of Southern Maryland is a junior college in Maryland that served as a community college for many years. Founded in 1958 as Charles County Junior College, it offered nighttime classes for adult students. Those students attended classes in La Plata High School after the high school students left for the day. New programs added at the end of the decade let students gain work experience through apprentice programs. By the end of the 1960s, the college had outgrown the high school and began work on a separate campus that opened near the end of the decade. That new campus led to the school later becoming the College of Southern Maryland.

Located in La Plata, the college primarily offers programs designed for students living in southern Maryland. It uses the abbreviation CSM on buildings located on the main campus and its smaller regional campuses, which are in Prince Frederick, Hughesville and Leonardtown. The La Plata campus is the largest and is home to the Southern Maryland Studies Center. More than 23,000 students now attend all the campuses in the CSM system.

College of Southern Maryland Accreditation Details

CSM wants to make sure that it offers the best opportunities and resources for its students, which is why it works with different organizations to maintain its accreditation. The college’s medical laboratory technology, nursing, physical therapy, business and truck driving programs all have accreditation from top organizations. CSM received regional accreditation during its community college days and still retains that accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

College of Southern Maryland Application Requirements

Thanks to the open houses that the college puts on, students can take a tour and see if CSM meets their educational needs. They can tour the entire campus, sign up to sit in on classes with real students and professors and even spend the night in a dormitory. Both transfer and traditional students must submit the CSM application, which asks for the student’s social security number. Once accepted, students will need to prove they are Maryland residents to get the college’s in-state tuition. Students need either a GED or high school diploma to enroll, but the college will accept students into some of its special programs without either of those documents. Those programs let students take two courses and then transfer to a degree program.

After completing the CSM application, students need to apply for financial aid and sign up for a placement test. In lieu of the ACCUPLACER, students can submit an ACT or SAT score. A score of 1010 on the SAT or 21 on the ACT lets students skip some introductory courses and take advanced classes. CSM asks students to attend orientation on the campus and register for classes. Prior to the beginning of the semester, the college will also ask for official transcripts from new students.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students living in St. Mary’s County or one of the two neighboring counties will qualify for a reduced rate of $127.50 per credit hour. This cost increases to $222 per credit hour for students in other parts of Maryland and $286 per credit hour for students from other states. A credit by examination fee of $20 applies to any student applying for credits based on their work or educational experiences. Students also pay a $100 per credit hour fee for the portfolio evaluation required in many of the college’s art programs.

Payment plans provide students with help in paying their educational costs when they cannot afford to make a large upfront payment. CSM encourages students to apply for financial aid first. It can then work out a payment plan based on the total the student owes minus financial aid. Tuition waivers are available for students who meet certain requirements and significantly reduces the costs they pay per credit hour. CSM students can qualify for government grants and institutional scholarships too. The college bases financial aid packages on the total amount of need shown on the FAFSA. Graphic design and art students attending the College of Southern Maryland can get a package that includes several types of financial aid.

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