Visual Communications

  • AAS
Visual communications students present design projects.

The Visual Communications program inspires you to be creative, think critically and communicate effectively.  If you value lifelong intellectual and aesthetic growth, this program will open countless possibilities. Our goal is to build a community of creative designers, photographers, and multimedia content creators in Nashville and beyond.

Associate of Applied Science

The Associate of Applied Science program puts students in a creative environment with state-of-the-art technology to learn principles of visual communications, current imaging technology, business practices, and portfolio development. With concentrations in Graphic Design and Photography, students can focus on the skills needed to pursue a creative career. 


Two years


About $9,490 total in tuition and fees.

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After Nashville State

Transfer to a four-year institution or join the workforce. Ask our Career Services team for assistance!

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Campus Availability: The majority of Visual Communications courses are only offered on our White Bridge campus, however some may be available online. To check current course offerings check class schedule.

Ready to apply?

How to Apply

Our Visual Communications Degree Concentrations

Visual communications can vary based on your interests. Choose from one of two paths that we teach to focus your efforts.

Graphic Design

Design and produce advertising, logos, magazines, posters, and more. The Graphic Design concentration of the Visual Communications A.A.S. gives you real-world experience using the latest technology. As a graphic design student, you will have the opportunity to learn: 

  • How to develop creative briefs and style guides 
  • Design fundamentals for print, web, and social media 
  • Typography 
  • Color Theory
  • Branding
  • 2D & 3D design
  • Portfolio development
  • Merchandise, product, and package design
  • Pricing, ethics, and business for designers
  • Client development and management
  • Marketing and promotion 


Take stunning photos and turn your passion into a successful career. The Photography concentration of the Visual Communication A.A.S. teaches the necessary skills of digital camera operation, lighting, portraiture, digital image editing, composition, darkroom, digital printing techniques, and more. As a photography student, you will have the opportunity to learn: 

  • Digital Camera Operation
  • Studio and location lighting for portraits and product
  • Traditional film and darkroom skills
  • Color Theory and creative composition
  • Advanced digital photography techniques
  • Photo retouching and enhancement
  • Image compositing and creative editing techniques
  • Digital printing techniques and color management
  • Video production and editing
  • Pricing, ethics, and business for photographers
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Portfolio and website development 

Award Winning Students

Our students are excellent but don’t just take our word for it. In 2023, nine students from our Visual Communications program took home twelve prestigious student American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) in eight categories.
Nashville State Community College Profiles
Emily Naff
Associate Professor of Photography and Visual Communications
The creative talent and dedication of Nashville State students is a continuous source of inspiration for me and the other faculty. It is a privilege to work with our students as they develop their creative vision and hone their skills to prepare for professional and creative careers.
Professors like Emily Naff are here to help you go above and beyond your career goals to achieve excellence and gain national recognition. Learn from Naff and others like her by enrolling in the Visual Communications degree program.

Career Outlook


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Get In Touch

Program office

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Susan Tucker

Secretary III

K-108J, White Bridge Campus

Michael Sundblad

Dean of School of Arts and Humanities

Room K-108G, White Bridge Campus


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Pam Esposito

Instructor, Visual Communications

Room C-107H, White Bridge Campus

Beth Gorham

Associate Professor, Photography

Room C-107E, White Bridge Campus

Emily Naff

Associate Professor, Photography

Room C-107D, White Bridge Campus