Frequently Asked Questions

What is GCM?

Graphic Communications Management (GCM) is a four-year Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) degree program for students who will become managers in the exciting, modern and high-tech printing industries.

Graphic Communications means creating, managing and evaluating visual communications products, traditionally in print, packaging and displays, and increasingly in electronic documents. Examples include product packaging, magazines, commercial printing, posters, direct mail, signage and many others, along with their electronic counterparts.

GCM is closely related to design, communications, business management, technology, and engineering but is unique in its focus on print media.


What’s Unique About Ryerson’s GCM Program?

GCM is unique because of the strength of its industry connections. These partnerships help GCM maintain state-of-the art premedia, printing, simulation and finishing labs, and to bring industry experts into classes to speak to students. The involvement of industry also leads to sponsored scholarships, internship opportunities and outstanding employment prospects.


What will my class sizes be like?

First year labs are 20-25 students. Lectures are 75-90 students.


What is a typical class format?

Most GCM courses are combined lecture and lab format. In each course, students participate in lectures which focus on concepts. Small-group labs are practical and hands-on and allow students to practice the concepts learned in lectures.


How many hours of class can I expect per week?

Most GCM students take 15-18 hours of class per week, but students put in significant time out of class, either during open hours in the labs or at home or working in teams.


How many courses will I take each semester?

In most terms, GCM students take 5 or 6 courses.


What Careers are available to GCM graduates?

GCM graduates work in a range of careers related to the printing industries, including: Production coordinator, Project manager, Salesperson, Estimator, Department manager, Print buyer, Account manager, Technical specialist, Interactive content specialist, Educator or trainer, Entrepreneur


What kind of computer should I bring?

GCM offers modern labs equipped with high-end Mac computers. Students have access to labs during class time and open lab hours, including select evenings and weekends. This means students are not required to purchase a computer or software, but many students own a laptop, either a Mac or a Windows-based computer.


Is GCM a Design Program?

GCM is much more than just a graphic design program. Our graduates often manage designers and carry multiple projects through to completion. An ability is graphic design is not a requirement, and no portfolio is needed, but students have many opportunities for creative expression, and GCM students with an aptitude for design often do very well.


Are there Jobs for GCM Graduates?

Yes. GCM holds an annual Job Fair, usually attracting over 50 employers. We also maintain an electronic job listing. As Canada’s only 4-year degree program for the printing industries, GCM grads are in high demand in an industry of 60,000 employees. GCM grads are found in rewarding and engaging positions around the world. However, like all fields, employment prospects vary from year to year and student to student. Those who get the best job offers are those who excel in their studies and are flexible and engaged.


Is there an Internship or Co-Op Placement?

Yes. GCM students complete an internship in the summer between third and fourth year. Many employers continue to employ interns part-time through fourth year and hire them full-time after graduation. GCM helps students find internships through our annual Job Fair and electronic job listing. Students can do their internship in Canada or abroad.


Can I Pursue a Graduate Degree after GCM?

Yes. While most graduates enter the workforce, some pursue advanced studies. GCM graduates have done Master’s degrees in print and electronic media, business (MBA – Master of Business Administration), science, education, and professional communication.


Can I Start My Own Business?

Yes. Some grads have become successful entrepreneurs. In fourth year you will learn to complete a full business plan for a start-up company. The printing industries offer many opportunities for entrepreneurs.


What Labs will I Use at GCM?

In addition to our Mac labs, GCM students use our professional digital cameras in a photography studio, as well as scanners, photo-quality proofers and printers, digital, offset and flexographic printing presses, binding and finishing machines, computer-based simulators, and specialized material testing equipment in our instrumentation lab. You will see our labs if you come for a visit or view our video.


Will I Interact with Industry?

Yes. Working with industry is a big part of being a GCM student. Students meet instructors and guest speakers from industry, and participate in plant tours. Respected professionals attend events at Ryerson and invite students to industry dinners, seminars and open houses. Students can join industry associations and attend trade shows and conferences.

Industry supports GCM because our grads are important to them. We receive generous support from industry in the form of equipment, software, materials and other technology.


Will I Meet Other Students?

Yes. GCM students consider themselves the “GCM Family.” The student-run GCM Course Union runs many social, athletic and academic events, starting with Orientation Week in the fall. Professors and staff interact with students on a first-name basis. Many students join our numerous extra-curricular student clubs and teams. You will have many opportunities to get involved.


What are the Requirements for Admission to GCM?

Program requirements are given here. Admissions are competitive, and students who exceed the minimum requirements are more likely to be offered admission. In addition to the required courses and grades, students are encouraged to take high school Accounting and Communication Technology courses, if offered at their school. Admission decisions are based on grades.


Do I Need a Portfolio or Interview?

No. No portfolio, interview or essay is required or considered. Admission decisions are based on grades. Some awards and scholarships require interviews and written statements.


Does Ryerson Accept International Students?

Yes. Admission details for international students are included here. The GCM curriculum is enhanced byinternational exchange opportunities. Each year, select GCM students have the opportunity to study abroad, and GCM hosts a small number of exchange students.