Major code BS6922
Scripps College of Communication
School of Visual Communication
250 Schoonover Center
Athens, OH 45701
Tim Goheen, Director
Rebecca Sell, Graduate Director
The School of Visual Communication offers an interdisciplinary visual communication degree with four specialized sequences. The school has been recognized twice as a Program of Excellence by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and is a proud component of the Scripps College of Communication recognized by the state as a Center of Excellence – the only college in the state to receive that distinction.
Graduates of the program earn a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication. The degree program is designed to provide students with realistic and thorough broad-based professionally oriented training in visual communication while providing the necessary liberal arts and cultural background for a strong educational foundation.
Intensive training is offered in publication design including informational graphics and preparation for careers in the magazine, newspaper, and corporate communication fields; interactive design for web and mobile platforms for careers in a wide range of communication settings; documentary photojournalism for newspapers, magazines and the Internet; and commercial photography with preparation for careers in the fashion, product, and corporate communication and advertising fields.
Goals of the School
The goals of the School of Visual Communication are:
- to equip students with the necessary skills to be successful in the media, and the background and motivation to enable them to compete for leadership roles in the field
- to provide assistance and professional guidance in visual communication to working photographers, editors, and other personnel, newspapers, press services, magazines, industrial photographic departments, trade associations, multimedia and education media production units and cultural and scientific visual communicators
- to set high standards for visual integrity and communication ethics
- to foster and promote scholarly research and creative activities
The School of Visual Communication admits a limited number of students through a competitive selection process. The School has an admission deadline of December 15. All application materials must be received by that deadline. After you have been accepted to Ohio University, the School of Visual Communication will notify you by letter. As part of the selection process you will select a date and time to visit the school. The letter will ask you to schedule your visit (usually at the end of January), prior to the visit submit a 500-word essay of intent, and bring a sampling of your work (portfolio) to be viewed. On that day, prospective students will meet with faculty to discuss their goals, talk about the student’s work, and have the chance to meet other potential students and tour the school.
Successful applicants usually rank in the top quarter of their high school class and/or have outstanding SAT or ACT scores. In addition, if you demonstrate extraordinary talent or experience or are a member of a historically under-represented group, you will be given additional consideration for admission.
For this career-oriented professional program you will need professional equipment to complete assignments and eventually compete in the job market. Ensuring every opportunity for students to excel in a very competitive field, we require use of certain basic levels of equipment. It is highly recommended that all students in the school have their own computer for use in completing class assignments. The Ohio University “GO MOBILE” offers an excellent access to portable Apple computers.
Students majoring in interactive multimedia and informational graphics/publication design are required to have access to a computer with appropriate software by the time they enter VICO 1115VICO 1115. Please contact the School for current hardware and software recommendations.
Photojournalism students entering VICO 2390 must own at least one professional-level 35mm DSLR camera (full frame sensor preferred), lenses, and necessary accessories. One lens should have a 24mm or wide focal length (or digital equivalent) with an f/2.8 or faster aperture. Another lens should be a 135mm of longer focal length (or digital equivalent) with an f/2.8 or faster aperture. Zoom lenses are also acceptable if they meet the focal length and aperture requirement of f/2.8. In addition, students must have a dedicated electronic flash outfit and a suitable professional tripod.
External Transfer Admission
The School of Visual Communication will consider transfer students twice a year, and only when openings are available. A very limited number of openings usually occur in each major sequence each academic year. Please call the School to determine the status of transfer openings. Students transferring with over 90 hours of credit will find it difficult to complete the School’s curriculum in two years. Here are the procedures:
- If you are transferring from another institution, you must be accepted by Ohio University first.
- You must have a 3.0 or higher GPA at the time of transfer.
- Attend a transfer information session held at 10:00 a.m. on the fourth Friday of each semester.
- Register in the school’s office on the eighth Monday of the semester for an interview on that Friday for open sequences.
- For the interview, bring a current copy of your DARS or transcript, a resume, three letters of recommendation, a statement of intent letter, and a portfolio.
- Successful applicants will be enrolled conditionally, and then have two consecutive semesters to complete VICO 1000 and JOUR 1330 with a grade of C or better before final admission.
Change of Program Policy
Transfer sequence requirements for students inside the School of Visual Communication:
Students with 15 to 60 earned credit hours may apply to transfer sequences within the School after meeting with their advisor and making a written request to the School’s faculty. Faculty approval and available openings in the requested major sequence are required before students will be allowed to transfer sequences.
Students with over 60 earned hours must meet the same transfer requirements as non-VisCom majors.
Opportunities Upon Graduation
Successful graduates find employment in photojournalism profession working for print publications including newspapers and magazine as well as online or start their own businesses as freelance visual communicators.