Jun 14, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2013-14 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2013-14 [Archived Catalog]

Visual Communication, School of

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Scripps College of Communication
Seigfred Hall 301
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: 740.593.4898
Fax: 740.593.0190

Stan Alost, Interim Director
TBA, Assistant Director

The Scripps College of Communication offers a visual communication degree with four specialized sequences, built on an interdisciplinary foundation. The School has been twice recognized as a Program of Excellence in photography and visual communication by the Ohio Board of Regents. Students earn a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication degree.

The program is designed to provide students with a realistic, broad-based, professionally oriented education in visual communication, while providing a liberal arts background necessary for a strong academic foundation.

Major sequences are offered in informational graphics/publication design, interactive multimedia design, photojournalism for newspapers and magazines, and commercial photography (advertising and editorial photographs).

Goals of the School

The goals of the School of Visual Communication are:

  1. to equip students with the necessary skills to be successful and compete for leadership roles in the field
  2. to provide assistance and professional guidance in visual communication to working photographers, designers, editors, newspapers, press services, magazines, photographic departments, multimedia media production units, and visual communication associations
  3. to set high standards of visual integrity and communication ethics
  4. to foster and promote scholarly research and creative activities


In an effort to provide practical training, one advisor-approved internship is required for the VisCom degree. Internships should be approximately 400 hours of paid supervised work in your field. Any qualified student may compete for an internship. Many students have several internships before graduation.

In recent years, Ohio University visual communication students have worked on paid internships at newspapers and magazines and in advertising, commercial photography, fashion industry, and multimedia design. Internships have been available in almost all states and several international locations.

Many Ohio University visual communication students are active members of the Ohio News Photographers Association and other state press photographer groups, and are student members of the National Press Photographers Association, the Society for News Design, National Association of Black Journalists, and the American Society of Media Photographers. Ohio University students have been highly successful in state and national competitions.

Grades in Professional Courses

Students must earn a C (2.0) or better in any professional course (e.g., ART, COMS, JOUR, MDIA, VICO) for that course to count toward a School requirement. A grade of C- does not meet this standard. Failure to achieve a C or better in a required professional course after the second attempt will result in the student being dismissed from the School of Visual Communication.

Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication

Admission Requirements—B.S.V.C.

The School of Visual Communication admits a limited number of students and the selection process is very competitive. The application deadline is December 15.

Students seeking acceptance to the School of Visual Communication must first be accepted for admission to Ohio University. Once accepted by the University, applicants will receive an invitation to interview for direct admission to the School.

Interviews are normally conducted in January of the year you wish to enter the School. The interview process includes a review of the applicant’s portfolio and submission of a written essay.

Successful student applicants usually rank in the top quarter of their high school classes and/or have outstanding SAT or ACT scores. In addition, students who demonstrate notable talent or experience, or who are members of a disproportionately represented group are encouraged to seek 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, the School requires use of certain basic levels of equipment.

All students are required to have access to a digital SLR camera with a 35mm f/2.8 lens or a 50mm f/2.8 lens. The camera should permit full manual control over aperture, shutter speeds, film speed settings, and focus. An automatic “point and shoot” camera will not meet the requirements of any VICO photographic class. Please contact the School for current equipment recommendations.

All students in the School are required to own their own laptop computer that is Macintosh Platform compatible for use in completing class assignments. Please consult the School website for current hardware and software recommendations.

Photojournalism students entering VICO 2390  must own or have full-time access to at least one professional-level 35mm DSLR camera, three lenses, a tripod, and necessary accessories including a dedicated strobe. One lens should have a 28mm or wider focal length with an f/2.8 or faster aperture. The second lens should be in the 45 to 60mm f/2.8 range. The third lens should be 200mm or longer in focal length and f/2.8 or faster. Zoom lenses are also acceptable if they meet the fixed aperture requirement of f/2.8. In addition, students must have a dedicated electronic flash outfit and a suitable professional tripod.

Commercial photography students entering VICO 2221  are required to have a professional-level medium format camera with interchangeable back or a DSLR of at least 12 mega-pixels. A full-frame 35mm size sensor is highly recommended if you choose the DSLR option. In addition to the medium-format camera or 12 mega-pixel DSLR, one wide-angle lens, one telephoto lens, and an electronic flash meter. A suitable professional tripod is also required.

Transfer Students

The following policy has been established by the School of Visual Communication as a means of selecting the best-qualified students for the program. The academic quality of the curriculum depends in part on maintaining enrollment at a number that can be effectively served by our faculty and our facilities. The School is dedicated to top-quality instruction, and this policy is one means to maintain that goal.

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.

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.

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