Jul 13, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2007-08 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2007-08 [Archived Catalog]

Visual Communication, School of

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Terry Eiler, Director

Stan Alost, 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; and (4) to foster and promote scholarly research and creative activities.


In an effort to provide practical training, the school requires students to work at least one paid internship for 10 weeks during their college career. 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.

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 class and/or have outstanding SAT or ACT scores. In addition, students who demonstrate notable talent or experience or 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 Web site for current hardware and software recommendations.

Photojournalism students entering VICO 390 should have access to at least one professional-level SLR digital camera, two lenses, and necessary accessories. 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 135 to 200mm f/2.8 range. Zoom lenses are also acceptable if they meet the fixed aperture requirement of f/2.8. A suitable professional tripod is also required.

Commercial Photography students entering VICO 321 should have access to a professional-level medium-format camera with interchangeable film backs, a Polaroid back, one wide-angle lens, one telephoto lens, and an electronic flash meter. You can expect to spend approximately $400-$700 per photography course for materials. 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 may be effectively served by faculty and facilities. The school is dedicated to top-quality instruction, and this policy is one means through which that goal is achieved.

Very limited transfer openings may be available in each major sequence each academic year.

Students transferring with over 90 hours of credit will find it difficult to complete the school’s curriculum in two years.

Transfer applicants from other institutions must follow the procedures for admission to Ohio University before contacting the School of Visual Communication.

You must be enrolled for one academic year (three consecutive quarters) or the final 48 hours in the school to earn a degree.

Transfer requirements:

  1. Internal transfer students will be considered only when they have completed at least 48 quarter hours of study.
  2. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA at the time of transfer.
  3. Current Ohio University students must have completed VICO 120 or VICO 140 with a grade of C or better (VICO 120 is offered only in fall quarter and VICO 140 is offered only in the winter quarter).
  4. Current Ohio University students must have completed Journalism 133 with a grade of C or better.

Students applying for transfer must submit to the school an application packet that includes the following material:

  1. Copy of the applicant’s most recent DARS report or transcript. This information must reflect grades from your most recent quarter or semester.
  2. Written essay explaining reasons for applying for transfer to the School of Visual Communication. Please indicate your desired major sequence. Academic goals should be included in this statement of purpose.
  3. Résumé.
  4. Students must have three letters of recommendation (all should be from University professors outside of VisCom).
  5. Portfolio.
  6. Must interview with a faculty committee from the school.

Transfer applications will be considered once a quarter only, if openings are available. Deadline for transfer application materials: Noon on the third Friday of fall, winter, or spring quarter.

Major sequence change requirements for students in the School of Visual Communication:

Students with less than 90 earned credit hours may apply for transfer within the school. Requirements include: a written request by the student to the school, approved by faculty committee, and available openings in the requested major sequence.

Students with over 90 earned hours seeking an internal transfer must meet the same transfer requirements as external students seeking admission to the school.

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