Dec 09, 2021  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2009-2011 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2009-2011 [Archived Catalog]

Visual Communication

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The School of Visual Communication (VisCom) offers a program of study leading to the Master of Arts degree with a specialization in visual communication.  Major fields of study include: Photojournalism (including documentary photography), Commercial Photography (including illustrative photography), Picture Editing, Informational Graphics/Publication Design, Interactive Multimedia, and Visual Media Management.

The M.A. requires at least 45 credits of graduate coursework. Course requirements for all VisCom graduate students include: VICO 514, 522, 571, a master’s project, and 20-24 hours in a major field of study. Photojournalism students are also required to take VICO 535 and 536.

In addition, students in the Photojournalism, Picture Editing and Informational Graphics/Publication Design fields of study are required to take JOUR 511-Newspaper and Communication Law and JOUR 512 - Ethics, Mass Media, and Society. These courses may be waived if you present evidence that you have completed equivalent coursework or have significant professional experience. Credit for these courses does not apply toward the degree requirements.

A required progress review is held at the end of the first quarter or completion of 15 credits to assess the student’s suitability for continued study.


To apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Other factors including professional experience or outstanding portfolio may qualify you for probationary admission if your undergraduate GPA was below the minimum. Submit completed application forms, the application fee, and two official transcripts from each postsecondary institution attended to the

Office of Graduate Studies
Ohio University, McKee House
Athens OH 45701

All students whose native language is not English and do not have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States are required to demonstrate English language competency by achieving an adequate score on the IELTS: International English Language Testing System or TOEFL: The Test of English as a Foreign Language. Current minimum score requirements can be found on the VisCom Web site

In addition to the material submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies, you must also submit to the School of Visual Communication the following material: three letters of recommendation, a resume, a nonreturnable portfolio, and a 500-word statement of intent outlining why you want to attend graduate school. Send this additional required material to the

Graduate Director, School of Visual Communication
Ohio University, 301
Seigfred Hall, Athens OH 45701

Successful applicants for the Photojournalism, Commercial Photography, Picture Editing, Interactive Multimedia and Informational Graphics/Publication Design areas will generally have three or more years of professional experience and a focused statement of intent. Applicants for the Visual Media Management area will often have more time in the profession.


Interactive Multimedia applicants should submit a portfolio of their work on appropriate media or provide Web addresses of work to be considered.

All other applicants must submit a non-returnable digital portfolio on CD-ROM or DVD. All images must be in JPEG or PDF format at a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels at 72 ppi pixels per inch. All images must be contained in a single folder (directory). No self-running presentations, Web sites or prints will be considered.


The application deadline for international students is receipt of all material by December 15. The deadline for domestic applicants is receipt of all material by February 1. Only applicants who have submitted all material in the requested format will receive consideration. A campus visit prior to the application deadline is strongly recommended.

Knight Fellowship in Newsroom Graphics Management

Each year, a single fellowship recipient is selected to undertake visual media graduate course work with a full tuition support and a generous stipend provided by the John S. and James L Knight Foundation.

Selection for this fellowship is highly competitive. Normal graduate admission standards must be met and an exceptional record of professional experience is expected.

Candidates are encouraged to discuss their application with the VisCom director well before the application deadline. The application deadline for the Knight Fellowship is December 1.

Equipment Requirements

Photojournalism students are required to have at least two professional-level SLR cameras (one digital), two lenses and a dedicated flash. One lens should have a 35mm or shorter focal length (or digital equivalent) with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or larger. The second lens should be in the 135mm to 200mm (or  digital equivalent) f/2.8 range. Zoom lenses are also acceptable if they meet the maximum aperture requirement of f/2.8 or larger.

Commercial Photography students should have a professional-level medium-format camera with interchangable film backs, or digital back, one wide-angle lens, one telephoto lens and a flash meter. In addition, they are required to have a Polaroid 545i back for use with large format cameras.

Financial Aid

The School awards a limited number of graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, and helps place some students in campus work-study positions related to their field of study. These assistantships and work-study opportunities provide tuition support and modest stipends in exchange for student work in support of the school or university mission. Selection is competitive and based upon openings and funding. You must maintain a 3.0 GPA and meet required levels of course registration to retain support.

In addition, students are eligible for traditional financial aid through the University Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. To be considered, mark the appropriate item on the application for graduate admission. See the financial aid section of the University Web site for information.

For Further Information

Write to the Graduate Director
School of Visual Communication
Ohio University, Seigfred Hall, Athens OH 45701

or visit the School’s Web site:

Visual Communication Courses

Click here for courses.

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