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2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog for Ohio University

School of Visual Communication

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Ohio University Front Door -Undergraduate Catalogs- Graduate Catalogs

Terry Eiler, Director

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

The 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.

Major sequences are offered in informational graphics/publication designs, interactive multimedia, photojournalism for newspapers and magazines, and commercial photography (advertising and ediorial 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 in the media, and the background and motivation to enable them to compete for leadership roles in the field; (2) 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 educational media production units, and cultural and scientific visual communicators; (3) to set high standards for 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 school has an application deadline of 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 a written 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.

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 historically under-represented group 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, the school requires use of certain basic levels of equipment.

All students are required to have access to a 35mm SLR camera with a 35mm f/2 lens or a 50mm f/2 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.

It is highly recommended that all students in the school have their own computer for use in completing class assignments. 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 314. Please contact the school for current hardware and software recommendations.

Photojournalism students entering VICO 390 should have access to at least one professional-level 35mm SLR camera (film or digital), two lenses, and necessary accessories. One lens should have a 35mm 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.

Commercial Photography students entering VICO 321 should have access to at least one 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 should expect to spend approximately $400-$700 per photography course for materials.

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 are available in each major sequence each academic year.

The School of Visual Communication will accept transfer students only when openings are available. Please call the school to determine the current 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.

Transfer applicants from outside Ohio University must also follow the procedures for admission to the University.

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 for Ohio University students:

  1. 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 g.p.a. at the time of transfer.

  3. Current Ohio University students must have completed VICO 120 with a grade of C or better (VICO 120 is offered only in fall 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 statement 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. Resume.
  4. Current Ohio University students must have three letters of recommendation (all should be from University professors outside of VisCom).

  5. Portfolio.

  6. Completion of an interview meeting with a faculty committee in the school (schedule a transfer informational meeting by calling the school office at 593-4898).

Current Ohio University 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 those students seeking admission to the school.

General Requirements--B.S.V.C.
School of Visual Communication majors are required to meet all General Education Requirements of Ohio University, including Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III.

The general education requirements provide a liberal arts and sciences core for all students with the following courses:

Anthropology 101 (1 qtr)

History (2 qtrs)

Philosophy 120 and 130 (2 qtrs)

Political Science (2 qtrs)

Psychology 101 (1 qtr)

Sociology 101 (1 qtr)

A thoughtful selection from the Tier II list will enable you to meet the school requirements while fulfilling many of Ohio University's Tier II requirements.

Specialization Area Requirements
Visual Communication students must complete a minimum of 20, school-approved hours of related study in advanced courses (200 and above).

No course may be counted for more than one type of school requirement. For example, a course used to meet a general requirement may not also be applied to a specialization area or sequence requirement.

Visual Communication Core Requirements
All Visual Communication majors complete a basic core of seven courses totaling 33 hours:

ART 116            Drawing I                           4

AH  237            Photo History Survey                4

JOUR 133           Precision Language 
                   for Journalists                     4

VICO 120           Intro to Visual 
                   Communication (fall only)           4

VICO 140           Studies in Visual
                   Communication (winter only)         4

VICO 221           Intro to Visual
                   Communication Skills                4

VICO 314           Intro to Publication Design         4

VICO 371           Digital Imaging                     4

                   Total core requirements            33


  1. You must earn a C (2.0) or better in JOUR 133 and in all professional courses (VICO, JOUR, ART, and TCOM), including professional electives, to graduate. A grade of C- does not meet this requirement.

  2. To qualify for admission to JOUR 231, you must achieve at least 25 words per minute on a typing examination administered on the first day of class.

  3. Failure to achieve a C in a professional course after 2 attempts will result in the student being dropped from the School of Visual Communication.

Visual Communication Sequence Requirements
Informational Graphics/Publication Design
Major code BS6924

ART 250            Graphic Design Principles           5

ART 251            Typography                          5

ART 113            Three Demensional Design            4

ART 117            Drawing II                          4

JOUR 231           News Writing                        4

JOUR 233           Information Gathering               3

JOUR 411           Communication Law                   3

VICO 311           Informational Graphics              5

VICO 323           Publication Layout and 
                   Design                              4

VICO 335           Picture Editing                     3

VICO 336           Adv. Picture Editing                3

VICO 361           Intro to Web Design                 4

VICO 412           Adv. Informational Graphics         5

VICO 426           Adv. Publication
                   Layout and Design                   4

                   Total sequence requirements        56

Interactive Multimedia
Major code BS6923
JOUR 233           Information Gathering               3

TCOM 110           Production Writing/
                   Planning                            4

TCOM 220           Audio Production                    4

TCOM 240           Video Production                    4

TCOM 223           Computer Animation                  4

VICO 311           Informational Graphics              5

VICO 361           Intro to Web Design                 4

VICO 462           Advanced Web Design                 4

VICO 473           Interactive Media                   4

VICO 488           Interactive Media II                4

                   Total sequence requirements        40

Photo Journalism
Major code BS6922
JOUR 231           News Writing                        4

JOUR 233           Information Gathering               4

JOUR 411           Communication Law                   3

VICO 222           Visual Communication Tools          4

VICO 335           Picture Editing                     3            

VICO 390           Intro to Photojournalism            4

VICO 327           Photo Illustration--Fashion         4
or VICO 328        Photo Illustration-Still Life	
or VICO 393        Intermediate Photojournalism III
or VICO 324        Portraiture
VICO 391           Intermediate 
                   Photojournalism I                   4

VICO 392           Intermediate 
                   Photojournalism II                  4

VICO 486           Advanced Photo 
                   Reportage I                         4

VICO 487           Advanced Photo
                   Reportage II                        4 	
or VICO 421        Documentary/Essay                or 5
                   Total sequence requirements     41-42

Commercial Photography
Major code BS6925

JOUR 250           Advertising Principles              4

VICO 222           Visual Communication Tools          4

VICO 321           Intro to Photo Illustration         4

VICO 327           Photo Illustration--Fashion         4

VICO 328           Photo Illustration--Still Life      4

VICO 427           Adv. Photo Illustration 
                   (Business Practices)                5

VICO 428           Adv. Photo Illustration
                   (Studio Practices)                  5

VICO 429           Adv. Photo Illustration
                   (Applications)                      5

                   Choice of 8 hours of
                   advisor approved business
                   law, accounting,
                   marketing courses                   8

                   Total sequence requirements        43

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(http://www.ohiou.edu/catalog/04-05/colleges/viscom.htm) on September 2, 2004.
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