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Visual Communication Management (Graduate)

M.A. Program: Visual Communication Management track

Mid-career professionals who wish to further enhance their skills in the visual communication field are suited for the Visual Communication Management track in our Master of Arts (MA6930) program. 

This intense two-semester program is geared toward students with five or more years of professional experience. The program is intentionally broad to give students the opportunity to choose much of their coursework, with the help of an advisor, to fit their individual professional goals.

Students in this major can opt to take classes in Photojournalism, Audio/Video Storytelling, Interactive Design, Information Graphics, Publication Design and Commercial Photography, as well as courses across the university in areas of interest or other skills, such as virtual reality storytelling. These classes that are outside of their main focus enable management students to bring a well-rounded skill-set into the industry upon graduation. Like all of the majors that are part of this program, a Masters project is a requirement for the Masters of Arts degree.

VisCom alum have had successful careers in the industry in a variety of capacities and have worked at a variety of places, including: NPR, Vox Media, The Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New York Times, The Food Network Magazine, Business Insider, Wondersauce, The Wall Street Journal, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Urban Institute, Getty Images, and various teaching institutions around the world.

Questions? Please contact Graduate Director Stan Alost,

Learn more about applying to VisCom's M.A. program

A variety of focus areas

Students in the Visual Communication Management sequence produce a wide variety of work, depending upon their goals and interests. This may include video storytelling and short films, taking on leadership roles in collaborative interactive story projects, user experience and web design, or even 360-degree video stories. The home is in VisCom, and courses can also be taken in all that the university and Scripps College has to offer. 

Viscom management program

The coursework

Three of our four tracks are three-semester programs, with most students opting to stay a fourth for additional courses, research, and masters project defense. The M.A. requires at least 30 credits of graduate coursework, plus a Masters project (5 hours, including 1 hour for the defense). For Management students, this 30 hours and 5 Master's project hours can be completed in one semester, though many students opt to complete their Master's project following their coursework. 

Course requirements for Visual Communication Management students:

  • VICO 5022, Graduate Seminar
  • VICO 6470, Visual Management, or a substitution
  • VICO 6921, Synthesis Storytelling, or a collaboration/leadership course substitution
  • Masters Project

Students enroll in 20-24 credit hours in their field of study or areas of interest. For the Visual Communication Management track, potential areas of study, working closely with a faculty advisor to develop a plan of courses, could include:

  • Audio/Video Storytelling
  • Virtual Reality and 360-degree video
  • Infographics
  • User Experience and Front-end web design
  • Publication Design
  • Commercial Photography

Desired electives both within VisCom and across the university are also available. Graduate students on the Visual Communication Management track are encouraged to expand their skills and thinking by building a schedule of courses that meet their main goals.

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

Internships are encouraged for all graduate students, unless significant professional experience within your selected area has been gained prior to entering the program. This internship or practical education is not taken for credit towards your degree.

Download the curriculum for the VisCom Master of Arts program

View the catalog descriptions of all VICO graduate courses

Equipment requirements and facilities

Equipment requirements

While there are no equipment requirements for the Visual Communication Management track, many students come to school with a computer and Adobe software, and if applicable, professional photography equipment. An external hard-drive is highly recommended. If helpful, you can download our equipment recommendations for our photography students: 
Download the Graduate Photojournalism Majors Camera & Lenses Equipment List
Download the Commercial Photography Equipment list

Equipment checkout room

VisCom also has an Equipment Checkout Room with the support of Nikon, Canon, Mamiya Corporation of America and Sony. Students can check out DSLR and mirrorless cameras, lenses, lighting gear, audio and video equipment, tripods and other stabilization tools.

A form will be emailed to students every year to gain access to the equipment room. This opportunity is available ONLY to VisCom students and those taking VisCom classes. Questions can be directed to Josh Birnbaum at or (740)-597-1778.

Computer labs

The School of Visual Communication uses Apple computers and predominantly the Adobe Creative Suite. We are pleased to provide computer labs with Apple computers, the Adobe Creative Suite and other software needed for classes. These labs also have open hours in the evenings, as do other labs on campus, and have color printers and photo printers students can use with purchase of a print card. Graduate students have 24-hour access to the VisCom Graduate Lab which includes printers and desktop computers.

Photography studios

Within the Schoonover building, VisCom also has two photographic studios available, including state of the art lighting equipment, dressing rooms and a cyclorama (“cyc”) wall.

The School of Visual Communication Gallery

On the first floor of Schoonover, the School of Visual Communication runs a gallery. Rotating regularly between student and alumni shows, students can not only show their work, but gain experience participating in the exhibitions.