May 23, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2010-12 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2010-12 [Archived Catalog]

Commercial Photography Major (B.S.V.C.)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments and Schools

Major code BS6925

Universitywide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all Universitywide graduation requirements .

College-Level Requirements for the Scripps College of Communication

View the College-Level Requirements for the Scripps College of 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 samples of the applicant’s work 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 historically underrepresented 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, ISO 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 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 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 a professional-level 12 mega-pixel digital SLR camera and one wide-angle lens, a telephoto lens, and an electronic flash meter; or students may use 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. With either camera choice, students must have a remote flash transceiver. Students can expect to spend approximately $200–$300 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 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 4th Friday of each quarter.
  • If there are openings in the sequence you are seeking, then come for an interview on the morning of the 8th Friday of the fall or winter quarter.
  • 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 quarters to complete VICO 120 or VICO 140, and JOUR 133 with a grade of C or better before final admission.

Transfer sequence requirements for students inside the School of Visual Communication:

Students with 45 to 90 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 90 earned hours must meet the same transfer requirements as non-VisCom majors.

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 courses provide a liberal arts and sciences core for students by requiring 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 of other courses from the Tier II list will enable you to meet the school requirements while fulfilling Ohio University’s Tier II requirements.

Specialization Area Requirement

Visual Communication students must complete a minimum of 20, school-approved hours of related study in advanced courses (200 level and above) outside of the School.

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:

All freshmen students are expected to take VICO 120 Introduction to Visual Communication in the fall, and VICO 140 Studies in Visual Communication in the winter quarters. Photography (both photojournalism and commercial photography) students are expected to enroll in VICO 221 Introduction to Visual Communication Skills in the fall quarter of the freshmen year, while design students (both publication and interactive) are expected to enroll in the spring.  Publication Design/Informational Graphics majors along with Interactive Design majors should enroll in JOUR 133 Precision Language for Journalists (students with an ACT score of 30 or above in the English portion may waive this course) in the fall quarter, while photography majors are expected to enroll in this course in the winter. All majors must complete A H 237 Photo History Survey (or advisor-approved equivalent), VICO 314 Introduction to Publication Design, and VICO 371 Digital Imaging.

Attention to prerequisites is expected.

Visual Communication Sequence Requirements


  1. Students must earn a C (2.0) or better in in all professional courses (VICO, JOUR, ART, and MDIA), including professional electives, to graduate. A grade of C– does not meet this requirement.
  2. Failure to achieve a C in a professional course after 2 attempts will result in the student’s being dropped from the School of Visual Communication.

Select one course from the following:


Choice of eight hours of advisor-approved business law, accounting, marketing courses Credit Hours: 8

Total sequence requirements Credit Hours: 47

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments and Schools