Program Overview: The goals of the School of Visual Communication are
- 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;
- 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;
- to set high standards for visual integrity and communication ethics; and
- to foster and promote scholarly research and creative activities.
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.
Program information: The M.A. requires at least 30 credits of graduate coursework. Course requirements for all VisCom graduate students include: VICO 5014, 5022, a master’s project, and 20-24 hours in a major field of study. Photojournalism students are also required to take VICO 5435. In addition, students in the Photojournalism, Picture Editing and Informational Graphics/Publication Design fields of study are required to take Communication Law and 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. Internships are both required and encouraged for all graduate students is required 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. 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.
Admissions Policy: To apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 grade point average 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.
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 is a TOEFL of 550.
In addition to the application submitted to the Graduate College, you must also submit to the School of Visual Communication a non-returnable portfolio. Send this additional required material to the Graduate Director, School of Visual Communication, Ohio University, 301Seigfred Hall, Athens OH 45701-2979. 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. Portfolio 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, unless you are applying for the multimedia program track.
Deadline: The application deadline for international students is receipt of all material by December 15.
Enlight Fellowship (designated for Chinese students only) Deadline is December 15. Knight Fellowship for Newsroom and Media Management (designated for mid-career professional development) Deadline is January 15. Applicants for these special fellowships should be in direct contact with the school’s director for guidance about these fellowships and their support.
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. Applicants are usually notified by March 15. Photojournalism students are required to have at least one professional-level DSLR cameras (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. In addition, students must have a dedicated electronic flash outfit and a suitable professional tripod is also required. Commercial Photography students should have a professional-level medium-format camera with interchangeable film backs, or digital back, one wide-angle lens, one telephoto lens and a flash meter or a DSLR of at least 12 mega-pixels. A full-frame 35mm size sensor is highly recommended if you choose the DSLR option. In addition to the medium-format camera or 12 mega-pixel DSLR, one wide-angle lens, one telephoto lens, and an electronic flash meter. A suitable professional tripod is also required.
Change Policy: A portfolio, interview, and faculty approval is required.
Transfer Policy: A portfolio, interview, and faculty approval is required.
Opportunities: Graduates find careers in visual communication leadership, documentary and photojournalistic work, design, interactive multimedia, and commercial photography.