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Admissions and Application Overview

Each applicant is judged individually on the basis of grades, test scores, recommendations, and the applicant's personal statement. A personal interview is not required, though applicants who have been admitted are encouraged to visit the department, so that they can speak with faculty members and current students. We encourage prospective students to contact individual faculty at the addresses listed on the Faculty page. 

The graduate program is designed for full-time study and part-time study is strongly discouraged. Admission decisions are made throughout the fall and winter. Students enter the program in the autumn semester in all but exceptional cases. 

If you have questions about your application, or application materials, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (614) 292-9444 or gradadmissions@osu.edu


Application Requirements 

Students must apply online through the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Please submit the following items through your online application:

  • Statement of Purpose (1 or 2 pages) describing your interest in political science, probable major field of study, and career goals.
  • Curriculum vitae/resume of no more than two (2) pages.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation requested online through the application process is preferable, OR written on recommenders' original letterhead stationery, accompanied by completed Ohio State reference forms and mailed to the address below.
  • Official GRE scores.
  • Writing sample.

Submit the following items to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  • Transcripts 
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable) 

Address:

The Ohio State University
Graduate/Professional Admissions
P.O. Box 182004
Columbus, OH 43218-2646

Code for Test Scores: University Code - 1592


Deadlines 

  • Application Deadline for International Students: November 29th.
  • Application Deadline for Domestic Students: December 1st.

Please Note: Supporting documents should arrive within two weeks of the deadline for application.


Test Scores and GPA Averages

Admission to our graduate program is highly competitive. Approximately 70 students are currently enrolled in various stages of study. About 12 funded students, recruited from a large applicant pool, enter each year. Most admitted students have an average undergraduate GPA of 3.73, and highly competitive GRE scores. 

Admission decisions are based, however, on a student's whole record. Students with unique talents and backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Students whose native language is not English (and who have not received a degree from an American university) must provide TOEFL scores. The average test score for admitted applicants is 112 (Internet-based) or 273 (computer-based). 


Fee Waivers

Below is a list of fee waiver programs to assist underrepresented students in applying to the program:

  • The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) FreeApp program offers qualifying students the opportunity to apply to graduate programs at The Ohio State University for free. By using the BTAA FreeApp program, students can request an application fee waiver and apply to one program at no cost. Priority is given to requests submitted by November 15. 
  • McNair Scholars are eligible for application fee waivers. Applicants should note their participation in the McNair program on the Ohio State graduate admission application and follow the instructions for verification.
  • Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) Scholars are eligible for application fee waivers. Applicants should note their participation in SROP at any CIC institution, including Ohio State's SROP program, on the Ohio State graduate admission application and follow the instructions for verification.