Admissions Overview

Admission decisions are made throughout the fall and winter. 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 offered admission are encouraged to visit the department, so that they can speak with faculty members and current students. The graduate program is designed for full-time study and part-time study is strongly discouraged. Students enter the program in the autumn semester in all but exceptional cases. For academic questions, we encourage prospective students to contact individual faculty at the addresses listed on the Faculty page.

Students must apply online through the Office of Graduate Admissions.


Application Deadline for International Students: November 30th.
Application Deadline for Domestic Students: December 2nd.

PLEASE NOTE: supporting documents should arrive within two weeks of the deadline for application

Codes for Test Scores: University Code - 1592

Submit the following items through your online application:

  • A 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 and a writing sample are required

Transcripts and TOEFL scores (if applicable) are required and will need to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions.  Their information is as follows:

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

For questions about your application, you can contact the the Office of Graduate Admissions at:
Phone: (614) 292-9444, or the Department at

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 and special consideration is given to students with unique talents and backgrounds, and who contribute to the diversity of the department. 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 you the opportunity to apply to graduate programs at The Ohio State University for free.

By using the BTAA FreeApp program, you can request an application fee waiver (A savings of $40) and apply to one of the master of fine arts or doctoral programs offered in the 39 academic units in Arts and Sciences at no cost.

To be eligible for a FreeApp Waiver, you must meet all of the following criteria:

    Be a member of a population underrepresented in graduate education
    Apply for admission to a MFA or PhD program
    Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
    Complete a bachelor’s degree by the August preceding enrollment in the graduate program
    Must intend to pursue an academic and/or research career

Priority Deadline: Submit online request 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.


 Check out this page for more information about the Conference!  The Conference is held virtually on October 26, 2021,  but the deadline to apply is October 4, 2021. 

*The application fee for the PhD program in political science will be waived for those that are accepted and attend the conference.*