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 13th.
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.
- A writing sample is optional
Transcripts, GRE scores 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
P.O. Box 182004
Columbus, OH 43218-2646
Test Scores and GPA Averages
Admission to our graduate program is highly competitive. Approximately 80 students are currently enrolled in various stages of study. About 15 funded students, recruited from a large applicant pool, enter each year. The average combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of admitted students typically is 82%. The average for the writing component is 76%. In addition, most admitted students have an average undergraduate GPA of 3.73. Admission decisions are based, however, on a student's whole record and special consideration is given to students with unique talents and backgrounds. 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).
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.