Only you can decide if graduate school is a path you want to follow. It is difficult to generalize about a topic as broad pursuing an advanced degree, but here are some things that prospective graduate students should know.
Graduate School is not a continuation of undergraduate education. The skills that make someone a successful undergraduate may not always make them a successful graduate student. New graduate students are often surprised to discover that there is no straightforward path to their degree nor the career beyond. You will need to be independent and willing to seek advice and assistance. You will need to be willing to forge new paths.
Before you apply, it is important that you assess your interests and your career and academic goals:
- Is a graduate degree required for me to meet my goals?
- Will a graduate degree assist me?
- Do I have an academic record and personal qualities that will help me succeed?
Many people can help you think though this decision.
Talk with career counselors and your undergraduate professors and mentors. Meet with people you know with graduate degrees and are doing work that you are interested in. Share your interest in graduate school and get their perspective. Ask about their own decision to attend graduate school.
Gain additional experience through internships, volunteering, international programs, etc. These experiences outside of the traditional academic, classroom experience broaden your exposure to what is possible. They also help you discern what your individual interests and strengths really are.
Before you apply
If you are applying to a graduate program, review admission criteria and other information under About Graduate, found in the menu bar above. If you are applying to a professional program, find your program and other information under About Professional.
Application procedures vary widely by program. Be sure to research what is required before submitting application materials.
- Read about your program under Find your program and visit the program website.
- The list of application requirements below applies to most graduate programs. However, if your program uses an application service, consult your program for application requirements and instructions. Programs that use an application service: 1) all professional programs and 2) graduate programs in Audiology, Health Administration, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Public Health, and Speech and Hearing Science.
1. Academic transcripts/documents
To show evidence of your ability to pursue a graduate program in your chosen area, you must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
- Important: Please visit Transcripts to read about when to submit your official transcripts, where to submit them and special notes for international students.
- If the language of instruction at your institution was not English, then all documents submitted must be in the original language and must include a word-for-word English translation certified by the issuing institution or a professional certified translator.
- The types of records that must be submitted vary depending upon your country's educational system and may include transcripts, diplomas, academic certificates, mark sheets, student books and exam results.
- Looked at all together, the records submitted should a) give a complete list of all courses taken, including the number of weeks per term, the number of hours per week for each course, the mark received in each course, and a clear key to the grading system used, and b) indicate all degrees earned, with the title and date conferred.
2. Proof of English proficiency
Success at Ohio State depends upon your ability to converse and write in English. Read more about our English profiency requirement. To be considered "official," scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to Ohio State.
3. Three letters of recommendation
You must provide three letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with your academic program, scholastic ability or professional performance. Letters may be submitted either via your admission application or attached to our Graduate School Reference Form. Some graduate programs have their own specific reference/recommendation form, so be sure to confirm their requirements.
4. Statement of purpose
Submit a brief autobiographical statement describing your educational and professional goals and objectives. Please consult your graduate program for more information on what they require in a statement of purpose.
5. Curriculum vitae/resume
A CV or resume of no more than two pages is required for all applicants who wish to be considered for a fellowship. Confirm whether your program requires you to mail this form or whether you can submit it with your admissions application.
6. Other items as required by your program
Depending on your program, an audition, portfolio, sample of written work, GRE or GMAT test score, etc., may be required. Find your program to see specific requirements.
7. Proof of financial support
If you are determined to be academically admissible, you will be reviewed for sufficient financial resources. Learn more about admission and financial review.
8. Proof of health insurance (once admitted)
All international students who attend Ohio State at least half time (five credit hours for graduate students) and any dependents who accompany them are required to purchase Ohio State student health insurance. Read more about health insurance requirements.