OSU Navigation Bar

The Ohio State University

College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication

The Ohio State University School of Communication

Graduate Program Admission Procedures

 The Graduate School, upon the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of Communication, admits students to graduate study in Communication. Recommendations for admission are based on seven factors:

  1. The applicant's statement of interest and intent with regard to a graduate program in the School of Communication;
  2. Detailed resume;
  3. At least three letters of recommendation;
  4. Cumulative undergraduate grade point average;
  5. Undergraduate and graduate transcripts;
  6. Scores on the general aptitude sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); and
  7. Other evidence of potential for success in graduate study.
    In the case of international students whose first language is not English, there are additional requirements.
All of the requirements are specified below:

1) The statement of interest: Applicants are required to submit a statement of interest along with their credentials and materials. This statement should detail what you expect to accomplish by pursuing graduate work in Communication.
The statement of interest is reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee and assessed for fit with the mission and priorities of the School of Communication. The Committee looks for evidence that the applicant has:
  • (a) a clear understanding of the foci of the School and what the School offers graduate students;
  • (b) an indication of how the applicants needs are met by the Schools programs.
The Committee also looks for evidence that the applicant is aware of the research and teaching interests of the faculty. Applicants should review the materials on the school website to get a better idea of the research interests and publications of the graduate faculty.

This statement should specify your educational and career goals. We are particularly interested in your responses to the following questions:
  • What topics, problems, or areas of communication do you wish to investigate in your graduate program?
  • Why did you select the School of Communication at The Ohio State University as the program appropriate to your goals?
  • What in your educational background has prepared you to enter the School of Communication at The Ohio State University?
  • What are your near and ultimate career goals?
  • Which faculty members do you believe offer the closest match to your interests and educational needs?
2) Resume: Your resume should include formal education, teaching, and communication or journalism-related professional experience, or any research experience that you may have had.

3) Three letters of recommendation: The graduate committee reviews the letters for statements that indicate initiative, intelligence, strong work habits and other evidence of your potential success in graduate school. Three letters of reference from persons acquainted with your academic program, scholastic ability, or professional performance are required. Graduate admissions will provide the necessary cover forms in the initial application packet.
Recommendation letters must include the completed Reference Form as well as a separate letter on official academic or business letterhead. Each reference must supply as many of the following as are available: telephone number, FAX number, and e-mail address.  Without at least one means of contact, the letter cannot be counted as an official letter of reference.
Applications will not be reviewed until at least three letters have been received. You may want to ask more than three people to write letters, to insure that we receive at least three. It may be appropriate to check with the people you have asked to be sure the letters have been sent. You may also check with us to see which letters have been received.

4) Cumulative undergraduate grade point average: Must be 3.0 or better for applicants to the masters program. Applicants to the Ph.D. program must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 and a minimum MA GPA of a 3.5. 

5) Undergraduate and (where appropriate) graduate transcripts. Scanned copies of official transcripts can be uploaded during the application process.  If admitted, please note that official transcripts must sent by the appropriate office of the registrar of the college or university attended before enrolling at OSU.

6) Scores on the Graduate Record Examination. The master's program requires a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 297 on the GRE Revised version (1000 on the older GRE scale). The committee looks for a balanced set of section scores with a minimum 153 on the Verbal section and a minimum 144 on the Quantitative section for the M.A. program.  The Ph.D. program requires a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 305 on the GRE Revised version (1160 on the older GRE scale). The committee looks for a balanced set of section scores with a minimum 153 on the Verbal section and a minimum 152 on the Quantitative section for the Ph.D. program.  In both cases, the analytical score is used for supplemental purposes. The analytical score cannot be substituted for the Verbal or Quantitative score.

7) Other evidence of potential success in graduate school: You can include such materials as research papers, articles written for the press, academic or industry awards, or any other material which you feel is appropriate and indicative of your potential for success in graduate school. A writing sample (e.g., thesis, research proposal, or research article) is required for admission to the Ph.D. program.  The writing sample is optional for M.A. applicants.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

For applicants whose native language is not English, there are the following additional requirements:

8) The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MELAB) are required. A minimum score of 111 on the internet-based TOEFL (equal to 273 on the CBT and 640 on paper-based test) with a minimum score of 28 on the spoken English section is strongly preferred. A recent (within one year) TOEFL or MELAB exam is required even if you have a previous degree from a U.S. university.

9) International students seeking financial assistance must also take a local spoken English test after arrival. Students who are judged to have language skills that are insufficient for performing teaching assistant duties must be certified for classroom teaching by the end of their second semester to be eligible for funding.

10) International students who are being seriously considered for admission will receive a telephone call from a member of the Graduate Studies Committee. During the call, the committee member will ask the applicant about his/her interest in the program, attempt to answer any questions the applicant may have, and may ask questions the committee has had about the applicant's intent and purpose in pursuing a graduate degree.

11) International applicants who have been recommended for admission will be required to submit financial documentation to the University Admissions Office in order to receive the I-20 visa eligibility document.

Application Process

Applying for graduate study in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University is a three-step process.  The University Admissions Office is responsible for collecting applications, establishing files, and forwarding copies of application materials to the Graduate Studies Committee in the School of Communication. The School's Graduate Studies Committee evaluates applications and makes recommendations to the graduate school. Concurrence of the graduate school is necessary to complete the admission process.

Materials to be sent to the University Admissions Office

Graduate Admission Office
The Ohio State University
P.O. Box 182004
Columbus, OH 43218-2004

  • Admission Application available on the web
  • One copy of official transcripts of all previous college and/or university work
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores
  • TOEFL scores (for international students whose first language is not English).

Materials to be sent to the Communication Graduate Studies Committee

Graduate Studies Committee
School of Communication
The Ohio State University
3016 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210-1339:
  • Statement of Academic Intent
  • Resume
  • Letters of Reference (Three) (If you choose not to use the on-line submission option)
  • Any other materials you wish to include (see above), PhD applicants must submit a sample of research they have completed in their M.A. program

If you choose to upload materials electronically when completing the on-line application, you do not need to mail an additional hard copy.  After materials have been processed they will be noted as "completed" on the online application status page.  Please allow up to three working days for processing after submission of your materials.   

Other Admission Information

The GRE is required for all applicants. If you have not taken the GRE, you should contact a college or university in your area for information about the exam.  Students in the U.S. or abroad may register for the computer-based GRE by calling (800) 473-2255. Students outside the U.S. may register for the paper-based test by calling (609) 771-7670 or registering online.  
The School of Communication accepts applications from those who have degrees in disciplines other than Communication. The school especially encourages applications by minority students.
Admission as a Graduate Non-degree Student
Individuals who do not intend to pursue a graduate degree, but wish to enroll in graduate classes may apply for graduate non-degree classification. Details are available from the Graduate School, 247 University Hall, 230 N. Oval Mall.

Time Frames for Application

Applications are considered for Autumn Semester admission only. You may apply directly online from the Admissions Office website.

To ensure full consideration for the University Fellowship competition and all available funding opportunities, application materials should be received no later than Dec. 1.  However, review of applications will continue until all available space is filled.  We encourage late applicants to submit materials as soon as possible.

Admission decisions are usually issued by late March.

The deadline listed above is the date by which all documents must be received by the appropriate University office.
Questions: Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone, (614) 292-6503