Admissions Procedures and Deadlines for the MA and PhD Programs

New students apply to the graduate program in Comparative Studies by submitting a graduate school application and all supporting documents to the Office of Admissions. The applicant must submit these documents online. Recommendation forms and letters should be submitted online by recommenders (follow instructions at

Students already in the M.A. in Comparative Studies program may continue beyond the M.A. only upon the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee and the approval of the core faculty. To apply for continuation in the following year, MA students submit:

1. A statement of purpose (not to exceed five double‐spaced pages) that describes a potential dissertation project or specified areas of study. The new statement of purpose should represent the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their ability to build on their MA work and to sketch with some precision the next step in his or her intellectual progress. At the same time, it allows the faculty to assess the student’s preparation for advanced graduate work and the fit between the student’s needs and the faculty’s expertise;

2. A letter of recommendation from their advisor

3. Letter or e‐mail from another faculty member in Comparative Studies or another department at the annual review meeting. A letter or e‐mail by a non‐core faculty whose input the student would like to solicit should only be solicited when the student has had extensive intellectual interaction with a non‐core faculty member.

4. A current advising report

The Graduate Studies Committee must receive these documents by the deadline for graduate school applications. Students are required to meet with their advisors to discuss the documents in advance of their submission, and are encouraged to draft the proposal and solicit recommendation letters well in advance of the deadline. Core faculty members will discuss the advisability of students’ continuation in early January, drawing on the submitted documents, faculty assessments of students’ preparation for advanced graduate work, including the advisors’ reports on students’ progress, and holistic knowledge of overall fit between students’ needs and departmental resources. Each student’s advisor will communicate the outcome of this meeting after decisions have been finalized.

1. Application procedures (for other than internal continuation from the M.A.).

a. The Graduate School admissions application form MUST be submitted online. The Graduate School admissions application includes:

(1) Completed OSU Graduate School online application form,

(2) Official GRE and (when applicable) IELTS, TOEFL, or MELAB test scores,

Transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate work,

Transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate work and all test scores must be submitted to the Admissions Office. Unofficial transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate work may be submitted at the time of application; official transcripts must be submitted if provisional acceptance is granted, preferably during the admissions process and before enrollment. Please use the appropriate address from the following:

Domestic Applicants:


Regular U.S. postal mail:

Graduate Admissions Office The Ohio State University

P.O. Box 182004

Columbus, OH 43218‐2004

Special delivery mail service (express mail):

Graduate Admissions Office The Ohio State University SAS Building, 1st Floor

281 West Lane Avenue

Columbus, OH 43210‐1132


International Applicants:


Regular U.S. postal mail:

International Graduate Admissions Office The Ohio State University

P.O. Box 182083

Columbus, OH 43218‐2083

Special delivery mail service (express mail):

Graduate Admissions Office The Ohio State University SAS Building, 1st Floor

281 West Lane Avenue

Columbus, OH 43210‐1132

Graduate Admissions Office Phone: 614‐292‐9444

Graduate Admissions Office Fax: 614‐292‐3895



b. Supplemental materials. In addition to these application materials, applications to the MA and PhD programs in Comparative Studies must include: a statement of purpose, writing sample, and recommendation forms, which must also be submitted online following instructions for the application process. Recommendation letters and forms are submitted online by recommenders who are sent a link once identified by the applicant. Recommenders will be directed to include the Graduate Application Recommendation form supplied by the Admissions Office as well as a recommendation letter on official letterhead.

Comparative Studies supplemental admissions materials include:

a. Statement of Purpose. The principal element of the Department’s application is the Statement of Purpose essay of approximately five pages (1200‐1500 words). This essay may substitute for the autobiographical statement required by the Graduate School and it should discuss in detail the issues and fields of study that the student expects to explore in this graduate program. The applicant should be as specific as possible in explaining how his or her intellectual project would benefit from the comparative, cross‐ cultural, and interdisciplinary perspectives offered by the Department and from the resources (faculty, courses, programs, collections) of The Ohio State University. Information about academic background, special experiences, and career goals may also be included. In preparing the statement, the Course Catalog can be viewed by individual department online; more detailed information is posted on departmental webpages (University directory at or department listings on the College of Arts and Sciences website). If admitted, students will design, with the help of faculty advisers, a program of coursework to fit their research needs. (See sections VII., IX., and XI. below for sample programs and for a listing of courses in Comparative Studies.)

b. Writing sample. In addition to the Statement of Purpose, applicants should submit an academic paper, preferably of approximately 12‐15 pages. Ordinarily, this will be a paper submitted previously for undergraduate or graduate credit—for example, a chapter of a senior or MA thesis or a substantial paper written for an advanced undergraduate class or graduate seminar. The writing sample should represent the student’s best work. The writing sample should also be submitted online using the graduate school’s application procedures.

c. Three letters of recommendation.

An OSU Reference Form must accompany each letter. Letters should address the applicant’s academic abilities and preparation for graduate work in the student’s chosen area. Instructions for online submission of these letters are available via the graduate school application webpage.

2. Deadlines. Admission to the graduate program is for Autumn Semester only. The deadline for admission for Autumn 2019 is November 30, 2018 for all applicants. All required documents—the Graduate School application; official transcripts and test scores; letters of recommendation; and the

Comparative Studies supplemental materials, including the five‐page statement of purpose and the writing sample—must be available to the Comparative Studies Graduate Studies Committee by November 30. Because the Graduate School application, transcripts, test scores, and other documents must be processed first by the Admissions Office, ideally all of these documents should be submitted well in advance of the November 30 deadline.

3. Transfer procedures for graduate students enrolled in other OSU departments. Students currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at The Ohio State University who wish to transfer to the graduate program in Comparative Studies or begin the Ph.D. program after completing the M.A. in another department should take the following steps:

a. Arrange a meeting with the Graduate Studies Chair in the Department of Comparative Studies. If the student’s research needs and interests cannot be accommodated within the student’s department and if the M.A. or Ph.D. in Comparative Studies is an appropriate alternative, the student is directed to an appropriate faculty member for further advice. Transfer applicants are subject to the same admissions criteria and deadlines as external applicants.

b. File with the Graduate School a Request for Transfer of Graduate Program form if the transfer is deemed appropriate.

c. Submit a five‐page statement of purpose and a 10‐15 page writing sample to the department. Applicants should specify which courses already taken they wish to apply toward the M.A. or Ph.D. in Comparative Studies. If the student is admitted, the Graduate Studies Committee will determine which courses already taken, if any, will count toward the M.A. or Ph.D. in Comparative Studies.

d. Submit to the Comparative Studies office at least two new letters of recommendation from graduate faculty with whom they have studied and arrange for the home department to send the student’s file to the Academic Program Coordinator in the Department of Comparative Studies.

e. Students wishing to transfer to Comparative Studies from other departments are subject to the same deadlines as new applicants. This deadline is November 30, 2018 for admission in Autumn 2019.

The Comparative Studies Graduate Studies Committee acts on both the request for transfer and the request for specific courses to be counted toward the M.A. or Ph.D. in Comparative Studies. Approval of the transfer of graduate program does not ensure approval of credit for specific courses.

4. Graduate student status. Ordinarily, applicants are admitted to the graduate program as “regular” graduate students, and only those who are admitted with “regular” status may receive the M.A. or Ph.D. degree. In some cases, however, applicants may, for various reasons, be more appropriately assigned to other categories. Admission under any of the following categories does not ensure regular admission at a future date. See Graduate School Handbook, Section II, for more information. Additional categories are as follows:

a. Nondegree status: Students who do not intend to pursue a graduate degree may apply to the Graduate School for “nondegree” status provided they meet appropriate admission requirements.

Domestic students (U.S. citizens or approved permanent residents of the United States, or those who have been granted asylee or refugee status in the United States) may apply for nondegree status by submitting an application and supplying proof of completion of the baccalaureate degree.

For international students (those who are not U.S. citizens, permanent residents, refugees, or political asylees and need to obtain a visa in order to study in the United States), eligibility for admission as a nondegree student is limited to those who are either participants in approved exchange programs or those who are enrolled in a graduate program in another U.S. university and wish to study for one quarter as a transient student and transfer the credit back to their home institution. See application instructions at Nondegree students may apply for admission to a Comparative Studies graduate program as “regular” students. If admitted, nondegree students may ask to apply a maximum of 7 hours of graduate nondegree coursework toward the degree. Admission as a nondegree student does not imply regular admission to any degree-granting program at a future date.

Conditional admission status: Applicants who are accepted into the program on the condition that they demonstrate abilities in specified areas within a given period of time are granted “conditional” admission status. For example, some students may be required to maintain a certain grade‐point average for several semesters of graduate study before being accepted into the graduate program; others may be required to complete some undergraduate coursework in preparation for the graduate program. Conditionally admitted students cannot be admitted as “regular” students until all conditions are satisfactorily completed. Failure to satisfy conditions of admission will result in dismissal from the program.

b. Provisional status: Applicants for whom the verification of degree(s) or transcripts has not yet been completed, received, or evaluated may be granted “provisional” status if all other application material is acceptable to the Comparative Studies Graduate Studies Committee. If the material outstanding is judged satisfactory when submitted, the Committee may offer regular admission. Students are not permitted to enroll for a second semester while listed as provisional. Admission as a provisional student does not ensure regular admission once the student’s file is complete.

For further information on admissions, students should consult Section II of the Graduate School Handbook and the Graduate and Professional Admissions Office website.