Students who have completed a master's degree in a relevant field ordinarily apply directly to the Ph.D. program. At the time of admission, the Graduate Studies Committee will decide the number of credits from the student's M.A. program that may be applied to the doctoral program. In some cases, the student may be required to complete the M.A. in Comparative Studies before being admitted to the Ph.D. program, entering on the M.A./Ph.D. track.
Students already pursuing an M.A. in Comparative Studies who wish to continue into the Ph.D. program should consult the information in the section on Continuing from the M.A. into the Ph.D. Students already enrolled in a graduate degree program at The Ohio State University who wish to transfer to Comparative Studies should consult the information in the section on Transfer Procedures.
Students with a B.A. degree only may apply either to the M.A. program or to the M.A./Ph.D. program. (In the absence of this option on the application forms, please mark M.A. and write in your statement you wish to puruse the M.A./Ph.D. option.) In either case, students must satisfactorily complete coursework, language, and thesis requirements for the M.A. in Comparative Studies. Students who wish to proceed to the doctoral program upon completion of the M.A. in Comparative Studies must follow the process described under requirements for the Ph.D. All students who satisfactorily complete M.A. requirements will be awarded the M.A. in Comparative Studies.
Criteria For Admission
Criteria for admission to the Ph.D. program in Comparative Studies include the following:
- A minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA (on the 4.0 scale used at The Ohio State University) in all previous undergraduate work. Students with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 who wish to be considered for admission must petition the Comparative Studies Graduate Studies Committee for special consideration;
- A minimum of 3.0 in all previous graduate work;
- For international applicants, proof of English proficiency may be required—for more information on this requirement, please consult Graduate and Professional Admissions; as of 2022, the requirement was a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (ITP), 79 (iBT), or 19 (paper); or a minimum IELTS score of 7.0; or a minimum Duolingo score of 105;
- Applicants are advised to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, a Comparative Studies faculty member with whom they are interested in working, or the Academic Program Coordinator in the Department of Comparative Studies before applying. The purposes of this contact, whether by telephone, by e-mail, or in person, are to clarify the applicant's research interests, needs, and goals; determine the suitability of the Comparative Studies program to the applicant's intellectual and professional goals; and to advise the applicant in completing the statement of purpose required for admission to the graduate program in Comparative Studies. Applicants should contact the department well in advance of the November 30 application deadline.
Please note: GRE scores are not required and are not considered in the admissions process.
Admission Procedures And Deadlines
Students apply to the graduate program in Comparative Studies by submitting: (1) a Graduate School application and supporting documents to the Office of Admissions and (2) supplemental materials, comprising a statement of purpose, a writing sample, and three letters of recommendation with accompanying OSU reference forms via the online graduate school application.
Materials required by the Graduate School
The Graduate School admissions application form MUST be submitted online. The Graduate School admissions application includes:
- Completed OSU Graduate School online application form.
- IELTS, TOEFL, or MELAB test scores (where applicable). Test scores must be submitted to the Admissions Office.
- Transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate work: Transcripts 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.
Contact information for the Graduate Admissions Office:
Supplemental materials required by the Department of Comparative Studies
Please submit the following supplemental materials online, following the instructions given in the Graduate School admissions application form:
Statement of purpose: The statement of purpose is an essay of approximately five pages (double-spaced). It may substitute for the autobiographical statement required by the Graduate School and it should discuss in some detail the kinds of intellectual project the student expects to explore in this graduate program, including the significance of this project. Applicants should be as specific as possible in explaining both the tools and training they already bring to bear on this project, and how their intellectual project would benefit from the comparative, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary perspectives offered by the Department of Comparative Studies and from the resources (faculty, courses, programs, collections) of The Ohio State University. Information about experience with collaborative work, public-facing work, and long-term goals is also of interest to the admissions committee.
Writing sample: In addition to the statement of purpose, applicants should submit an academic paper, preferably of no more than twelve pages. Ordinarily, this will be a paper submitted previously for undergraduate or graduate credit and should represent the student's best work.
Three recommendation letters with accompanying OSU reference forms: The three recommendation forms and letters should address the applicant's academic abilities and preparation for graduate work in the student's chosen area. Students should request that recommendations be submitted online.
Contact information for the Department of Comparative Studies:
Phone: 614 292-2559
Admission to the graduate program is for Autumn Semester only. The deadline for admission for Autumn is November 30, for both domestic and international applicants. All required documents--the Graduate School application; official transcripts and test scores; letters of recommendation; and the Comparative Studies application, including the five-page statement of purpose and the writing sample--must be submitted online by November 30. However, because the Graduate School application, transcripts, and test scores must be processed first by the Admissions Office, these documents should be submitted well in advance of the November 30 deadline.
Continuing from the M.A. into the Ph.D.
Students who have completed the M.A. at other institutions or in other departments at OSU may in some cases be required to complete the M.A. in Comparative Studies before proceeding to the doctoral program. The number of credits earned in other M.A. programs that may be used to fulfill requirements for the Ph.D. in Comparative Studies will be determined by the Graduate Studies Committee at the time of admission.
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.
To apply for continuation in the following year, M.A. students must submit:
- A statement of purpose (1-2 pages, single space) outlining their research plans, specified areas of study, including a sense of the disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields in which the student is working, a potential dissertation project, a timeline for completion of the Ph.D., and any potential plans for careers after graduation
- A current Advising Report
- A CV
- A written statement from their faculty advisor as well as from a second faculty member (which may include external faculty from another department).
Students seeking to transition into the Ph.D. program must meet with their advisors to discuss their statement of purpose, plans to build from their M.A. work, preparation for advanced graduate work, and the fit between their needs and the advisor’s areas of expertise. They are encouraged to draft the proposal and solicit recommendations well in advance of the deadline.
Advisors do not need to write a letter of recommendation, but their statement should address the student’s statement of purpose and their ability to build on their M.A. work, the student’s preparation for advanced graduate work, and the fit between the student’s needs and the faculty’s expertise. They will also be expected to discuss the student’s transition into the Ph.D. program at the faculty meeting devoted to admissions for the coming year.
All documents should be submitted to the Graduate Studies Chair for circulation to the Graduate Studies Committee by November 30.
Transfer Procedures For Students Enrolled In OSU Graduate Programs
Students enrolled in a graduate degree program at The Ohio State University who wish to apply to the graduate program in Comparative Studies should take the following steps:
- Arrange a meeting with the Graduate Studies Chair or the Graduate Program Coordinator 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 will be directed to an appropriate faculty member for further advice. Transfer applicants are subject to the same admissions criteria and deadlines as external applicants.
- If the transfer is deemed appropriate, file a Request for Transfer of Graduate Program (.pdf) with the Graduate School.
- Submit to the Comparative Studies office a five-page statement of purpose and a writing sample. 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.
- Submit to the Comparative Studies office at least two new letters of recommendation from graduate faculty with whom the student has studied.
Students wishing to transfer to Comparative Studies from other departments are subject to the same deadlines as new applicants. Ohio State University graduate students must submit all application materials to the Department of Comparative Studies by November 30 for Autumn admission.
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 be more appropriately assigned to other categories. Admission under any of the following categories does not ensure regular admission at a future date. Additional categories are as follows:
Non-degree status: Students who do not intend to pursue a graduate degree may apply to the Graduate School for “non-degree” status provided they meet appropriate admission requirements.
- Domestic students (U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States, or those who have been granted asylee or refugee status in the United States) may apply for non-degree status by submitting an application and supplying proof of completion of the baccalaureate degree. See Graduate and Professional Admissions for more information.
- 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 non-degree student is limited to those who are participants in approved exchange programs and those who are enrolled in a graduate program in another U.S. university and wish to study for one semester as a transient student and transfer the credit back to their home institution. See Graduate and Professional Admissions for more information.
Non-degree students may apply for admission to a Comparative Studies graduate program as “regular” students. If admitted, non-degree students may ask to apply a maximum of ten semester hours of graduate non-degree coursework toward the degree. Admission as a nondegree student does not imply regular admission to any degree-granting program at a future date.
Special status: Applicants who do not intend to pursue a degree may also apply for “special” status. “Special” status may be awarded by the Comparative Studies Graduate Studies Committee to applicants who have satisfied all Graduate School admission requirements, but who have not submitted the Application for Admission to the Comparative Studies Graduate Program (which outlines the student’s course of study in the graduate program). These students may later apply to the graduate program by submitting the additional materials required by the Comparative Studies Graduate Studies Committee. For students admitted to the M.A. or Ph.D. program, the Graduate Studies Committee will determine the number of graduate credit hours that may be counted toward the degree. Admission as a special student does not imply regular admission at a future date.
Conditional status: Applicants who are accepted into the program on the condition that they correct certain deficiencies 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 quarters 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.
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 third quarter while listed as provisional. Admission as a provisional student does not ensure regular admission once the student’s file is complete.
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