Criteria for Admission
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. (Students enrolled in a graduate degree program at The Ohio State University who wish to transfer to Comparative Studies should read below).
Students with the B.A. degree only may apply either to the M.A. program or to the M.A./Ph.D. program. 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 MA 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.
- A minimum of 3.0 cumulative point-hour ratio (on the 4.0 scale used at this University) in all previous undergraduate work. Students with an undergraduate cumulative ratio below 3.0 who wish to be considered for admission must petition the Comparative Studies Graduate Studies Committee for special consideration.
2. A minimum of 3.0 in all previous graduate work.
3. Graduate Record Examination scores for all applicants.
4. Minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper), 213 (computer), or 79 (internet); or MELAB 82; or IELTS 7.0 for non-native speakers of English.
5. Applicants are advised to contact the Graduate Studies Chair, 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 student's research interests, needs, and goals; determine the suitability of the Comparative Studies program to the student's intellectual and professional goals; and to advise the student 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 application deadline.
- Completed OSU Graduate School application form (submit online only).
- Transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate work (unofficial transcripts may be submitted imitially, but official transcripts must be submitted before admission can be finalized).
- Official GRE and (when applicable) TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS test scores.
Transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate work and all test scores must be submitted online. Please note the following. ALL communications should go to the following address:
1. 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 issues the student expects to explore in this graduate program, including the significance of those issues. Applicants should be as specific as possible in explaining how their 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. If admitted, students will design, with the help of faculty advisers, a program of coursework, including courses in other departments, to fit their research needs.
2. The 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.
3. 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.
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. 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 Office of Admissions instructions.
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 10 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.
b. 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 Stud es 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.
c. 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.
d. 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.
For further information on admissions, students should consult Part II, Section 1 of the Graduate School Handbook and visit the Graduate and Professional Admissions Office website.
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