Selection Process and Timeline

Once your file is complete, it is reviewed first by OSU Graduate Admissions then internally by the Department of Geography Graduate Studies Committee and your faculty mentor.

Graduate Admissions reviews the file first to ensure that all materials were successfully submitted (e.g., transcripts received, test scores match applicant).

Your file is then passed automatically to the Geography Department. At this stage, the applicant's file is evaluated for:

Academic excellence- Competitive applicants typically have GPAs well above the Graduate School's minimum 3.0 threshold (or foreign equivalent), and GRE scores that are above the 60th percentile in the Verbal and Quantitative sections. Although GPAs and GRE scores are important, we also rely on other criteria, including a strong CV, a focused Statement of Purpose, and exemplary letters of recommendation. We will use this information to assess whether you are competitive for a University Fellowship.

Fit with department - We also evaluate your file in terms of your 'fit' with the program, since a successful graduate career is largely dependent on a good match between graduate student and faculty research interests. We ask ourselves: does this applicant's interest fit our departmental strengths? Is there a faculty member keen to work with this applicant? Is there a faculty member willing to hire the applicant to work on a research project?

The Geography Graduate Studies Committee, in consultation with the department faculty as a whole, typically completes its decisions on graduate admissions by the middle-end of February. We usually accept less than 20% of applicants. You will receive a letter from Graduate Admissions indicating whether or not you have been accepted to our program. For those admitted, your letter will not be able to convey whether or not you have competed successfully for funding, because most funding decisions rely on Ohio's state budget and on OSU Fellowship committee selections, which are typically not disclosed until March. Once those disclosures are made, you should receive notification of funding decisions via a letter sent directly from the Geography Department by late March.