Application Process and Checklist



STEP ONE - The Application

  • Complete the Graduate Admissions Online Application. The materials referenced below will need to be submitted during this process. Please note: The completed online form will be forwarded automatically to the department. 
  • For international students, be sure you have thoroughly read through the Graduate Admissions requirements for international students.
  • Faculty mentor. We strongly encourage applicants to contact our faculty members. Prior to applying, you must have at least one faculty member agree to serve as your mentor. Your mentor will be your advocate through the admissions and your default advisor after you are admitted to the program. Every graduate student can change the advisor. 
  • Statement of purpose. In no more than 3 pages, your statement must address the following five aspects: (1) your academic background and past experience, (2) your research plan and career goals, (3) your view on diversity, equity and inclusion, and how you would contribute to these important issues, (4) an example of how you overcame adversity or personal challenges and (5) how Ohio State will help you achieve your goals.
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV). This should be uploaded via the Graduate Admissions page.
  • Three letters of recommendation. While filling out your application you will be prompted to submit the names and contact information for your recommendation letter writers. Once you submit the application, an email will be sent to your writers so they can log in and submit their letters. We encourage you to ask your letter writers to comment on the five aspects of your statement of purpose.
  • International Students Only: Official TOEFL exam report. Arrange for the scores to be sent to: OSU institution code #1592.
  • One official transcript from each university that you have attended should be uploaded to your application OR you can email your transcript(s) to Graduate Admissions ( Remember to include a copy for each university/college that you have attended and to upload each as a separate document. Also, please include both the front and back page of your transcript(s).
  • Pay the application fee at; Ohio State Graduate Admissions.

PLEASE DO NOT upload, mail or email any of the following items to the Department of Geography and/or Graduate Admissions:
  • Writing samples (those may be requested by your mentor but they should NOT be part of your application)
  • Financial Documents (these will be requested by Graduate Admissions for every international applicant accepted into the program, but they should NOT be part of your application package).
  • Certificates of any kind
  • Photocopies of your passport


STEP TWO - Initial Completion

Your application should now be complete for review. To be sure, please check your application status by following the prompts on this link: Frequently Asked Questions.


If you get accepted then you will need to mail sealed official transcripts to Graduate Admissions (Address to: Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions, SAS Building, 281 West Lane Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1132).   These need to be final copies of your transcripts so please do not send us transcripts if you have not yet received your degree at the time of your admission. Instead please mail copies of your transcripts once your degree has been awarded.


All inquiries about the application process and the Geography program more generally should be directed to the Graduate Program Coordinator at or by telephone at (614) 292-2514.