Applicant Process and Checklist

PLEASE NOTE: We are in the process of editing this content for Autumn 2019 applications. Please check back before the application opens in August.

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.
  • Your research statement (also called the statement of purpose) will lay out your research interests and academic direction. Make sure that you CLEARLY identify a faculty Mentor in your statement and please limit your statement to around 2 pages or 1200 words in length. You should upload your statement as part of your application or with the document uploader on the Graduate Admissions page. If you wish to re-write your statement of purpose please consult your faculty mentor.
    • You MUST include the name of your faculty mentor in the application. Ideally, you will indicate why Ohio State and your faculty mentor are the right fit for you.
    • You should be in contact with a faculty member prior to applying who has agreed to serve as your faculty mentor.
  • 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.
  • Official GRE score report. Be aware that it typically takes 4-6 weeks to register for a GRE test, and 6-8 weeks to process the results. Arrange for ETS to send the scores to: OSU institution code #1592.
  • 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.

STEP THREE - Finish:

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.