Application Information

The History Department admits students for Autumn semester only.
Your electronic application and all supplemental materials must be completed and submitted no later than 11:59pm on December 1 for US citizens, and no later than 11:59pm on November 30 for international applicants. We do not reopen the application for late submissions.
The Graduate School administers the online application. You may access it, and pay the associated fee, on their application website. Since the application is administered by the Graduate School, any questions about application completion status should be directed to You may also check on your application status by visiting
PLEASE NOTE that you must identify a specific field of study as a specialization on your online application. 

Graduate School Office of Admissions Requirements

Your application to Graduate Admissions must include:
1. A completed, signed, and dated OSU Graduate School admission application, plus the application fee.
2. Scanned copies of official paper transcripts issued by your institution’s registrar. You must include scanned copies of transcripts from ALL institutions where college credit was earned.
3. TOEFL or IELTS scores, if applicable.
Note: please refer to the Graduate School’s application instructions for more information about the online application, transcripts, and TOEFL/IELTS requirements. Any questions should be directed to

History Department Required Supplemental Materials

In addition to the above items required by the Graduate School, with your electronic application you must also submit:
1. A personal statement;
2. A curriculum vitae;
3. A writing sample;
4. At least three letters of recommendation.
Supplemental materials #1 through #3 must be submitted with your online application. If you are unable to include them when you submit your application, you may email them to no later than our application deadline dates to request that the Office of Admissions attach the materials to your application.

As of Fall 2020, the Department of History will no longer require submission of GRE scores for applicants to our PhD program.

Information on the Required Supplemental Materials

Personal Statement (Typically 3 pages; maximum 5 pages)
Your personal statement should provide an explanation of your academic and professional goals. Include information concerning your interest in, and motivations for, graduate work and your career.  In your statement, you may wish to include autobiographical or personal data that may be helpful to the Graduate Studies Committee in considering your application; however, be sure to address all of the following issues:
A. Your Career Trajectory:  How does your plan for graduate study build on your past 
experience and education? How will your graduate education in the History Ph.D. program at The Ohio State University uniquely prepare you for the tasks central to your future career (be sure to define it and its core components clearly)?
B. Intellectual Trajectory: What are the sources of your intellectual interests in historical research? How do you intend to further your intellectual journey through graduate research at Ohio State? Why do you see your research as an important contribution to the historical field?
C. Thematic constellations: In which of our departmental thematic constellations do you see yourself participating?  How do you see that participation enhancing your own training for research and teaching?
D. Interdisciplinary and other impacts: Beyond the realm of the classroom, museum, or library and publishing, how do you see your graduate and later career enhancing or enriching fields and areas of activity other than history and/or contributing to technical innovations in the field that have broader impacts beyond history (e.g., digital humanities, computer-assisted analysis)?  
Curriculum Vitae (1-2 pages)
Your curriculum vitae should indicate your education, accomplishments and qualifications for graduate study in the major field of choice. Your CV should include your training in foreign languages and should specify your competence in each skill.
Writing Sample (20-50 pages)
Your writing sample should be a scholarly work indicative of your capacity to write and research at the graduate level. Examples include an MA or Honors thesis (one or two chapters if the thesis is lengthy), a research paper, or a historiographical essay.
Letters of Recommendation
Your letters of recommendation should come from persons acquainted with your scholarly ability. They do not have to come exclusively from former instructors, but all letters should be able to attest to your capability to take coursework, research, and write at the graduate level.
Foreign Applicants
Foreign applicants must submit a sample of scholarly work written in English, which has been evaluated by a supervising professor. They must meet the Graduate School’s minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based test or 79 on the Internet-based test, or the Graduate School’s minimum IELTS score of 7.0.