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Application Information

The History Department admits students for Autumn semester only.

Please note that applications for the PhD degree and the MA degree have separate deadlines. Ph.D. applications must be submitted no later than 11:59pm on December 1 for US applicants and 11:59pm on November 30 for international applicants. For MA applications, the deadline is no later than 11:59 on January 30. We conduct the admissions process once per year, admitting for the following Autumn semester only. Unfortunately, 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 gpadmissions@osu.edu. You may also check on your application status by visiting https://gpadmissions.osu.edu/grad/get-your-decision.html.

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 steps to apply for more information about the online application, transcripts, and TOEFL/IELTS requirements. Any questions should be directed to gpadmissions@osu.edu.

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 gpadocs@osu.edu 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 graduate programs.

Information on the Required Supplemental Materials

Personal Statement (typically 3 pages; maximum 5 pages).
The personal statement is an explanation of academic and professional goals, including areas of research interest for potential graduate work at OSU, and specific plans for a career in the field after graduation.

Applicants may use the personal statement to address any aspect of their application that may benefit from further explanation, and/or to share additional information about the candidate’s personal activities, personal experiences and character attributes, resiliency and determination in the face of hardship, and educational or professional background.

What the personal statement is to address:

  1. Career Trajectory. The degree to which the applicant’s plan for graduate study builds on past experiences and education. Clarity to articulate those future plans and to define their core components. The fit of those plans with OSU’s History graduate program: the ability of the program’s resources to prepare the applicant in the proposed plan and future career.
  2. Intellectual Trajectory. The degree to which the applicant understands the nature of and has actual interest in the academic study of history. Ability to articulate what an intellectual journey through graduate research at OSU what look like, given the current faculty composition and departmental resources, and how that journey could contribute significantly to human knowledge about the past.
  3. Thematic Constellations. Whether the applicant’s plans fit into one or more of our departmental thematic concentrations. How the applicant’s participation in a particular thematic concentration would enhance their own training for research and teaching.
  4. Interdisciplinary and Other Impacts. The degree to which the applicant’s plan of study at OSU would enhance or enrich fields and areas of creative activity other than history. The potential to bring technical innovations in the field that have broader impacts beyond the academic discipline (e.g., digital humanities, computer-assisted analysis).

Curriculum Vitae (1-2 pages).

A listing of the applicant’s education, academic accomplishments, awards, and qualifications for graduate study in major field of choice, including any training in foreign languages or specific skills and the degree of competence in each skill listed.

Writing Sample (20-50 pages).

An academic paper showing prior work in the proposed subfield of history that indicates promise for successful graduate study at OSU. 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.