Admission to the Linguistics Graduate Program

Application forms

On-line application for admission to the Linguistics Graduate Program is required. Please visit the web pages of the Admissions Office.

Admissions criteria

The general criteria for admission to graduate programs are set by the Graduate School; those should be consulted by applicants, but briefly, these are: an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university (or the foreign equivalent) with at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA (on a 4.00-point scale) and a minimum of 3.30 (4-pt-scale) in any graduate work undertaken. An undergraduate major in linguistics is not required to enter the linguistics graduate program at Ohio State, although a record of undergraduate courses in linguistics (and related subjects such as psychology, philosophy and foreign languages) is obviously an advantage in a competitive admissions review.

Components of the application packet

All students applying for admission to the graduate program in linguistics must take all three portions of the Graduate Record Examination, and score reports from ETS must be received by the application deadline. This requirement cannot be postponed or waived.

As detailed in the Graduate School Admission Guidelines, a complete application consists of:

  1. the application
  2. official copies of all undergraduate and previous graduate transcripts
  3. GRE scores
  4. three letters of recommendation
  5. a personal statement (or statement of purpose)
  6. a brief CV or resume (no more than two pages
  7. a non-refundable application fee

International students whose native language is not English (and who have not earned a college degree in an English-language university) are also required to submit TOEFL scores; again, see the Graduate School guidelines for details.

All of these items may be submitted online with your application except for the transcripts and the GRE scores:

  • You should request that ETS report your GRE scores to Ohio State. Typically this is done when you take the exam, but it may be requested afterwards through ETS.
  • Admissions allows you to upload transcripts with your application. You may do this, but we require that you send an official transcript to Admissions (Domestic mail: Graduate and Professional Admissions\P.O. Box 182004\Columbus, OH 43218-2004; International mail: Graduate and Professional Admissions\Student Academic Services Building\281 W. Lane Ave.\Columbus, OH 43210-1132 USA). Alternately, you may have an official digital transcript (if your institution issues these) sent to gpadocs@osu.edu.

There is sometimes confusion about what constitutes an official transcript. Admissions allows you to upload a copy of an official transcript. In that case, they mean "a transcript which has been generated by your institution and released to you, the student, rather than any temporary academic record which might otherwise be used". Generally, however, an official transcript means "a transcript which has been generated by your institution and which remains sealed and untouched by any other party until received by an admissions officer." This latter is the type of transcript we require.


Applicants may want to use our Checklist for Applicants to make sure their applications are complete.

Timetable and deadlines

The review procedure for applications involves all departmental faculty and takes place only once a year: applicants are reviewed in January for admission commencing the following Autumn (or Summer) semester. The deadline for all applicants is December 1.

Applicants are typically notified of the decision on their admission in late January, although in special cases the decision cannot be made until later. See also the information on Financial Aid. Applicants who are not admitted are notified automatically via email from Graduate Admissions. 

For any remaining questions about the graduate program and admission procedure not answered on this Web site contact the Graduate Program Coordinator (Dr. Julia Papke) at papke.5@osu.edu or write c/o Department of Linguistics, The Ohio State University, 1712 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.

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