Admissions and How to Apply


Admission to Ohio State’s PhD program in Sociology is selective; we admit about 10-12 new graduate students annually. While a formal background in sociology is not required, applicants must demonstrate their ability to succeed in all areas of graduate work. Prior undergraduate or graduate study and research in the social and behavioral sciences serve as a strong foundation for this program.

Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their most recent academic program are admissible by the Graduate School rules, but an applicant’s chances of admission are improved if they have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, GRE scores around the 70th percentile or higher, and strong letters of recommendation that discuss the applicant’s ability to perform well in a rigorous program of graduate training. The admissions committee evaluates each application in its entirety and considers unusual circumstances if they are made known in the personal statement.


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How to Apply


Application deadline for international applicants: November 30th (if all materials are not received by the deadline, we cannot guarantee your application will be reviewed by the admissions committee)

Application deadline for domestic applicants:  December 13th (if all materials are not received by the deadline, we cannot guarantee your application will be reviewed by the admissions committee)


Students must apply online and submit all materials (Graduate Admissions and Department requirements) electronically through the Office of Graduate Admissions.  Please note that your recommenders will receive an email from the university 1-3 days after you submit your application and they should follow the instructions in that email for uploading their letters.


• Resume or Curriculum Vitae

• Academic writing sample that clearly demonstrates your critical thinking skills, writing abilities and potential for success in a rigorous doctoral program.  If you have completed an undergraduate honors thesis or master's thesis you should consider submitting it as your writing sample.

• Statement of Purpose that outlines your relevant training, research experience, academic goals and sociological interests, career objectives, and the reason you feel that the Department of Sociology at The Ohio State University is the right place to pursue your PhD.  It is appropriate to note any special circumstances in this statement as well.

• Three (3) letters of recommendation.  You will be asked to provide contact information for three recommenders when completing your online application. 

• GRE Test scores and TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable; please see the university policy for the language requirement).  Scores must be no more than 5 years old.  Official scores must be submitted by ETS to the OSU Office of Graduate Admissions using the Ohio State University Code: 1592.    

• Transcripts.   Please use the "Upload Transcript" button to send copies (front and back) of official transcripts from ALL institutions where college credit was earned--even if you attended while in high school. International Credentials should include certified educational records and degree certificates or diplomas in the original language with English translations.  If you are admitted to the university as a graduate student, you will be required to submit final official transcripts.  Do not send the Graduate and Professional Admissions Office paper official transcripts unless specifically requested by our office.  Transcripts take 2-4 weeks to process once received.  Students are responsible for requesting official transcripts from their institutions in plenty of time to allow OSU to process them prior to the deadline.


As a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, Ohio State participates in the FreeApp Fee Waiver Program.  For information on the program and to see if you are eligible, go to the Big 10 Academic Alliance web site.

Ohio State works with a variety of other programs that provide fee waivers to applicants as well as several of it's own programs. Please visit consult Graduate and Professional Admissions for the full list of programs.



If you have questions about your online application, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions. Phone: (614) 292-9444 or email: