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  1. Prerequisites for Admission
  2. Application Opening and Deadlines
  3. Application Procedures
  4. Application Materials
  5. Test Scores
  6. Application Fees
  7. Interviews
  8. Dual and Combined Degrees
  9. Readmission and Reactivation
  10. Additional Information


Prerequisites for Admission

Applicants should meet or exceed all OSU Graduate School admissions requirements. While the official minimum GPA is 3.0 scale, successful Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies applicants have generally had GPAs of 3.4 or higher.  

It is recommended that master's applicants should have completed at least four courses in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies or a related field; a major, minor, or certificate in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies is preferred. 

It is recommended that doctoral applicants should have a bachelor's or master's degree in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies or a related field. It is also recommend that doctoral applicants have a grounding in feminist theory.

Experience has shown that the best predictors of success in the program are adequate scholarly preparation, as shown in the GPA and fulfillment of the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies recommended academic backgrounds. It is highly recommend that students who do not have an adequate background acquire it before applying. However, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary program and students with different academic backgrounds are still welcome to apply. 

See the following pages for additional information on our MA and PhD programs: 


Application Opening and Deadlines

The Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies only admits students for Autumn Semester. Applications for consideration for admission Autumn 2019 open September 1, 2018. All application materials are due November 30, 2018. Late applications will not be considered.

The Department will hold manditory online interviews with top candidates from early January through early April depending on strength of application and position on the waitlist. See the Interviews section below for additional information.

Final admissions decisions will be shared with applicants between late December and early April. 


Application Procedures

Graduate admissions at Ohio State are routed through the central Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. The Graduate and Professional Admissions website hosts the central application for all of Ohio State's graduate programs. All application materials, including transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation, must be submitted through the central application. The application is secure and password protected. Applications can be saved throughout the process and submitted when complete. Should you run into any issues with your application, contact the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.

While the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions hosts the central application, the Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies requests which application materials, such as personal statements, CV, GRE scores, and writing sample, must be submitted to be considered for admission. See below for additional information on these required materials. Should you have any questions about application materials, please contact the WGSS Academic Program Coordinator, Jackie Stotlar.

To apply, please select Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies through the Find My Program feature on the Graduate and Professional Admissions website. You will be guided through the application step-by-step. For information on required materials, see below. Students who apply for the Doctor of Philosophy program who do not already hold a Master's degree will be automatically considered for the Master's program. Once the application is completed, students can view their application status.

Applicants who cannot use the online process should contact the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions for assistance.


Application Materials

Statement of Purpose: A brief intellectual statement of purpose (up to three pages, double spaced) that explains why the applicant wants to pursue a graduate degree in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. The statement of purpose should emphasize the applicant's scholarly interests, future career plans, and detail how a graduate degree in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies is the logical next step in the applicant's professional and intellectual development. Applicants to the master's degree should discuss the fields of study that most interest them. What themes within these fields strike them as compelling for further study? Applicants to the doctoral degree should have clearly delineated fields of study, as well as a relatively defined idea of what type of dissertation topic they might pursue.

Curriculum Vitae: The CV is where the applicant should provide information on their educational achievements; relevant employment/internship experiences; relevant volunteer and public service experiences; publications; presentations; awards and honors (including grants and scholarships); relevant travel experience such as study abroad; involvement in extracurricular activities; etc. If the applicant has received awards for scholarship or academic leadership or service, a brief explanation of the awards should be included for reviewers unfamiliar with their purpose.

Writing Sample: The writing sample must be in English. It should be on a subject matter relevant to Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies scholarship. It can be a paper prepared for a class, a publication (article, chapter) or a paper presented at a meeting, a chapter or section of a longer work such as a book or thesis, etc. The idea is to show the level of intellectual work that the applicant has achieved. It is recommended that the writing sample be between 10 and 20 pages in length. Samples over 20 pages will not be read in full. If the sample is a chapter or section from a longer work, a cover page should be included as well as an outline of the longer document, indicating where the chapter or section fits in. Do not submit an entire thesis or a book.

GRE Scores: GRE scores are required for doctoral applicants and any applicant with a GPA below a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. GRE scores are strongly recommended for master's applicants. However, the department does not have minimum or targeted GRE scores, even for doctoral applicants or students with GPAs below a 3.0. Please see below for additional information.

Transcripts: Applicants are required to submit one academic transcript from all institutions where college credit was received.  Applicants may upload scanned images of official paper transcripts issued by the institution’s Registrar via the document uploader. Make sure to mark out all U.S. social security numbers before scanning. See “Admission Process” -> “How do I attach my transcript to the application?” on the Graduate and Professional Admissions FAQ page for additional information. If the applicant needs to order electronic transcripts, they can be sent via email to Ohio State will not accept web reports, advising reports, self-reported scores, or transfer credit on another school’s transcript. Official transcripts are only required after admission to the program.

Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation. Unless the applicant has significant compelling reason (e.g., having been removed from formal academics for an extended period of time), all letters should come from faculty who can speak to the applicant's skills as a student and capacity for graduate education. The central application guides applicants through how to request electronic letters of recommendation from recommenders. Applicants will need to provide their recommenders' names, institutions, and email addresses. Do not send hard copies of recommendation letters to the department. Please contact the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions for assistance with any issues related to submitting letters of recommendation.

English Proficiency Test Scores: International applicants are required to submit proof of English proficiency. Ohio State accepts official TOEFL, IELTS and MELAB scores sent directly from the testing agency. Please see below and consult the English proficiency requirements at Ohio State for additional information.


Test Scores

Some students are required to submit various test scores in order to be considered for admission.  The following are the testing requirements for the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies:

General Guidelines:

  • To ensure scores are received, tests should be completed at least 4 weeks prior to the application deadline.
  • Applicants should use Ohio State's test code (1592) when submitting scores at the time of the exam.  
  • Test scores must be received by the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions no later than two weeks after the application deadline.


  • All doctoral applicants and students below a 3.0 undergraduate or graduate GPA on a 4.0 scale are required to submit GRE scores.
  • All master's applicants are strongly encouraged to submit GRE scores as they are required for fellowship consideration. 
  • GRE scores cannot be older than 5 years old.
  • We do not specify minimum scores on the GRE. The average GRE scores of our admitted students for the past 3 years are as follows:

Writing: 4/6
Quantitative: 151/170
Qualitative/Verbal: 159/170

English Proficiency:

  • International applicants must demonstrate English proficiency.
  • International applicants, even those fluent in English, should consult the English proficiency requirements at Ohio State to determine if English proficiency test scores are required. 
  • TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB scores cannot be older than 2 years. 
  • Ohio State minimum English language testing requirements are as follows:

550 Paper-based TOEFL
79 Internet-based TOEFL (IBT)


Application Fees

An application fee of $60 for domestic applicants and $70 for international applicants is due before the application may be submitted. Application fees are processed through the central online application. For technical questions regarding application fees, please contact the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.

The Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies cannot issue fee waivers at this time. However, certain applicants may qualify for a fee waiver provided by the Graduate School. Please see Graduate School’s list of students eligible for a fee waiver for additional information. For information on applying for a fee waiver, see the Application Fee Waivers page on the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions' site.



Top admissable candidates will be selected to complete mandatory online interviews. Academic Program Coordinator, Jackie Stotlar, will contact top applicants to schedule interviews in January. Acceptable video conferencing technology will be discussed when the interview is scheduled. 

During interviews, the Graduate Studies Committee will ask a range of questions to better determine applicant fit and readiness to enter the program.


Dual and Combined Degrees

Applicants wishing to pursue dual and combined master's degrees that include Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies as one discipline must apply to Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies for admission. This intention should be communicated directly to the Academic Program Coordinator, Jackie Stotlar, as part of the process of admission. Applicants must be accepted into both programs before a dual degree plan can be created.

Readmission and Reactivation

Successful applicants who do not begin their program in Autumn Semester must reapply for admission the following year. Enrolled students who have not completed their degrees and have not registered for courses or dissertation hours for more than two years must petition the Graduate Studies Committee for reactivation.

Additional Information