Applications to the WGSS MA or PhD are accepted every fall for the following academic year. Admission to our graduate program is highly competitive. Please see below for detailed information on how to apply.
Special Notes for Admissions during Autumn 2020
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the budget of Ohio State, we anticipate admitting a much smaller graduate cohort than in previous years. We will update this page as soon as we are able to determine how budgetary decisions will impact admissions.
The application window will open later than in previous years. Applications will begin to be accepted on October 29, 2020.
Additional Instructions for Doctoral Applicants
Doctoral students must communicate their interest with their potential advisor before submitting their application. Prospective doctoral students should contact the core WGSS faculty member they wish to work with via email in order to determine research fit and advisor capacity. The following faculty members will not be taking on doctoral students at this time:
- Dr. Treva Lindsey
- Dr. Shannon Winnubst
Email contacts for our faculty members who are accepting students can be found on the people page. Applicants who have not communicated with their potential faculty advisor will not be considered.
Additional Instructions for International Applicants
The Graduate School is temporarily allowing the submission of the Duolingo English Test to fulfill the English Proficiency requirement. See the full memo here. Note that students who submit a Duolingo score for admission will need to take the TOEFL at a later date upon arrival.
WGSS Graduate Admissions Information
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 generally have undergraduate GPAs of 3.6 or higher and graduate GPAs of 3.9 or higher.
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.
It is recommended that master's applicants should have completed at least four courses in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies or closely related fields. A major, minor or certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or related field is recommended. Successful applicants to the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies MA program generally have GPAs of 3.6 or higher. Applicants are reviewed holistically on the basis of letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, GPA, writing sample, and TOEFL scores (for international applicants). The GRE is not required for admission to our MA program.
Admission to the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies MA Program at Ohio State is very competitive. The department typically admits between 10-15% of MA applicants. The number of MA spots open for admission varies year to year. Experience has shown that the best predictors of success in the program are the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies course requirements and the undergraduate GPA. 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.
The PhD program accepts students with a Master’s degree as well as students coming directly from a Bachelor’s program. Applicants should have a BA or MA in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies or a closely related field and a strong grounding in feminist theory. Successful applicants to the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies PhD program have had undergraduate GPAs of 3.6 or higher and graduate GPAs of 3.9 or higher. Applicants are reviewed holistically on the basis of letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, GPA, writing sample, and TOEFL scores (for international applicants). The GRE is NOT required for PhD applicants.
Applicants for the PhD program need to demonstrate rigorous preparation, commitment to serious intellectual study, and extraordinary scholarly ability. Applicants to the direct-to-PhD program who are deemed highly competitive but not yet ready for doctoral work will be considered for the MA program. Applicants to the PhD program who are currently enrolled in our MA program are evaluated on the same criteria as those applying from other schools.
Admission to the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies PhD program is very competitive. The department admits approximately 5-10% of applicants. The number of PhD spots open for admission varies year to year. Experience has shown that the best predictors of success in the program are a rigorous scholarly background in feminist theory and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. It is highly recommended that students who do not have this 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.
New for Autumn 2020: Doctoral students must communicate their interest with their potential advisor before submitting their application. Prospective doctoral students should contact the core WGSS faculty member they wish to work with via email in order to determine research fit and advisor capacity.
The following faculty members will not be taking on doctoral students at this time:
- Dr. Treva Lindsey
- Dr. Shannon Winnubst
Email contacts for our faculty members who are taking students can be found on the people page. Applicants who have not communicated with their potential faculty advisor will not be considered.
The Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies only admits students for Autumn Semester.
Applications for Autumn 2021 will be accepted starting Thursday, October 29, 2020. All application materials are due Friday, December 4 by 11:59 pm EST. Late applications will not be considered.
Letters of Recommendation may come in up to a week after the deadline. Test scores and transcripts may come in up to two weeks after the deadline provided they have been ordered by the deadline.
The Department will hold mandatory online interviews with top candidates in early January, 2021. See the Interviews section below for additional information.
Final admissions decisions will be shared with applicants between late December 2020 and early April 2021.
The graduate application engine is hosted by the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. All application materials must be submitted through the central application on their website. 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.
You can also use the Degrees and Programs filter to select Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies through the on the Graduate and Professional Admissions website.
Applying to Multiple Programs and Dual Degrees
Applying to Both WGSS Programs
If you do not hold an MA and would like to be considered for both the MA and PhD program, please apply only to the PhD program. Eligible direct-to-PhD candidates will automatically be considered for the MA program. Admitted students applying to both programs will be notified as to which program they have been admitted.
If you are applying to more than one MA or PhD program at Ohio State (you may apply to three in a term), a separate application and fee are required for each program, as are separate recommendation letters. However, only one set of transcripts and test scores is needed. unless otherwise requested by a program. Please contact WGSS program coordinator Jackson Stotlar if you are planning on applying to more than one program at a time.
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.
Materials Required by the Department
These materials are required by the Department and the Department determines the specifications of each item (e.g. page length, details included, etc.). Questions about these materials should be directed to Program Coordinator Jackson Stotlar.
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? MA applicants should detail why WGSS at Ohio State can support them in their pursuit of their studies.
Applicants to the doctoral degree should have clearly delineated fields of study, along with a well defined dissertation topic. Doctoral students must communicate their interest with their potential advisor before submitting their application. Prospective doctoral students should contact the core WGSS faculty member they wish to work with via email in order to determine research fit and advisor capacity. Email contacts for our faculty members can be found on the people page. Doctoral applicants should list the potential faculty advisors they have contacted in their statement of purpose. Applicants who have not communicated with their potential faculty advisor will not be considered. PhD applicants should also indicate which other WGSS core faculty or affiliated faculty they might wish to work with during their course of study.
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.
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. Do not send hard copies of recommendation letters to the department. Applicants will need to provide their recommenders' names, institutions, and email addresses. 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. Please contact the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions for assistance with any issues related to submitting letters of recommendation.
Materials Required by the University
These materials are required by the University and the Department has no ability to alter or waive them. Questions about these materials should be directed to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Materials Not Required
GRE: The Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality does DOES NOT require the GRE for admission. Please DO NOT submit GRE scores with your application.
For insight into how to compile a WGSS graduate application, please review this help guide on applying to WGSS programs from NWSA:
Proof of English Proficiency
Some international applicants are required to submit English proficiency test scores in order to be considered for admission.
The university requires official TOEFL or IELTS scores from applicants:
- whose native language is not English,
- who have been educated primarily outside of the U.S., or
- who have held U.S. permanent resident, asylee or refugee status for less than one year from the first term of enrollment.
Minimum Test Scores
- 19 on each section of the paper-based TOEFL
- 79 on the internet-based TOEFL or TOEFL Special Home Edition
- 7.0 on the IELTS exam or IELTS Indicator (6.5 for Moritz College of Law applicants)
Duolingo (only for Autumn 2021 applicants)
- 105 or higher (Note: Duolingo test takers are required to take an English placement exam upon arrival to campus. The Duolingo English Test cannot be used to satisfy the English Proficiency requirement for Graduate Teaching Associates.)
Test scores may not be more than two years old.
Applicants who are citizens of, or who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher from, one of the following countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States and Wales.
The department cannot waive English proficiency test requirements. Students with questions about these requirements should contact the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.
- To ensure scores are received, tests should be completed at least four 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.
- TOEFL or IELTS scores cannot be more than two year old. Duolingo scores cannot be more than six months old.
One of Ohio State's graduate admission criteria is the completion of an American four-year bachelor's degree or the equivalent. Three-year degrees are not generally recognized to be equivalent.
If you hold a three-year degree, please review the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions' guidelines to see if you are eligible to apply to Ohio State with your current credentials.
A nonrefundable $60 fee for U.S. students and $70 for international students is charged for each regular or supplemental application you submit to Ohio State for graduate study. Your application is not processed until you pay your application fee and the fee is authorized. Ohio State accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.
If you submit an application in error, the application fee will not be refunded. 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.
However, certain applicants may qualify for a fee waiver provided by the Graduate School. Please see the Office of Graduate and Professional Admission's fee waiver guide for a list of fee waiver programs and application information.
Top admissible candidates will be selected to complete mandatory online interviews. Academic Program Coordinator, Jackson Stotlar, will contact top applicants to schedule interviews early January 2021 over Zoom.
During interviews, the Graduate Studies Committee will ask a range of questions to better determine applicant fit and readiness to enter the program.
Successful applicants who do not begin their program in Autumn Semester must reapply for admission the following year. Previously enrolled students who have not completed their degrees and have not registered for courses or dissertation hours for more than two semesters must petition the Graduate Studies Committee for reactivation.
- For more information about graduate study in general at The Ohio State University, please visit the Graduate School's website.
- For detailed information about graduate admissions and the application process, please visit the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions website.
- Read answers to frequently asked questions about WGSS graduate programs on our Admission FAQ Page.
- For WGSS specific questions, email email@example.com, call 614-292-1268, or use the WGSS Graduate Program Inquiry Form