Prospective Graduate Students
Who should apply for graduate study?
The Department prefers to admit students who have had at least three, and preferably more, years of Russian language, as well as related coursework. (Applicants who have had fewer than three years of Russian but who have intensive knowledge of other Slavic languages may also be considered; please contact the Graduate Studies Chair for further information.)
Prospective students applying to study literature and cultural studies should have a background in this area equivalent to an undergraduate major or minor. Likewise, prospective students applying to study linguistics should have a background in linguistic theory.
Candidates for admission should give evidence of academic excellence and intellectual promise, as measured by criteria such as undergraduate grades, scores on the verbal and writing portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), evaluations in letters of recommendation, and the quality of the writing sample. We are particularly concerned with the candidate's undergraduate performance in Russian and/or other Slavic languages and in related subjects.
The primary degree granted by the Department is the Ph.D. The Department does not normally admit students who want to pursue a terminal M.A. (i.e. students whose academic goals do not include a Ph.D.).
M.A. admissions and Ph.D. admissions
The Department admits students at either the M.A. level or the Ph.D. level.
Prospective students who hold only a B.A. (or equivalent) should apply to the M.A. program, even if the ultimate goal is to pursue a Ph.D. The master's degree is not designed to be a terminal degree. It is generally expected that students will move into the Ph.D. program after successful completion of the M.A. For students who enter at the M.A. level, the expected time to degree (M.A. + Ph.D.) is five years.
Prospective students who hold an M.A. (or equivalent) may choose to apply directly to the Ph.D. program. For students who enter at the Ph.D. level, the expected time to degree is three years.
However, when the prospective student's M.A. is not in the same field that s/he is applying to study, s/he may prefer (and be required) to begin at the M.A. level in our program. For example, a student who has earned an M.A. in Russian literature, public policy, etc., and who is applying to study Slavic linguistics, should apply to the M.A. program, not the Ph.D. program. Likewise a student who holds a five-year B.A./M.A. degree from an Eastern European or Central European university should also consider enrolling in the M.A. program. Such students usually benefit from the foundation that the M.A. degree provides and often have more success in the program.
The Department encourages all applicants to visit the Department. Please contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator, Karen Nielsen, to arrange meetings with professors and current graduate students.
All students who are admitted to the graduate program are considered for funding. The Department strives to offer five years of funding to graduate students who are pursuing an M.A. + Ph.D. and three years of funding to graduate students who enter at the Ph.D. level.
The most common types of funding available are Graduate Teaching Associateships and Graduate Fellowships. Newly admitted students are eligible for both kinds of funding. First-year Graduate School fellowships are awarded based on a university-wide competition.
Funded students receive free tuition (some fees must still be paid), a stipend for living expenses, a subsidy of health insurance premiums, and other benefits. More information about benefits for Graduate Associates and Graduate Fellows is available here.
Criteria for admission
The following criteria are guidelines for prospective applicants rather than absolute criteria; the Graduate Studies Committee takes into account many factors in deciding whether to admit candidates to the program. Note that fulfilling the criteria is not a guarantee of admission to the Department:
A cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 3.3 (preferably higher) on a 4.0 scale, with at least 3.5 (preferably higher) in Russian and related subjects. Applicants should have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale on any previous graduate coursework. Students graded otherwise than on the 4.0 scale should have grades that show comparable excellence in the given system.
At least score of at least 156 on the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE (or 550 if the test was taken before August 2011) and 4.5 on the Writing section. Higher scores are preferred. The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE is also considered for applicants to the Slavic linguistics program; a score of at least 156 (720 for tests prior to August 2011) is preferred.
Procedures for applying
The Department strongly prefers graduate students to matriculate in the Autumn Semester, although it will consider applications for the other semesters. Funding for graduate study is awarded only to students who enter in the fall.
Applications received by January 7 will receive first priority. Only applications received by that date will be considered for Graduate School fellowships.
International students are encouraged to apply for admission. Click here for information that is particular to international applicants.
A complete application consists of the following materials:
A completed Ohio State University Graduate School Admission application form (a web form available here);
Transcripts for all previous post-secondary academic work;
Scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test;
Scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) (international applicants only);
A statement of intent in English;
A curriculum vitae;
Three letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with the applicant's scholastic ability (preferably professors or other college instructors). At least one of these letters must provide a detailed evaluation of the applicant's knowledge of Russian based on recent knowledge;
A sample of academic writing in English (typically, an essay or term paper written as an undergraduate, preferably on a subject related to Russian or Slavic studies);
How and where to submit materials
The following parts of the application must be submitted through OSU's online application system. You can upload these application documents (including transcripts) with your online application. The application and supporting documents are uploaded into an imaging system which will allow the program to which you are applying to access your documents. (Please remember that you must upload official copies.)
- Ohio State University Graduate School Admission application form (web form);
- Academic transcripts;
- Unofficial GRE scores, if available;
- Unofficial TOEFL or MELAB scores, if relevant and available;
- A statement of intent in English;
- Curriculum vitae in English;
Writing sample in English.
Official GRE and TOEFL/MELAB test scores will be send electronically directly from the testing center. If you are admitted to the university, OSU will request a hard copy of your official academic transcripts before you enroll.
In accordance with Graduate School policy, applicants may NOT submit letters of recommendation themselves. Letters of recommendation must be received directly from the letter writer. The letter writer can either upload his/her letter to the online application system directly (after you complete the application form), or can send it in by post. We recommend using online letter submission, because there is less chance of the letter being lost. See Tips for Completing the Online Application for instructions.
The following parts of the application must also be submitted in hard copy directly to the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures:
- Statement of intent;
- Curriculum vitae;
- Writing sample.
Send these materials to the following address:
Graduate Studies Chair
Attn: Graduate Admissions
Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures
400 Hagerty Hall
1775 College Road
Columbus, OH 43210
The Graduate Studies Chair may contact prospective students who are short-listed for admission to arrange an interview with the Graduate Studies Committee. During the interview (which can be by telephone or in person), the Committee will examine the applicants' general intellectual abilities and their level of proficiency in Russian.