Prospective Graduate Students

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The graduate program in Anthropology consists of two degrees, the M.A. and the Ph.D.  Successful completion of the M.A. from either another institution or OSU is required for admission to the Ph.D. program.  Students admitted to either the M.A. or the Ph.D. programs are required to complete three theory core courses in Anthropology, including the core courses in cultural anthropology, archaeology, and physical anthropology. The M.A. program must be completed within two years. Requirements for the Ph.D. follow a standard, but flexible, format of coursework and specific guidelines by subdiscipline, followed by the candidacy exam, and dissertation.

If you have additional questions about applying to the program contact us at gradreq@osu.edu.

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Graduate Application Guidelines

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Application materials for both the M.A. and Ph.D. degree are due on November 15th for all applicants.

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Every year, the faculty and the Graduate Studies Committee evaluate the pool of applicants and identifies students who are eligible for fellowships-- this is funding for graduate study provided by the Ohio State University. Eligibility is defined by the university as academic excellence, which includes course grades, GRE scores, theses, presentations, and other measures of academic achievement. The faculty in the department also evaluate how well each applicant fits with current research programs. University Fellowship information can be found on the Graduate School's website.

The Department of Anthropology also strongly encourages applicants to apply for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), which provides a three-year annual stipend along with a cost-of-education allowance.  Applications to the GRFP are due in late October and are restricted to a single application in either the first or second year of study.. 

Applicants should also note that graduate students may be considered for a Graduate Teaching Associate Appointment, and will be eligible to serve as an instructor in the Department of Anthropology following adequate coursework.  These appointments cover tuition and provide a stipend to support the student while they continue their coursework, degree requirements, and graduate research.  All incoming students are considered for these positions and no extra materials are needed.

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Materials must be submitted electronically.  

Most items can be uploaded when completing the Graduate Admissions Application, which is an on-line application. If you have questions about the electronic submission of your application materials, please contact us at gradreq@osu.edu.

  1. Complete the Graduate Admissions Application for Anthropology (M.A. or Ph.D, as appropriate). This will start the upload process for all additional documents.
  2. Upload with the Graduate Admissions Application a completed Anthropology Graduate Application Cover letterindicate and rank three faculty members with whom the applicant wishes to work.
  3. Upload with the Graduate Admissions Application an official transcript from each college or university attended, listing all courses taken, grades, and degrees earned.  This includes post-secondary and community college transcripts. 
  4. Upload with the Graduate Admissions Application a three-part statement (no more than two single-spaced typed pages) that:
    • Clearly articulates the applicant’s areas of interest,
    • Demonstrates the applicant’s preparedness (e.g., completed coursework, field school, prior research experience) to undertake graduate work including special background or other preparation that is not evident from other credentials submitted, and
    • Demonstrates how the applicant’s research interests overlap with the research expertise of the three faculty members identified on the Supplemental Form. The applicant should make a strong case for why they want to work with these specific faculty members and therefore why The Ohio State University is an ideal setting for their continued training.
  5. Upload with the Graduate Admissions Application a current CV/resume.
  6. Include in the Graduate Admissions Application the emails of three persons acquainted with the applicant's academic program, scholastic ability, and/or professional performance and who will provide letters of recommendation. Applicants are advised to select referees who are familiar with their best work, particularly in anthropology and related disciplines.  All recommendations must be submitted electronically.  Recommenders cannot submit a letter until the application is submitted and the fee is paid.
  7. Submit an official report of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Scores do not need to be sent directly to the department. All scores submitted to the University will be accessible to the department.

The following information only applies to admitted international students:

  1. A certified statement indicating that financial resources are available to defray the cost of graduate education (forms will be sent to the applicant if admitted to the program). 
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Q. Should I contact faculty members with whom I am interested in working? 
A: Faculty members always appreciate hearing from prospective students, and want to know more about you. It is advisable that you contact them several months before you apply to discuss potential research projects for your M.A. or Ph.D.

Q: Will I get a fellowship or a Graduate Assistantship?
A: Department funding is based upon many factors. However, if you are entering into the Master program, it is unlikely that you will receive a fellowship or a Graduate Assistantship your first year. Incoming Ph.D students may receive one, but all are considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Q: Can you send me information by mail?
A: We no longer send hard copies of our graduate program information. However, all information is available here and on the Graduate Admissions website. If you have any questions, concerns or requests about your application to Graduate Admissions, contact gradreq@osu.edu

Q: What are the minimum requirements for study in the Anthropology graduate program?
A: An applicant must submit documentation that fulfills the following admission criteria:

  1. An earned baccalaureate or professional degree from an accredited college or university by the expected date of entry;
  2. Ordinarily a minimum of a 3.3 cumulative point‑hour ratio (on the scale of 4.0 used at this university) in all previous undergraduate work;
  3. Ordinarily a minimum of a 3.5 cumulative point‑hour ratio (on the scale of 4.0 used at this university) in all previous graduate work;
  4. Ordinarily Graduate Record Examination (GRE) revised general test scores of at least 310 cumulative on verbal and quantitative sections and 4 on the analytic component;
  5. A major in anthropology, or,
    1. At least 25 credit hours in anthropology and closely related disciplines, or,
    2. Outstanding general academic preparation and evidence of exceptional scholarly potential;
  6. A minimum score of 79 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or of 80 on the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MTELP). This requirement applies to an applicant from a country where the first language is not English, unless a degree was earned in an academic institution where English is used as the instructional medium;
  • In addition to the criteria listed above, the academic interests and objectives of applicants will be evaluated to determine if the applicant's intended program can be undertaken in this department given the interests, specialties, and work load of our faculty

Q. Can I transfer from another Ohio State University graduate program to the Department of Anthropology?
A: Requests for transfer from another Ohio State University graduate program must be accompanied by the same materials submitted by first time applicants to the OSU Graduate Admissions.

Q: I am applying to the program for a second time. Do I need to submit everything again? 
A: Yes, and you must resend your transcripts and GRE scores to Graduate Admissions.

Q: I submitted my transcripts weeks ago but when I check my application status at Graduate Admissions it shows them as not having been received. What should I do?
A: When you check the status of your application online, you are checking the Graduate Admissions holdings. As Graduate Admissions processes all graduate applications, a backlog of submitted paperwork occurs, resulting in delays in the update of your application status. It is best to upload all materials with your application. If something is missing please contact Graduate Admissions at gradadmissions@osu.edu for an update on the status of your application.

Q: Can my GRE scores be received later than the deadline?
A: Like all other application materials, GRE scores must be received before or on November 15th.

Q: My CV/resume has been updated since I submitted it. Can I submit an updated copy?
A: Of course, just send it in and we will update your file.

Q: How firm is the deadline?
A: Applications and materials received after November 15th will not be accepted.

Q: Can I apply for admission besides the autumn semester?
A: No. If you miss the admissions deadline you will need to apply the following autumn.

Q: Based on these scores/grades/ etc what are my odds for getting into the program?
A: Unlike undergraduate education admissions where a person's skill can be boiled down into several years of grades and test scores, graduate education admissions focus more heavily on how well that particular individual's research interests and career goals mesh with the program to which they've applied. If you have any interests or inquiries into a specific body of research, feel free to contact faculty or graduate students who share similar research interests for more information about what the program can offer.

Q: How do I make an appointment to visit an advisor/to visit the department etc?
A: E-mail gradreq@osu.edu requesting help to set up a visit to the department.

Q: When will I find out if I have been accepted?
A: Notification letters are typically sent out in late March or early April. If you are concerned about the status of your application, please e-mail gradreq@osu.edu.