The College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State is unique in its wide offering of interdisciplinary academic programs, allowing students to be creative in combining their specific interests across academic areas to design and meet their own vision for the future.
We encourage counselors and prospective students to use our explore tool to research the 80+ major and 100+ minor programs offered within the College of Arts and Sciences and our future students webpage to explore opportunities outside of the classroom such as education abroad, service learning, research and internship opportunities.
In addition to traditional academic programs, we’ve also developed new certificate programs with offerings in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Translation and Interpretation, Health Communication and more.
Please see below for more information from some individual departments.
Department of Art
The Department of Art is broad-based, both discipline intensive and boundary pushing, a modern laboratory in which to create and explore art and ideas. We strive to be at the forefront of developments in contemporary aesthetic thought and practice.
The department serves as a place where students and faculty can experiment with material and content and where a diverse audience can take part in our exhibitions, public lectures and educational programming. Our programs have a fierce commitment to purposeful connection that firmly aligns with the university mission of education, research and service.
We teach undergraduate and graduate students to develop as autonomous artists through seven emphasis areas: Art & Technology, Ceramics, Glass, Painting & Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture.
- To apply, select Art as your major on your undergraduate application. If you are admitted, you will be enrolled directly into the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program. Students in the BFA program are required to undergo a formal portfolio review, (typically in their 4th semester). This would be a presentation of work produced in Art foundation/core classes and lower level classes within the student’s emphasis area of choice.
- Until we can resume physical tours of our facilities, prospective students are encouraged to schedule a Zoom meeting to learn more about our undergraduate program. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a virtual meeting.
- For more information, visit the Department of Art website at art.osu.edu.
Department of Comparative Studies
The Department of Comparative Studies prepares students to explore and analyze global cultures through an interdisciplinary lens. Our award-winning faculty bring a wide range of disciplinary trainings and area expertise, allowing students opportunities to study literature, science, religion, technology, folklore, and popular culture in one undergraduate major. Our courses also attend to human diversity across multiple forms of difference, including race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.
In addition to developing their skills in analytical thinking, writing, and communicating, Comparative Studies students have numerous opportunities to participate in community initiatives and projects around issues of social justice. Our students have conducted outreach with Columbus community arts organizations. They have documented the religious diversity of Columbus and central Ohio. And they have conducted fieldwork with a variety of underserved Ohio populations. When they leave our program, some students have gone on to elite graduate programs while others have engaged in meaningful work in a variety of areas from non-profits and education to government and business.
Popular Comparative Studies Courses include:
- Cultural Studies of American Musics, in which students investigate the social, political, and cultural contexts of the development of popular musical traditions in the US
- Introduction to World Literature, in which students read literature from all over the world with an award-winning YA novelist and renowned scholar
- Religion and Law in Comparative Perspective, in which students assess the different ways religious diversity is managed and governed across a variety of liberal democratic societies
- Cultures of Medicine, in which students explore humanistic, scientific, literary, and clinical perspectives on a variety of medical issues
- Intersections, in which students examine the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality in various sites within American culture, including the legal system, civil rights discourse, and social justice movements.
Students can choose from among three undergraduate majors administered by the department: Comparative Studies, Religious Studies and World Literatures. We also offer five minor programs in American Studies, Folklore Studies, Religious Studies, Science and Technology Studies and World Literatures Studies, each of which can complement most, if not all, programs at Ohio State, including African American and African studies, art, music, biology, business, communication, education, English, engineering, history, international studies, nursing/allied med, political science, public affairs, psychology and social work.
Department of Dance
The Department of Dance is now offering live virtual department visits to meet with students individually and give them and their guests a program overview, Q&A session and a guided virtual tour of its facilities. Students can schedule a virtual department visit here.
Acceptance into the BFA in Dance program requires an application to The Ohio State University Undergraduate Admissions (Columbus campus) AND the Department of Dance Audition. We encourage all auditionees to prepare and submit both applications, though the two decisions operate on independent timelines and processes that coordinate efforts. We do not pre-screen auditionees — we look forward to seeing all auditionees at our audition events! Please note: it may be that you do not receive an admissions decision until AFTER the audition, so we recommend you audition in-person or by video as soon as possible.
2020-2021 Audition Dates:
- January 2, 2021: last day to submit dance audition application
- January 11, 2021: last day to submit audition videos (instructions sent after audition application submitted)
- January 25-29, 2021: both the required and strongly recommended online audition activities scheduled throughout the week
- February 1: last day to submit university admission application
- Early February: audition decisions sent
For more information on the audition process, please visit the Department of Dance website.
Department of Economics
The Department of Economics provides students a strong foundational knowledge in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics; then students have the freedom to shape the focus of their degree through electives to comprehensively prepare students to work in practically any field!
We offer the opportunity to choose between a Bachelor of Arts Degree, which is intended to present a broader education in subjects with a focus on the arts and humanities, or a Bachelor of Science Degree, which is intended to present a more specialized education that has a stronger focus of the subject matter in subjects with a focus on technical and scientific areas. Therefore, the BS degree option has a stronger quantitative component that is valuable preparation for graduate work in economics or for more analytical areas of government and business. Economics is a unique field, since it includes a focus on both science and the humanities, which is why the course requirements for both degrees are mostly the same, with just a handful of variances to distinguish the difference.
What do Economists do?
Economists develop theories to explain how the components of the economy like individual people, companies, and the government operate and interact with one another. Economists then gather data to estimate the relationships among the various aspects of the economy. Based on these analyses, economists predict how people and companies will respond to changes in policies and external forces. These predictions, in turn, help guide private and public decision-makers to form appropriate policies.
One of the best things about Economics is that the demand for economics majors is strong in the private sector and government. Economics is also great preparation for graduate school, whether you’re leaning toward business, law, public policy, or going on to become an economist yourself! And, if you’re still deciding, the flexibility the Economics degree offers can help you keep your options open.
What kind of career paths do Economists take?
Most jobs that an economics major will take does not actually have “economist” in the job title. An economics major can essentially do any job that a business major could do, but an economist will have a stronger foundation in data analytics with a keener understanding of patterns in data and what could be influencing those patterns.
According to Forbes, economists are known to be effective in any career that embraces skills such as: manipulating data, statistics, finding and understanding relationships, learning about new products, industries, regions and business models and communicating.
For more information, please visit our website at economics.osu.edu.
Department of English
From studying diverse forms of cultural production (books to TV shows to comics to video games to social media) to helping you create your own, the Department of English has something for everyone. English students take small, discussion-based courses with faculty members, and our students value the strong professional relationships that they build with faculty and their peers.
Students in English explore the worlds of Octavia Butler, interpret and perform Shakespeare’s plays, study the impacts of colonialism in literature and culture, and track the cultural reception of Jane Austen. We analyze Fortnite and other video games; we consider comic series and their fandoms; we study digital media and how protests are rhetorically structured. We craft short stories, poems, and creative non-fiction essays. We publish blog posts and produce videos for YouTube. We write research papers, grant proposals, and technical reports, and we organize social media campaigns. We are persuasive speakers, empathetic listeners, critical readers, and sophisticated writers. Consequently, we thrive in this fast-paced, ever-changing world and within its professional environments.
English majors focus their studies by choose one of our four concentrations:
- Literature, Film, and Popular Culture Studies
- Creative Writing
- Writing, Rhetoric, and Literacy
- English Pre-Education
We also have eight Minor programs:
- Creative Writing
- Professional Writing
- Disability Studies
- Medical Humanities
- Popular Culture Studies
- Game Studies
- Critical & Cultural Theory
Our major is quite flexible, and many of our students double major and/or minor in other fields. English pairs well with every discipline, including business, biology, data analytics, psychology, public affairs, and beyond.
English majors pursue diverse career paths, and the professional possibilities for English majors are nearly limitless. Our graduates go on to work in expected fields (law, writing, publishing, communications, media, teaching, marketing), unexpected fields (medicine, finance, social work, technology), and everything in-between. We help our students develop their skills and find their particular path through individual career advising, tailored career workshops for English majors, and partnerships with Arts and Sciences Career Success and other campus professional development offices.
Center for Ethnic Studies
The Center for Ethnic Studies (CES) brings together three units for collaboration and cooperation in research, programming, teaching and student support: Latina/o Studies, Asian American Studies, and American Indian Studies. Historically, these academic programs came into being in higher education as the result of civil rights movements that advocated not only for equality for these groups throughout society, but also for a wider societal understanding of the complex histories, experiences, literatures, arts and cultures of these diverse populations. We offer undergraduate minors in all three programs.
CES continues in this tradition by working to expand what all of us can know about the nexus of racial, ethnic, cultural, gender and sexual difference through research and teaching. As interdisciplinary programs, we include faculty and students from many fields and colleges at Ohio State. In addition to research and teaching, our faculty and students are involved in community education and outreach efforts as well as collaborative projects in humanities and performance research, forging new pathways in higher education.
Department of French and Italian
The Department of French and Italian (FRIT) offers five undergraduate majors, two minors, and a combined BA/MA program. At FRIT, you will gain much more than proficiency in a second language. Our majors and minors help you discover the appreciation of other cultures, teach you to think critically and help you develop intercultural competency. Our goal is to guide our students to understand the skills that they develop at FRIT so that they can express to future employers what they have to offer as multilingual, culturally and interculturally competent job candidates. You will work towards your degrees with classes, one-on-one interaction with faculty, education abroad experiences, conversation groups and clubs and scholarly events. Learn more here: frit.osu.edu/ug/prospective.
The new French and Francophone Studies major (pending final Ohio Department of Education approval in Autumn 2020) allows students to gain expertise in the French language and in a number of the cultures in which it is spoken. This major should be especially appealing to students who would like to attain more language proficiency than a French minor can provide but who would like to count up to three courses for this major toward a second major and/or GE requirements; want to explore French and Francophone Studies in a highly interdisciplinary manner, through courses taught in departments such as history, history of art, international studies and political science, among others; are deeply interested in French and Francophone Studies but who may find the number of advanced-level language courses required for the French major daunting; and semi-native and native French speakers, for whom many of our language courses are too elementary and who would therefore like a wider range of course options.
Department of Geography
Geographic Information Science
Geographers are connected in their collective desire to make a difference in the world. Students in the Geographic Information Science degree program at Ohio State use GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to acquire, manage, display and analyze spatial data in digital form. Every day, GIS powers millions of decisions around the world in fields such as military and defense logistics and management, agriculture, business, real estate, public safety and environmental conservation. Careers such as Geospatial Information Scientist, Cartographer, Urban and Regional Planner and Remote Sensing Technician are projected to grow up to 11% annually!
Guided and mentored by our outstanding faculty, students pursuing the GIScience degree will become skilled in a variety of computer technologies through coursework in surveying and measurements, technical mathematics, statistics, remote sensing, and graphics.
Finally, the Department of Geography at Ohio State also has an excellent record of supporting independent research, field studies, and internship opportunities for undergraduate students by providing a suite of courses designed to help students identify and develop their marketable skills and assist in their transition from college to career.
If you have both a passion for computer sciences and a desire to make a difference in the world, consider majoring in Geographic Information Science at Ohio State!
Bachelor of Arts in Geography
Geographers are connected in their collective desire to make a difference in the world. Through their work with nonprofits, government agencies, city planning departments and private consulting firms, our majors are making valuable contributions in areas such as urban development, sustainability, environmental research and social justice.
The Bachelor of Arts in Geography at Ohio State, with specializations in Environment & Society, and Urban, Regional & Global Studies provide students the opportunity to gain perspectives from the physical sciences, social sciences and humanities. This integrative approach provides our majors with not only a depth of knowledge in their field, but also transferable skills that will serve them well in an ever-changing job market.
The Geography department also has an excellent record of supporting independent research, field studies, and internship opportunities for undergraduate students by providing a suite of courses designed to help students identify and develop their marketable skills and assist in their transition from college to career.
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures offers an undergraduate major in German, and minors in German, Scandinavian Studies, and Yiddish.
Why study a Germanic language?
German is the most widely spoken language in Europe, Germany’s economy is the fourth largest in the world and German arts and culture have shaped modern society in Europe and the U.S. The contributions of German speakers in a vast array of fields make it a perfect complement major or minor for students who are pursuing degrees in science, engineering, international business, arts and humanities, education and many others.
Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide speak Yiddish, the shared vernacular language of Ashkenazic Jewry. Yiddish can help you better understand a wide range of topics such as Eastern European history, Germanic linguistics, Jewish genealogy, religious thought, radical political movements and debates about immigration and American identity.
Swedish and the Scandinavian Studies minor give you access to educational and career opportunities in the Nordic region in fields as diverse as biotech, genetics, environmental sciences, peace studies, energy, design, and architecture, as well as further study in Scandinavian literature, language, culture, history and archaeology.
What do we offer?
Our program welcomes all interested undergraduates to a vibrant community of researchers, educators and learners! In our programs, you will have the opportunity to develop your critical thinking, intercultural competency, and language skills in a variety of courses, study abroad, student club and German house activities, as well as by working one-on-one with faculty and joining in departmental events.
What do German Majors and Minors do?
Our students have leveraged their degrees to work in a large variety of fields, including software design, international marketing, engineering, pharmaceuticals, education, translation, artificial intelligence, foreign relations, and many others. Other students have used their degree to further pursue their academic career through research grants, fellowships and graduate programs.
For more information, click here.
Department of Linguistics
The Summer Linguistic Institute for Youth Scholars (SLIYS) is a week-long summer camp, run virtually in 2021, for high school and pre-college students organized by the Department of Linguistics at Ohio State. SLIYS introduces students with an interest in foreign languages to the scientific study of language. Participants will explore how language works on many levels as well as gain insight into the ways in which individual languages are similar to and different from each other. Contact Dr. Julia McGory (email@example.com) for more information. Also, read more about the camp at linguistics.osu.edu/undergrad/sliys
Department of Mathematics
The Department of Mathematics offers two undergraduate majors, Mathematics and Actuarial Science. In conjunction with the Department of English, the Department also offers an Integrated Major in Mathematics and English (IMME).
Mathematics: The mathematics major provides students with analytical and logical training necessary for many diverse professions. Students can choose from six areas of study (tracks): theoretical, honors, financial, education, biology and applied (chemistry and physics options). Ohio State math graduates move on to careers in industry including insurance and finance, modeling, data analysis and operations research. Graduates are frequently accepted into graduate or professional school programs in mathematics, statistics, engineering, computer science, physics, economics, financial engineering, medicine, law, business and many other fields. Preparation in these graduate programs may lead to careers in academia or in business, industry, or government sectors.
Actuarial Science: The actuarial science major covers core actuarial disciplines through courses in probability and statistics, interest theory, financial economics, life contingencies and loss models. Due to the professional and interdisciplinary nature of actuarial science, the program requires basic courses in economics, business finance, accounting, and computer programing. The program also exposes students to real business through a practicum course, professional information sessions, and seminars. The actuarial science program at OSU prepares students for taking up to six actuarial exams administered by the professional societies. A highly professionally oriented program, Actuarial Science at OSU has benefited greatly from its close ties with business. Many insurance companies and consulting firms have provided strong and wide support to the program. There are plenty internship and full time employment opportunities for students.
Integrated Major in Mathematics and English: IMME is an innovative program designed to prepare students with high-level skills in both Mathematics and English stressing an integrated, complementary mastery of these disciplines. The IMME offers undergraduates the opportunity to develop a set of skills that will equip them not only for employment and graduate school, but for long-term career success. Students completing the program will have a competitive advantage over their peers in having both strong mathematics and communication skills.
School of Music
Studying music at Ohio State provides students with remarkable opportunities to grow as a person, performer, scholar and leader. The School of Music is a small, tight-knit community set within the larger university which offers students an innovative place for making exceptional music, stimulating artistic growth, exploring educational methodology and conducting groundbreaking research.
The School of Music is also home to hundreds of student musicians from other fields of study. Our bands, choirs, orchestras and dozens of general education courses are open to all students, regardless of their major. The school also offers the Music minor and the Music, Media and Enterprise minor as well as the Bachelor of Arts degree which is a good fit for those wishing to double major.
Academic admission to the university is separate from the School of Music application and audition process.
- High school seniors should first apply to the university by visiting The Ohio State University Undergraduate Admissions website.
- Students interested in the Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education or Bachelor of Arts degrees should visit How to Apply.
- Students interested in the Bachelor of Science in Music degree (Computer Sciences, Sonic Arts or Media and Enterprise tracks), should visit BS in Music – How to Apply.
Students will be asked to select an audition date as part of their application process.
*Students who apply to the university by the November 1 early action deadline are strongly encouraged to choose the first audition date (usually in early December) so that their university admissions decision is not delayed.
Please view our website for more information on how to apply to the School of Music specifically.
Department of Philosophy
Major or Minor in Philosophy: Train yourself in rigorous, analytical reasoning; learn how to solve problems and communicate logically and persuasively, both in speech and in writing; construct powerful arguments while pondering some of the deepest questions in human life.
World class faculty: Study with philosophers who are top in their fields, and who focus on a broad range of research questions and the entire history of western philosophy.
Active student community: Weekly Philosophy Club meetings and Undergraduate Ambassador program
Research: Opportunities to conduct independent research supervised by faculty
Excellent career training: acquire versatile skills and work habits that apply in all other disciplines, endeavors and work environments
Investigate a multitude of practical reasons to study philosophy here.
Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures
The Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures is proud to offer a Russian Major, a Russian Minor, and a Minor in Slavic & East European Studies, as well as a number of courses designed to educate students of all backgrounds in this region of the world. The Slavic Department is pleased to offer instruction in many important languages of the region, including Russian, Polish, Romanian, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, and Czech.
Our classes are generally small by design and have direct relevance to contemporary culture and to today's job market. Student advising is an important feature of our program; faculty, staff, and graduate teaching associates are committed to enriching our undergraduate students' experience both inside and outside the classroom, and work closely with them in exploring career possibilities, arranging internships, and sponsoring a host of extracurricular activities. We also welcome into our program "heritage students," those who acquired the knowledge of the language either through their early years in Russia and other Slavic and East European countries, or through language exposure in their family.
Department of Sociology
The Department of Sociology at The Ohio State University offers major and minor programs in Sociology and in Criminology & Criminal Justice Studies.
Sociology is the study of human behavior in its context. For example, how does your social network shape your behavior? Why has inequality increased so much in the United States? And what role do schools play in perpetuating or preventing inequality in society? These are merely a few examples from our own faculty research, but sociology touches on many additional topics, including the study of race relations, politics, culture, economic inequality, religion, crime and much more. The common thread across these thematic foci is that we use data and rigorous research methods to systematically and scientifically investigate how people and organizations are influenced by the characteristics of settings in which they reside and operate.
Criminology is the study of the causes and consequence of criminal behavior. For instance, why do some people stop committing crimes while others become entrenched? Why do some neighborhoods have more killing than others? And why do some people go to prison for their crimes while others get probation? Criminology also uses data on individuals, cities and countries to understand patterns of crime and punishment.
Why major in sociology or criminology?
The short answer is that we provide our students with a strong foundation for entering the workforce or pursuing advanced degrees in the social sciences, law, or public health. All students learn to make evidence-based arguments, analyze data and acquire knowledge of other cultures so that they can collaborate in diverse workplace settings. Students receive individual guidance from a personal academic advisor and gain hands-on experience through a required internship or faculty-directed undergraduate research. Our graduates find work in a variety of sectors, including public health, law, criminal justice, non-profit organizations, human rights advocacy, data analytics and business.
Undergraduate students can major in Sociology or in Criminology & Criminal Justice Studies. We offer a Bachelor of Arts degree for both majors and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. The B.S. option requires additional methods training and allows students to choose from one of three specialty areas—population dynamics and wellness; criminology, law and society or social inequality and poverty.
The Department of Sociology also offers four minor programs in Sociology, Criminology & Criminal Justice Studies, Inequality & Society and Health & Society as well as a Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Department of Speech and Hearing Science
The Department of Speech and Hearing Science provides students the foundational knowledge in the study of normal and disordered functioning of the auditory system, speech mechanism and language processing.
What do speech-language pathologists do?
Speech-language pathologists work to prevent, assess, diagnose and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive communication and swallowing disorders.
What do audiologists do?
Audiologists work to prevent, identify, diagnose and treat hearing, balance and other auditory disorders.
Students at Ohio State interact with world-class faculty who study differences and disorders in speech, language and hearing associated with autism, cleft palate, traumatic brain injury, stroke, aging, noise-exposure, chemotherapy, second language acquisition, cochlear implants and dialectical variation.
What is the job outlook for speech-language pathology and audiology?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for speech-language pathology and audiology is expected to grow by 27% and 16%, respectively, over the next 10 years.
What do Ohio State Speech and Hearing Science students do?
Students at Ohio State interact with world-class faculty who study differences and disorders in speech, language and hearing associated with autism, cleft palate, traumatic brain injury, stroke, aging, noise-exposure, chemotherapy, second language acquisition, cochlear implants and dialectical variation.
Experiential Learning Opportunity:
Service Learning in Adult Neurogenics for Speech-Language Pathology where students learn about disorders resulting from acquired brain injury (ABI) through a volunteer experience. Students will gain skills that help describe supported communication strategies and develop tools that may be beneficial for an adult living with a communication disability. Additionally, students will develop an appreciation on the impact of communication disability on quality of life and an awareness of cultural variances.
For more information, please visit: sphs.osu.edu/undergrad
Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
The Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSST) offers an undergraduate major and an undergraduate minor.
The undergraduate major prepares students to use an intersectional lens to critique and analyze social, cultural, political, economic and scientific assumptions and practices that produce and maintain relations of inequality. WGSS students understand the ways in which people in all their diversity are affected by society, culture and its institutions and can then affect social change. A WGSS education prepares students to make an impact both in their careers and communities.
The undergraduate minor complements most, if not all, programs at Ohio State such as African American and African studies, art, music, biology, business, communication, education, English, engineering, history, international studies, nursing/allied med, political science, public affairs, psychology and social work.
Gender, Sex and Power
Courses in WGSS value and center experiences of those at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and other aspects of identity. Incoming students can engage in these experiences beginning with WGSST 1110: Gender, Sex and Power. This course is designed to introduce students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to the interdisciplinary field of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. This course draws on a variety of literatures to analyze gender, race, sexuality, and other dimensions of identity; explores critical issues of gender, sex and power; and places the study of U.S. women and gender roles in broader transnational context.
NEW SERVICE-LEARNING COURSES
This new course is a service-learning course where students explore the politics of reproduction and the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” dichotomy. To put what they learn to practice, students in the course have the opportunity to work with organizations that focus on reproductive health, policies, activism and legal contexts.
Assignments for students typically involve reflecting on their experiences with the service-learning and involvement with the organization. As a final project, the first students to take the course put the book together by documenting handwritten statements from both first-time and long-time patients about why they came to Planned Parenthood.
Feminist Perspectives of Incarceration in the U.S.
First taught in Spring 2019 by Professor Mary Thomas, students in this service-learning course participate in an “inside-out” prison education program in which on-campus students and incarcerated students learn together inside the facility. The class focuses on historical and ongoing incarceration of people who are poor, of color or gender non-confirming.
At the end of the semester, the first class presented their final projects to faculty, college staff and facility staff. Presentations ranged from research on drug addiction treatment versus incarceration to language used in descriptions of incarcerated people to poetry and storytelling about life experiences leading up to incarceration.
BLACK HISTORY AND CURRENT EVENTS
As a field in the humanities, WGSST looks at historical and current events from different angles, as well as how our identities and specific social movements affect them. We have seen many calls for social change in 2020, some of which echo historical movements from years prior. Professor Treva Lindsey specializes in African-American women’s history, Black feminism and Black popular culture. This past summer, she discussed Black history and the Black Lives Matter movement in a PBS documentary interview and an article for Time.
The Ohio State University's high school counselor website offers a number of helpful tools, including a way to find your territory manager or check the application status of a student. Visit hscounselors.osu.edu for more information.