Welcome to the College of Arts and Sciences! We’re excited you’ve chosen to obtain your graduate degree in our college and hope you feel supported as you transition to The Ohio State University.

New-student orientation programs are facilitated by departments and programs, but the college has compiled a series of online presentations and resources that can supplement your in-person activities. This information can be viewed before you arrive or once you’ve had a chance to settle in and begin your studies.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the director of graduate studies or graduate program coordinator in your department. You can also contact Dr. Brian Orefice, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, at orefice.1@osu.edu.

Before you get to campus

Pre-arrival information

Off-campus housing search

GA appointment details

Graduate School Fellowship details

Student health insurance

Office of International Affairs pre-arrival/orientation

Oral Proficiency Assessment for Non-native English Speakers: the Oral Proficiency Assessment (OPA) is required for all international GTAs who: 

  • Do not speak English as a first language. 
  • Have not taken the TOEFL iBT, or have taken the TOEFL iBT and received a Speaking score below a 28. 
  • Have not taken the IELTS, or have taken the IELTS and received a score below 8.5. 
  • Contact your program to register for the exam.

Grad/Prof Admissions-after admission

Grad/Prof Admissions for international students

Graduate School New Student To-Do List

Set Up Your Ohio State Digital Identity

  • Your name.# (ex. smith.1) typically serves as your username and is used to access student information online. 
  • All university correspondence is sent to your BuckeyeMail email address. You are responsible for the content of all official emails sent to this account. Due to FERPA laws, do not forward BuckeyeMail email to another email account. 
  • If you are a returning student, you can reactivate your email account 24 to 48 hours after reactivating your enrollment eligibility. 

Email setup

BuckeyePass/Duo Setup

  • BuckeyePass is a multifactor authentication service provided to Ohio State faculty, staff, students and student employees that helps protect your account even if your password is stolen. 

Course registration

Submit Final Transcripts and Proof of Degrees: 

  • You must submit final, official transcripts and proof of degrees from the institutions listed on your application. 
  • You should have transcripts sent directly to the Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions. 
  • Paper transcripts must be in an envelope sealed by the issuing institution. 
  • Electronic versions must be emailed directly to gpadocs@osu.edu from the issuing institution or a verified third-party transcript provider. 
  • Failure to do so will result in a hold on your account. 

Paper Transcripts: 

Regular Postal Address for Mailing Within the U.S.: 

Graduate & Professional Admissions 
P.O. Box 182004 
Columbus, OH 43218-2004 

Express Mail Address for Mailing from Outside the U.S.: 

Graduate & Professional Admissions 
Student Academic Services Building 
281 W. Lane Ave. 
Columbus, OH 43210-1132 USA 

Diversity, equity and inclusion resources

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

About the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
You can also view the following presentation, which provides an overview of Graduate and Professional Student Programs and Resources from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

DEI Video

Watch the video

College of Arts and Sciences

About the college's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity in Graduate Studies 

The following centers provide academic programs, but also engage students with events and speakers. Several have list servs that you can join for updates. 

Mental health and wellness

Counseling and Consultation Services (CCS)

CCS services are free to students and can be accessed through ccs.osu.edu. View the following presentation, which provides an overview of CCS Mental Health and Wellness Resources for Graduate Students:

Mental Health Video

Watch the video

Student Wellness Center Overview

Learn more about the university's Student Wellness Center and check out some resources and services available virtually. You can also view the following presentation which provides an overview of Student Wellness Center Resources for Graduate Students.

Watch the video

View more videos

Student Wellness Center Resources

Nutrition and Body Image Resources

Nutrition Resources Video

Watch the video

Mental Health Resources

SWC Mental Health Video

Watch the video

Financial Resources

Financial Resources Video

Watch the video

Alcohol and Other Drug Resources

Alcohol and Other Drug Resources Video

Watch the video

Sexual Health Resources

Sexual Health Resources Video

Watch the video

College of Arts and Sciences Mental Health and Wellness Committee

Have ideas or want to become more involved? Contact the chair.

Graduate and Professional Student Ombudsperson

What does the GPS ombudsperson do?

The primary mission of the Graduate and Professional Student (GPS) ombudsperson is to support graduate and professional students in addressing issues and challenges they may face in their academic and professional careers at Ohio State. The GPS ombudsperson is an independent, confidential*, neutral and informal resource for all graduate and professional students for resolving issues and conflicts, and for exploring options and making important decisions. The GPS ombudsperson addresses issues and challenges that students may face with faculty and advisors, within their programs or within the university at large, with the goal of supporting a positive learning and work environment and advancing fairness and equity for graduate and professional students.

*Please note that, while the ombudsperson provides confidential support resources for a wide variety of issues, the ombudsperson has reporting obligations related to sexual misconduct complaints. For confidential resources for concern in these areas, please contact a confidential counselor.

Why speak with the GPS ombudsperson?

  • If you are not sure where to take a concern, the ombudsperson offers a safe and confidential place to start and gives students the opportunity to speak and be heard by a neutral listener.
  • While the GPS ombudsperson helps students explore options, it is the students who decide the path they want to follow to solve their issue.
  • The ombudsperson can assist students navigate university systems and explore options for resolution, including facilitating communication between individuals or groups.
  • The ombudsperson remains impartial to all parties involved in a conflict.

How to access the GPS ombudsperson’s services

  • Get in touch with the ombudsperson via email (gradombuds@osu.edu) to set up an appointment. The ombudsperson can also be reached at 614-292-4252.
  • To maintain confidentiality, students should not share any critical information in their email.
  • The GPS ombudsperson will coordinate a meeting with the student. During the pandemic, meetings will be remote.
  • Website: ombuds.osu.edu

Meet Dr. Rebeka Campos-Astorkiza

Rebeka Campos-Astorkiza (she/her/hers), an associate professor of Hispanic linguistics, is the inaugural graduate and professional student ombudsperson. Rebeka’s motivation as GPS ombudsperson is the satisfaction from working with graduate and professional students and her commitment to finding positive ways to bring about structural changes that will improve their experience at Ohio State. She emphasizes with the pressure that students feel during their postgraduate careers and believes that Ohio State can work toward a better learning and working environment for them.

Video: For new students


Understanding the university structure

As a graduate student, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out where you fit within the university. Students often identify themselves with the program and/or degree they are seeking (MFA in art or PhD doctoral candidate), but that’s only a small part of the whole.

Your program/degree track is housed within your department. The department is home to faculty, lecturers, staff and students who focus on that area. The department itself likely has a broad focus (ex: political science) with areas of specialization (American politics, comparative politics, etc.). The department is led by the department chair, a faculty member selected to serve as an administrator. Some departments are large enough that they have faculty members who serve as vice-chairs or directors of specific program components (ex: graduate studies, curriculum, etc.). Others are large enough that they become a school (ex: School of Music).

The departments and schools are collected into colleges (ex: College of Arts and Sciences). The college serves as a central administrative point and provides services (ex: undergraduate advising, human resources, etc.) and oversight of the departments and the academic programs housed within them.

In addition to the college, graduate programs work with the Graduate School, which provides a central resource for policies, rules and best practices for graduate programs. It is also a major source of funding for graduate students and programs (fellowships, research funds, etc.). Funds for these opportunities can be distributed to the college, department, or student directly. It is normal for students to only interact directly with the Graduate School on a limited basis, and most interactions are filtered through the department.

Each college has a dean (Arts and Sciences has an executive dean and a team of associate and assistant deans) responsible for the administration of the departments in their college. The deans report to the provost in the Office of Academic Affairs, who in turn reports to the university presidentThe university is governed by the Board of Trustees who operate collectively through committees. The president, Board of Trustees and other top administrators work together to approve major policies, make long range plans and oversee the university’s budget.

The Graduate School

The Graduate School
You can view the following presentation providing an overview of the Graduate School. Please note: While the opening slide says “A Welcome to International Graduate Students,” it is appropriate for all graduate students.

Graduate School Intro Video

Watch the video

Graduate School Handbook: gradsch.osu.edu/handbook

  • Important sections: Academic and Professional Standards (5), Master’s Degree (6), Doctoral Degrees (7), Graduate Associates (9) and Graduate Fellowships (10)

Gradforms:  gradforms.osu.edu

  • Understand the function of Gradforms and when/why Gradforms should be used

The required number of hours for funded students

  • MA and pre-candidacy GTAs = 8 graded credit hours
  • Post-candidacy GTAs = 3 graded credit hours
  • MA and pre-candidacy fellows = 12 graduate and graded credit hours
  • Post-candidacy fellows = 3 graduate and graded credit hours

Course registration information: gradsch.osu.edu/course-registration

The “New student to-do list:” gradsch.osu.edu/new-student-to-do-list

Research resources

Funding your research

Finding and developing your materials

  • The Ohio State University Libraries offer access to deep research collections, an extensive offering of online resources and distinctive special collections of exceptional quality.
  • The Research Commons provides a suite of services and space through which researchers can explore collaborative, interdisciplinary and emerging research methods and connect with experts for support at any stage of the research process. Their focus areas include finding, managing and visualizing data, GIS and mapping and digital humanities.
  • The Office of the Chief Information Officer offers a variety of public domain, bulk purchase and site-licensed software to the Ohio State community, including ArcGIS, RefWorks and SPSS.
  • The Office of Distance Education and eLearning’s Digital Union offers free 3D printing, state-of-the-art video and audio recording, studios, meeting spaces and free technical assistance.

Research ethics

  • The Office of Responsible Research Practices provides administrative support to the university research community and the committees responsible for research review and oversight, for research involving animal subjects, human subjects and recombinant DNA and biohazards.
  • The Center for Ethics and Human Values works to promote multidisciplinary and foundational discussion of ethical issues arising from research practice through its Conversation About Research Ethics Program.

Writing up and sharing your work

  • Consultants at the Writing Center offer free help with writing at any stage of the writing process for any member of the university community — anything from research papers to lab reports, from dissertations to résumés, from proposals to application materials.
  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Graduate School collaborate to offer an annual dissertation boot camp where participants can develop a plan to complete their degree work in a timely fashion and receive valuable one-on-one coaching and feedback from experienced faculty.
  • Funding for conference travel is available from the Council of Graduate Students through the Edward J. Ray Travel Award for Scholarship and Service.
  • The Council for Graduate Students also hosts the annual Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum, which seeks to showcase the innovative and exemplary research being conducted by Ohio State graduate students across the full range of graduate degree programs .