Ohio State nav bar

Graduate Student Orientation Materials

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

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
Graduate students for whom English is not the first language must certify their proficiency in spoken English before assuming Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) duties. They may become certified through the following scores:

  • TOEFL iBT Speaking 28 or higher
  • IELTS Speaking 8.5 or higher
  • Oral Proficiency Assessment 4.0 or higher

Once their official scores are posted in Buckeye Link, they are automatically exempted from the Oral Proficiency Assessment.

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

Additional resources

Graduate student professional success

Your Arts and Sciences advanced degree will help you develop the skills valued by a wide array of employers, such as academic institutions as well as government, industry, and non-profit organizations.  For graduate students exploring careers beyond academia, the Arts and Sciences Center for Career and Professional Success provides resources and programs to support your career and professional development. Learn more about the services and resources available to Arts and Sciences masters and doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars.

Keep tabs on upcoming events – whether career fairs, on-campus recruiting and interviewing, or career education workshops and trainings.

Additional tools and resources in the College of Arts and Sciences

Other university offices and units supporting career and professional development

  • Buckeye Careers provides a range of services that support career exploration and preparation of graduate students, including, but not limited to, 1-1 career coaching and regular workshops.
  • The Erdős Institute is a career development program offering industry placement services to cohort members. Ohio State is a member organization, making all services free to current Ohio State students and PhD alumni.
  • Handshake is a career-networking platform available to all Ohio State students and recent alumni.  Thousands of jobs, internship and career opportunities are posted in Handshake as well as information on upcoming career fairs, recruiting events or career development sessions. 
  • Ohio Union Activities Board delivers programming throughout the year geared specifically toward graduate and professional students, including a Job Search Series as well as professional development workshops.
  • The Graduate School offers a range of opportunities to support the graduate and professional students in building career-ready skills and strategies.
  • The Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship fosters a culture of entrepreneurship across the Ohio State community, supporting the development of new ventures and enterprising skillsets.

Counseling and Consultation Services (CCS)


CCS services are free to students. CCS also offers mental health and wellness resources that are designed for graduate students.

College of Arts and Sciences Embedded Clinicians

Learn more about how to connect with the College of Arts and Sciences embedded clinicians by visiting go.osu.edu/ASCounselors.

Benefits to students from connecting with an embedded counselor:

  • Embedded counselors have familiarity with the culture of a college or area.
  • Students have the ability to connect and consult directly.
  • Tailored services for diverse student groups and increased access for marginalized populations.
  • Embedded therapists are advocates for the students in their area.
  • Embedded therapists have awareness of how current events affect students in their embedded site.
  • Proximity and availability fitting with student schedules.
  • Builds trust and reduces stigma among students enhancing a Culture of Care.

Student Wellness Center

Learn more about the university's Student Wellness Center (SWC). The SWC also has resources and services available virtually that include financial, nutrition and wellness coaching.

Together as Buckeyes we make well-being a priority, learn more about Ohio State well-being resources:

Health and Wellness Resource Guide

The online Health and Wellness Resource Guide is a search tool designed to help navigate the vast number of support services available to our student community. You can browse the many health and wellness related resources listed alphabetically or you can use the search features by selecting a specific criteria within the 10 Dimensions of Wellness. This tool is for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and lists the many resources available on all campuses.

Alcohol and Other Drug Bookings Form

Our Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) team has created a referral page to better connect students to Alcohol and Other Drug support resources. Both virtual and in-person meetings are available. Students can expect initial meetings to be an opportunity for us to introduce them to the various resources we have that may be helpful based on their goals. This could be anything from basic AOD education, harm reduction, moderation management, recovery meetings, or supportive peer groups regarding alcohol and other drugs, as well as connections to other wellness resources as needed. All services are free, educational, and supportive resources for students to get connected and make positive changes.

College of Arts and Sciences Committee on Student Mental Health and Wellness

Learn more about how the committee's work benefits Ohio State students.

Have ideas or want to become more involved? Contact Jen Cheavenschair of the committee and professor of psychology, at cheavens.1@osu.edu.

Additional resources

Mental health crisis

Linking a student with CCS (non-emergency): 

Emergency student financial assistance

Academic accomodations

Report of sexual assault


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 a 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 president. The 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.

Learn more about the Graduate School at Ohio State.

Graduate School Handbook

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


  • 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

The “new student to-do list"

Visit ombuds.osu.edu to learn more about the GPS ombudsperson.

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.

Research resources

  • 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 Technology and Digital Innovation 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.