Ohio State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Chartered by the Northwest Ordinance in 1870, Ohio State University was initially named the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College under the Morrill Act. Since its first class of six men, OSU has grown considerably into a premier public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university. With the third largest enrollment nationwide, OSU welcomes over 51,200 undergraduates and 13,600 post-graduates. Ohio State University is located on a main 1,765-acre urban campus in Columbus just 2.5 miles north of the Statehouse Capitol. Regional locations are also operated in Wooster, Mansfield, Marion, Lima, and Newark. OSU generates more than $720 million in research expenditures at leading institutes like the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

According to the U.S. News, Ohio State University is the 52nd best national university, 16th top public school, and 42nd best college for veterans. OSU is recognized for having America's 32nd best engineering school, 15th top political science programs, and 29th best public affairs department. Forbes ranked OSU as the 155th best university nationally and 26th top school in the Midwest. OSU landed on the Princeton Review's "Best 380 Colleges" and "Colleges That Pay You Back." Washington Monthly honored Ohio State University as the 18th top university in the United States for social mobility. Named among the "Public Ivies," OSU is also crowned the 90th best institution worldwide by Times Higher Education.

Ohio State University Accreditation Details

Continuously since 1913, Ohio State University has been institutionally reviewed by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). This is one of six regionally accredited agencies recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In particular, engineering programs are accredited via the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The law school meets the standards of the American Bar Association (ABA). OSU belongs to the accredited Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Management programs align with the elite Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Ohio State University Application Requirements

Admissions at Ohio State University are highly selective with an average acceptance rate of 53 percent. For consideration, first-year freshmen must be graduating with a high school diploma or completing the GED equivalent. Minimum course prerequisites include four units of English, four units of math, three units of natural science, two units of social science, and two units of foreign language. 96 percent of admitted students rank in the top quarter of their class. On average, freshmen have a high school GPA of 3.7. Students also achieve a mean SAT score of 1864 and ACT score of 28. Leadership, talent, motivation, and first-generation status are also considered.

Transfer students to the Columbus campus should have earned at least 30 semester or 45 quarter hours at a regionally accredited college. If less, high school transcripts and ACT/SAT scores are mandatory. Incoming transfers must carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Only courses with a C- or better can transfer. International students from non-English countries who want to become Buckeyes must score at least 79 on the iBT TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS. Graduate applicants must exceed minimum criteria with a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university. Holding an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred. If GPA is lower, students must take the GRE or GMAT.

Before the February 1st priority deadline, students interested in Ohio State University should send the following to the Admissions Office:

  • Completed online application form
  • Scanned copy of all official academic records
  • Official standardized testing scores
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Two to three letters of recommendation
  • Brief one-page statement of purpose
  • Current curriculum vitae or resume (graduates)
  • $60 non-refundable application fee

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time Ohio residents can expect paying $10,037 per undergraduate year. Non-resident U.S. undergraduates enrolling full-time are charged $27,365 annually. International students are billed $29,305 for full-time undergraduate studies. Room and board is estimated to cost $11,666 per year. Textbooks and supplies add around $1,200. Health insurance costs $2,374 yearly unless waived. For graduate programs, Ohio residents will pay $6,212 per full-time semester. Non-resident graduate students must afford $15,948 each semester. Part-time graduate students can also pay $805 (in-state) or $2,022 (out-of-state) per credit.

Around 86 percent of beginning, full-time OSU students earn financial aid. Nearly $243 million in institutional aid is awarded yearly. Scholarships, including the Eminence Fellows Program, Morrill Scholarship, Provost Scholarship, and National Buckeye Scholarship, are numerous. For some, the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant will be offered. In-state residents should apply for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant or Forever Buckeyes Grant. There's also the President's Affordability Grant. Federal Work-Study (FWS) and research assistantships are granted. If needed, funding can also be borrowed with Federal Stafford, Federal Direct PLUS, Federal Perkins, or private/alternative loans.

Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Located on Neil Avenue in Columbus, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies is included in OSU's Office of International Affairs. It was first founded by Colonel Ralph D. Mershon, a World War I engineer and inventor who led public efforts for creating Reserve Officer Training Corps. The Mershon Center has the mission of fostering research to improve understanding of national security in a global context. More than 70 faculty members from various OSU departments converge to study security risks.

In partnership with the Byrd Polar Research Center, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies is currently undertaking a Climate, Security, Health and Resilience Initiative. Research will cover various topics like global warming, population dynamics, food security, water resources, violent conflict, and sustainability. The Mershon Center is also well-known for studying democratization with its Comparative National Elections Project (CNEP), the longest-running project of its kind worldwide. Each year, Mershon scholars spread knowledge on global affairs through conferences and workshops.

OSU students can benefit from working with faculty in the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Graduate Student Research Grants are given to master's or PhD students majoring in political science, sociology, law, public affairs, and more. For up to $3,000, there are International Security Study Scholarships presented to undergraduates traveling abroad to study topics critical to U.S. national security. Through the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Ohio State University also offers a Graduate Certificate in Peace Studies.

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