Graduate Program Admissions

Important Notes for Applicants

The OSU Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) extends an invitation to qualified applicants to apply for a master’s or doctoral degree program in ACEL. The Master’s degree program offers a traditional, on-campus  M.S. (thesis and non-thesis options), an M.Ed. as well as an on-line M.S. (thesis and non-thesis options).  Prior to beginning the application process, persons interested in the program should take note of the following items:

  • ACEL only admits one time per year for all graduate programs. Applications to all programs open in August of each year and close on December 1 for admission the following autumn. 
  • The OSU Graduate School application process is entirely electronic; we will not accept paper documents for any part of the application (except for transcripts).
  • Official copies of all college/university transcripts should be sent directly to the OSU Graduate School Admissions Office.
  • A Statement of Intent should be submitted electronically consisting of a one-page narrative statement from the applicant describing the applicant’s career objective and how the degree program is expected to contribute to professional goals.
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae should be uploaded by the applicant as part of the OSU Graduate School application.
  • Three letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically. At least two should focus on the academic qualifications of the applicant.
  • Any documents other than those required by the department, the Graduate School, or the university for admissions purposes, should not be uploaded (including such items as:  diplomas, certificates, secondary school grade reports, scholarship awards, performance reviews, passports,  photographs, medical information, letters of employment, etc.)



Applications must be submitted to OSU Graduate Admissions electronically at

Applications cannot be processed until all of the following items have been received:

  • OSU Graduate School application
  • Transcripts of all college credits
  • Statement of intent
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least two should focus on academic qualifications)
  • Recent TOEFL or IELTS scores (if undergraduate degree was from non-English speaking institution)


Criteria for Admission

Applicants are expected to meet the minimum threshold of a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale to be admitted to an OSU graduate degree program.  Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement may be considered for conditional admission based on other admission criteria.  The OSU Graduate School must approve admission of any students with less than a 3.0 GPA.

Doctoral program applicants should have a minimum of two years of professional experience in the area of specialization for their graduate program.

Doctoral program applicants should have successfully completed foundational courses in their area of specialization or be willing to remediate any deficiencies.  Remedial courses will not be used to meet minimum degree requirements. 


College Transcripts

Official copies of all college transcripts must be submitted as part of the OSU Graduate School online application. The transcript should clearly document that an accredited baccalaureate degree has been awarded to the applicant.


Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Scores

ACEL no longer requires the GRE for admission to any graduate program.


TOEFL or IELTS scores

Please see language requirements from the Office of Graduate Admissions linked here:

Statement of Intent

Applicants are asked to write and submit a statement of intent consisting of a narrative statement addressing the following points:

  • Highlights of your background, qualifications, and career goals
  • Rationale for seeking a graduate degree in Agricultural and Extension Education
  • Life experiences, skills, and personal attributes that will contribute to the applicant’s success; applicants for online masters should add details on technology skills that would contribute to success as an online learner
  • Your research interests and how these interests align with the research interests of the department. 

Your statement of intent should be submitted as part of the OSU Graduate School online application.


Resume or Curriculum Vitae

A resume or curriculum vitae should be submitted which summarizes your educational background, work experiences, and other pertinent accomplishments. The contents of the CV may include:

  • Education (institution, major, degrees earned, and dates attended)
  • Professional experience (employer, position, dates)
  • Research experience and publications
  • Honors/awards received
  • Service

Note: A resume or curriculum vitae will not substitute for the statement of intent.


Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendations are required for the application packet to be processed. The letters of recommendation should be prepared by persons qualified to evaluate the applicant's academic potential to succeed in a graduate degree program. Letters for on-line program applications should also speak to the applicants potential to success in an on-line program. Letters from former professors or other persons who have supervised the student in a class or research project are the most relevant.

Recommendations should be submitted electronically from references identified by the applicant as part of the online application process.



Screening of Applications

The ACEL Graduate Faculty review all graduate applications as a whole beginning in January following the December 1 deadline. The review process is detailed and takes some time for all faculty to be able to review all applicants. Admission deliberations are done in January and February with the goal of notifying applicants of a decision by mid to late February.