Graduate Program Admissions

How to Apply

  • Important Notes for Applicants
  • Applying
  • Criteria for Admission
  • College Transcripts
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • Statement of Intent
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Students Seeking to Transfer to the AEE Online Master’s Program
  • Screening of Applications


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:

  • 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.

Applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in agricultural and extension education or a closely related field may be required to complete prerequisite coursework (either before or concurrently) as a condition of their admission to the graduate degree program.  Specific requirements will be outlined at the time of admission by the AEE Director of Graduate Studies in the letter of acceptance into the degree program.

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

This requirement applies only to applicants from a country where the first language is not English. International applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree from an English speaking institution are exempt from this requirement. Applicants who have undergraduate degrees from a non-English speaking institution are expected to submit documentation attesting to their ability to communicate in the English language. 

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
  • Access to commonly-used technology (including hardware and software) and high speed internet connectivity

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.


Students Seeking to Transfer to an ACEL Master’s Degree Program

Students seeking admission via transfer from other departments at Ohio State University should contact the ACEL Director of Graduate Studies for instructions about the internal transfer process.


Screening of Applications

All applications for the graduate degree programs will be reviewed independently by a panel of four graduate faculty members in the ACEL graduate program.  An additional screening interview may be conducted to assess the potential for applicants to be successful in an online graduate degree program. 

Majority voting will determine the result of the review process.  However, if there is a split vote among the review panel, the application materials will be reviewed by the ACEL Graduate Studies Committee for final disposition.  The departmental review process requires approximately two weeks after all application materials are received from the OSU Graduate School.

After the departmental recommendation has been made, OSU Graduate Admissions is notified, and they inform the student by letter.  Thereafter, the ACEL Director of Graduate Studies will send a letter to admitted students to welcome them into the program and informing them of the graduate faculty member who has been assigned as a temporary advisor.  Admitted students may request assignment of a specific faculty advisor if they have a preference.