How to Apply

Important Notes for Applicants

The OSU Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) extends an open invitation to qualified applicants for the online master’s degree program in Agricultural and Extension Education. The Master’s degree program offers thesis and non-thesis options.  Students need to consult with the AEE Director of Graduate Studies to determine if specializations of interest are available to students outside of the Columbus area.  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).

  • Applicants should arrange for a report of their GRE test scores from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to be sent to OSU Graduate Admissions.

  • 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

  • GRE General Test results (Verbal, Quantitative, and Writing) (within past five years)

  • 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)

The online application system utilizes abbreviations and codes to designate the graduate degree programs offered. To specify the thesis masters (AEE-DMT) or non-thesis masters (AEE-DMNT).

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 are expected to meet the minimum threshold of GRE scores at the 40th percentile on the verbal, quantitative, and writing sections of the general exam. Applicants who do not meet the GRE requirement may be considered for conditional admission based on other admission criteria.

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.

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

Applicants should have earned minimum GRE scores at the 40th percentile (Verbal, Quantitative, and Writing) for domestic and international applicants.  GRE scores are considered valid and will be accepted for up to five years after the test date.  GRE scores older that five years should not be submitted. Applicants should contact ETS to have their GRE scores sent directly to OSU Graduate Admissions.

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.  Acceptable documentation includes: TOEFL of 550 (paper version), TOEFL of 213 (computer version, CBT), TOEFL of 79 (internet version), MELAB of 82, or IELTS of 7.0. 

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, technology skills, and personal attributes that will contribute to the applicant’s 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 an online graduate degree 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 the AEE Online Master’s Degree Program

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

Screening of Applications

Screening interviews may be conducted to assess the potential for applicants to be successful in an online graduate degree program.  All applications for the Online Master’s Degree will be reviewed independently by a panel of four graduate faculty members in the AEE graduate 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 AEE 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 AEE 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.