ESGP Admissions Guidelines

See the ESGP Handbook for further details on Graduate Admission.

All ESGP students must have an advisor to be admitted. Therefore, the admissions process has three steps:

  • Application,
  • Pairing accepted students with advisors, and
  • Student enrollment.

Since the pairing process with advisors can take some time, students are encouraged to begin contacting potential advisors at the time of application.

Application – Students wishing to apply to ESGP must first apply to OSU graduate admissions. The online application is at   The new application will allow you to upload one transcript per institution attended in the education section.  If you are admitted to the university you will be required to provide original transcripts at that time.

To Graduate Admissions: 
  • Transcripts
  • GRE
  • TOEFL for international applicants
  • with the on-line application process you may include: CV,  personal statement, 3 letters of recommendation
To ESGP office:
  • Personal statement and CV (if you choose not to submit it on-line with the application)
  • your 3 letters of recommendation (if you prefer to send them to ESGP office directly)
Applicants must meet the minimum graduate school requirements:
  • A four-year baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited college or university prior to beginning graduate studies
  • At minimum, a cumulative grade point average equivalent to at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (B grade) in all prior undergraduate and graduate level course work.
  • International applicants must also provide a 550 on the paper based TOEFL test, a 213 on the computer based TOEFL, 79 on the Internet Based TOEFL or 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.
Applicants must also meet the ESGP minimum standards:
  • GRE score above 311 on the new GRE test or 1200 on the old test, combined verbal and quantitative, and 3.5 on analytical writing.
  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with a major in natural, physical or social sciences. A minimum of 4 credits of college calculus and/or statistics; 7 credits in physical science; 3 credits in biological sciences.

Applications from those in fields not normally related to environmental science will be considered when special merit warrants. Students with limited course work deficiencies may be admitted conditionally and must remove deficiencies within an academic year.

The application is reviewed by the 7-member ESGP Graduate Studies Committee and all aspects of the application are considered. The committee is looking for evidence of interdisciplinary interest and leadership potential.

Pairing accepted students with advisors – All ESGP students must have an advisor before they are allowed to enroll. This pairing is the most challenging step in the process. The pairing works in several directions.

Prospective students contact faculty directly based on their information posted on the ESGP website.

Faculty may request to review application files —both complete and pending—seeking appropriate students for their research team. If not yet accepted, faculty can inform the office of their willingness to serve as the student's advisor.

Listings of accepted students needing advisors are circulated to the faculty to aid in finding advisors for students.

The pairing process can take time, based on the availability of GRA support.  Some OSU students transfer to ESGP during other semesters but we generally admit students from outside OSU in the Autumn semester only.

Most students, however, apply in the Autumn to begin their studies the following Autumn.   This is driven by the fellowship deadlines. December 15 is the deadline for fellowship consideration of both domestic and international students. Your application must be complete by this deadline.

The regular deadline for domestic students to apply for Autumn and for international students who are candidates for a U.S. non-immigrant visa for study at this university is March 15 (without university fellowship consideration).

Student Enrollment - Once a faculty member agrees to advise a student, an email from the advisor should be sent to ESGP office for the applicant's file. Once received, the enrollment process can begin.

For example the process typically yields:
  • Completed Application: 65 Students
  • Accepted by ESGP Graduate Studies Committee: 50 Students
  • Admitted and enrolled with advisors: 15 Students

To apply to the ESGP, Contact the Admissions Office:

Admissions Office
Graduate Area
The Ohio State University
SAS Bldg. 1st Floor, 281 West Lane Ave.
Columbus Ohio 43210-1200
Phone: (614) 292-9444
Fax: (614) 292-3895            

Read "The Graduate School Admissions Instructions" on the web site carefully. It contains a description of each of the application materials needed by the Graduate Admissions office.

Submit to the Admissions Office:
  • A Graduate School international or domestic Admission Application is only available on-line at If you absolutely cannot use the electronic application because of lack of internet or credit card, please contact Graduate Admissions at or
  • A $60 application fee for foreign students or $50 application fee for domestic students
  • Upload a transcript from each post-secondary school you have attended.  Original copies of transcripts or record of marks for each post-secondary school attended, (include English translations of each of these documents if they are in any other language), will be required upon admission.
  • One or more Affidavit of Support for International Graduate Students forms and all required supporting financial documents (foreign students only),
  • GRE or GMAT scores (required for all applicants), and
  • TOEFL or MELAB scores (required for foreign students only).
  • You may have your references submit their letters on-line as part of your application.  The ESGP office will accept letters on paper (stationary) to the ESGP office. Either way is acceptable.  We do not accept references by e-mail.
Submit to the ESGP:

Environmental Science Graduate Program
3138A Smith Lab
174 W. 18th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210 USA
Phone: (614) 292-9762

      The Graduate Studies Committee of the ESGP will ONLY review your application when ALL necessary application materials have been received.

      Contact the Admissions Office at (614) 292-9444 if you have any questions about the application or admission process. An admissions counselor will also be happy to check the status of your application for you.

      More information about the Graduate School and graduate programs is contained in the Graduate School Handbook.