You are here

Back to Section 2

Admission Classifications

Section 2.4 of the Graduate School Handbook

Applicants are admitted to the Graduate School in one of five classifications: regular, provisional, conditional, graduate non-degree, or the Graduate Bridge Program.

Regular. Applicants who have met all Graduate School and Graduate Studies Committee admission criteria and who have been approved by the Graduate Studies Committee to pursue a graduate degree are designated as regular students.

Provisional. Applicants who are recommended as regular admits but have one or more validating item(s) not available at the time of admission, such as an official undergraduate transcript, official TOEFL or IELTS score or other items required by their graduate degree program, are designated as provisional students by the Graduate Studies Committee or by the Graduate School. Additional information may be found on the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions website.

International students who are admitted to an Ohio State graduate program under an international cooperative graduate degree agreement (ICGDA) for a combined or dual degree program are designated as provisional students by the Graduate Studies Committee or by the Graduate School until the requirements stated in the specific ICGDA are met.

Conditional. Applicants whose academic records indicate that they may have difficulty performing satisfactorily in a graduate degree program are designated as conditional students by the Graduate Studies Committee or by the Graduate School. This classification is assigned for one or more of the following reasons: The applicant has a baccalaureate or professional degree from an unaccredited college or university, less than the 3.0 cGPA in last degree earned, and/or subject matter deficiencies as specified by the Graduate Studies Committee. The purpose of the conditional classification is to provide students an opportunity to compensate for any deficiencies and/or to demonstrate the ability to perform satisfactorily in the graduate program.

It is recommended that conditional students not enroll for more than nine credit hours per autumn or spring semester and not hold graduate associate (GA) appointments requiring them to give instruction in the area of subject matter deficiency. If the conditional designation results from a low entering cGPA, the candidate is ineligible to hold an appointment as a GA unless the Graduate School approves a petition from the Graduate Studies Committee.

Students admitted to the Graduate School on a conditional basis must maintain a 3.0 cumulative cGPA during the first 10 hours of graded graduate credit.

Conditional Admission for International Students. The Graduate School’s policy on conditional admission based on English proficiency is intended to facilitate admission of academically qualified, degree-seeking international students who have not satisfied the minimum English language requirement, yet are being considered for admission by a graduate program. To be considered for conditional admission, international applicants must meet the following criteria: an IBT TOEFL score of 61 or higher, but lower than the required 79; or an IELTS score of 5.0 or higher, but lower than 7.0; and formal recommendation of the conditional admission from the graduate program. Students who are conditionally admitted under these criteria will attend and successfully complete the American Language Program (ALP) for one autumn, spring, or summer semester and obtain a minimum score of 550 (in the old) or 19 (on each section of the new) paper-based (TOEFL) institutional testing program (TOEFL-ITP). Students are not permitted to hold graduate associate (GA) appointments while attending ALP.

Graduate Bridge Program (GBP). Students admitted into the graduate bridge program will be permitted, for up to one full academic year, to complete graduate-level coursework before fully transitioning to regular student status within an academic program. The GBP is geared toward prospective graduate students who may require additional assistance in preparing for the rigor of full-time student status. It is anticipated this program will benefit underprepared, intersectional students that may reflect a combination of low income and educational sectors, under-represented minorities, first generation graduates, students with disabilities, other non-traditional backgrounds, and/or have encountered other barriers that may impede a successful transition into graduate education. Please see Appendix G for additional information regarding the GBP.

Graduate Non-Degree. U.S. applicants who do not intend to pursue a graduate degree at this university may register in the graduate non-degree classification. Eligibility is extended to those who are enrolled in a graduate program at another U.S. university who wish to study for one term as a transient student at Ohio State and transfer course credit back to their home institution and to those enrolled in established exchange programs or special university-sponsored workshops. International applicants with an F or J visa are restricted in their ability to be admitted as a graduate non-degree student. Such applicants will be reviewed by the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.

On verification of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, graduate non-degree students may enroll in the Graduate School at large to take graduate courses open to graduate non-degree students. They are not registered in a specific graduate degree program, nor does their enrollment require the approval of a Graduate Studies Committee. Graduate non-degree students may not register for courses numbered 8998 and 8999.

If a graduate non-degree student is admitted to a graduate degree program, no more than 10 hours of graduate credit accumulated while in this non-degree classification may be counted toward the graduate degree. If a graduate non-degree student is admitted to a graduate certificate program, no more than four hours of semester graduate credit accumulated while in this non-degree classification may be counted toward the certificate. Within this limit, the number of graduate credit hours is determined by the Graduate Studies Committee of the student’s intended degree program. Regardless of the hours counted toward degree requirements, all courses taken for graduate credit in graduate non-degree status count in the total earned hours; graded courses (A-EN) count in the cumulative grade-point average. Prior to the effective semester, session or term of admission to the degree program, the Graduate Studies Committee notifies the Graduate School of which courses are to count toward that degree.


Specifying Conditions of Admission. The Graduate Studies Committee is responsible for specifying the conditions of admission. The committee must state not only the requirements of conditional admission but also the means by which the requirements are to be satisfied and the time limit for completing them. Once a conditional student has been assigned an advisor, the Graduate Studies Committee is responsible for informing the advisor of the admission conditions.