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 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 a 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 do not meet requirements for regular admission but indicate the potential to perform satisfactorily in a graduate degree program may be admitted as conditional students by the Graduate School. This classification is assigned for one or more of the following reasons, for example: The applicant has a baccalaureate or professional degree but the college or university is unaccredited, less than an overall 3.0 cGPA in last degree earned with evidence of improvement in latter terms and/or in coursework relevant to the graduate program, and/or subject matter deficiencies as specified by the Graduate Studies Committee. Applicants whose last degree earned was from an institution that does not utilize a grading scheme where a numerical cGPA can be calculated (e.g., narrative evaluation, satisfactory/unsatisfactory, etc.) may also be considered for conditional admission.  

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. Conditional students are ineligible for Graduate School fellowships. 

Students admitted to the Graduate School on a conditional basis must maintain a 3.0 cGPA during the first 10 hours of graded graduate credit. Programs petitioning for a student’s conditional admission may also be asked to provide a mentorship plan for Graduate School consideration. 

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 semester, spring semester, or summer term 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). The GBP is a bridge to Graduate School that allows potential students who are not regularly or conditionally admitted, for up to one full academic year, to receive mentoring and complete graduate-level coursework before fully transitioning to regular student status within an academic program. The GBP is geared toward prospective graduate students who do not meet the criteria for regular admission and do not have strong enough academic records for conditional admission. Examples of candidates for GBP are those who desire to explore graduate school or enter a graduate discipline very different from their undergraduate discipline, life-long learners returning to the university after a significant lapse of time, and individuals with weak undergraduate records but through relevant life experiences are now better prepared to meet the academic challenges of graduate school. 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 a graduate degree. If a dual degree student, the credits may not be used as dual or shared credit. 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.