OSU ECONOMICS PH.D. PROGRAM APPLICATION: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1.     Can I earn an MA in Economics at The Ohio State University?
 
Yes, but the Department of Economics at OSU does not offer a stand-alone or terminal M.A. program, and admits only the Ph.D. program applicants. Once admitted to our Ph.D. program, you can obtain our M.A. in Economics en route to your Ph.D., usually at the end of the first year curriculum. Also, Ph.D. students in non-economics programs at OSU can obtain our M.A. in Economics by meeting both the course and exam requirements. Applicants interested in pursuing a master’s degree in economics may wish to consider the MS program in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AED Economics) at OSU.  The AED Economics is a de facto applied economics department at OSU.   For a comprehensive guide to master’s programs in economics, you may visit www.MastersinEconomics.org.
 
2.     Can I apply to your Ph.D. program with just a Bachelor’s degree?
 
Yes, students must have successfully completed or be expected to complete the minimum of a four-year U.S.  Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent at the time of their matriculations.   No Master’s degree (M.A. /M.S.) is required for your Ph.D. application. 
 
3.     Do I need to have a Bachelor’s degree in economics to apply to the PhD program?
 
No, we do not require a Bachelor’s degree in economics to apply to our Ph.D. program.   However, our curriculum presumes that a prospective graduate student has a strong undergraduate program in mathematics and statistics.   We also recommend that your undergraduate curriculum includes courses in intermediate microeconomics, macroeconomics, and basic econometrics.
 
4.     Do you accept applicants with a three-year Bachelor’s degree?
 
Applicants are required to have completed an equivalent of a four-year U.S. Bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation.  A three-year foreign degree will not usually do.   Applicants should contact Graduate Admissions to determine if they meet this requirement for admission at http://gradadmissions.osu.edu/gpcontacts.html.
 
5.     Do I need to submit my degree certificate with my application material?
 
No, we require your official transcripts, not your degree certificates, to complete your application. Remember to upload one set of scanned official transcripts per institution online to OSU Graduate Admissions.
 
6.     Where do I send official transcripts?
 
Upload one set of scanned official transcripts per institution online for Grad Admissions. See Application Checklist webpage for more information.
 
7.     How long are my GRE and TOEFL scores valid?
 
GRE scores are valid for up to five years following the test date. TOEFL scores are valid for up to two years following the test date.
 
8.     What are your GRE and GPA requirements for admission?
 
Applicants must have the minimum 3.00 undergraduate GPA for graduate admission with our without financial support.  The GPA benchmark for financial support considerations including fellowships is a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.60. However, you may still be eligible for funding even if you do not meet this requirement; we will evaluate your entire application to see if there may be other strengths that compensate.  
 
9.     Do I need to take the TOEFL if I am pursuing a Master’s degree in the US? 
 
You are exempt from taking the TOEFL if you receive a four-year Bachelor’s degree or higher in the US.
 
10.  Do I need to submit a writing sample?
 
   It is not required, but is encouraged.
   
11.  Is Statement of Purpose required to complete my application?  What is a Statement of Purpose?
 
Yes, you are required to submit Statement of Purpose (SOP).   Your SOP should articulate in a couple of pages (1) your reason and motivation for pursuing a Ph.D. in economics to attain your career goal, and (2) at least two prospective fields of concentration and your reason for these fields.  Your GPA and course performance can be read from your transcripts.  Your major achievements such as honors and awards should be in your C.V.  Your academic record, strengths and potential should be stated in the letters of recommendation we receive.    Use SOP to state aspects that are not obvious from your transcripts, C.V. and letters.  
 
12.  Will you accept recommendation letters from former employers?
 
It is strongly recommended that an applicant obtain at least three academic recommendation letters from individuals who can provide a credible assessment of the applicants’ academic preparedness for graduate study.  Seek someone who can state and qualify your academic strengths and research potential beyond what we can see in your transcripts. 
 
13.  Can the department waive my application fee?
 
No, applicants are solely responsible for all fees associated with their application process to our Ph.D. program.
 
14.  Do I still have to submit hard copy versions of my application material if I submitted the same material online?
 
No, any application material submitted online need not be posted via mail or delivery services.
 
15.  Will you accept application material submitted after the application deadline?
 
We expect that applicants make a concerted effort to submit completed application materials by our published deadlines.  Any applicant requesting financial support should officially apply online, send all required application material, and pay the application fee by  the published deadlines.  Applications received after the published deadlines will be reviewed to the best of our capacity, but can miss the first round of admissions and a chance for financial support considerations.
 
16.  Do you offer any Teaching or Research Assistantships for first-year Ph.D. students?
 
No, except for very special cases, we do not offer teaching or research assistantships for our first year students.  Students are eligible for Teaching or Research Assistantships beginning in the second year, contingent upon their normal academic progress.  
 
17. What is the timeline of the funding award process?
 
After the November 30 deadline, our committee evaluates all applications and makes nominations for the University Fellowship competition in mid-January. The results of the competition are announced in mid-February. However, if you have been admitted, even if you do not receive a University Fellowship, it does not necessarily mean you have been eliminated from consideration. The department awards funding on a rolling basis between mid-February and April 15. Note that due to the nature of the process, it is not always possible to estimate when awards can be made in advance.
 
We abide by the Council of Graduate Schools April 15 resolution, which states in part that “Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution.” All offers of financial support are made on this understanding. 
 
Don’t see your question above? Contact Rick Tobin, tobin.71@osu.edu with more questions.
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