Apply step-by-step

Follow these instructions for freshman applicants if you are (or will soon be) a high school graduate who has never enrolled at a college or university (don’t count college classes you may have taken in high school), and you are a U.S. resident.

If your immigration status has been deferred under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, read about DACA.

How do I submit scores?

Ohio State has adopted a one-year TEST-OPTIONAL policy for most 2021 applicants. Please read the Testing FAQs.

Tips for sending scores to Ohio State

  • Scores must come directly from the testing agency. When you register for the ACT or SAT, indicate that you want your scores sent to Ohio State.

  • If you already took the test but didn't send your scores to Ohio State, you can order them for a fee. Order in advance to be sure scores reach us by the application deadline.

  • We must receive standardized test scores by your application deadline (either November 15 or February 1 for autumn semester applicants). Or, if you’re interested in a university merit scholarship, we must receive scores by the scholarship deadline (for most, that’s November 15).

  • October 24 (ACT) and November 7 (SAT) are your last 2020 test dates if you want your scores to be considered for our November 15 early action deadline.

  • Applicants who will have been out of high school for two or more years by their term of enrollment are not required to submit scores.

Is the essay required?

The essay is not required for either the ACT or SAT.

Should I take a standardized test more than once?

Ohio State looks at the highest composite score from a single test date. Taking the test (and having scores sent to us) more than once, while not required, may work to your advantage.

Do I qualify for a test fee waiver?

If your family has economic need, talk to your school counselor to determine your eligibility for a fee waiver.

How does Ohio State look at scores?

When considering students for admission, scholarships, or Honors and Scholars selection, we consider the best official composite / combined score from a single test administration. Ohio State does not mix sub-scores from multiple tests or adjust scholarship values for higher test scores submitted after the scholarship’s published deadline.

November 15: Early action

What is early action?

We must receive your complete application (the Common Application and all required materials) by midnight (EST) on November 15 if you wish to be considered for most university merit scholarships (larger awards require additional steps).

While not required, we strongly recommend meeting the November 15 deadline if you wish to be considered for majors in the College of Engineering, the Morrill Scholarship Program, and Honors and Scholars Programs.

By meeting the early action deadline, you’ll get an admission decision no later than the end of January.

February 1: Regular decision

February 1 by midnight (EST) is the final date by which we must receive your complete application. You’ll get an admission decision by the end of March.


Deadlines

Spring 2021

Autumn 2021

Application deadline
Deadline for all required application materials.

Oct. 15, 2020

Early action: Nov. 15, 2020
Regular decision: Feb. 1, 2021

Priority date for financial aid
Financial aid step-by-step.

Feb. 1, 2020

Feb. 1, 2021

Acceptance fee deadline
Learn more about steps for admitted students.

See your Acceptance Fee Notification

May 1, 2021

Ohio State accepts the Common Application for admission to the Columbus campus.

Common Application: opens Aug. 1, 2020

The Common Application, the application fee or fee waiver, plus all required materials (STEP 4) make up a complete application. We must receive all items by the application deadline.

These items plus the Common Application make up a complete application. We must receive all items by the application deadline.

Official transcripts

High school transcripts

Request that your high school counselor send your high school transcript, including your senior year course schedule, to Ohio State (electronically, if possible).

If this course work was completed at a school outside of the United States, note that foreign language documents must be translated into English by the issuing institution, an authorized translator or a teacher of the language. Any additional requirements will be posted to your Applicant Center, so be sure to check your application status regularly after you've applied.

Official ACT or SAT scores

Ohio State has adopted a one-year TEST-OPTIONAL policy for most 2021 applicants. Please read the Testing FAQs.
How do I submit my scores?

We must receive your official ACT or SAT score sent directly from the testing agency. Scores from transcripts will not be considered. Read more about score requirements in STEP 1.

Optional: Recommendation from a teacher or counselor

While not required, your counselor may send a maximum of two letters of recommendation electronically through the Common Application or through an electronic system such as Naviance.

If an electronic option isn’t available, your counselor may email your letter(s) to esue-studugt@osu.edu. The letter must include your first and last name and OSU ID number, found on the email we send acknowledging receipt of your application. Letters sent via email are subject to sender verification.

Additional test scores

If English is not your native language, submit one of the following scores:

  • TOEFL (internet-based test or internet-based test Home Edition*): 79 or higher

  • IELTS or IELTS Indicator*: 6.5 or higher

  • ACT: 21 or higher on the English section

  • SAT: 27 or higher on the Reading Test

  • Duolingo*: 105 or higher

You are exempt from this requirement if you have completed three full years of school at a U.S. regionally accredited high school or if you are a citizen of, or have received a bachelor’s degree from, Australia, Belize, British Caribbean, British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States or Wales.

Ohio State has an intensive English program for students who wish to improve their language skills called the American Language Program. A separate application is required for this program. Ohio State does not offer conditional admission to students who enroll in the American Language Program.

*To accommodate applicants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Ohio State University will accept Duolingo, the IELTS Indicator and the TOEFL internet-based test Home Edition from any international student applying for spring 2021 or autumn 2021 admission. All Duolingo test takers are required to take an English placement exam upon arrival to campus. TOEFL Home Edition and IELTS Indicator test takers are required to take an English placement exam upon arrival unless they qualify for a TOEFL or IELTS score exemption.


Don't forget financial aid

The FAFSA is available on October 1 each year, and filing by Ohio State’s priority date of February 1 will provide you maximum aid consideration. Every student is highly encouraged to file the FAFSA to be considered for the most financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans and Federal Work-Study. Get important dates and simple steps for applying for aid.

Test-optional policy

Ohio State has adopted a one-year ACT and SAT test-optional policy for most 2021 applicants.

Read our Testing FAQs

​How much does Ohio State cost? Click for tuition and fees.