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?

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 1 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 1).

Plan to test at least six weeks prior to deadlines to allow sufficient time for scores to be sent to Ohio State. September 12 (ACT) and October 3 (SAT) are your last 2020 test dates if you want your scores to reach Ohio State by our November 1 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 1: Early action

What is early action?

We must receive your complete application (your admission application and all required materials) by midnight (EST) on November 1 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 1 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.


Spring 2020

Autumn 2020

Application deadline
Deadline for all required application materials.

Oct. 1, 2019 Extended to October 15

Early action: Nov. 1, 2019
Regular decision: Feb. 1, 2020

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

Feb. 1, 2019

Feb. 1, 2020

Acceptance fee deadline
Learn more about steps for admitted students.

See your Acceptance Fee Statement

May 1, 2020

Ohio State accepts two applications: the Coalition Application and the Common Application. Select the option that is right for you. Submit only one application per admission cycle.

This 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.

ATTENTION APPLICANTS FROM PUERTO RICO: If you are being impacted by the state of emergency in PR and think you may have trouble completing your application by our February 1 deadline, please reach out to Antonio Serrano at or 614-292-2169.

Select your application:

These items plus your admission application (STEP 3) 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 coursework 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

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 or Coalition Application. Your counselor may also submit letters through an electronic system such as Naviance. If an electronic option isn’t available, your counselor may email your letter(s) to; the letter must include your first and last name and OSU ID number, found on the email we send acknowledging receipt of your application. Please note that 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: 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test

  • IELTS: 6.5 or higher

  • ACT: 21 or higher on the English section

  • SAT: 27 or higher on the Reading Test

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.