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 and follow the DACA admission steps.

We must receive your complete application by the deadline: The online application (STEP 3) plus all required materials (STEP 4).

How do I submit scores?

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.

Ohio State’s ACT code: 3312

Ohio State’s SAT code: 1592

  • We must receive standardized test scores by your application deadline (either November 1 or February 1 for autumn semester applicants). Or, if you are competing for a merit scholarship, we must receive scores by the scholarship deadline.

  • Plan to test at least six weeks prior to deadlines to allow sufficient time for scores to be sent to Ohio State.

  • 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.

Which test should I take?

Accepted tests


Essay required?


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, works 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 (by that we mean your online 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:

By meeting the early action deadline, you’ll get an admission decision no later than mid-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 2018

Autumn 2018

Application deadline
Deadline for all required application materials.

Oct. 1, 2017

Early action: Nov. 1, 2017
Regular decision: Feb. 1, 2018

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

Feb. 1, 2018

Feb. 1, 2018

Acceptance fee deadline
Learn more about steps for admitted students.

See your Acceptance Fee Statement

May 1, 2018

The online admission application plus all required application materials (STEP 4) make up a complete application.

Apply using either application:

Common Application (2017-18 app opens Aug. 1)

Coalition Application (2017-18 app opens Aug. 1)

Common Application prep

Be prepared for the following questions and prompts.

Preferred admission plan

Select "Early Action" if you are applying for autumn semester and plan to meet our November 1 early action deadline (See STEP 2). Otherwise, select "Rolling Admission."

Your planned major

To learn more about Ohio State's majors, search Ohio State majors or read Undecided? if you're not sure what to major in.

"Opportunities beyond the undergraduate level"

Ohio State offers pre-professional programs in dentistry, law, medicine, optometry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. Identifying your pre-professional interest on the application will enable your advisors to provide you with a wide range of support to realize your goals.

Alternate campus (Ohio residents)

If you are not admissible to the Columbus campus, you will have the option of starting your Ohio State degree at a regional campus and changing to Columbus later.

Honors and Scholars Programs

To be considered, we strongly recommend that you meet our November 1 early action deadline. On the application, indicate interest in the University Honors Program or Ohio State Scholars Program and respond to the H&S essay prompt. If you wish to apply for the Eminence Fellows Program and Scholarship, you must indicate interest in the University Honors Program and complete the Eminence Application.

Morrill Scholarship Program

To be considered, we strongly recommend that you meet our November 1 early action deadline. On the application, indicate interest in the Morrill Scholarship Program and respond to the MSP essay prompt. Be sure to include leadership and diversity involvement under Activities.

Personal essay

Ohio State requires a personal essay in response to one of the prompts provided.

Courses and Grades module

Ohio State requires completion of the Courses and Grades section of the Common App. A Course Assistant wizard will walk you through the steps.

Application fee and fee waivers

Before submitting your application, you will be asked for a $60 NONREFUNDABLE application fee. Ohio State accepts ACT, SAT, TRIO and other fee waivers meant to assist low-income families (the application will walk you through eligibility requirements).

Planning to apply for financial aid?

Supply your Social Security Number on your admission application if you plan to file the FAFSA and want Ohio State to receive it, or if you are the child of an Ohio State employee using the Dependent Tuition Assistance program.

These items plus your online 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).

University transcripts

If you took college courses while in high school, request that your college or university send official transcripts of your college course work. (Exception: You do not need to provide a transcript for course work completed at Ohio State.)

How to send university transcripts to Ohio State:

  • If you attended an Ohio college or university, request that your transcript be sent electronically.

  • For other institutions, request electronic delivery if available to avoid processing delays. If ordering a transcript online, select The Ohio State University as a recipient. In the absence of a list of universities to select from, have your school email your transcript directly to

  • If your school does not offer electronic delivery, please have your transcript(s) mailed to: The Ohio State University, Undergraduate Admissions, PO Box 182646, Columbus, OH 43218-2646. Transcripts should not be delivered by the student or sent to other addresses on campus. Doing so will prevent acceptance of the transcript as official.

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

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

Additional test scores

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

  • TOEFL: 79 or higher on Internet-based test, 550 or higher on paper-based test

  • IELTS: 6.5 or higher

  • ACT: 21 or higher on the English section

  • SAT: 27 or higher on the Reading Test

February 1: Priority financial aid date

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. The FAFSA is available on October 1 each year, and filing by Ohio State’s priority date will provide you maximum aid consideration.