Graduate Program Admissions


Eligibility Requirements  -  Materials Checklist  -  Application Procedure

The Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures admits new students for enrollment to both its MA and PhD programs only for the Autumn semester.

The application deadline - including for the university's receipt of letters of recommendation, transcripts, and test scores - for Autumn 2022 enrollment in both of the Department’s graduate programs is Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 for all domestic and international applicants.


Eligibility Requirements

At minimum, applicants must meet the following University criteria to be considered for admission to the MA or PhD in Near Eastern Languages & Cultures:

1. Completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution [at time of enrollment]

2. Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent [at time of enrollment; can be appealed under special circumstances]

3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores - all applicants must request that official scores be submitted to OSU, but the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures does not impose any minimum scores.  GRE scores are valid for 5 total academic years (July 1 - June 30); applicants for Autumn 2022 admission must have completed their most recent test on or after July 1, 2017.

*** GRE scores will not be required for applicants applying to begin the program during the 2022-2023 Academic Year. ***

4. English language competency test scores [not required from applicants who are citizens of, or who have received baccalaureate or higher degrees from: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, the United States, or the United Kingdom] at or above the following minimums:

550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
79 on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
82 on the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)
7.0 on the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)

[TOEFL, MELAB, and IELTS scores are all valid for 2 calendar years from the date of the test; Autumn 2019 applicants should have taken the test more recently than November 30, 2017]

Students applying to the MA or PhD in NELC are, additionally, expected to demonstrate (typically with an undergraduate major, or equivalent) sufficient competency in at least one of the languages taught in the Department (Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Persian, Turkish, or similar). Applicants to the PhD will be expected to have completed (at the projected time of enrollment) an MA or equivalent.

All applicants should also expect to be asked to demonstrate research and career interests that align with those of the Department's faculty and curriculum.  All applicants are encouraged to be in correspondence with the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee, Associate Professor Ahmad Al-Jallad (, and any other members of the faculty whose work may be of interest, to ensure that their applications are the best possible representations of themselves as candidates for admission to the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures.

Application Materials checklist

Submitted by the applicant electronically to Graduate & Professional Admissions at

1. Application form
2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
3. Statement of Purpose of 500-1000 words, in English, articulating applicant's
     academic interests and the relevance to those goals of their own background
     and the OSU NELC graduate curriculum and faculty
4. Writing sample, in English, as example of recent academic work relevant to
     research interests

Submitted on behalf of applicant to Graduate & Professional Admissions (via addresses and links provided after applicant creates OSU applicant account):

5. Official coursework and degree completion transcripts for all former institutions
     [received either as secure electronic documents or as sealed paper documents]
6. 3 letters of recommendation, at least two of which should address the
     applicant's academic experience and plans, and at least one of which should
     address the applicant's facility with relevant languages
7. GRE and, as applicable, English Language competency test scores

Application Procedure

All applications are submitted directly to the OSU Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions at  (See the Office of Graduate Admissions Application Quick Guide).  DO NOT SEND ANY MATERIALS AND DO NOT REQUEST THAT ANY MATERIALS BE SENT TO THE DEPARTMENT. The Department is not equipped to process the receipt of any application materials, and the completion of any application will be significantly delayed if any materials are directed to the Department.

All application materials should be submitted electronically; the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures cannot ensure that any materials submitted on paper will be received or processed appropriately.

Steps for officially applying to graduate programs in NELC:

1. Navigate to, and navigate to "Near Eastern Languages and Cultures”


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2. Select "Apply" tab (at right below red "Near Eastern Languages and Cultures") and select "Apply" at right of "Autumn 2016") OR select "Transfer of Graduate Program form," at bottom, if returning after previous graduate enrollment at Ohio State.


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3. Select the "Go to application" link for the appropriate status as a current, former, or potential new student at Ohio State.


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4. Current and recent students will be directed to internal OSU forms.  All other applicants click "Create Account", log in, and proceed to application.


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4. Provide requested information, and upload required documents.  The application consists of 5 tabs: personal, contact, academic, and program data, as well as final stages/submit; applicants navigate by saving individual tabs (button at bottom) and selecting other tabs directly.  A link to a PDF containing application instructions appears at the top.

5. Applicants must provide the names and contact information of at least 3 persons whom they've asked to write Letters of Recommendation.  Those referees will receive emailed instructions for electronically submitting their letters after the application is finalized and submitted.  In circumstances where electronic submission of the letters is not feasible, applicants should provide their referees with appropriate instructions and signed, completed cover forms.

If the submission of a paper Letter of Recommendation is unavoidable, it must not be sent to the Department but should instead be sent, with its cover form, to:
       Graduate and Professional Admissions
       P.O. Box 182004
       Columbus, OH 43218-2004.

It is the applicant's responsibilty to ensure that letters are sent to the correct address and by the appropriate deadline; applicants should encourage their referees to make use of the electronic submission apparatus to help ensure that all materials are received quickly and securely.

6. If an applicant failed to upload the CV, Statement of Purpose, or Writing Sample with their initial submission of the application or if they would like to submit a more recent version of any, they can submit these materials through the Graduate Admissions Uploader at  Applicants should allow 5 days before the deadline for Graduate Admissions to process any uploaded materials.

7. Request that test scores and transcripts be sent to Graduate Admissions.

8. Monitor status of application materials in Applicant Center.

The Department Graduate Admission committee begins reviewing applications in December and typically expects to make admission decisions and offers in February and March.