If your Applicant Center indicates that you are required to take an ESL Composition Placement Test, you will be given a date and time to complete the test at the mandatory check-in for international students presented by the Office of International Affairs (OIA). This one hour essay-based test will be evaluated to determine if you need to take English along with your regular graduate curriculum.
Graduate students for whom English is not their first language must certify their proficiency in spoken English before assuming associateship duties.
Read about Ohio State programs that provide English language support.
If you are admitted, Graduate and Professional Admissions will take one of the following steps:
Before we can issue a student visa, admitted international students who are not fully sponsored by Ohio State are required by law to show clear evidence that they have sufficient funding to pay for all tuition and living expenses while at the university. Funds may come from the student, family and sponsors.
The passport, affidavit form and financial documents can be submitted to Ohio State using the Admissions Uploader.
If you are offered a fellowship and decide to accept it, do so promptly: You must accept it before we can issue your visa document.
Once you have successfully completed your financial review, Ohio State will issue a Certificate of Eligibility (form I-20 for the F-1 Student Visa, or form DS-2019 for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa).
Learn about visa eligibility and application in the next section.
Once you have successfully completed your financial review, Ohio State will issue your Certificate of Eligibility (form I-20 for the F-1 Student Visa, or form DS-2019 for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa) with your notice of admission. You’ll need to download this document: Watch your email for instructions from the Office of International Affairs. If your document contains any errors or you encounter difficulties with the download, please email Graduate and Professional Admissions.
You will be required to pay a SEVIS fee as part of the visa application process. You will need to have the receipt from this fee payment when you visit the embassy to obtain your visa — read more about that below.
Please keep copies of all financial documents to present to the U.S. consulate when applying for your visa.
If you are already in the United States and are uncertain of how to proceed, please contact Graduate and Professional Admissions. If you do not need an I-20 or DS-2019, state your status on the application.
… you are currently attending an institution in the United States:
Your SEVIS International Student Transfer Form will be emailed to you prior to your Notice of Admission. Ohio State will instruct you to download your visa eligibility document — I-20 (for the F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (for the J-1 visa) — after your SEVIS record is released from your previous school. If you will be traveling outside the United States prior to the start of classes, you must contact the Office of International Affairs to receive your new document prior to re-entering the United States. If you are staying in the United States between programs, you may pick up your document when you attend check-in with OIA. Please follow the instructions on the SEVIS form to ensure you receive your visa eligibility document at the appropriate time. Read “Important visa issues” below.
… you are currently attending Ohio State in another program:
An OSU Level Change Form will be sent to our Office of International Affairs. Ohio State will instruct you to download your visa eligibility document — I-20 (for the F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (for the J-1 visa) — prior to the start of your new program. If you will be traveling outside the United States prior to the start of your new educational level, you must contact OIA to receive your new document prior to re-entering the United States. Read “Important visa issues” below.
… you are currently outside of the United States:
Ohio State will instruct you to download your visa eligibility document — I-20 (for the F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (for the J-1 visa) — once it's been issued. You will need to make an appointment with the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy to apply for a visa. Read “Important visa issues” below.
Note for Canadian citizens: Canadian citizens do not need a U.S. visa. At the port of entry you will be asked to show your I-20 or DS-2019, Canadian passport, receipt of SEVIS payment, and proof of financial support. Please make sure your passport is correctly stamped with "F-1" or "J-1" and "D/S" upon entry.
Information on U.S. consulate policies, procedures, requirements and visa wait times can be found at the U.S. Department of State website: travel.state.gov. Get more visa information: Office of International Affairs Visa Information page.
All international students who attend Ohio State are required to purchase Ohio State student health insurance. J-1 and J-2 visa holders are required by the U.S. government to have insurance coverage which meets specific requirements (exceptions may be granted for students who are fully financially sponsored under a government sponsor or international organization).
Find the "Petition to Waive" form and learn more about health insurance for international students and their families.
If you wish to defer admission or immigration, let your program know as soon as possible. If your request is approved, the program will contact Graduate and Professional Admissions to tell us which semester you are deferring admission or immigration to.
After you accept admission, and about two months before the start of classes, you will begin receiving email messages from the Office of International Affairs. These messages contain useful information as you prepare to study at Ohio State, including how to register for your mandatory check-in session. These pre-arrival emails will also be posted on the Graduate Pre-Arrival section of OIA's website.