You are encouraged to respond to essays to present the best application possible. We want to look beyond your GPA and test score to see what experiences have shaped you and what drives you to be successful. Essay responses are used in our comprehensive review process if you do not meet assured admission criteria, as well as for select scholarships. You are not required to submit essays if you meet OSU’s assured admission criteria and do not wish to be considered for all scholarships.
If you have already submitted your OSU application for admission and did not respond to the essays, you may complete them and submit them at a later date. Essays must be submitted by February 1 for full scholarship consideration.
Need help getting started? Check out our tips to crafting a powerful essay and example responses.
If you haven't previously submitted your application for admission, you will need to do so before submitting your essay responses. Submit your essay responses online. You will be prompted to log in to your application account. If you have questions about how to submit your responses, read our Frequently-Asked Questions.
Essay Questions and Instructions
Respond to two of the following questions using no more than 300 words per essay.
Imagine a doorway appears in front of you. What happens when you walk through it? Describe the experience.
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome,” Booker T. Washington said. Describe an obstacle you have faced and the actions you took to overcome it.
Describe a goal you want to accomplish and the requirements to achieve it. What specific steps will you take and what resources will you use to complete this task?
“I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail,” Muriel Strode said. Identify a specific way you hope to be a leader. How will your actions leave a trail for others?
You have the option to submit a creative supplement that displays your potential as part of your application. Please include 3-5 sentences explaining your concept and the mediums or tools used. Your submission could include, but is not limited to: an original song, piece of artwork, blueprint or fashion design. There is no negative impact on the application evaluation should you choose not to respond. This is an option for students who have a strong desire to present themselves through a creative component.
Before submitting a creative piece, please review the Creative Supplement Frequently Asked Questions.
Check out our frequently-asked questions or contact us at (405) 744-5358 or via email at email@example.com.
Tips for Crafting a Powerful Essay
OSU is seeking students who will be active citizens and future leaders who will make a positive, meaningful and enduring difference to the world. We want to look beyond your GPA and test score to see what experiences have shaped you and what drives you to be successful.
Use the tips below to craft your own powerful essay response so we can learn more about what makes you a leader and scholar.
- Make it personal and be original: Be honest and authentic in your responses. Don't be afraid to discuss struggles or hardships that have led you to this point.
- Demonstrate passion: Tell us what excites you. We love that our students are passionate about a variety of subjects and interests.
- Write about what you know: You are the expert on you! Use anecdotes and personal experiences to frame your essay responses.
- Take your time: It's important to take your time completing your essay responses. Submit your application and then submit your essays online at a later date. You will be prompted to log in to your application account.
- Edit and spell check: After you've written your essay responses, make sure to reread and review with a fresh set of eyes to make sure you're presenting yourself in the best manner possible for admission and scholarship consideration.
Be prepared for the following questions and prompts.
Common Application questions
Writing: Personal essay
Ohio State requires a personal statement essay in response to one of the prompts provided. If you'd like to work on your response before beginning your application, here's a list of this year's essay prompts.
Courses & Grades: Self-reported transcript
Ohio State requires applicants to report their transcript information. A Course Assistant wizard will walk you through the steps. Your counselor is aware of this requirement and can provide you with your high school transcript. You may only skip this step if you are homeschooled and can't get a high school transcript; if your transcript doesn't use grades; or if your high school doesn't use semesters, trimesters, quarters or block scheduling.
Ohio State-specific questions
General: Preferred admission plan
Select "Early Action" if you are applying for autumn semester and plan to meet our November 1 early action deadline. Otherwise, select "Rolling Admission."
General: School-specific fee waivers
If you have been given a fee waiver code for one of the programs listed, please select the program and enter your fee waiver code.
Academics: 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.
Academics: 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.
Academics: Alternate campus (Ohio residents only)
If you are not admitted to the Columbus campus, you will have the option of starting your Ohio State degree at a regional campus and changing to Columbus later. If you don't select an alternate campus, you will be automatically admitted to one.
Academics: 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.
Academics: 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.
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.