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.
Entrance Information for Freshmen
Ohio University welcomes more than 4,000 incoming freshmen to our Athens campus each year. And with more than 250 academic programs available, you can find the major that's right for you at OHIO.
Check out the sections below for more information on how to prepare for admission to Ohio University.
Learn about what you can do throughout high school
The following items indicate the average ranges of the middle 50 percent of our fall 2016 freshman class in a variety of academic areas:
- Top 16-46% of their graduating high school classes
- Average composite ACT score of 21-26
- Average combined SAT score of 1010-1190 (math and critical reading)*
- Average high school grade point average of 3.48 (on a 4.0 scale)
* This score refers to the old SAT format for tests taken prior to March 2016. Beginning with spring 2017 applicants, Undergraduate Admissions will consider both old SAT and new SAT scores. While we will continue to superscore(combine subscores from multiple test dates)across the same version of the SAT, we will not superscore between the new SAT and old SAT.
Undergraduate Admissions looks for evidence of academic preparation in a strong college-preparatory curriculum when reviewing applications for admission. We consider the following criteria:
- Strength of curriculum
- Performance in curriculum
- Class rank
- Grade point average
- ACT and/or SAT scores
Some of our programs have more selective criteria above and beyond general admission guidelines.
View more selective program admission criteria
Ohio University strongly recommends that all applicants complete the following college-preparatory high school coursework:
- 4 units of English
- 4 units of mathematics (including Algebra II or above)
- 3 units of science
- 3 units of social studies
- 2 units of foreign language
- 1 unit of visual or performing arts
- 4 additional elective units
In addition to your application and $50 fee, you must have an official high school transcript submitted by your high school counselor and official SAT or ACT scores submitted directly from the testing agency or from your high school. These items can be submitted electronically or mailed to:
Chubb Hall 120
1 Ohio University
Athens OH 45701
You can send optional application materials, such as essays, letters of recommendation, and/or lists of extra-curricular interests and activities to the same address or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home School Information
Ohio University welcomes applications for admission from students who have a home school background. Our home school review process is designed to recognize the unique experience of a home education while ensuring preparation for academic success at OHIO.
View the home school admission policy
Ready to apply? Ohio University is a member of The Common Application. Applicants are encouraged to apply using the Common App, which opens annually in August. For freshman applicants who do not want to use the Common App, please print and mail the alternative PDF application or visit our alternative online application.
Your application materials must include an official high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores sent directly from the testing agency or from your high school.
Apply for freshman admission