Frequently Asked Questions

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Technical Requirements & Support

What basic technology requirements do I need to take an Online Program at Ohio State?

For the best experience in Ohio State's Online Programs, you will need these basic tech requirements. See Tech Support for a full list of Online Programs support and requirements.

  • Current Mac (OS X, v10.7 or higher recommended) or PC (Windows Vista, or Windows 7 or 8 recommended)
  • Stable high-speed internet connection (DSL or cable)
  • Firefox web browser (download for free)
  • Up-to-date Java, Flash, and Silverlight plugins installed (see the Firefox plugin check)

Note: Some programs have their own specific tech requirements, for more information, check that program's individual website or contact your program adivsor.

How do I get accessibility support from Ohio State?

To recieve access to all ODS resources, you must register with the Office of Disability Services at ods.osu.edu. Equivalent to students on campus, ODS is happy to work with students from Online Programs at Ohio State as long as they are documented within the office.

To register, go to http://ods.osu.edu/how-to-register/

 

Earning My Degree Online

Will my degree be considered an "online" degree?

You will receive the same Ohio State University diploma as on-campus students. There will be no online distinction on your diploma.

How long will it take me to finish my program?

Each Ohio State Online Program is unique and have their own timelines for completion. This also varies based on how many credits you choose to take each semester.

For more information or to estimate how long it will take to complete your degree, visit your program's website.

 

Will I be able to attend graduation?

As long as your approved by your college, all students enrolled in an online program at Ohio State are welcome to attend their graduation ceremony on campus in Columbus.

In order to be eligible, you must apply for graduation. This application and approval process takes place through your college.

For more details on graduation and to download the graduate school graduation application, click here.

You will recieve your Ohio State degree by mail, or at the ceremony if you decide to attend.

After graduation you will become an alumnus of The Ohio State University and are strongly encouraged to join the Ohio State Alumni Association, a network with millions of other Buckeye graduates. 

Is my entire program offered online?

The definition of an online program is that 50% of the courses are delivered in an online format. Ohio State is working with the goal of offering full, 100% online programs. At this time, certain programs may have on campus requirements. For more information, contact your program advisor. 

Common Online Degree Questions

Will I have an advisor?

See Academic Advising in Student Services

How do I buy books/materials?

The official Ohio State Bookstore is Barnes & Noble located on the Columbus campus. They accept online orders and will ship products to your indicated address.

You may also want to check out Ohio State's Digital Bookstore, which contains all digital materials developed by Ohio State students, staff and faculty.

Tech Hub is the official technology store at Ohio State. All Ohio State students receive a discount for any products they may purchase through Tech Hub. If you place an order by phone, they will ship your products to your indicated address.

Ohio State also offers a selection free, downloadable software on a vareity of platforms to our students. See OCIO Software for a full list of what is available for download. 

I am a veteran who served in the military, what kind of assistance can I get for my Online Program?

The Office of Military and Veterans Services ensures the academic success of Ohio State's military and veteran students. 

Learn more or contact an advisor by visiting the Veteran and Military Students website.

Financial Aid & Tuition

How much is tuition? Is it different if I'm out of state?

See Tution and Fees for detailed tuition information on your online program. 

 

I'm a veteran, how do I use my GI Bill or receive financial aid?

The Office of Veteran and Military Students supports all of Ohio State's current and former military students, including those in Online Programs. (There are many restrictions and requirements in order to use your GI Bill or receive federal financial aid). Any student planning to utilize VA education benefits (e.g. GI Bill, tuition assistance, etc) must work with an advisor within the Office of Veteran and Military Students to register and enroll in The Ohio State University.

Contact an advisor within the Office of Veteran and Military Students to learn more.

Can I apply for any scholarships?

Yes, you are eligible to apply for scholarships in any state that Ohio State is authorized for your program. Your program or college may also offer scholarships in which you will be eligible for.  For more information, contact your program advisor.

There are also a number of private funded scholarships that are available for students. To receive any funding, you must meet all eligibility requirements and be selected as a recipient for that scholarship. There may be certain expectations you must meet to maintain your scholarship.

Am I eligible for financial aid?

All Online Programs students at Ohio State are eligible to apply for financial aid. However, there are many factors in determining eligibility for financial aid. For more information regarding financial aid eligibility, requirements or to file the current year's FAFSA, see Student Financial Aid at Ohio State.

Learning Online

How do I interact with my Classmates and Instructors?

You will interact with your classmates and instructors in a variety of ways. You will participate in class discussions on Carmen, interact via open forums, email and through our video to video software, CarmenConnect.

Some instructors will have their own method for further interaction, which will be contained in your syllabus. 

What Does an Online Classroom Look Like?

Online courses at Ohio State are different from face-to-face courses. Our faculty members design their online courses to take advantage of the possibilities of the Internet—ways of communicating across distances, connecting to outside people and ideas, working through problems and presenting information.

Online courses have many of the elements of face-to-face courses, but the structure, format and timing is different. Instead of distinct class sessions, then homework and preparation, your online courses will usually be divided into week-long modules where you will have:

  • a major topic or task
  • supporting materials (videos, reading, or other media)
  • ongoing discussion and collaboration with your professor and classmates
  • an opportunity to practice and receive feedback
How does my online program work?

When you enroll in an Online Program at Ohio State, you are choosing to take required courses and electives in an online format. You’ll progress through your course work just like you would in a traditional classroom with assignments, assessments and participation requirements. You’ll interact with your instructor and fellow students via online discussions and submit your assignments online. In certain cases, there may be an on campus requirement, depending on the program. For more information, check your program page or contact your program advisor. 

How Flexible is Taking Class Online/What is my Expected Time Commitment?

Online Programs at Ohio State are here to work on your schedule. You are welcome to schedule as many credit hours per semester as you feel that you can handle. The amount of credits you schedule will help determine how long it will take to complete your program. 

Your expected time commitment will vary based on your course load. A good rule of thumb is that if you are in a lecture for 2 hours a week, expect to double that amount of time outside of class, i.e. 4 hours of study time. 

Do I have a specific class time or a specific time that I need to be online?

You are not required to be online at certain times for class, if you have a proctored test or need to be online at a specific time, please check your syllabus or contact your instructor for this information.

Student Activities & Benefits

Can I get a BuckID if I want one?

If you're on campus, please feel free to stop at the Ohio Union and get your BuckID. 

We do not currently have the software to use a digital image, however you can get a valid Student ID with no picture. 

Can I participate in student activities?

As part of an Online Program at Ohio State, you do not pay the Student Activity Fee and therefore your participation in on-campus student activities will be limited.

Can I get legal support from Ohio State?

Online Program students at Ohio State are not eligible for legal assistance. Online students will not be charged the annual SLS fee in their tuition.

If you are required or choose to take one class on campus in Columbus during a given semester, you may be eligible for Student Legal Services if you so desire. Contact SLS for more information.

Am I eligible for Ohio State athletics tickets?

Yes you are, all Online Programs students at Ohio State are eligible to purchase season or single-game tickets for football and men's basketball based on availability. In order to purchase tickets, you must meet the eligibility requirements and pick up your tickets on campus in Columbus with a valid Student ID. 

For all other sports, all Ohio State regular season sporting events are free to attend with a valid Student ID. 

Applications & Admissions

When do I apply?

You should apply whenever you feel ready to begin your Online Program, deadlines vary between each program but they will be tailored to start at the beginning of autumn, spring and summer terms. For more information regarding deadlines, contact your program advisor.

Will my earned course credits transfer to Online Program at Ohio State?

If you have previous college credit, you may transfer your credits when starting your Online Program with Ohio State. For more information or to see the transfer credit requirements, see the Ohio State Transfer Credit Policy.

Note: a maximum of 7 hours of grad non-degree credit can be earned at Ohio State and then applied to a graduate degree program.

I've received my letter of acceptance, how do I enroll in classes?

After you've been accepted into an Ohio State Online program, you will receive your Ohio State ID information, your Email and access to Buckeyelink.

You will also receive an email from your program coordinator confirming your admittance with suggested courses for your program track. In Buckeyelink, which is your student portal, you will be able to search and enroll in courses, pay tuition and see important deadlines. Once signed in, click "Add a Class" to search and enroll in courses.

Other than my application, what do I need to send to Ohio State?

When applying to Ohio State, you will file your application and pay your application fee. Ohio State may require you to send further documentation or information. See Ohio State undergraduate and graduate admission requirements for more information.

State Authorization

What is state authorization?

State authorization allows The Ohio State University to offer education to students located outside Ohio. Each state has unique authorization requirements, so Ohio State must review each state’s laws and rules to ensure that the university is in compliance.

Effective July 2018, a U.S. Department of Education rule also will require institutions to be authorized in each state where students are enrolled in order to participate in federal student financial aid programs. 

Why does it matter?

In order to offer education opportunities to students outside Ohio, Ohio State must comply with state and federal laws. Starting next year, federal law will require an institution to be authorized in order for the institution to participate in federal financial aid programs. 

Requiring authorization of distance education programs also ensures that students are protected as consumers. Authorization laws help ensure that a student is not investing in a program that is not legitimate, or a program that does not lead to the license or credential that the student was expecting.

What is the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)?

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, also known as SARA, establishes uniform standards for distance education for all participating states and institutions. Ohio State joined SARA in 2015, which means Ohio State can offer distance education in all 48 states and districts that participate in SARA.

Does SARA cover professional licensing board authorizations in other states?

SARA does not cover professional licensing board approvals. If you are planning to seek a professional license or certificate in a state other than Ohio, it is highly recommended that you contact the appropriate state licensing agency to seek guidance before beginning a licensure program.