Faculty Guidelines, Specializations and Transcript Designations


A graduate specialization represents a significant, widely recognized division of an overall field of study that is broader than an individual faculty member's area of interest or an individual student's thesis or dissertation topic. Ohio State-approved specializations are recognized with a transcript designation on the Ohio State transcript.


An area of graduate specialization must be within the student's graduate program; specializations that lie outside the student's program are designated as graduate minors.

A student enrolled in a graduate program with approved areas of graduate specialization may choose whether to list such a specialization or not. Students who decide to do so, must get the approval of their advisor and graduate studies committee.

The specialization must be selected from a list of specializations already approved for the degree program. At the request of the student and the graduate studies committee, specializations are posted on the Ohio State permanent record in addition to the name of the graduate degree program.

Procedures for proposing graduate specializations
  • The proposed area or areas of graduate specialization must be consistent with the definition above.
  • The proposed area or areas of graduate specialization must have the approval of the local graduate studies committee, which sends a request for formal recognition to the dean of the Graduate School.
  • The proposal must list clusters of graduate courses that are a part of the area of graduate specialization.
  • In instances when a program proposes a graduate specialization involving core subject matter from another discipline, the proposal must be accompanied by a letter of concurrence from the other program.
  • The dean of the Graduate School will refer the request to the curriculum committee of the graduate council.
  • If the curriculum committee is satisfied that the proposed area of graduate specialization meets the criteria above, it will notify the graduate studies committee that the area of specialization is approved.
  • Approved areas of graduate specialization may be announced to graduate students enrolled in the graduate program.

 Questions may be directed to Tim Watson, director of Graduation Services, at (614) 247-7292.


Need help?

Contact staff members in the Graduate School using the staff directory, or call (614) 292-6031.

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