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.



  • A student, together with his or her advisor, may choose to identify an area of graduate specialization. The student forwards a request to the local graduate studies committee.
  • Areas of graduate specialization must be chosen from a list of approved specializations for the graduate program in which the student is enrolled.
  • If the graduate studies committee approves the student's request, the committee forwards the request, together with notice of approval, to the Graduate School.
  • Upon the student's graduation, the Graduate School posts the area of graduate specialization on the permanent record in addition to the name of the graduate program.
    Example: Psychology
    Specialization in Counseling Psychology
  • 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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