Graduate Program FAQ’s

How do I apply to the International Studies Master’s Program?

Application to the Master of Science program in International Studies is made through a central online application process administered by the Oklahoma State University Graduate College. To apply, click HERE or go to

Once on the site, follow the directions to create your account. Then, once you begin the application process, specify the MS program in International Studies. Upon completion, your application will be processed by the Graduate College and forwarded to the International Studies program for consideration.

What do I do after I submit my application materials?

You can check the status of your materials by logging into you online application. Once logged in, you can see what materials have been received and processed. You can also re-send notifications to your recommenders to remind them of the procedure for submitting letters.

When are the deadlines for admission to the International Studies Graduate Program?

The School of International Studies has floating deadlines for Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. The priority deadline is November 1st for Spring and June 1st for Fall. Applying by the priority deadline will allow you to receive priority consideration for Graduate Assistantships available for your term.

What are the English Proficiency Requirements?

The School of International Studies does not have separate departmental English Proficiency Requirements. Below are the English Language Requirements for admission to the OSU Graduate College as of July 2014:

“All persons for whom English is a second language are required to present proof of English competency. However, an applicant who has or will have completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree from a college or university where English is the primary teaching language, and which is located in a country where English is a primary language, is not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.

If required, an official TOEFL score of 79 (internet based test) or 550 (paper based test) is required to be submitted. The TOEFL institution code for OSU is 6546.

Alternatively, an official IELTS, academic stream, examination with a minimum overall band score of 6.5 will satisfy the English proficiency requirements for admission to a graduate program. Either examination must have been taken within the last two years.”

Up-to-date information on the OSU Graduate College’s English Language requirements can be found at under the “International Applicants” tab.

Do I need to submit GRE/GMAT scores?

Yes, all entering students are required to take either the GRE or the GMAT.

What is the Foreign Language Requirement?

The Foreign Language Requirement was designed to ensure that all students who graduate from the School of International Studies Graduate Programs have been exposed to an international culture other than their own through the language of that culture.

In order to fulfill the foreign language requirement, native speakers of English must have accomplished one of the following:

  1. Complete 15 semester hours of a second language or five semester hours of intermediate or advanced modern foreign language courses with a minimum grade of C.
  2. Obtain an Intermediate level rating on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). For more information on the OPI, see the website at

This requirement must be completed prior to graduation from the School of International Studies Graduate Program. Language courses may be completed at OSU or outside institutions during your time in the program. We also accept previous coursework in foreign language, but may ask for proof of completion.

Note: No waivers of foreign language requirement will be permitted, and the 15 hours of language courses cannot be counted toward the 33hrs necessary to complete the Master’s degree.

What is the International Experience Requirement?

Students from the U.S. must have an international experience to qualify for the M.S. in International Studies degree. The time outside the US must be a minimum of 3 to 6 weeks, involve a structured program of coursework or internship and have occurred during the student’s undergraduate or graduate programs. Due to the great variety of opportunities, the experience must be approved by the Director.

What is the Research Design and Methods Requirement?

All students are normally required to complete a course in research design and method. This requirement may be adjusted or waived at the discretion of the program director depending upon the background of an individual student. Appropriate courses include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:

Research Design/Methods (one of the following; appropriate substitutions are subject to approval by program director):

  • REMS 5013 Research Design & Methodology
  • SOC 5273 Qualitative Research Methods
  • STAT 5013 Statistics for Experimenters I
  • POLS 5103 Research Design
  • SCFD 5913 Introduction to Qualitative Inquiry

Students with appropriate backgrounds may usually substitute more advanced methods courses to fulfill this requirement, subject to the approval of the program director.

International students may also wish to consider ENG 4893 -- Research Writing for International Graduate Students.

Where is the School of International Studies (SIS) program office?

The School of International Studies Academic Programs office is located on the second floor of the Wes Watkins Center (WWC) in room 204. The Wes Watkins Center is Building R-6 on the OSU Campus map:

Can I visit the OSU Campus?

Because so many prospective students to the School of International Studies live outside of the United States, students are not required or expected to visit prior to enrollment. Students who would like to visit the School of International Studies to learn more about the master’s program may do so by appointment. If you would like to visit, email We would love to meet you and show you around our beautiful campus!

Does the Graduate Program have a student organization?

Yes! Student Association of Global Affairs (SAGA) is an organization for School of International Studies master’s degree students. All International Studies M.S. Students are automatically members, and there are no dues. The goal of the organization is to create a community that complements students’ classroom activities and connect them with SIS alumni. To get involved, email

What courses will be offered for the Spring 2015 semester?

A list of courses that meet core course and/or focus area course requirements can be found here. Please note that this list is a snapshot of the courses available to students as of September 15, 2014. Please view Student Self-Service (SIS) for the most up-to-date list of available courses.

What is the Plan of Study?

A plan of study lists graduate courses taken, currently enrolled in, and planned for the graduate degree. The original Plan of Study must be submitted to the Graduate College prior to the completion of the second semester (excluding summer sessions) of enrollment for a Master’s degree. Graduate College will not permit further enrollment until this requirement has been met. The Plan of Study is done online through the Graduate College. The student portal can be found here: The Grad College also has an FAQ page completely dedicated to the Plan of Study:

What must I do to be eligible to graduate?

The Process:

  • Double check your Plan of Study. (Does it match your official transcript?)
  • Make corrections to your Plan of Study and resubmit it through the online system.*
  • File the Graduate Clearance Form*
  • Attend thesis format review workshop (thesis option only).*
  • Submit to the Graduate College the “Thesis/Dissertation Oral Defense Results” form (thesis option only)*
  • Complete online submission of thesis (thesis option only)*
  • Turn in Diploma Application to the Registrar by University deadline.*
  • Get a cap, gown, and hood.

*Follow all pertinent dates on the Academic Calendar at the beginning of this manual.

You must submit a Diploma Application and Graduate Clearance Form to be eligible to graduate (

To submit your diploma application, login to SIS and select the 'Diploma Application' option located under the 'Student Records' menu. You should file the diploma application for the semester in which you plan to complete all degree requirements. Diploma applications will be accepted until Friday of finals week for the semester. If you would like your name to appear in the commencement ceremony program, your diploma application must be submitted by April 1 (for spring and summer graduates) or November 1 (for fall graduates). For more information, visit the Steps to Graduation page on the Registrar website.

Students should submit a signed and completed Graduation Clearance Form to the Graduate College (202 Whitehurst). This requires a meeting with the advisor to ensure that all requirements will be met by the various deadlines. At this time, a student and their advisor should ensure that the plan of study is accurate and all courses on that plan are reflected on the student’s transcript. In order to address any enrollment-related issues that might arise, students are strongly advised to complete this form early in their final semester.

International students are also required to submit a final semester verification form. The International Students and Scholars (ISS) office is required to report the enrollment status of all international students via the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). At Oklahoma State University, full-time enrollment status for graduate students is defined as 9 semester hours for students with no assistantship or with an assistantship less than 0.50 FTE (20 hours per week), or 6 semester hours for students with an 0.50 FTE. However, in the final semester of study, students may be permitted to enroll in a course of study that is less than full-time (but is still subject to any requirements of their graduate assistantship). Hence it is essential to verify that an international student desiring to be enrolled less than full-time is indeed entering their final semester. requirements of their graduate assistantship). Hence it is essential to verify that an international student desiring to be enrolled less than full-time is indeed entering their final semester.

Are there Graduate Assistantships or other opportunities for financial support?

The program has a limited number of graduate assistantships to award; therefore, these assistantships are highly competitive. Multiple factors are considered, including academic merit, leadership and activities, contributions to the graduate program, and financial situation. Due to these factors, our graduate assistantships are typically given to continuing students in our program. However, if you indicate your interest in the appropriate place on your application you will be automatically considered for any opening. Our assistantships are half-time -- essentially a 20 hour per week job in addition to your coursework and other activities. They pay a modest stipend and cover all tuition expenses (but not university fees). Additional information on opportunities for financial assistance may be found on the OSU Graduate college website ( under the “Financing a Graduate Degree” link.

What is the employment outlook for student graduating from the School of International Studies?

School of International Studies graduates go on to work in a variety of different fields ranging from business to international developmental work to national defense. Below are a few of the companies for which our alumni have had the opportunity to work.

  • Baker Hughes
  • Boeing
  • County of San Diego
  • General Electric
  • Global Fund for Women
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Host Analytics
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • US Department of Defense
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Wal-Mart Corporate Office
  • Collaboration Engine Enterprise

Please email us to get more information about the employment opportunities that have been available to our alumni.

Are School of International Studies (SIS) graduate students able to study abroad as part of the M.S. Program?

Yes, there are many opportunities for SIS students to study abroad. The first is through short term faculty-led study abroad programs offered by the Colleges. For more information on these programs, please go to

Another opportunity to study abroad is through the UPAEP-OSU dual degree master’s program. This program always you to get a Master’s of Science degree from OSU as well as a related master’s degree from UPAEP in Puebla, Mexico. For more information on this opportunity, visit the dedicated page on our website.

The OSU Study Abroad office also has opportunities available for graduate students. If you have a study abroad opportunity that you believe would be a good fit with our program, please contact us. Academic credit can be offered for qualifying study abroad experiences, subject to SIS coursework and the approval of the Director.