Application FAQs


Please read the instructions at "Apply to Chemistry Ph.D Program" before beginning the application process. Consult our TIMELINE for additional help navigating our application process.

**Applicants can check their application status and should do so before e-mailing the Admissions Coordinator with application status questions. During the peak of the admissions season (mid-November through mid-January), please allow several days for materials to post on your individual application status page.**


The page was updated on August 5, 2019 and is relevant to applicants seeking admission for Autumn 2020. There is no opportunity for Spring Semester or Summer Semester entry into the PhD program in Chemistry. Applicants must read the application instructions on "Apply to Chemistry Ph.D Program"  prior to beginning the application process. Questions about our graduate program and the application process should be submitted by e-mail to

  1. When is the application deadline?
    December 15th, 2019
  2. What if I can't complete my application by the deadline?
    Required materials should only be submitted late due to extenuating circumstances. If you need to request permission for late submission of a required application item, please e-mail Nick Rodgers, Graduate Admissions Coordinator, well in advance of the December 15th deadline. As a general rule, late applications are not accepted.
  3. What is the application fee?
    The application fee is $50. Application fee waivers may be granted for a limited number of domestic (US citizens and permanent residents) applicants. Please click here for more information.
  4. What are the required application materials?
    The required materials are the online application, a resume/CV, a personal statement, transcripts, GRE scores, TOEFL or IELTS scores (non-US citizens whose native language is not English and who have not received a degree from a US college or university) and three letters of recommendation.
    Complete instructions on how to submit these materials are available here.
  5. Do I have to wait to submit the online application until I'm ready to submit all of the other required application materials?
    No! In fact, it is a good idea to submit the online application as soon as possible and then use the Admissions Uploader to upload your personal statement, CV, and transcripts if you do not have those ready at the time you submit your application. All required components of the application must be submitted by or on December 15th. See our timeline for applying for more details.
  6. What are the minimum GRE, TOEFL, and GPA scores required for application eligibility?
    The Department of Chemistry does not set minima for the GRE and upholds the Graduate School's minimum requirement for both GPA and TOEFL.
    The Chemistry program does not consider GRE general exam scores in admission decisions, but it does require GRE scores for funding purposes (such as, to nominate students for fellowships).  The average GRE scores for the cohort of students who were offered admission to our program for Autumn 2019 are as follows:

    Quant - 74th percentile
    Verbal - 66th percentile
    Writing - 56th percentile

    The Graduate School requires applicants to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0/4.0 or above in order to be admitted to OSU. The Admissions Committee bases its recommendations for admission on a wide variety of factors, including, but not limited to, grades in core and divisional chemistry classes, other evidence of academic ability, research experience, publications and presentations, oral and written communication skills, and letters of recommendation.  We are also very interested in evidence of perseverence, independence, involvement, and well-developed goals.

    The Graduate School at Ohio State requires international student applicants to achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 79 (IBT) or 550 (PBT) or a minimum score of 7.0 on the IELTS.  Chemistry graduate students are required to demonstrate sufficient spoken English language competency to be able to act as a Teaching Assistant (see the requirements at the OSU ESL web site).  Competitive applicants will generally have TOEFL IBT total scores of 100 or higher and speaking scores of 22 or higher, or IETLS score of 7.5 or higher (total and speaking).

    Please do not call or email the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry to ask if your scores are high enough for admission. We cannot answer questions about admissions qualifications until your entire application has been submitted and evaluated by the Admissions Committee.
  7. I took the IELTS and not the TOEFL. Can I submit those scores?
    Yes. However, it is preferred that applicants submit scores for the TOEFL.
  8. Can I send photocopies of GRE and TOEFL or IELTS score reports?
    No. The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry requires all applicants to have ETS submit official GRE and TOEFL scores to OSU. Please plan accordingly when requesting score reports so that ETS has enough time to report your scores before the December 15th deadline. If you are submitting scores for the IELTS, those scores must be officially reported to OSU by IELTS by or on December 15th. 
    GRE Institutional Code Ohio State University: 1592. The department code is 0301.
    TOEFL Institutional Code Ohio State University: 1592. The department code is 62.
  9. I am not happy with my GRE/TOEFL/IELTS scores. Can you let me know if I qualify for admission or whether I should take the test again?
    Applicants are kindly asked not to e-mail to request an evaluation of your test scores or to inquire as to the probability of your being offered admission based on those scores.

    The average GRE scores obtained by those offered admission to our program are listed above. Our Admissions Committee does not consider the GRE general exam for admissions purposes, but it does require them for possible funding (e.g., fellowships). If you are concerned that your GRE scores are not sufficient, then you could consider taking the test again, but all applications will be evaluated with the applicant's most recent set of official GRE scores that have been reported to OSU as of December 15, 2019.

    A TOEFL score of 79 IBT or 550 PBT is REQUIRED for admission to OSU. Applicants who are submitting scores for the IELTS are required to earn a 7.0 on that test in order to be eligible to apply. Applicants who have a total TOEFL score of 100 or greater and a speaking section score of 22 or greater will be most competitive. An IELTS score of 7.5 will also be most competitive. Applications will be reviewed with the most recent set of scores (not the highest set of scores) that have been reported to us by the December 15th application deadline. 
  10. I took the GRE and/or TOEFL a long time ago; can I still submit those scores?
    GRE scores expire after five years and TOEFL scores expire after two years. It is impossible for us to verify scores for these exams once the scores have expired. Please be certain that your scores are still valid at the time you submit your application, otherwise you will be required to retake the exam(s) in order to complete your application to The Ohio State University.
    Unless a student is self-supporting or is sponsored by a government, military, or other scholarship program, he/she will be funded by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The tuition will be paid and the student will be awarded a stipend for their work as a Teaching Associate (TA) or Research Associate (RA). The stipend for TAs is currently $2,300/month (before taxes and other deductions). The stipend for an RA is determined by individual research advisors. Unless awarded a University Fellowship (very few of these awards are given), first-year graduate students are typically appointed as TAs. The stipend for first-year international students will be dependent on whether English certification is obtained (by passing OSU’s Oral Proficiency Assessment) prior to Autumn 2019.

    Although the stipend is sufficient to live comfortably in Columbus, some students wish to supplement their incoming with additional financial aid. More information about financial aid is available.

    The cost of living in Columbus may be found online. Enter $27,600 (current total yearly TA salary) as your annual income, enter your current location, then enter “Columbus, Ohio” as the destination city.
  12. Is health insurance available?
    Ohio State requires all students to maintain enrollment in a health insurance program. Some graduate students may be able to stay on their parents’ policy, but for others, Student Health Insurance (SHI) is available. For 2019-2020, the university will subsidize 85% of the cost of health insurance for funded graduate students. For students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the remaining amount will be deducted from their paychecks at a monthly rate of approximately $40 for an individual. For more information on Student Health Insurance, please go to as the figures listed above are estimates and are based on coverage for a student with no dependents and who is not an international student.
  13. After my application is received, how long will it be before I am notified of the decision?
    Decisions will begin being reported to students by the end of January, but the decision-making process might not be finalized nor decisions reported until as late as mid-March 2020. All students offered admission will be notified by e-mail. Students declined admission will see their status change from "applicant" or "pending" to "cancelled" on their individual application status page.
  14. How do I notify the program of my decision regarding my offer of admission? 
    The Department of Chemistry requires all students who have been offered admission to notify us of their decision regarding the offer by April 15, 2020. Applicants should send an e-mail to to notify Jennifer Hambach, Graduate Admissions Coordinator, of their respective decisions. Each applicant who declines their respective offer is asked to inform us as to which institution they plan to attend.
  15. I am currently a graduate student at another university in the united states. Can I be accepted into your program as a transfer student?
    Under the following conditions, the Department of Chemistry will accept applications from students who want to transfer:
    1. The applicant must submit a statement regarding their reason for requesting the transfer
    2. The applicant’s advisor must submit a letter of recommendation for the applicant to the Department of Chemistry
    3. The Chair/Director of the applicant’s current graduate program agrees to dismiss the student to OSU, if the applicant is offered admission
    4. Only applicants in good academic standing (cumulative undergrad and grad GPA of 3.0 or greater and are not being asked to leave the program for academic reasons) will be considered for admission.
  16. I want to study with a specific professor. Can I be admitted directly into his/her research group?
    The Department of Chemistry does not admit students directly into research groups. Advisor selection begins in Autumn Semester during a student’s first year in our program. At that time, you may specify that you wish to join a particular research group, but you cannot do so at the time of application, offer of admission, or enrollment.

All other questions can be e-mailed to

Helpful Links:
CIC FreeApp
OSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion
The Ohio State University Graduate School
OSU Graduate Admissions
OSU College of Arts and Sciences

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