Application FAQs

Please read the instructions at "Apply to Chemistry Ph.D Program" before beginning the application process. Consult ourTIMELINE [pdf] 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 June 21, 2016 and is relevant to applicants seeking admission for Autumn 2017. 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 15, 2016
  2. What if I can't complete my application by the deadline?
    Required materials should only be submitted late due to extenuating circumstances and not due to poor planning or procrastination. If you need to request permission for late submission of a required application item, please e-mail Jennifer Hambach (, 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 fee waivers [pdf].
  4. What are the required application materials?
    The required materials are the online application (please note that OSU's application is no longer hosted by CollegeNet/ApplyWeb), a resume/CV, a personal statement, transcripts, GRE scores, TOEFL 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. 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 the TOEFL and GPA. The Graduate School at Ohio State requires international student applicants to achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 79 (IBT) or 550 (PBT). The average GRE scores for the cohort of students who were offered admission to our program for Autumn 2016 are as follows:
    Quant - 76th percentile
    Verbal - 60th percentile
    Writing - 49th percentile
    The Graduate School also 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, test scores, grade point average, research experience, and letters of recommendation. 
    Please do NOT call or email the Department of Chemistry 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.

  6. Can I send photocopies of GRE and TOEFL score reports?
    No. The Department of Chemistry requires all applicants to have ETS submit official 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. 
    GRE Institutional Code Ohio State University: 1592. The department code is 0301.
    TOEFL Institutional Code Ohio State University: 1592. The department code is 62.

  7. I am not happy with my GRE and/or TOEFL 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 GRE or TOEFL 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 make decisions based solely on standardized test scores. 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, 2016.

    A TOEFL score of 79 IBT or 550 PBT is REQUIRED for admission to OSU. Applicants who meet the minimum total score requirement and who have a speaking section score of 20 or greater will be the 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. 
  8. 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.
  9. Can the (GPA, TOEFL, transcript, et al) requirement be waived for me?
    TOEFL scores are required for any applicant who is not a US-citizen or who has not been a US permanent resident for two years and who has not received a degree from a US college or university. In addition, TOEFL scores expire after two years. If you took the TOEFL more than two years ago, please contact ETS to inquire as to whether they can verify your scores and report them to OSU. If not, you will need to retake the exam.
    The GRE cannot be waived for any applicant. It is a crucial mechanism our Admissions Committee uses to evaluate applications. In addition, GRE scores expire after five years. If you took the GRE more than five years ago, please contact ETS to inquire as to whether they can verify your scores and report them to OSU. If not, you will need to retake the exam.
    Transcripts: It is not possible to waive the official transcript requirement. Photocopies of original transcripts from all schools the applicant attended and earned a GPA must be uploaded along with the online application. Transfer credit shown on another transcript will not count toward the completion of the transcript requirement from the school at which the classes were taken.

    GPA: The GPA requirement (3.0/4.0 or equivalent on an alternate scale (10 point, 100 point, et al)) cannot be waived for any student.
    Letters of recommendation: All students must submit three (3) letters of recommendation. It is highly recommended that one of these be from the student’s research advisor or from someone who can attest to his/her research capabilities. Letters must be submitted electronically.

  10. I took the IELTS and not the TOEFL. Can I submit those scores?
    Our Admissions Committee requires applicants to submit scores for the TOEFL. IELTS scores will not count toward the completion of an application. 
    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 2017.
    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 2016-2017, 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 $30 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 recieved, 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 2017. All students offered admission will be notified by e-mail. Students declined admission will see their status change from "applicant" 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, 2017. 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 particular profressor. 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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