The primary form of financial assistance provided to our full-time, on-campus students comes in the form of a Graduate Research Associateship (GRA).
The general policy of both Graduate Studies Committees (MSE & WE) is to limit the number of full-time, on-campus admissions for a given quarter to the number available GRA positions in that quarter.
- The MSE program tends to have 10-20 GRA positions in Autumn; 0-3 each in Winter, Spring, and Summer.
- The WE program tends to have 2-6 GRA positions in the Autumn; 0-3 each in Winter, Spring, and Summer.
Faculty research needs determine the number of GRA positions available for a quarter. Based on this estimated need, offers of admission are made until that number of positions has been filled. It is rare that applicants are admitted without an accompanying GRA position; i.e.,as a matter of policy, we do not admit students who would pay for their schooling out of personal/family funds.
Our goal with this policy is twofold. First, we want our students focused on their studies and research work, not on how they will be paying for school. Second, a typical thesis or dissertation in a field such as MSE or WE requires considerable time spent in the lab analyzing materials and using various characterization equipment. The research costs involved in purchasing, preparing, and analyzing a material can be considerable. Students funded by a GRA position are not required to cover any such costs, as these are paid for by the research project.
Company or government-sponsored applicants: Applicants whose academic and research costs will be covered by a third-party (such as an employer or scholarship-granting entity) may qualify for partial financial support. Please e-mail the MSE-WE Graduate Studies Coordinator ;for further details. You will be asked to provide a statement detailing what costs are covered by the scholarship.
[Note: Our department does not employ Graduate Teaching Associates--a.k.a. "TA's"--nor does it employ Graduate Administrative Associates, GAA's.]
Graduate Research Associateship (GRA)
A graduate student’s principal objective is to earn a graduate degree. Appointment as a GRA contributes to that objective by providing an apprenticeship experience along with financial support.
Typically, admitted students will be awarded a GRA position to fund the costs of the degree. All applicants are considered for any available GRA positions. To be considered for a GRA, simply complete the OSU Graduate School application and submit all necessary documents. Our department will consider your application for any GRA positions available in the quarter for which you apply. Thus deadlines for GRA consideration are the same as those for application.
A large majority (90+%) of students accepted into our on-campus graduate programs are supported by a GRA. The GRA position provides the student with:
- 100% coverage of tuition costs and academic fees during all quarters of enrollment.
- Base annual stipends starting at $1,650/month (paid on a twelve-month basis). This stipend, in light of the reasonable cost of living in Columbus, allows the student to focus on academics and research.
- Payment of 85% of health insurance premiums.
- Payment of a quarterly computer lab fee. This permits the student access to some of the best computing facilities and equipment on campus.
- Payment of all research costs, plus the opportunity for travel to conferences.
- The total value of this package can be nearly $60,000 per year.
- View current GRA openings
The tuition waiver covers the costs of a full-time class load; students who hold a GRA position are not responsible for paying tuition costs. A full class load typically consists of at least 10 graduate credit hours per quarter of academic course work (about two to three courses) plus credit hours of research time during each of four quarters per year. Please note that the student is responsible for the cost of books, academic supplies, partial payment of health insurance premiums, parking permits, housing, etc.
As part of the GRA agreement, the student agrees to assist his/her advisor with research work. This commitment comes to, on average, approximately 20 hours per week, though this may vary from time to time.
Please note: Since research carried out for a government and/or industrial organization is usually focused on a topic of concern to the funding source, we cannot guarantee that a student's area of interest will always match the available GRA positions for a given quarter.
All applicants seeking Fellowship nomination are automatically considered for admission into our program with GRA support, even if they do not win a Fellowship.
The university offers a number of highly competitive Graduate Fellowships to its top applicants. These prestigious awards provide recipients with paid tuition, an ample stipend, and a great deal of flexibility when pursuing a research topic for the Master's or Ph.D. dissertation. Fellowships are awarded once per year (March), but may begin during any of the quarters in a calendar year.
All eligible applicants are automatically considered for nomination to receive a University Fellowship. Completion of the OSU Graduate School application form and submission of all necessary documents by the specified deadline is all that is required for consideration.
Fellowship consideration deadlines
The OSU Admissions Office must be in receipt of all application documents by the date listed below for an applicant to be considered for University Fellowship nomination. To be considered, applicants must submit all required documents by the specified University Fellowship deadlines of:
International applicants: November 30, 2011*
US citizens: January 15, 2012
*International applicants: the November 30 "deadline" is strongly suggested, but items received after this date will be added to your application. This early submission date is encouraged so that if there is a problem or delay in receiving a document there will be sufficient time to address the issue before nominations are made.
We will begin evaluating complete applications for Fellowship nomination at the end of January. Nominations are made in February and Fellowship nominees will be notified in mid-March of their status and the outcome of the award competition.
Note: All applicants seeking Fellowship nomination are also automatically considered for admission into our program as Graduate Research Associates (GRA), even if they do not win a Fellowship.
Company or government-funded applicants
Applicants funded by a company or government organization--supplying sufficient levels of funding--are encouraged to apply. If the applicant meets the academic requirements for admission and provides proof of funding, s/he may be admitted, regardless of the number of GRA positions available for a given quarter. Such students should e-mail the MSE-WE graduate program (or call 614-292-7280) for further details.
As a matter of policy, we do not admit students who would pay for their schooling out of personal/family funds.
Other forms of aid
Our students are encouraged to pursue merit-based scholarships and fellowships. The student's faculty advisor can assist in locating and applying for these awards.
Office of Student Financial Aid
OSU Office of Student financial
Information on Short-Term and Long-Term University Loans, as well as Federal Direct Loans, is available at the Office of Student Financial Aid. The FAFSA must be filed if the student wishes to be considered for Federal Direct Loans and University Loans. File the Application for Special Scholarships to be considered for any special-eligibility scholarships. These applications are available after January 1 and must be completed and submitted by February 15 for consideration for scholarships. Although you may not be informed of your admission decision prior to the financial aid priority deadline, you should, however, still apply for financial aid by that priority deadline.
Note: As stated, the MSE-WE graduate programs do not admit full-time, on-campus applicants who are self-funded. The student loan information above is provided for part-time or domestic full-time students seeking to supplement their funding.