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Domestic students

For our domestic students--in other words US citizens who have been admitted to the MSE or WE graduate degree programs--you may arrive on campus as early as you wish. 

Arrival dates

For those of our MSE or WE students funded by a GRA or Fellowship, there is an arrival process required that must be completed before the student may enroll in any credits. For the term listed, please arrive by the date below to assure that your funding is in place to pay tuition costs and provide you a monthly stipend.

Term GRA Arrive by Term starts
Autumn 2019 8/1/19 8/20/19
Spring 2020 12/1/19 1/6/20

Please note:

  • If arrival by the given date is impossible, please contact Mark Cooper immediately.
  • A student funded by a GRA should not enroll in any credits until s/he has been informed that funding is active.

Prior to arrival, please schedule a department orientation with Mark Cooper, Graduate Studies Coordinator. Orientations are 30-45 minutes in length and overview important department and graduate studies matters.

Three key items should be addressed prior to arriving on campus, 1) accept admission, 2) OSU account activation, and 3) securing temporary and long-term housing.

Accept admission

By way of your OSU application account, please follow the "Accept/Decline" link to formally accept admission.

Please understand: acceptance of admission implies adherence to the university's Code of Student Conduct and an understanding of academic misconduct and its consequences.

Activate your OSU internet account

Before arriving, you may activate your OSU internet account. An e-mail/internet account is provided to all OSU students. The user name and password you establish for this account will permit on-line access to such things as course scheduling, grades, course web sites, and other important web-based resources provided by the university.

To activate your account, please go to the following web site:

  • Click "Activate Now!" and follow the activation process. Associated with your application account should be an OSU user name in the form of "lastname.###" (such as "cooper.73")
  • Be sure to note your OSU username and the password you established. These items will allow you to register for classes, check grades, etc.

If you are unable to activate your account from off campus, that is not a problem. Upon your arrival on campus you may use one of the public computing sites to activate your account.


It is strongly recommended that you secure housing, both temporary and long term, prior to your arrival on campus. For further information about the options available, please see the "Housing" page of this site.


MSE - WE orientation

All new MSE and WE students are to schedule an orientation session with Mark Cooper, MSE/WE Graduate Studies Coordinator (contact info above). These orientations are held in room 5027 Smith Labs, 174 W. 18th Ave. between the hours of 9:00 am to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. The session provides information about the MSE dept. and your graduate program, including:

  • registration for GRA employment,
  • establishing a dept. e-mail account & dept. mailbox,
  • health insurance & OSU ID card,
  • enrolling in classes,
  • other general details

Smith Labs location

Graduate School orientation

The Graduate School and the Council of Graduate Students will host a university-wide orientation for all new graduate students (i.e., Spring, Summer, and Autumn arrivals). This orientation will be held on the Monday before the start of Autumn term classes, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This orientation is a very valuable introduction to the services provided by the Graduate School, the Graduate Student Council, and various offices across campus.

Research group

Further orientation concerning office & lab space, work expectations, safety issues and more will be provided by your advisor.

Finding an advisor

We do not assign students to advisors. Rather, upon arrival in the department, new students are to meet with the faculty who have GRA openings. This process permits both the faculty and the incoming students a chance to meet and discuss matters of research interests, goals, and expectations. We prefer to have the students and professors work together by mutual agreement whenever possible.

Please note that your areas of interest may not exactly match the GRA openings available. Since the GRA position is often funded by government and/or industrial monies, the scope of one's research must be largely focused on the issue for which the funding was provided.

Registering for Courses

Students funded by a GRA: DO NOT register for any credits until your GRA funding has been activated. Students funded by a GRA position must complete employment forms before the GRA funding will be available. Please do not enroll in any credits until you have been told that the funding is in place. 

Before registering for classes, you must first discuss with your advisor which graded courses you should take. Graduate level courses are rarely closed, so you will not be shut out of a class due to late arrival.

After establishing which courses you will take, students use the OSU Registrar's on-line registration system (BuckeyeLink) to enroll in classes--see "Course enrollment" page for further information.



As regards finances, please note that if you were offered a Graduate Research Associate (GRA) position, you can not be paid until the start of your term of admission.

You will be responsible to supply your own funds from the date you arrive until you receive your first paycheck from the university (approximately FIVE WEEKS AFTER the start of your term of admission due to check processing time). Some additional expenses you may wish to keep in mind:

  • deposits and rent for housing (1-2 months' worth of rent),
  • misc. student fees (roughly $450 per term)
  • entertainment, etc.

Note: If you arrive on campus long before the start of your term of admission, you may face a difficult financial situation in terms of paying for lodging, meals, and recreation.

Health insurance

All domestic students are automatically enrolled in the OSU Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) upon course enrollment. Further information about this health coverage is found on the "Health & Medical" page of this site.