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New graduate student orientation

New Grad Students: Domestic | International | Health | Housing | Enroll & Fees | Orientation


We are excited to have you join the graduate programs in Materials Science and Engineering and Welding Engineering! Moving from an undergraduate environment to a graduate degree can be a big change. Add to that starting at a new school, and perhaps a move to a new city (or country!). It is our hope that the information below will help provide some reference points to help you settle in as a new Buckeye.

International students--Be sure to 1) check in with the Office of International Affairs (OIA) after your arrival in Columbus and 2) schedule an OIA orientation session. Please reference OIA communications for more details.

Primary point of contact: your faculty advisor

As an undergraduate student your primary point of contact was probably your Undergraduate Advisor. At the graduate level your faculty advisor is your primary point of contact. The faculty advisor serves as both the academic and research advisor. Questions about which courses to take and how to fashion the knowledge needed to advance your career begin with the faculty advisor. So too, mentoring in the research field is also overseen by the faculty advisor.

Expectations--Safety training, time off, ill time, work hours, office space, etc.
Please be sure to discuss with your advisor his/her expectations of your time. How much time should you spend per week in research? Work expectations during breaks? How do you take time off for vacation or illness? What safety training does your lab require and how do you get that training? Please have this conversation so there is no confusion later. 

Graduate Studies Coordinator--Mark Cooper
Mark Cooper
serves as the Graduate Studies Coordinator for both the MSE and WE graduate programs. At Ohio State the Grad Coordinator position assists with the admission of students and tracks their progress through to degree, a "bureaucratic guide". The faculty advisor provides mentorship for research and course choice, but the Grad Coordinator helps with meeting degree guidelines and examination requirements, deadlines for enrollment, graduation procedures, etc.

Department structure

Within The Ohio State University are 18 colleges and schools, one of which is The College of Engineering. Within the College of Engineering are 12 departments, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering being one. Two separate academic programs are available within the MSE department, Materials Science and Engineering and Welding Engineering. Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees are available in both tracks.

Thumbnail of MSE Org Chart

A few key Department faculty and staff members:

The Graduate School

While it is your responsibility to meet the MSE or WE Master's or PhD degree requirements, ultimately it is the Graduate School that grants your degree. Our graduate programs function within the larger context of the Graduate School and our students are responsible to adhere to the guidelines described in the Graduate School Handbook. Typically, though, a student will not interact often with the Graduate School. It is the Graduate Coordinator's responsibility to help students understand and meet various policies and deadlines required by the Graduate School.

The Graduate Coordinator is your "first line of bureaucracy" and the student's point of contact for questions about academic procedures and policies.


  • Graduate School Handbook--Please become familiar with the general information contained in the Handbook.
  • GradForms--The Graduate School does not use paper forms, but instead uses an online system called "GradForms". This system is used by the student to apply for Candidacy, final defense of the MS or PhD, petitioning, and other aspects of degree completion.

Degree requirements

Requirements for the graduate degrees offered in the department are available within the "Graduate" column under the "Academics" section of this site. Each requirements page also provides a PDF worksheet to help you plan and track your progress through the degree.

    GRA/GTA Employment Forms

    A member of our MSE-WE Human Resources Office will contact you to apply for a GRA position specific for you. After you apply you will be hired into the position and processing will begin to activate your GRA/GTA funding. Please respond to this "application" email as soon as possible to prevent funding delays.

    Once all required forms are submitted, we can proceed with the hiring; your data must be entered and processed in the system to activate your tuition funding and pay your monthly stipend.

    Retirement plan--Please be aware that you will be automatically, and irrevocably, enrolled in the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) if you do not opt-out within 30 days of your start date (more). By opting out, more of your stipend is paid to you.

    Contact: Please direct questions to Karlie Hall, the MSE-WE HR Officer (, 614-688-3279).

    • International students: a Social Security Number (SSN) will be required to complete employment paperwork. Hiring can initially proceed without the number, but you will be required to show your SSN card early in the semester after you receive your SSN card from the Social Security Administration. You will learn more about this at your OIA New Arrival Orientation.

    Stipend payments

    A student's stipend is paid on the last business day of the month (funds typically arrive in the student's account in the late evening of the Thursday before the last Friday of the month).

    Tuition & student fees

    Enrollment will generate tuition costs. “Tuition” is made up of a number of separate fees (see also and specifically “Explanation of Fees”). 

    GRA / University Fellowship funding provides payment of the academic and non-resident fees (1-5 below), as well as providing a monthly stipend on a 12-month basis. The total value of this funding can exceed $330,000 over the course of a Ph.D. degree.

    However, some student-based fees are not paid by the GRA / Fellow position and are the student’s responsibility each term (fees 6-10 & 11 below).

    1. Instructional Fee
    2. General Fee
    3. Learning Technology Fee
    4. Non-Ohio Resident Fee
    5. Health insurance premium (100%)
    6. Student Activity Fee: $37.50--helps pay for student events on campus
    7. Student Union Fee: $74.40--helps fund student union facilities and organizations
    8. Recreation Fee: $125.50--allows access to RPAC student athletic facilities (
    9. COTA Bus Service Fee: $13.50--access to Columbus bus system, COTA
    10. Student Legal Services (SLS) fee: $40 in AU for full year; $23 in SP for SP-SU; $6 in SU. (This fee is optional, but billed by default if you do not opt out)

    For students funded by a GRA or University Fellowship, fees 1 - 5 are paid by the GRA/Fellowship. Fees 6 - 10 & 11 are paid by the student. Fees 6 - 10 are summed and ¼ of the cost payroll-deducted from your stipend check during each of the four monthly checks in a semester. Total=approx. $250per term ($65/pay). The SLS fee is paid once per academic year as a separate payment.


    View more about how to enroll

    Information on the course enrollment process, how many credits in which to enroll, fees, and more.

    US citizens--You may enroll in classes. Please discuss with your advisor which courses to take then you may enroll as described at the link above.

    International students--You cannot enroll until you have completed your check-in with the Office of International Affairs (OIA). You are encouraged to talk with your advisor about the classes you should take, but you may only enroll after your OIA check-in.

    Transfer credit--Relevant graduate credit earned at another institution may be transferred to OSU to help meet degree requirements. More information is available at the Transfer Credit Procedures page. 

    BuckID--student ID card

    BuckID image

    How to obtain your BuckID
    Once enrolled, please schedule an appointment to get your student ID (called a “BuckID”) at University ID Card Services, room 3040 Ohio Union, 1739 N. High Street.

    More about how the BuckID is used around campus
    The BuckID grants access to a number of facilities and services around campus and Columbus.

    Facilities Access

    Your BuckID is the primary means of accessing buildings and labs, though some rooms require university-issued brass keys for entry. Given the dangers inherent with some of the lab spaces, proof of safety training may be required prior to granting access.

    Fontana Labs access: Please use this Key Card Access Request form to request card-swipe access to the MSE main campus building complex, Fontana Labs. This will allow you access to the building after-hours.

    CEMAS access: Please use the CEMAS User form.

    Welding Engineering access: Please complete the EJTC Key Card Access Request.

    Brass keys--Please complete this Brass Key Request form.

    Lab Safety

    Many aspects of research in our department are inherently dangerous. Please speak to your advisor about how to secure the training appropriate to his/her labs.

    General safety info--Please review the general laboratory safety information provided on our web site. Includes links to OSU's Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and online training modules. 

    Lab Safety Officers

    Important dates for Spring Term 2024

    Students are responsible to know and observe the registration and payment deadlines.

    Spring 2024 Academic Calendar
    1/8 First day of SP24
    1/12 1st Friday--Last day to make online changes to schedule, last day for 100% refund
    1/15 Martin Luther King Day observed--no classes, offices closed
    1/19 2nd Friday--Last day to enroll in a course—requires instructor permission; Mark Cooper must add the course (use this Add/Drop form)
    Last day for 75% refund
    Late registration fees will be assessed, see Registrar's calendar.

    4th Friday--Last day to drop a course with no record of it on transcript, check with Mark before close of business before dropping credits (use this Add/Drop form)
    Last day for 50% refund (no refunds after this date)

    3/11-15 Spring Break--no classes, office open
    3/22 10th Friday--Last day to drop a course; “W” on transcript (does not affect GPA)
    4/22 Last day of SP24 classes
    4/23 Reading Day
    4/24-30 Finals
    5/7 Start of SU24

    Helpful Ohio State websites

    List of helpful sites around Ohio State
    Just a few of the many resources around campus. Includes academic-related links, student life sites, healthcare & safety, and links to other useful information.

    Finally, a "quiz"!

    Please complete this "quiz" by the 2nd Friday of the term
    The link above will take you to a form we ask you to complete confirming that you have reviewed certain basic information. The links below reference the material we would like you to review. Since responses within the form cannot be saved, you may find it helpful to review this info prior to completing the form. Viewing this information and completing the yes/no questions on the form should take about 20-25 minutes.

    Thank you and welcome to The Ohio State University!



    Please contact Mark Cooper, MSE & WE Graduate Studies Coordinator

    • Phone: 614-292-7280
    • Email

    MSE Graduate Studies Committee Chair:
    Dr. Roberto Myers

    WE Graduate Studies Committee Chair:
    Dr. Boian Alexandrov

    To Do Items...

    The Graduate School

    Campus Map
    See also the "Map" link at the top of all OSU web sites.

    City of Columbus & State of Ohio

    Basic information about the city within which OSU resides, as well as links to information about the State of Ohio.

    Helpful OSU websites

    A collection of just a few of the many sites around campus.

    RUOK? Buckeyes -- Suicide Prevention

    RUOK? Buckeyes is an anonymous interactive screening program designed to identify students at-risk of suicide and encourage them to get help.