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Travel and lodging

The best way to evaluate a grad program is to visit, but that can get expensive. Let us help!

Details on reimbursement levels and procedures are provided on this page.


Visit reimbursement

How much assistance?

Financial assistance to reimburse visit costs is available to qualified visitors. Guests will be informed of a maximum reimbursement amount to be provided by the MSE department. Qualifying travel expenses will be reimbursed, up to the stated maximum.

  • Costs that qualify for reimbursement include reasonable air fare, taxi fees, parking costs, tolls, and fuel needed to attend and return (we do not provide "mileage"). Car rental to drive to and from the Overview--from a home address outside of the Columbus area--may be reimbursed if rented using the OSU prefered vendors (more below).
  • Costs that do not qualify include travel cancellation insurance, charges made to a room, meal costs/per diem, checked bags, car rental through a non-OSU approved vendor, mileage, excessive fees paid for air fare and/or fuel, and additional charges (room service, pay-per-view, etc.) made to the hotel room.

Reimbursement steps:

Register for the Overview

Reserve your spot at the Overview using our on-line form. A preliminary reimbursement amount will be determined based on this registration. We'll review your information and provide a maximum reimbursement amount within three business days.

  • Priority for travel funds will be given to US citizens in the final year of their degree program with GPA's of 3.50/4.0 or greater.

Submit Pre-Trip Worksheet three weeks prior

We will be happy to reimburse reasonable travel expenses associated with your visit, up to the limit provided. Our department follows the OSU Travel Policy (view policy, PDF). On the whole, this policy seeks to reimburse the "lowest reasonable" travel expenses incurred by our guests. Thus the reimbursement amount will match the most cost effective method of travel (airfare, rental car, personal auto).

Apply to OSU (required for reimbursement)

If you have not done so already, complete an on-line application for admission to Ohio State. Reimbursement funds cannot be released until an application is on record with the OSU Admissions Office. Go to our Application Requirements page for complete instructions.

  • Please note that our guests are not required to apply to Ohio State in order to attend our Grad Program Overview; guests are free to visit and not apply to OSU. However, before we release the reimbursement funds mentioned above we ask that you submit an on-line application and payment of the application fee to the OSU Admissions Office.

Following your visit

Please keep all receipts pertaining to your visit expenses (in particular, airline ticket receipts, boarding passes, taxi fares, gasoline receipts, toll road and parking fees, and lodging statements).

Upon your return home, please download and complete the necessary Post-Travel forms found on the MSE department Travel page of our site--see "Step 2" on the Travel page.

  • These completed forms, along with original hard-copy receipts, are required to begin processing travel reimbursement. This information should be submitted no later than 30 days after the travel dates. These completed forms, along with original receipts, are required to begin processing travel reimbursement (this is a university-wide requirement). Please be sure to make a copy of your receipts for your records.

Please mail the forms and receipts to me at the department address below by Friday, April 10, 2020.

Mark Cooper
177 Watts Hall
2041 College Rd.
Columbus, OH 43210



  • Reimbursement will only be provided to guests who attend the entire event (i.e., both days). The purpose of the event is provide guests with an overview of the graduate programs in MSE & WE. Thus absence from a significant portion of the event hinders the guest's full understanding of our program.
  • Travel cancellation insurance. The MSE department will not reimburse a guest for travel expenses if s/he is unable to attend the Overview due to a canceled flight and/or poor weather. Travel cancellation insurance can be purchased for a relatively low cost. Please note, though, that this expense will not be reimbursed by our department as it is an optional expense.
  • Reimbursement will not be provided if the guest misses the event due to illness.
  • Reimbursement for Economy class seating only. The university's policy is to reimburse guests for "Economy" class airfare seating. Seating that is Economy Plus, Business, or First Class will not be reimbursed.
  • The purpose of reimbursement is simply to aid in off-setting the financial burden of your travel. The university takes a very close look at the receipts submitted and evaluates what expenses were required to get a guest to and from the event; amounts beyond those deemed necessary to attend will not be approved.
  • Your reimbursement request must be received by Friday, April 10, 2020. Reimbursement requests received after this date may be refused. While we will make every effort to speed the reimbursement process, this can be a somewhat lengthy procedure. Following submission of all documentation your reimbursement check should be mailed to you in 2-4 weeks.

Air Travel

Reimbursement of "lowest reasonable" travel expenses is permitted by the university. If you are within a reasonable driving distance of OSU, we encourage you to drive rather than fly to the Overview. Put another way, if it is less expensive to drive than to fly, the reimbursement will be the lower of the two amounts. Reimbursement for fuel costs and tolls is available for qualifying guests. Further driving information is given below.

Reimbursement for Economy class seating only. The university's policy is to reimburse guests for "Economy" class seating. Seating that is Economy Plus, Business, or First Class will not be reimbursed.

A number of internet travel companies are available that can help you find the lowest fares for your travel. A search for on-line flight reservation sites will provide many options. 

Travel cancellation insurance

Weather in the Spring can be messy, with flights delayed or canceled at the last minute. Guests may wish to purchase travel cancellation insurance. The MSE department will not reimburse guests for the cost of this insurance; this is an optional expense. Such insurance is something guests may wish to consider, though, as the MSE department will not reimburse guests who do not attend the Overview.

Port Columbus International Airport

Link to the Port Columbus (CMH) web site. Provides terminal layout, arrival information, weather, etc.

Hired Driver & Shuttle Service

If you are flying into Columbus, and will be hiring a driver (Uber, taxi, etc.) from the airport to your hotel, you'll need money for the driver fare (approximately $30-$60 one-way from the airport to the OSU area, plus tip). As mentioned above, please be sure to get a receipt for your fare.


Directions to the Overview?

For those who are driving, please use the Ohio Union Parking Garage as your destination address:

1780 College Rd.
Columbus, OH  43210

Walking directions from the Ohio Union garage to Watts Hall

  1. Exit the parking garage on the College Rd. side and walk north (to the right) along College Rd.
  2. Follow College Rd. past the Oval (large open area on the left), past 17th, 18th, and 19th Avenues.
  3. Watts Hall is on the southwest corner of Woodruff Ave. and College Rd. Link here for campus map.


You may qualify for reimbursement of your fuel and parking costs. Please be sure to keep all receipts for fuel and parking required for your trip to and from OSU. For guests driving from the Central Ohio Region (i.e., not requiring overnight accommodations), we will not reimburse fuel costs, though we will be happy to reimburse parking fees.

Car rental

If renting a car as part of a visit to the MSE department, department policy requires that this be done by way of the OSU rental car agreement with either Enterprise or National. While less expensive rentals may be available, the OSU agreements include insurance coverage required by the university. Contact Mark Cooper for the code necessary to activate the OSU agreement.
Rentals made with non-contracted rental car agencies must adhere to the OSU Travel Policy (PDF) (see "Rental Car Services"). Those rentals made that do not meet the policy may not be reimbursed.

Lodging--The Blackwell

We have booked a block of rooms at The Blackwell, a university-operated hotel within walking distance from the department. We will provide lodging for the first 20 guests who register (we have reserved 10 rooms with two queen-sized beds each).

Check-in 3/19, check-out 3/21--Please note that our reservations are for Thursday night, 3/19, and Friday night, 3/20, only; we ask the guest to make any additional lodging reservations if required by travel plans. 

The Blackwell
2110 Tuttle Park Place
Columbus, Ohio 43210


  1. Lodging will be provided for the first 20 guests to register. Guests will be matched with another guest of the same gender. Should this lodging fill, we will ask guests to make their own lodging arrangements and will provide a limited reimbursement amount.
  2. The guest should check-in on Thursday, 3/19, at The Blackwell, the guest's name will be provided to The Blackwell by the MSE program.
  3. Our guests will be provided with two nights of lodging, 3/19 & 20 (with check out on 3/21); if travel plans require additional lodging we ask the guest to make those arrangements. Such additional lodging costs may be submitted for reimbursement within the reimbursement amount allowed by the MSE program.
  4. Any charges made to the room are the responsibility of the guest.
  5. Car rental while in Columbus. A guest may rent a car while staying in Columbus, if helpful, though the MSE department will not reimburse this cost.

Local hotels

If additional lodging is required, an internet search of hotels ("hotels near ohio state university" or the like) will provide a range of pricing options. Various travel web sites may also be of use in finding a range of pricing options for lodging.