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FAQ for Prospective Graduate Students


Admissions Process

  1. What areas are in the Department of Psychology?
    1. Prospective students can apply to one of 9 areas: Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Decision Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), Social Psychology, and Quantitative Psychology. Links to information about each area can be found here: https://psychology.osu.edu/graduate/overview/areas
  2. Do I need to submit an official or unofficial transcript with my application?
    1. OSU requires official transcripts and will not accept web reports, advising reports, self-reported scores, or transfer credit on another school’s transcripts. Typically, you can have electronic copies of your official transcripts issued by your institution’s Registrar. Be aware this process can sometimes take 2-3 weeks, so submit your requests as early as possible. You can also have a transcript from your institution given to you and you can scan it and upload it to the system. To find out more about transcript requirements please see the University Graduate Admissions website here: http://gpadmissions.osu.edu/resources/transcripts.html
  3. Can prospective students request an application fee waiver?
    1. To request a fee waiver, check the “application fee waiver” box in your application for admission to the OSU Graduate School. Numerous waiver programs exist, including the Big Ten Academic Alliance and Economic Disadvantage Fee Waiver. Most programs will respond to your request within 3-5 business days. For more information on fee waivers at OSU, please visit the following link: https://gpadmissions.osu.edu/resources/fee-waivers.html  The Department of Psychology does not give application fee waivers. 
  4. Is the GRE Test Required?
    1. No, the Department of Psychology does not require GRE; If you would like to submit GRE scores, please have your official General GRE scores sent to Ohio State (1592). If scores are submitted the Psychology Department will only review GRE scores in the verbal, quantitative, and analytical (written) categories. The GRE is administered nationally by the Educational Testing Service (Princeton, NJ) and may be taken at most universities and colleges. See your local registrar for further information.
  5. What are the TOEFL Requirements?
    1. You can find International Admissions requirements on the University Graduate and Professional Admissions website: http://gpadmissions.osu.edu/intl/additional-requirements-to-apply.html
  6. When are admissions decisions typically made?
    1. For the Psychology Department, the timeline for acceptance varies within each program (e.g., Clinical, Social, etc.). Usually, students will receive notice of their application status sometime in late January.  However, you will not find out about fellowship results until the beginning of March.
  7. How can I check the status of my application?
    1. After submitting an application, first-time applicants are sent an email from The Ohio State University’s Information Technology (IT) Service Desk, assigning an OSU ID and username (in a lastname.# format). The username is used to access the self-service page where you can check your application status. Applicants who have or had an affiliation with Ohio State DO NOT receive the above-mentioned email. They should already have an OSU ID and username. New applicants with no prior or current affiliation with Ohio State who know their OSU ID and username must activate their account on MY.OSU. For assistance with the activation process, please contact OCIO. You can find more information at https://psychology.osu.edu/graduate/overview/application
  8. How will I be notified when a decision has been made?
    1. You will be notified via email or phone call. For some areas, interviews are required prior to admission. If this is the case for your area, you will be contacted via email (typically, in December, or early January) notifying you that you have been invited to interview.
  9. How many students are admitted each year?
    1. In the 2024 cycle, 464 students applied to a Ph.D. program in the Department of Psychology and 45 (10.3%) received an offer of admission.
  10. What is the average undergraduate GPA of admitted applicants?
    1. In 2024, admitted applicants had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.72
  11. Additional Information and tips for filling out applications can be found on The Ohio State University Graduate and Professional Admissions Website here: http://gpadmissions.osu.edu/resources/application-tips.html


  1. Regarding funding, what opportunities exist within the Psychology Department?
    1. Graduate associateships are the primary source of financial assistance provided to graduate students at Ohio State. These take the form of graduate research associateships (GRA), graduate teaching associateships (GTA), and graduate administrative associateships (GAA). Most Graduate Teaching Associateship positions are reserved for students in their second year and beyond. If students are interested in finding a GA position, they should begin with their home departments. Students can hold GA appointments in units other than their home department, but those are local decisions. More information can be found here.
  2. Regarding funding, what other opportunities exist within the university?
    1. Beyond department funding, the university offers a number of different fellowship opportunities available to all graduate students. All applicants are automatically considered for these fellowship opportunities during the admissions process and more detail can be found here.
  3. Regarding funding, what other opportunities exist outside the university?
    1. In addition to university fellowships and graduate associateships, you may also be eligible to apply for national fellowships during your first or second year of graduate school. These include the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship Program, and more. Guidance on how to apply for these fellowships will be available during a workshop led by fellowship recipients at the beginning of every fall semester.
  4. Do graduate students receive travel funding for conferences?

The Psychology Department offers graduate students $500 a year to support travel expenses for conferences (see Graduate Student Conference Presentation Award Program). The Council of Graduate Students also offers a variety of funding opportunities to support conference travel (see Ray Travel Award and Career Development Grant). In addition, many student's travel expenses are covered by their research advisor’s funds.


Research and Learning Opportunities

  1. What are the typical milestones that mark my progress throughout the Ph.D. program?
    1. In all areas, students complete their master’s degree in their first two years. The master’s degree involves a combination of coursework, research, and teaching responsibilities, and a Thesis. All students are on a fellowship in their first year, which means they do not have any teaching or teaching assistant responsibilities. In students’ second year, depending on their funding source, they may begin as teaching assistants or research assistants while continuing to take classes and complete their master’s research. After the master’s portion of the program, students take their candidacy exam. The nature and timing of this exam vary by area, but it is generally a comprehensive exam to test students’ knowledge of the field. After the candidacy exam, students are considered Ph.D. candidates and primarily conduct research, as well as clinical work if relevant. For Clinical and IDD students, clinical rotations begin the summer following students’ first year and continue throughout their time in the program, concluding with a pre-doctoral internship. To learn more about program requirements for each area, please refer to the area handbooks.
  2. Can graduate students recruit undergraduate students to participate in research studies?
    1. All graduate students have access to recruiting undergraduate students via the Psychology 1100 Research Experience Program (REP). All undergraduate students taking Introduction to Psychology are required to complete a certain number of research studies in REP to satisfy coursework requirements. Opportunities for research with other populations (e.g., elderly populations, children, etc.) may be coordinated with your advisor and department.
  3. Does the department host an invited speaker series?
    1. The Psychology Department and its affiliates at Ohio State University offer a diverse array of invited speakers and talks each year. Below is a brief listing of some of the invited speaker series and talks:

Social Behavior Interest Group Colloquium

Decision Sciences Collaborative

Department of Psychology Events and Speakers

Nisonger Institute

  1. Do graduate students have opportunities to collaborate with other researchers at OSU?
    1. Yes, there are a number of unique research institutes that maintain close ties to the Department of Psychology and offer opportunities for interdisciplinary research and collaboration. Below is a list of groups that may be of interest to you:

Decision Sciences Collaborative

The Risk Institute

Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Brain Imaging

Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research

Center for Law, Policy, and Social Sciences

Translational Data Analytics Institute

Center for Special Needs Populations

Center for Human Ethics and Values

Center for Inclusion, Diversity and Academic Success (IDEAS)

The Sustainability Institute

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND)

Buckeye Language Network



Life in Columbus

  1. Where do most graduate students live?
    1. Most graduate students live in off-campus apartments. Apartments can be found through common websites such as Zillow, Padmapper, etc. In addition, OSU offers a website for students to find off-campus housing. Currently, OSU does not offer family housing options.
  2. What kind of benefits do graduate students receive?

All graduate student funding comes with student health insurance subsidized by 100%. Information on the Student Health plan can be found here: student health insurance benefits plan, Student health insurance includes medical, mental health, prescription, vision, and dental benefits with local, national, and international coverage. Spouses and dependents may also be added to this policy. Up to 3 weeks of leave may be granted for childbirth or adoption and up to 3 additional weeks for health recovery of the birth mother is recommended. Parental leave should be discussed and planned with the advisor and local unit.

  1. What are some fun things to do in Columbus?
    1. Ohio State students have access to discounted tickets to community events such as art shows, concerts, sporting events, theatre productions, and more through D-Tix. They also receive a student rate for Ohio State sporting events. The Ohio Union Student Activities Board provides free programs and events for the students of Ohio State's Columbus campus that are educational, entertaining, and thought-provoking. Columbus itself provides many attractions, including nature conservatories, hiking, and biking trails, the Columbus Zoo, Columbus Museum of Art, Center of Science and Industry (COSI), Restaurant Week, concerts, professional sporting events, theatre and dance production, and more.
  2. What is the typical cost of living? 
    1. The cost of living in Franklin County, Ohio is approximately $23,844 for a single adult with no children. Cost of living estimates for other family situations may be found here. At Ohio State, the base rate for fellowship is $26,316 a year and includes subsidized healthcare and transportation options (e.g., unlimited rides on the Columbus bus system COTA).