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Apply to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Ph.D Program

OSU Faculty and Students Explain why to choose OSU for Graduate School​​​​​​

Application Instructions

Graduate Admissions Coordinator Nick Rodgers will be holding Zoom Office Hours every Thursday from 3-5 PM EDT to answer any questions about the program/application process. Please email Rodgers.271@osu.edu for the Zoom link.

Before beginning the application process, please note the following:

  • The program only admits one time per year for the Autumn semester.
  • The minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA requirement for applying is 3.0/4.0. The same requirement applies to the cumulative graduate GPA, if graduate-level courses have been completed.
  • Students must have at least a 4-year Bachelor’s degree or a 5-year combined BS/MS degree in order to apply.
  • The minimum total TOEFL score required in order to be eligible to apply is 79 on the Internet-based test and 550 on the paper-based test. Applicants who achieve a total score of 100 and a 20 or higher on the speaking section of the Internet-Based TOEFL will be most competitive. The minimum allowable score on the IELTS is a 7.0.
  • The GRE is NOT required to be eligible to apply to the Graduate School or the Chemistry PhD Program.
  • Without exception, TOEFL or scores must be officially reported to OSU by ETS. If you are submitting scores for the IELTS, those scores must be reported to OSU directly by IELTS.
  • The application fee is $60 for Domestic applicants and $70 for International applicants. Application fee waivers may be granted to applicants who meet specific eligibility criteria as indicated on this web page: http://gpadmissions.osu.edu/apply/waiver.html
  • Answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found here.

December 1, 2024 is the deadline for submitting the online application and all required supplemental materials for Autumn 2025 admission. Before or on this date, all required application materials MUST be submitted (submitted is defined as available for committee review and not on order for or en route to OSU). Please SUBMIT the online application well in advance of the deadline so that your referees will receive their links in plenty of time to submit their letters before the December 1st deadline. Recommendation letter upload links do not get sent to referees until the application is submitted and the fee is paid. Please be certain to take the TOEFL early enough to ensure that your scores are reported to OSU by ETS before or on December 1st. Please follow the instructions below to complete your application and consult our timeline to help you navigate our application process.

You may upload scans of your transcripts on the "Academic Data" tab of the online application. Scans of original transcripts from every college or university you have ever attended are required to be submitted before your application can be reviewed. Transfer credit indicated on a transcript does not satisfy the transcript requirement for the school at which the credits were originally earned. Scans of original, official transcripts are required to be uploaded while completing the online application or submitted via the document uploader by or on the application deadline. Online advising reports or degree audits cannot be used to satisfy the transcript requirement for the application. 

The program requires submissions of your resume and personal statement on the "Final Steps/Submit" tab of the online application. If you would like to submit an updated personal statement or resume before the application deadline, please email that updated version to: Rodgers.271@osu.edu

You should address the following in your personal statement:

  1. Describe your research experience in some detail.  Describe research products, like oral presentations and papers related to your research experience.
  2. We are interested in learning about your independence, strengths and weaknesses, goals, and community involvement.  Tell us examples of times you have overcome challenges and where you got support to work through them.  Give us some examples of how you learn outside the classroom.
  3. Tell us about what you want to study and about your research interests.  Identify some faculty with whom you would like to work.
  4. Be sure to explain things in your history, academic career, or resume that might raise questions about your suitability for graduate study and research.  If you had some weaker grades or less successful terms, explain what was happening.  If you didn't have access to extensive research experiences at your institution, explain that, and what you've done to know that graduate school is right for you.

Our aim is to admit students who will be successful in our Ph.D. program.  We are obviously interested in admitting students with high academic ability and research aptitude. But it also takes self-motivation, perseverance, and teamwork to be successful in graduate school.  Don't worry about having a perfect record.  Show us how you know this is the right path for you, and why you are going to succeed.

We require the submission of three letters of recommendation. All letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online system. Applicants will enter their referees' contact information within the online application. It is only after the application is submitted that each referee will receive a link by e-mail indicating where they can submit their letter of recommendation for the applicant. For this reason, please submit the online application well in advance of the deadline so that your referees will receive their links and have ample time to submit their letters before the deadline.

The most useful letters of recommendation come from Ph.D. chemists and biochemists who can comment on your research and intellectual ability and potential. We typically want to hear from all your research advisors (such as, from capstone/thesis projects or summer/REU experiences).  Chemistry, biochemistry, or other science professors who can comment on your academic ability and potential are the next best choice.  Letters from professors in other areas, employers (unless they are for a science research position), coaches, graduate students, family, friends or peers are of more limited value to us, in general.  Be sure that at least one reference can specifically comment on your research potential, and we suggest that at least two references be scientists.

The most useful letters of recommendation will tell us about your research and academic ability and potential, as well as your independence, strengths and weaknesses, goals, community involvement, perseverance, and how you learn outside the classroom.  Your references can also help us understand anything in your record that could raise questions about your potential in graduate school.

You may check on the status of your letters and send reminders to your letter writers at: go.osu.edu/lor

If you are not an United States citizen, the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department requires the submission of official TOEFL or IELTS scores directly to The Ohio State University before your application may be reviewed. The institution code for submission is: 1592

Only applicants who are citizens of, or who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher from, one of the following countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States and Wales.

  • Please make sure that you input your name on the online application exactly how it appears on your TOEFL score report. Doing so will ensure that your official scores can be electronically matched to your application. 
  • If you are submitting scores for the IELTS, those scores must also be directly reported to OSU by IELTS.
  • The Admissions Committee for the PhD Program in Chemistry does not offer conditional admission to students who either have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS or whose TOEFL or IELTS score does not meet the minimum requirement.
  • If the Admissions Committee deems it necessary to further evaluate an applicant's spoken English proficiency, the applicant might be asked to participate in an oral proficiency assessment administered via Skype by a trained staff member from OSU's ESL program.

Applicants are solely responsible for ensuring the completion of their application before or on the December 1st deadline. Each applicant should review their application status page to ensure the receipt of required materials. Please allow several business days for submitted items to appear as completed on the application status page. If submitted items do not appear within 3 business days, please e-mail Nick Rodgers at Rodgers.271@osu.edu.