FAQs

Advisor

Applicants must have an advisor prior to be admitted into the ESGP. The advisor must be an ESGP faculty member. The faculty member must contact the ESGP office and confirm that they have accepted the applicant as an advisee. Applicants will want to inquire if the faculty member has funding for a Graduate Research Associate (GRA) position.

Non-ESGP Advisor or Committee Member

A student can have a non-ESGP faculty member on his or her Advisory Committee but cannot have a non-ESGP faculty as an advisor. However, if the student really wants a person who is not currently an ESGP faculty member to be the advisor, that faculty member could send a request to our Graduate Studies Committee to join the ESGP faculty.

Application Deadlines and University Fellowships

Applicants are encouraged to apply on-line with Graduate Admissions before December 15. Meeting this deadline allows you to be considered for a University fellowship. To be nominated for a University Fellowship you must have a complete application uploaded into the Admissions system by the December 15 deadline. For international applicants, the due date is November 30. Your application will not be presented to the Graduate Studies Committee until it is complete. If you qualify, you will be nominated for a fellowship and your file will be sent to the Graduate School for evaluation by the Fellowship Committee. If you are awarded a University Fellowship, you will be notified by the Graduate School.

Please note that while ESGP does have a general application deadline of February 15, ESGP funding decisions begin during the fellowship process. Receiving a fellowship makes you a stronger candidate for your future advisor and is strongly encouraged.

Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) Positions/Financial Support

The Environmental Science Graduate Program (ESGP) has agreements with four different colleges to provide a specified number of teaching assistants in the fields of biology, natural resources, chemistry, and engineering. We review all applications and assign some of our stronger students to the TA positions on a competitive basis. If you are one of the students chosen for these teaching assistant positions, all arrangements will be made for you through the ESGP office. If you are admitted to the ESGP but do not receive an appointment as a teaching assistant, you are, of course, free to try to find employment on your own. The first place to contact would be the department of your ESGP advisor.  We can help you identify those departments that would be the most likely match with your background and perhaps give you the name of a person to contact in that department. However, we will not know which students have been selected for teaching assistant positions until March or April.

Test of Spoken English

Before an international student can be offered a TA position, they must pass the Test of Spoken English. This test is offered both at OSU and internationally by ETS. Information about this test can be found at the Ohio State University ESL website.

For more information, you can contact the staff at the Spoken English Program at OSU at (614) 292-5005.

GRE Scores

The stated minimum GRE score for students to be accepted into the ESGP is a sum of 1200 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE or 311 on the new GRE test. All materials in your application will be evaluated by the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC), and a decision will be made based on the total package which you submit.

Do you accept students each term?

Generally, students are only accepted for Autumn Semester. Our orientation is held in autumn, and the ESGP financial support is only available in Autumn, and usually the support is for the entire school year.

Housing Options

You may apply for university housing by checking the appropriate box on the front of your application form. Ohio State has a Housing Office that handles applications for housing, and the information you need to apply will be sent to you by their office if you check the box. For students who would like to live off campus, we have an Off-Campus Student Office. There are all types and prices of apartments available in Columbus, and generally the cost of an apartment is less than in other cities of the same size. Many of our students are able to afford an apartment without having a room mate to share expenses.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in the Columbus area is lower than many comparably sized cities. You can compare cost of living at money.com's web site.

Difference between Environmental Science & Environmental Engineering

The Environmental Engineering program is within the Department of Civil. Environmental and Geodetic Engineering. Students in that program are expected to have a background in engineering and be strong in math. They take primarily engineering courses for their graduate program. Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary graduate program. Students in that program are expected to have taken at least one course in calculus, physics, biology, and chemistry. In their graduate program, they take core courses from each of the following 3 areas: (1) engineering and physical science, (2) biological sciences, (3) social science and policy. Then, the student and his or her advisor design a program that supports the student's research interests; the graduate courses may be taken from any of about 25 different departments at Ohio State.

Faculty from 25 different departments belongs to the Environmental Science Graduate faculty also. Most members of the Environmental Engineering faculty are also on the Environmental Science Graduate faculty.

What should I say in the "personal statement"?

The Graduate Studies Committee wants to understand as fully as possible your interest in research pursued through the Environmental Science Graduate Program. Toward this objective, prepare a detailed statement covering the questions and points as outlined. The questions below can be adequately addressed in two typed single-spaced pages or less. NOTE: A resume is not acceptable in lieu of the autobiographical statement.

  1. Describe your understanding of the purpose of environmental science.
  2. Describe the specific nature of your undergraduate and/or postgraduate research experience.
  3. Describe full or part-time employment, volunteer, or extra-curricular activities as they relate to environmental science.
  4. What are your strengths and limitations in doing scientific/technological research? Discuss how your academic and social development has contributed to your motivation and potential for scientific research.
  5. Why are you seeking advanced education at this time? Do you have the necessary resources to begin a study program if you do not receive financial support through Environmental Science or the university?
  6. Why did you choose to apply to the Environmental Science Graduate Program at The Ohio State University?

On a separate sheet of paper: based on areas of research that interest you, select three members of the Environmental Science faculty. List your choices in order of preference and specify what particular research problems or fields of study interest you most. This will tell us your interests, as well as let us know who you are contacting. While faculty will sometimes peruse student applications themselves, it is up to you to contact faculty you would like to be your advisor. Feel free to contact more than one at a time.

How long does it take to complete my degree?

MS degrees usually take 2-3 years, whereas PhDs typically take 4-6 years. See the timeline below for the major requirements of an MS and PhD program.

Timeline for the completion of major ESGP program components

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