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Applying to the PhD Program

Minimum Requirements for Admission

Minimum admissions requirements are an earned 4-year baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited college or university prior to beginning graduate studies, a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale) in all prior undergraduate and graduate-level work, and credentials documenting prerequisite academic work that gives evidence of your ability to pursue a graduate program in astrophysics. For applications received in 2023 for admission in Autumn 2024, the GRE General is not required.

Since Fall 2018, the GRE subject test in Physics is optional. For applicants in 2023 for admission in Autumn 2024, the Physics GRE is not required. All students should include a paragraph in their statement of intent that outlines their undergraduate physics preparation. This could include a description of advanced physics classes taken, including textbooks used, and the grades earned in those courses.

English Proficiency

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum English Proficiency Requirements are at least a 550 on the paper-based (213 on the computer-based) TOEFL, equivalent to a total score of 79 on the internet-based TOEFL (IBT); or (less common) 82 on the MELAB or 7.0 on the IELTS exams.

Applicants who are citizens of or who have received a bachelor's degree (or higher) from one of these English-speaking countries are exempt: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean, British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales, and the United States. If you are in the process of getting a bachelor's degree from one of these countries, you may still receive email reminders about English language proficiency tests. You do not need to respond.  You will stop getting the emails once we receive documentation of your degree.

Online Application Materials

All application materials for the OSU Graduate School are available online at the Graduate Admissions Webpage.

Please be careful to apply under the correct category (Domestic or International). 

Time-Sensitive Limited Opportunity for Fee Waivers

The OSU Graduate School, as part of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, has a fee waiver program for students who bring qualities and experience that will enhance the diversity of graduate students at OSU. Applications for these waivers are made through the OSU Graduate School, not the Astronomy Department. They have their own internal deadline. More information about fee waivers is available from the OSU Graduate School and the Big Ten Academic Alliance

Deadlines for Autumn 2024 Admission

These deadlines are for receipt of applications for admission to the Astronomy graduate program starting in Autumn Semester 2024:

Domestic Students: 2023 December 10 
International Students: 2023 December 10

We strongly encourage applicants to get all materials (including reference letters) to OSU at least one week ahead of the nominal deadline.  Applications should be complete by the deadline in order to be considered for the University-wide fellowship competition. The only components of the application that are allowed to be submitted after the nominal deadline are the (optional) General and Physics GRE scores.  These exams should be taken prior to the deadline, and scores should be submitted to OSU as soon as they are available.  As long as the scores arrive before January 4, and as long as the rest of the application is complete by the deadline, the applicant will be considered for the fellowship competition. Those applying after the deadline may be considered for internal financial aid (TA or RA), but cannot be entered in the University fellowship competition.  Finally, applications that arrive after the deadline may or may not be considered.

All successful applicants who are not awarded University Fellowships will be offered financial support as Teaching Assistants or Research Assistants; we fully support all of our graduate students from entry through completion of their PhDs. If you are interested in our program but cannot get everything in by the deadline above, please contact the Astronomy Department Graduate Admissions chair.

Further Information

Please also feel free to send an e-mail to the current Graduate Admissions Chair.