The school offers graduate assistantships, commonly referred to as graduate research assistantships (GRA) and graduate teaching assistantships (GTA) to highly qualified MS and PhD students. Students pursuing MEng degrees are not eligible for assistantships.
Graduate assistantships provide a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend that varies depending on job responsibilities and appointment level, typically 0.40 to 0.49 full-time equivalency (FTE).
Graduate teaching assistants assist faculty in course lectures, lab sessions, grading, and/or other course delivery-related tasks. Qualified applicants will have excellent English communication skills and a strong background in the subject matter of courses with which they assist. International students must have a Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) score of 22 or higher for their speaking sub-score to be qualified for GTA appointments. Appointment decisions are typically issued in March or April for positions starting the following fall term.
Graduate research assistants assist graduate faculty in sponsored research projects by performing a wide variety of tasks ranging from experimental work, data analysis, and computer programming to co-authoring papers and planning research programs. Appointment decisions are made by individual faculty members, and applicant qualifications can vary widely depending on faculty needs but usually include strong analytical, design, and communication skills. Since GRAs are recruited and hired by individual faculty and salaries are paid by sponsored research projects, whose timelines may not follow the academic calendar, GRA opportunities may arise at any time.
To be considered for a GTA or GRA appointment, applicants should:
- Apply for admission by our priority deadline, December 31.
- Indicate their interest on their OSU Application for Graduate Admission (form item 10). This step ensures that the applicant will automatically be placed on the assistantship request list upon admission to graduate school. No other actions or forms are required.
- Be admitted into the program before April 15 of the year in which the position is scheduled to start. (Almost all GTA and GRA appointments begin in fall term.)
For more infomation regarding applying to an MIME graduate program, please see our Admissions Information and FAQ page.
Availability of Assistantships and Applying for Assistantships
All GRA and GTA positions are allocated by or recommended for funding by individual faculty members. Once a student is admitted to one of our programs, they may feel free to contact faculty members with research activities that match their interests and academic/research experience. Decisions on GRA and GTA positions are separate from admissions decisions. All applicants who apply by our priority application deadline (December 31) are given full consideration for assistantships. There is no need to apply separately. Decisions about assistantship positions for Fall admission are typically made in March or April. However, new funding becomes available throughout the calendar year, and additional assistantship positions may be offered in the months just prior to the start of Fall term.
OSU Graduate School Support
The OSU Graduate School administers a number of scholarships, fellowships, and other student awards, as listed on its Graduate School Fellowship Programs page. Per Graduate School policy, students may not apply for any of these awards directly but rather must be nominated by their graduate program. Applicants can, however, initiate the nomination process by contacting the their future major professor with the names of any awards for which they believe they are eligible and wish to be considered.
External Funding Sources
Beyond OSU, there are numerous funding sources for graduate students in engineering:
- Federal agencies such as NSF, DOD, and DOE
- Foundations and private organizations such as HHMI and the Bullitt, Ford, GEM, and Hertz foundations.
For more helpful information and resources, see the Graduate School's Financing Your Education page.