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Funding Your PhD

Because we select only the highest caliber students for our graduate programs, all regular incoming students are offered financial support. Once accepted into a graduate program in physics at OSU, you will be awarded one of three types of graduate appointments: a teaching associate (TA) position, research associate (RA) position, or fellowship. With any of these appointments, you will receive a monthly stipend plus a full waiver of tuition and general fees.
Teaching Associates: Many of our first-year graduate students are supported through their appointment as teaching associates. These appointments ordinarily are made for the academic year (two semesters). Teaching assignments involve a maximum of eight contact hours of combined laboratory/recitation instruction per week. In this appointment, your responsibilities include teaching, grading and giving individual assistance to students. You also will receive training for this position through the department.
After your first academic year, you will be awarded a special research appointment for the summer term if you have a satisfactory record of academic work and teaching performance for your first two semesters. Your regular stipend is continued during this summer term, but you will have no teaching duties. This appointment allows you to begin research work early in your graduate program. The stipend for teaching associates is very competitive and is re-assessed regularly. The value of the present stipend will be provided with your offer of admission.
Excellence in graduate teaching is recognized annually with the presentation of the Hazel Brown Teaching Awards, which include a monetary award as well as a certificate of recognition.
Research Associates: Graduate research associate positions are available to nearly all advanced graduate students. The stipend is equal to that of a teaching associate. This support is obtained from research grants that have been awarded to individual faculty members from either industrial or governmental sources. As a research associate, you will devote essentially all of your time to dissertation research.
Fellowships: A number of prestigious fellowships, including fellowships from The Ohio State University Graduate School and the departmentally funded Fowler Fellowships, are awarded annually to top students. Since these awards require no teaching duties for the first year, fellows take more classes each semester and move more quickly into research. Fellowships are available to students beginning with their first year in the physics graduate program. All qualified applicants, who apply by December 15 with all supplementary materials, including letters of recommendation, received by January 1, will be considered for fellowship nomination.