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Graduate Assistantships

Financial Support

Typically, all admitted graduate students are supported by a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) and/or a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA). GTA positions are granted for the fall and spring semesters (nine months total). GRA positions are granted for one semester, one year, or multiple years and are generally provided by a grant awarded to the major advisor.


International students are expected to take an internet-based TOEFL (iBT) to evaluate English proficiency and instructional ability prior to the start of their first semester. In order for an individual whose native language is not English to receive a TA, s/he must score 26 or higher on the "speaking section" of the iBT. Students who score 21-25 must take and pass the OSU International Teaching Assistant (ITA) exam before being allowed to teach. Students who score 20 or less must undergo additional spoken English training before being allowed to take the ITA exam.

Tuition Waivers

All students on a GTA, GRA or fellowship appointment receive a full tuition waiver each semester for required courses specified in their plan of study.

Health Insurance

All GRAs and GTAs receive university-paid health insurance. There is also the opportunity to purchase health insurance for spouses and children.

GPSGA Travel Grants

The Graduate and Professional Student Government Association (GPSGA) awards grants to assist in the costs associated with travel for students presenting research at a state, regional, national, or international meeting or conference. To be eligible both academic unit/departmental representatives need to be present for at least 75% of all meetings (typically 1 absence per semester). Visit the GPSGA website for more information.

Graduate College Funding Opportunities

The Graduate College offers some awards and provides links to search for fellowships, scholarships or grants. To explore the various options to finance a graduate degree go to the Graduate College website and click Financing Your Graduate Education.


J.K. McPherson Memorial Fund

The J.K. McPherson Memorial Fund was established in memory of the late Dr. James K. McPherson, an ecology professor who served the Botany Department at OSU from 1968 to 1992. This fund is administered by the Department of Plant Biology, Ecology and Evolution (PBEE) to support travel by graduate students mentored by PBEE faculty. It is designated for student travel for fieldwork and attendance/participation at scientific conferences. Eligibility requirements include demonstrated satisfactory progress toward degree.

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