Statement of Account

Some of you have noticed that there is a “Due Now” amount in the “Outstanding Charges” box in the “Finances” section of your Student Center. This amount will vary based on a variety of factors, including whether or not you are an Ohio resident:

While seeing this amount as being due may cause momentary panic, do not worry! That amount will eventually reduce to $0 and, in order to understand how that will happen, you will need to view and understand your Statement of Account, which you can open by clicking “Statement of Account” next to “Term” in the “Outstanding Charges” section of your Student Center. Here is an example of a Statement of Account for an Ohio resident:

The first two fees, Instructional Fee Graduate & General Fee Graduate, are the fees that pay tuition and those fees will reduce to $0 owed in mid- to late-August (the amount will appear in the Payments/Adjustments section as having been applied to your account).

The next five fees, Student Activity Fee Graduate through Student Union Facility Fee, will be deducted in from your monthly paychecks and will reduce to $0 owed after your December paycheck. HOWEVER, the Student Legal Svcs Fee is not a mandatory fee, so you can opt out of paying that. To find out how to opt out, review the information below and be sure to opt out BEFORE August 16th.

Student Legal Services (SLS)

Students at the Columbus campus pay an annual $40 SLS fee to have access to a team of legal professionals who can provide advice and representation regarding legal issues affecting students, including a lease review when looking for off-campus housing.

Students may opt out of the fee on the Finances page of the Student Center via by August 16. However, students who opt out cannot re-enroll in the plan later when a legal issue or question arises.


The last fee, “Health Insurance Student Only”(this student has no dependents, but if you do, that will be reflected in this transaction item and the charges will be greater), will also be deducted in equal installments from your monthly paychecks, but only during Autumn and Spring semester because the Spring and Summer coverage is combined. Additionally, an 85% subsidy will be applied to the health insurance premium before any deductions are taken out of your paychecks.

Please make sure to check your statement of account and your pay stub each month to ensure that the correct charges are being deducted.

Vaccination Requirements

As students with full-time enrollment status, all of you are required to meet certain vaccination requirements. This requirement shows up in the “To Do” list on your individual student center page:

To find out your specific vaccination requirements, please click on the link below that best corresponds to your student status:

Domestic Student

International Student

Student who will be living in on-campus University Housing (This adds a meningitis vaccine requirement in addition to the requirements set forth for domestic and international students)

Detailed information on submitting the necessary documentation in order to complete the vaccine requirement is online at and answers to questions about the requirement are at

The vaccination requirements need to be completed by the first day of Autumn semester. If you are unable to meet that deadline, please prioritize completing the requirements by the end of August as not completing them will result on a “hold” being placed on your student account and you will not be able to register for Spring semester courses unless and until your vaccination requirements are completed. Vaccinations are available from Student Health Services at Ohio State.

Welcome Week events for graduate students

Each year, OSU’s Office of Student Life sponsors “Welcome Week” and hosts a variety of events leading up to and during the first week of classes. Several of these events are geared toward graduate & professional students, including the following:

46th Annual Graduate and Professional Student Orientation and Networking Reception
Come join the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at The Faculty Club at 7:00 p.m., August 24. Registration begins at 6:30.  Meet and greet students from across disciplines, also faculty, administrators, staff and alumni.  This festive occasion includes greetings from student organizations and administrators, a grad/prof student panel, special moments with Dr. Valerie Lee, interim chair of the department of AAAS, and a “wonderful repast” with time for networking – will be the order of the evening.  Look forward to greeting you.  Any questions and/or to register, contact Colby Taylor at


New Graduate Student Welcome
Monday, August 21st — 8:00am at the Ohio Union (If attending this event conflicts with your required attendance at Department of Chemistry GTA Training events, please attend the GTA Training events.)
All new Ohio State graduate students are invited. Join us for a program that will help you make a successful transition to graduate school. This program complements your home graduate program’s orientation. Meet new fellow graduate students and Graduate School staff. Refreshments at 8:45am in the Ohio Union Archie Griffin Ballroom. Program will follow at 9:30am. RSVP requested.

Other popular Welcome Week events are the

Student Involvement Fair 
Sunday, August 20th  — 4:00pm-7:00pm on the Oval
Looking for an organization or two to get involved with? This is the place to find them! Grab a bite of free food on the Oval and check out the graduate & professional student organization section at the Involvement Fair. Members of grad and professional organizations will be on hand to chat with you about ways you can get involved.

and the

Monday, August 21st  — 1:00pm to 5:00pm at the RPAC
Enjoy four hours of food, friends, and free stuff in and around the RPAC as Coca-Cola and the Office of Student Life present Buck-i-Frenzy! The Frenzy includes dozens of restaurants and businesses showcasing the latest in food, fashion, technology, products, and services.

More details on Welcome Week, including a full calendar of Welcome Week events, can be found at

English assessments and requirements for non-native speakers

Earlier this Spring, all of our incoming students for whom English is not their native language were required to take the Oral Proficiency Assessment (OPA), which measures a student’s level of fluency in spoken English and determines which spoken English courses, if any, each student has to take and if the student will hold a GTA or GAA position during the Autumn 2017 semester. However, there is one additional assessment – the ESL Composition Placement Test – that all non-native speakers are required to take and for which they will be assigned a testing date and time during their check-in with OIA. The biggest difference (from a programmatic perspective) between the Oral Proficiency Assessment and the English Composition Placement Test is that the result of the English Composition Placement Test does not impact one’s ability to hold a GTA appointment. Also, a student is exempt from taking the ESL Composition Placement Test ONLY if one of the following criteria have been met:

  • TOEFL (iBT)
    • 114 or higher
    • 101 or higher and a 28 on the Writing section
  • TOEFL (computer based)
    • 280 or higher, or
    • 253 or higher and 5.0 on the TOEFL Essay
  • TOEFL (paper based)
    • 650 or higher, or
    • 610 or higher and 5.0 on the Test of Written English
    • 9.0 or higher (Overall Band Score)
    • 8.0 or higher (Overall Band Score) and 8.0 Academic Writing module
  • Citizens of the following countries or regions: Australia, Belize, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, Liberia, United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland), British Caribbean and British West Indies countries, and the United States.
  • Students who graduated from an academic program at The Ohio State University. A degree from other universities in English speaking countries does not meet this exemption.

For those who are not exempt, the result of the ESL Composition Placement Test will either be placement into EDUTL 5901 or EDUTL 5902 or a  “Q”, which indicates that no ESL composition courses are required. Students who are required to take ESL composition courses are required by the Graduate School to complete those by the end of Summer 2018.

Students who placed into either EDUTL 5040 or EDUTL 5050 as a result of their OPA must take the required course during the Autumn semester and must continue to enroll in the required spoken English course and take all semesterly ESL course assessments (exit interviews and the OPCA) until full English certification is achieved. If, as a result of your OPA, you were recommended to enroll in EDUTL 5060 to receive additional assistance with pronunciation, please also register that course for Autumn 2017.

Below are the department’s recommendations for planning ESL courses for each semester during the first year:

More information about the ESL program and the spoken English and composition courses can be found online at

Graduate Teaching Associates – Spoken English

Check-in and orientation at the Office of International Affairs

Link to OIA web site

Good morning! Today’s post is exclusively for those students who currently hold or will hold an F-1 or J-1 visa upon enrolling at Ohio State (if you have any other visa type, please e-mail and let me know!). By now, you should have each received pre-arrival information from the Office of International Affairs. If you have not, please review this information online at

When you arrive to Columbus, you will need to complete a mandatory immigration check-in with the Office of International Affairs. Check-ins are only held during the business week (Monday-Friday). If you have already registered for your check-in – great! If you have not, please contact me for further assistance.

When you registered your check-in, you should have been assigned to an orientation session. Because the Department’s orientation and GTA training program begins on August 11th and runs through August 21st, we need all of our incoming international students to attend an orientation session before or on August 10th. If you have been assigned to an orientation session on August 17th, please contact me for further assistance.

It is important to note that check-in and orientation are two separate events. At check-in, you will receive information about the following:

  1. How to maintain your immigration status
  2. OIA Orientation
  3. Placement tests (Tuesday’s post will explain more about placement tests for international students)
  4. Required health screening
  5. BuckID
  6. Parking permit
  7. Resources on and off campus

At orientation, information will be provided about campus safety, academic conduct, immigration, and cultural adjustments as well as resources and programs to welcome students and help them prepare for Autumn semester.

The Office of International Affairs should be your primary resource for issues concerning your immigration status. The staff in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s Graduate Studies Office may be able to provide limited answers to basic immigration questions, but will always refer international students to the Office of International Affairs for additional assistance. Before traveling to the US, please thoroughly review the pre-arrival information on OIA’s web site and familiarize yourself with what to expect during your first few days on campus. We’re excited to welcome all of you to Ohio State!

CampusParc/Parking Permits

Link to CampusParc web site

If you will be commuting to and parking your car on campus, you are required to purchase a parking permit for the 2017-18 school year. The new permit year begins on August 1st and runs through July 31, 2018. Permits are issued by CampusParc, which is located in the Gateway Plaza at 1560 N. High St. Alternatively, you can purchase a permit online at

As graduate students on TA, RA, or Fellowship appointments, all of you are eligible to purchase any of the “C” or “B” permit types. However, if you decide to purchase a “B” permit, you will need to present a copy of your signed appointment contract (these were sent from Kelly Burke via DocuSign earlier this summer) if you purchase your permit in person. If you will be purchasing your permit online, you will need to e-mail a copy of your contract to and ask for the “B” permit type to be added to your list of permit options if it does not already appear. If you did not sign a contract and need to purchase a parking permit, please e-mail me.

The cost of a permit varies greatly depending on where you want to park. The majority of our graduate students will park in the lots at Ohio Stadium or behind the French Field House & St. John’s Arena. These permits are either “C” or “B” surface lot permits and cost between $345 and $510/year. Some of our students purchase a parking garage permit and park in either the Lane Ave., Tuttle, Northwest, or Arps Garages. A garage permit costs between $905 and $920/year. There are other permit options, too, including parking in the west campus lots and either taking the campus bus or riding your bike to central campus (if you will be riding your bike, please register it here). The west campus permits are notably less expensive.

If you purchase a “B” permit, you will be eligible for payroll deduction of your parking charges if you would prefer to pay monthly instead of paying the entire amount at the time of purchase. Like your other fees (health insurance, RPAC fee, Ohio Union fee (the student union building, not a labor union), and student activity fee), the parking permit fee can be deducted from your monthly paycheck, which will be issued on the last business day of each month (August 31st, September 29th, October 31st…).

If you have any questions about purchasing a permit, please visit the CampusParc web site or e-mail CampusParc directly. If you want advice on what type of permit type to buy, feel free to contact me.


There are several important things to consider regarding departmental communication. First, please bookmark our web page and refer to it often; it should be the first place you look for answers to questions pertaining to the Chemistry PhD program.

Information specific to the first-year of study in our program is found at

Link to BuckeyeMail log in page

By now, all of you should have activated your OSU BuckeyeMail account. If not, you must activate it today at Not only is e-mail the primary method by which you will be contacted with OSU/Chem PhD-related information, but you will be contacted ONLY at your or address. Additionally, please only send OSU/Chem PhD related e-mail from your @buckeyemail or address as this goes a long way in helping us (Grad Studies Office personnel, specifically) identify you when we receive your messages. If you forward your BuckeyeMail to another reader like Gmail, you will need to set up an alias such that the e-mails you send from Gmail display your @buckeyemail or address when received. To send emails from a different address or alias in Gmail, follow the steps indicated here.

Items sent by Graduate Studies Office personnel, specifically, should be read promptly, carefully, and either responded to accordingly or archived for future reference if the information is pertinent to you. All semesterly contracts will be sent to your address via DocuSign.


All OSU affiliates (students, employees, faculty) must have a valid Buck ID. Please prioritize getting your Buck ID when you arrive at OSU. The ID center is in 3040 Ohio Union. Not only does a Buck ID function as your university ID card, but, beginning in Autumn semester, it also allows you to ride the COTA bus and enter the RPAC. If you already have an ID and it says anything other than “Graduate Student” (or “Grad/Prof Student), please exchange that ID in Autumn semester for an ID that correctly identifies you as a graduate student.


To learn more about all of the functions of a BuckID, please visit Many students use their BuckId to ride Columbus’ bus system, COTA, from home to campus each day. For Autumn 2017, ridership eligibility begins on August 15th. When you board a COTA bus, you will need to swipe your ID to ride. If you need to ride a CABS bus, which is OSU’s campus-based service, you can simply board and depart as needed without showing any form of ID.

You will also need to present your BuckID any time you want to enter the RPAC, which is OSU’s recreation and physical activity center.

If you are in a research group that is housed in CBEC, you will need to stop by the Materials Management Office in 165 CBEC to ask for BuckID access to that building. During orientation, I will collect your BuckID numbers and provide those to Computer Support so that you can be given access to the conference rooms in the Department that require BuckID access as well as the first-year grad student study room in 2005 McPherson Lab.