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Apply for our selective, prestigious PhD program.

The Glenn College admits talented individuals from the United States and abroad with superior academic records and a strong interest in careers emphasizing research and scholarship in public policy and management.

We encourage applications from students with varied life experience, skills, academic training, perspectives, and scholarly interests.


Historically, all Glenn College doctoral students have been fully funded (including tuition, stipend, and healthcare benefits) for at least four years. Stipends and healthcare benefits are competitive with those of other top schools of public affairs.

All applicants are considered for funded positions as part of the application review process.

All qualified applicants are considered for university fellowships that provide full funding (including tuition, stipend and healthcare benefits) with no work requirements. These are typically awarded for students’ first year in the program, but some students receive them for multiple years.

Explore university fellowships.

The most common forms of financial aid are Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) and Graduate Research Associate (GRA) positions. Students work 20 hours per week as teaching or research assistants in return for full funding (including tuition, stipend and healthcare benefits). These are also great opportunities to develop research and teaching skills.


The Glenn College considers an applicant’s whole application. Applicants can compensate for weaknesses in one area with strengths in another.

Given our emphasis on the whole application, we urge applicants to carefully craft their personal statements to demonstrate that they have adequate preparation to complete our program and that their interests align with those of some of our faculty.  We provide more guidance below.

Applicants previously or currently enrolled in other graduate programs at Ohio State should submit a “Intra-University Graduate Transfer (IGT) application” and do not need to pay the application fee. Contact for more information.

  • $60 for domestic applicants
  • $70 for international applicants
  • This fee is nonrefundable.


Application Fee Waivers (U.S. applicants only)

If you feel you qualify for an application fee waiver based on your participation in any of the diversity initiatives through the Graduate School Program or Ohio State’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, or if you feel you qualify because of economic hardship, please select the appropriate box(es) under the application fee waiver section of the online application. 

View qualifying criteria

  • You must submit proof in order to qualify for an application fee waiver. 
  • You cannot submit your online application until your application fee waiver request is approved or your application fee is paid. You will be notified if your application fee waiver request is not approved, at which time you should return to the online application and submit the application fee.

Applicants are required to submit GRE scores. While GRE scores are required, we do not have minimum GRE score thresholds for admission to our PhD program. Instead, we take a holistic approach to evaluating applications and consider a GRE score alongside all of the other parts of an application, detailed below. Strength in one area of an application may compensate for weaknesses in other areas.

The Glenn College Doctoral Program is also in the process of exploring a Pathways Program, wherein students start in our Masters of Public Affairs program (which does not require a GRE) and—depending on performance—may matriculate to the doctoral program after one year. If you are interested in this program, please directly contact Katie Vinopal at

Applicants should be advised that there are free resources available to prepare for the GRE, including GRE prep books at your local library, ETS-Prepare for the Test resources, and others. There are also some opportunities for GRE fee reduction.

The Glenn College Doctoral Program is in the process of exploring a Pathways Program for applicants who may benefit from master’s level coursework in public affairs before starting the doctoral program. This program may be especially advantageous for promising students without much relevant, graduate-level coursework. If you are interested in this program, please directly contact Katie Vinopal at

All international applicants must meet the Glenn College’s proficiency requirement, which is a score of 100 or above on the TOEFL exam (or an equivalent score on another accepted exam). For more information (e.g., regarding exemptions based on prior degrees or country of origin), applicants should consult the Graduate School’s rules regarding proof of English proficiency.

Domestic applicants: December 1

International applicants: November 1

Formal application review starts December 1. Decisions are made by early February.

Faculty can only review complete applications. Visit to check the status of your application during the admissions process.

All applicants for the PhD program are required to submit the following materials to Graduate Admissions via the online application:

  1. A completed Graduate School application
  2. Transcripts of all prior academic work*
  3. At least three letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty or researchers, assessing the applicant’s potential for doctoral-level work*
  4. A personal statement summarizing the applicant’s preparation, career goals, and primary research interests as they relate to our PhD program*
  5. A resume or CV. Be sure to include work experience, volunteer activities, academic and professional honors, honorary societies, extracurricular activities, any publications and other significant activities.*

*NOTE: If you choose not to attach these materials when completing the online application, you may attach them later, using the online uploader.

Application status will first become available two to three days after your application is received. Visit to check the status of your application during the admissions process.

Personal statements are important, as they provide the applicant with an opportunity to make an overall case that their research and programmatic interests fit well with the research and programmatic focus of our program.

Statements should be no more than three single-spaced pages and should be well written.

Specifically, the personal statement should describe the applicant’s preparation, career goals and primary research interests as they relate to our PhD program:

  1. Preparation: Describe your preparation for doctoral study in public policy and management. Have you taken courses related to government, research methods or some other key feature of our curriculum? Did you do well in those courses? Do you have research experience? Do you have professional experience that has helped prepare you for doctoral study?
  2. Career goals: Describe your career goals. Do you wish to become an academic or perhaps a researcher in another setting? Explain how learning to conduct high-quality public policy and management research might help you realize those goals.
  3. Research interests: Describe in specific terms what your research interests are (e.g., “non-profit management,” “policy evaluation,” etc.) and identify some of our faculty who do research that is of interest to you. Do not feel obligated to identify specific research questions, and you are surely not committing to any specific topics you might provide. But it is very important that we can determine from your personal statement whether we have the faculty capacity to help you become a successful scholar.

Applicants must have three letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty or researchers, assessing the applicant’s potential for doctoral-level work.

  • Letters must be submitted electronically using the online application (select “Public Policy and Management”).
  • While completing your online application, please provide your recommender’s name and email address. The Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions will send an email to the recommenders instructing them to complete a short assessment and upload a PDF recommendation letter. 
  • Inform your letter writers that they will receive an email from Ohio State once you submit the online application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure letters of recommendation are completed by posted deadlines. 
  • If recommenders experience difficulties accessing the link or using the online system, please contact the Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions directly at
  • Letters of recommendation sent directly to the Glenn College will not be accepted.

Funded Opportunities

We particularly encourage applicants with research interests that align with funded projects in the following areas:

Energy System Resilience and Equity

Understand how underrepresented groups respond to and bounce back from critical infrastructure and lifeline service interruptions. A US DOE Fellowship is available to work with Glenn College faculty to study resilience of tribal communities.

Assessing the early childhood policy landscape in Ohio

Join an interdisciplinary team working with stakeholders in Ohio to assess the needs of parents and children in Ohio, and how our policy landscape helps or hinders family wellbeing. Contribute to qualitative and policy research around the state.

Explore the Doctoral Program

Read more about Glenn College’s selective, research-oriented doctoral program: