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Graduate Students

Finding your path in science

A graduate student examines the set up of an array of optics and lasers in an Oregon State University lab

Ph.D. student Winston Goldthwaite studies photo physics and photochemistry of organic semiconductors in Oksana Ostroverkhova's lab

Our graduate students are the lifeline of science

Our graduate students contribute to world-class research in the life, physical and computational and statistical sciences for a better world. There is no question about it: Our graduate students are the lifeline of our scientific research enterprise and of our teaching mission in the College of Science. We are proud of the outstanding next generation of scientists that we recruit and we do our best to support and guide them both in the classroom and beyond.

We look forward to welcoming you as you pursue your passion in your field of interest. Your first step in the graduate admissions process is to identify the field that best fits your academic and professional goals. Next, find faculty with whom you wish to study. You can find detailed information on departmental or professors’ websites. Students interested in Ph.D. and research master’s programs often find it useful to explore the research interests of specific professors.

Ready to join us and transform the world through science?

Why get a graduate degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), your wages tend to improve with every level of education you complete. Among workers age 25 and over, those holding a master's degree earn an average of $1,661 per week (about $230 more per week than those with just a bachelor's degree). Having a Ph.D. increases your earning potential even more — workers with doctoral degrees report a median weekly wage of $2,082.

Another reason why graduate degrees pay off: BLS data also shows that more education means less unemployment. In 2022, people without a diploma had the highest unemployment rate (5.5 percent) among those at all education levels, with unemployment rates decreasing as education increased.

And jobs that require a graduate degree are projected to grow over the next 10 years. The BLS projects that between 2022 and 2032, entry-level employment requiring a master's degree will grow by 11 percent. For doctoral degrees, the projected growth is 7 percent.

Moreover, many specialized and high-demand professions require advanced degrees, making graduate education essential for those seeking to excel in fields such as healthcare, engineering, and academia. It's a strategic investment that can enhance your professional prospects and financial stability.

Not only does a graduate program provide you with deep expertise in your chosen field, it also gives you a strong skill set in key areas, including teamwork, communications, collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, computational skills, leadership and research. These all build confidence, allowing you to explore possibilities and find the best solution to a problem.

Janet Tate and Bethany Matthews working with equipment in lab

Graduate student Bethany Matthews with faculty mentor Janet Tate

Finding the right faculty mentor

Your success as a graduate student in science just may depend on it.

Once you find the field that best fits your academic and professional goals, it can be useful to explore the research interests of specific professors. Graduate advisors serve as supervisors and mentors who not only oversee your research and writing, help you obtain funding, provide feedback on papers and talks and offer career advice, they also ensure that you meet graduate school requirements.

Most graduate degrees in science are fully funded at little to no cost to students

Many graduate degrees in science come with full or nearly full financial support and tuition, all at little to no cost to the student.

Yes, we support GEM funding!

The College of Science participates in the National GEM Consortium, a program designed to increase access to graduate education for groups underrepresented in STEM areas: African Americans, American Indians and Hispanic Americans.

GEM facilitates the recruitment and financial support of students through fellowships and is open to incoming graduate students as well as continuing graduate students. If you have GEM funding or are interesting in applying for GEM funding, please contact the Oregon State University GEM Representative:

Glencora Borradaile, Ph.D.

Meet our graduate students

Graduate student admissions

Admission to our graduate programs are all handled centrally though the OSU Graduate School. Review our graduate requirements and admissions process to familiarize yourself with key deadlines, the admissions process and the timeline. All graduate students are admitted through OSU’s Graduate School, the College of Science.

Admissions deadlines

International graduate student admissions

International students interested in our graduate programs in science may wish to review specific financial documentation and language proficiency requirements.

Academic requirements by country

Graduate certificate programs

Graduate certificates offer a quick way to master trending topics in science industries. Depending on the industry and desired career path, graduate certificates can give you the advanced education you need while enhancing your credentials and career opportunities without obtaining a master's degree.

Graduate studies can also help you expand your knowledge in a particular area of science when, for whatever reason, a master's degree isn't the right option for you. A graduate certificate that equips you with foundational knowledge and skills in a particular field in science. A few key benefits to earning a graduate certificate are helping to adapt to a changing work environment, validating your skillset or deepening our knowledge in a field of interest to make you a more attractive candidate in the workforce.

Graduate certificates are the fastest-growing credential in higher education because they offer people a quick and inexpensive way to add skills to your resume. They can also be a more targeted alternative to a master’s degree. In the end, what you want to showcase to employers is the education, knowledge and experience you have gained in a specific field of study, not just the academic degree.


Check with the academic department in which the graduate certificate is housed to find out the minimum GPA for admission to the program. To learn about any additional admissions requirements for specific graduate certificate programs, contact the department.

Data analytics graduate certificate

The College of Science offers an online graduate certificate in data analytics, one of the fastest-growing fields in the nation. The demand for professionals who can interpret large quantities of data has never been greater, and these skills are vital for scientific advances and business success worldwide. Whether you're an experienced analytics professional or looking to become one, you can chart your career path by earning a graduate certificate in data analytics online.