Grad Program FAQs

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the graduate program in the English department at Ohio State. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact Kathleen Griffin (.328) for questions about the MA/PhD program, or for questions about the MFA program.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I get paid? Or, where can I find the GTA and Fellow appointment dates and pay schedule?

Generally speaking, pay day is the last business day of each month. Graduate associates and fellows appointed for autumn semester will receive their first paycheck at the end of August. GAs on a nine-month appointment will receive one-half a month’s paycheck in August and one-half in May.

The Graduate School has outlined the appointment dates for Graduate Associates.

For information on fellowship appointment dates, visit the Graduate Fellows website and select your individual fellowship.

Where can I find more information about my fellowship award?

The Graduate School provides details regarding the various fellowship awards available to graduate students

I'm a brand-new first year student (or a student in my second year, when my fellowship reverts to a GTA), and Buckeyelink says that I owe some random amount of money. Am I going to have to pay that money, or will it be automatically deducted at some point?

In order for the fees to be deducted, sign and turn in your GTA appointment document by the deadline provided. Your account will reflect the graduate fee authorization (taking your balance down) the moment that your appointment is entered into the HR system. Within 24 hours after that, your account will reflect a small balance for other charges/fees; at the same time, it will reflect the words “pending payroll deduction” with the total amount that offsets the small balance for other charges/fees. (If you have not seen an update in the balance on your account by the second week of August, please contact Wayne Lovely (.9) )

Where can I find more information about stipends by term?

Please contact the Department of English Fiscal Manager, Wayne Lovely (.9).

Where can I find out about other funding opportunities?

The graduate school provides a list of funding opportunities internal and external to the university.

How do I set up direct deposit?

You can set up direct deposit by logging into Employee Self Service and selecting the Direct Deposit option. The Office of Business and Finance provides step-by-step directions on how to set up direct deposit [pdf].

What is being deducted out of my paycheck?

Aside from federal, state, and city taxes, your retirement contributions, health insurance contributions, and student fees are deducted from your paycheck each month. If you have enrolled in on-campus parking, this will also be deducted from your paycheck. For more information on the student fee schedule, see the registrar's office.

Is there anything I have to pay that won’t be deducted from my paycheck?

Incidental fees, such as physician copays and library fees, are not deducted from your paycheck. Additionally, if you take classes during May or summer terms, the student fees will not be deducted from your paycheck unless you are on fellowship or teaching, so you should be sure to pay these fees upfront.


Where can I find information about graduate student benefits—for example, health insurance, including coverage for massage therapy and acupuncture?

The Graduate School Handbook provides information about health benefits coverage for graduate students enrolled in Student Health Insurance. Graduate associates also have the option to enroll in The Ohio State University Faculty and Staff Health Plan, but must do so within 30 days of their start date. Ohio State Human Resources offers more information on health insurance options available to graduate associates.

Where can I find information specifically about OSU student health insurance?

Visit the OSU Student Health Insurance website.

Where can I find information about benefits for dependents?

If you're enrolled in Student Health Insurance (SHI), visit the SHI page on eligibility/dependents to find information on dependent coverage and plan levels. If you choose to enroll in the faculty and staff health plan, visit the Human Resources page on dependent eligibility.

What exactly do they treat at the Wilce Student Health Center?

The Wilce Student Health Center provides a wide range of services, including general care, OB/GYN care, STI testing, allergy testing, vision care and dental care. For a full list of their services, please visit the Student Health Services website.

How do I make a medical/dental/vision appointment?

The easiest way to make an on-campus appointment is to schedule online via My BuckMD or by phone at 614-292-4321. (Due to COVID-19, the Wilce Student Health Center has implemented some changes to scheduling and appointment procedure.)

Whom do I contact if I want counseling?

For counseling, contact Counseling and Consultation Service at (614) 292-5766. For more information, visit the Counseling and Consultation Services website.

I want to be treated off of campus—are there any tips for helping me navigate that using Student Health Insurance?

Student Health Insurance offers four tiers of providers. Generally, your costs will be lower if you visit an OSU Health Plan Network doctor inside Franklin County, or a doctor within the UHC Options PPO Network outside of Franklin County. For specific information and to find a provider off-campus, visit SHI's Find a Provider page.

Where can I find information about my retirement benefits?

For basic information about retirement benefits, check out the first page of the Office of Human Resources Graduate Associate Benefits Guide [pdf].

I don’t want to enroll in retirement benefits. How do I get out of it?

For information about opting out of OSU retirement benefits, see the Request for Optional Exemption as Student Instructions [pdf]. You MUST do this within the first 30 days of employment.

What is the minimum number of hours for which a funded graduate student needs to be registered?

It varies depending on semester and placement in the program:

  • Autumn and spring semesters:
    • Pre-candidacy GTAs must be registered for eight credit hours.
    • Pre-candidacy graduate students on fellowship must be registered for twelve credit hours.
    • All post-candidacy students must be registered for three credit hours.
  • Summer term:
    • Pre-candidacy GTAs must be registered for four hours.
    • Pre-candidacy students on fellowship must be registered for six hours.
    • Post-candidacy students must be registered for three hours.

I understand that there is a minimum number of hours I must take--but is there a maximum I can take?

Course loads for full-time graduate students can vary depending upon a student's appointment or degree program landmarks. However, graduate students may not enroll for more than eighteen credit hours per semester, including audited courses, without advisor and Graduate School approval. See the graduate school's course registration guide for more information.

Where can I find more information about tuition and fees by credit hour?

The Registrar's student tuition and fee table website includes information on fees for graduate students by credit hour. 

Can I enroll in undergraduate classes?

Yes.  These courses count toward your total credit hours for any given semester, but they do not fulfill requirements of the program, the department, or any GIS or graduate minor you may be pursuing.  Note that the specifics of what "counts" will vary (for example, in the English department, only courses at the 5000-level or above are considered graduate-level coursework; if you take coursework outside English, courses at the 4000-level or above "count"). But there may be good reasons for you to register for courses at lower levels. Talk to your advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and/or faculty teaching the courses you're interested in.

What is the difference between auditing a course and taking a course S/U?

When you audit a course, it you receive no credit for it--it doesn't count toward your GPA or credit hours. An S/U carries credit and can meet some requirements, such as allowed S/U classes, hours toward full time and hours toward degree. 

What is the difference between an independent study and reading hours?

An independent study is directed by a faculty member and has a set goal (specific readings, a paper). It is expected that you meet with the faculty member regarding that material. Reading hours are not specifically directed, and account for the independent work you do preparing your program of study, reading for exams, dissertation, etc.

How do I take an independent study?

For information on how to arrange an independent study, visit the MA/PhD resources page and click on the "Registration" accordion.

Where can I request reading hours with my advisor?

Visit the MA/PhD resources page and click on the "Registration" accordion for more information on independently arranged courses.

What’s the deal with workshops? How do I know what is available, and when should I take one?

In addition to their regular coursework, MA/PhD and PhD students must complete two Graduate Workshops by the end of their fourth year in the program (preferably before candidacy).

The graduate workshops provide opportunities to enrich the department's formal graduate curriculum by regularly bringing in scholars from other institutions to discuss their recently-published and current work with students and faculty. Typically, the department is able to offer three to five workshops per academic year, which rotate among fields. Each workshop is organized by a faculty coordinator, and students enroll by signing up with the Graduate Studies office.  

The visiting speaker participates in two events: a public lecture or other kind of formal presentation, open to all members of the department and university community; and a closed session with graduate students who have enrolled in the workshop. For the smaller workshop, the visiting speaker assigns a text or group of texts for discussion (their own work or some other work relevant to the speaker's current interests). Students read the assigned texts on their own and submit short position papers to the faculty coordinator. The completion of these short essays, in combination with student participation, determine whether a student receives a grade of "S" (satisfactory) or "U" (unsatisfactory) for the workshop.

How many hours should I be registered for in the summer if I intend to take out a student loan?

This varies from student to student. For specific information, contact the Student Financial Aid Office.

Will I get a summer teaching appointment?

With the exception of creative writing workshops, which are assigned by the creative writing faculty, summer teaching appointments are awarded based on seniority and are usually filled by A.B.D. doctoral students.

How many hours should I be registered for in order to teach in the summer?

Students holding a TA position in the summer should be registered full time. For pre-candidacy TAs, this is 4 hours. For post-candidacy, this is 3.

What kinds of courses are available for me to take in the summer?

Summer course offerings in the Department of English are based on faculty availability, and not many graduate courses are offered; however, many courses are offered outside of the department, and summer is a particularly good time for taking language courses.

If I am not teaching during the summer, do I have to pay to take classes?

Summer semester tuition is waived for all students who have held associateships during the preceding two semesters.  Students taking advantage of this summer session fee authorization are responsible for the COTA bus fee, RPAC fee, and student activity fee.  Students using the summer fee authorization must be registered for at least four hours of credit.

How do I obtain health insurance during the summer?

Your summer health insurance premiums are already covered by your GTA, GAA or fellowship appointment.

Should I register for reading hours in the summer?

If you are out of coursework and holding a TA position or are on fellowship, you will need to register for reading hours. Students not in summer funding are not required to register for reading hours, but there may be particular cases in which you want to. Contact your advisor and/or the graduate office for advice particular to your situation.

If I am not registering for classes in the summer, do I have still have access to OSU benefits? 

You do have access to some benefits, such as health coverage and library access. Those benefits covered by your student activity fee, such as access to the fitness facilities, COTA access and D-tix, however, are unavailable to you.

Do I have an office? How do I know where it is?

All GTAs, GAAs, and fellowship students have space in a shared office. For questions about where your office is located, or to get a key to your office, contact (for MFA students) or Kathleen Griffin (.328) (for MA/PhD students). 

How do I log on to the computer in my office?

To log on to an office computer, you will need an ASC username and password. To set these up, call (614) 688-4447.

How do I make copies and/or print from my office?

The university uses Follow Me Printing. For instructions on how to use Follow Me Printing, visit the EngSource Department Policy and Procedure page and select the accordion labeled "Copying and printing allowance and procedure (Follow Me Printing)." You will need your BuckID to print and copy.

How many copies do I get per term?

Each graduate student in funding (via. dept. funding or fellowship) will have an annual allocation of 2,500 copied or printed pages on departmental machines. Anyone exceeding the annual allowance will need to request more by emailing the Administrative Manager, Wayne Lovely (.9) a brief rationale (150 words or less) detailing the necessity and specific research, teaching, or business purpose for the additional request.  If copy usage greatly exceeds the maximum allocation, the cost may be discounted from the individual’s travel/research allowance either in the current year or the following year.

How do I mail something?

To mail business items (including fellowship or award applications, journal or book submissions, or other items that promote your work) contact the English department front desk at, or 614-292-6065.

What is the DMP?

The Digital Media Project (DMP) provides equipment such as audio/video recorders and consults on its use, along with the use of digital media and software, in teaching and research. These consultations take all forms, from planned workshops during class meetings to walk-in conversations during lunch. Additionally, the DMP manages all computer classrooms on the 3rd floor of Denney Hall and its office offers a congenial space for work and collaboration. 

How is my teaching evaluated?

Your teaching is evaluated in a number of ways. Students evaluate you through discursive evaluations, which you are responsible for administering at the end of your course, and through an online evaluation system (SEI) that they must complete on BuckeyeLink by the beginning of exam week. If you are teaching a new course, you will also be observed and evaluated by the WPA or professor in charge of administering your course. For more information about English department policies regarding SEIs, visit the Classroom Resources page on EngSource and click on the "SEIs and discursive evaluations" accordion. For more information about SEIs overall, including how to access them, see the Office of the Registrar.

How do I access my teaching evaluations?

Your discursive teaching evaluations will be placed in your mailbox after final grades have been submitted. Online SEIs are available through the faculty center on BuckeyeLink.

How do I order textbooks for my class?

The main book order for Writing Analytically for sections of 1110.01 will be made by the Director of First Year Writing in one large order for sections taught by first year GTAs in their first term teaching only. All other GTAs teaching their own classes should consult the Classroom Resources page of EngSource and click on the accordion labeled "Textbook ordering policies and procedures" for information on how to order textbooks.

How do I reserve library books for the class I’m teaching?

To place items on course reserve see the University Libraries guide for course reservesNOTEDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, physical course reserves have been suspended for autumn 2020. University Libraries is happy to assist instructors with locating electronic alternatives or digital materials.

How do I check my enrollment and/or my roster?

To check your course enrollment, go to your BuckeyeLink Faculty Center, find your correct course and click on the roster icon.

How do I publish my Carmen course site?

To activate your Carmen site, see the Teaching & Learning Resource Center guide to publishing your course.

How do I have a library Carmen site made for my specific class?

If you are teaching English 1110, you will automatically have the First-Year Writing Guide embedded in your course page under "Library Link." If you're teaching any version of English 2367, you'll automatically have the English 2367 Guide embedded in your course page under "Library Link." Most other classes will have the English Literature & Culture Guide linked under "Library Link." If you have any problems or questions, you can contact our subject librarian, Jennifer Schnabel (.23).

Where can I get additional help with my teaching?

The Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning provides teaching instruction, evaluation and workshops. The Digital Union provides support for the digital components of your classes.

Can I swap a teaching time slot if I find someone who is willing to swap?

This depends both on the course and the time line. Either way, you will need to contact Deb Lowry (.40). 

Where can I find more enrollment information about Program 60 students in my course?

The Office of Extended Education oversees Program 60.

Where can I find out about my classroom?

To browse OSU classrooms, visit ODEE's Classroom Services page.

Whom do I contact if there is something wrong in with my classroom?

For classroom assistance, contact 8-HELP from a campus phone or (614) 247-4357 from an off-campus phone.

How do I get tech equipment (Mac adaptors, etc.) for my classroom?

You can check out equipment from the DMP

Who is our subject librarian? How can she help me?

Jennifer Schnabel, PhD, is the OSU Libraries Subject Librarian for English.  She's here to provide you with research guidance and support from the beginning of your program to your dissertation defense.  Whether it's a broad strategic question or small picky question don't be afraid to ask her. Research instruction for undergraduate and graduate courses also falls within her responsibilities.  The ENGL 1110 and 2367 library research curricula have been developed in collaboration with the department so that instructors will provide their own instruction. She will provide instructions to other courses if you request it. Finally, she manages OSUL's English and American literature collections--books, DVDs, journals and other materials. Contact Jennifer at if you need anything for your research or teaching.

How do I request a book from the library?

After locating the library book through the library catalog, simply click the “Request OSU Item” button. You will be asked for your name and ID number, and you'll need to select where to have an item sent.

Can I have library items delivered to my office?

While you can have library items delivered to your office, you are generally recommended not to. Should the items be lost in transit, you may be held responsible for them. Instead, have them sent to a library. The closest library to Denney Hall is the 18th Avenue Library. Please note: various library services have been amended due to COVID-19. Please consult the University Libraries website on checking out materials for the most up-to-date information.

What is OhioLink and should I use it?

OhioLink is a consortium of and borrowing agreement between Ohio Libraries, and can provide you with access to more than 48 million items. It is also your fastest way to access books or items not held by OSU libraries. Items requested through OhioLink will generally arrive within 3-5 business days.

Should I recall a book held by someone else?

It can take quite some time to get a book even if you recall it—up to two weeks. Generally speaking, OhioLink is your best and fastest option if the book you want from OSU libraries is checked out.

How do I request an article or book chapter from the library?

To request a PDF of an article or book chapter not available digitally, use ILLiad.

How do I pay my library fines?

To pay your library fines, see the library website.

PLEASE NOTE: University travel is currently restricted until December 31, 2020, due to COVID-19. 

Where do I find the graduate student travel policies and procedures?

Visit the EngSource Travel page.

Does the department provide any financial support for travel?

The Department of English provides $500 a year in conference and research travel support for graduate students.

What can be covered by the Department of English graduate student travel funding?

  • Travel to conduct research in the United States or abroad
  • Travel for invited research presentation at significant professional meeting or event in the United States or abroad
  • Traveling to a writing retreat for which there is a competitive selection process
  • Traveling to the AWP Conference to assist The Journal or participate on a panel
  • Expenses related to the translation or transcription of primary research or research materials
  • The purchase of research-related materials/equipment that are fairly unique to a student’s research.
  • Any request to use travel funding for non-travel related expenses needs to be reviewed by the Chair and Administrative Manager

Does the university provide any financial support for research travel?

For additional research funding, see the accordion below labeled "Fellowship, Grants and Graduate Associate Opportunities."

How do I start looking for additional travel funds to support my research?

After you have exhausted your university resources, try academic organizations specific to your field, as well as individual research libraries.

Where can I find the travel reimbursement form?

The most recent travel reimbursement form can be found on the Forms page of the College of Arts and Sciences Administrative Gateway.

What counts as a travel business expense?

Travel costs consisting of lodging, airfare, baggage fees, conference registration, taxi, subway, train, mileage or actual gas receipts, hotel internet, parking and rental cars.

How do I decide whether to drive or fly?

The decision to drive or fly is ultimately a personal preference; however, the university travel policy only allows for reimbursement of the cheaper option's cost. For instance, if you decided you would prefer to drive from Columbus to Chicago for a conference in January, you would only be eligible to be reimbursed up to the cost of what airfare would have been in the same time period. *PLEASE NOTE: Your actual reimbursement is dependent upon the amount of funding you have available.


The mileage cost estimate would be 712 round trip miles x .545 per mile = $402.28.

The airfare cost estimate that is obtained when you make the request for a T# would be $199.80.

As you can see, airfare is less expensive than driving. So, even if you choose to drive, you can only be reimbursed up to the cost of airfare.

An airfare vs. mileage comparison [pdf] must be included as an attachment when submitting your travel request to

What receipts should I save?

All original, itemized receipts for expenses you wish to be reimbursed should be saved. This includes, but is not limited to, lodging, ground transportation, registration, baggage, parking, rental car, and airfare itinerary and payment receipt. All receipts must show the form of payment (credit card, or last four digits of credit card number), date and the amount paid. If you do not have a receipt showing proof of payment, please provide a bank or credit card transaction summary or statement showing that the amount on the receipt you have provided was posted to your account.

For rental car receipts, if using a non-contracted agency, the required insurance coverage, Damage Waiver (DW), Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) and Liability Insurance (SPPL, SLP, and/or SLI), must be included on the receipt in order to be reimbursed. If using a contracted agency (National Car Rental or Enterprise Rent-A-Car), please be sure to book it with OSU's discount number (contact for the number). Using contracted agencies with the discount number automatically includes the required coverage and will help avoid delays in processing your reimbursement.

What if I paid an individual to stay in their home or paid my friend for half a hotel room? How can I get reimbursed?

To be reimbursed for costs incurred for lodging in an individual's home, you must provide a copy of the canceled check written to them and a signed contract (including your signature and your friend's signature) that includes the dates you stayed, the amount you were charged, the location of the residence and confirmation that you paid for the expenses in full.

When a friend pays for a hotel room in full and you pay your friend for your half, you will need to provide a copy of your canceled check and a copy of the lodging receipt in order to be reimbursed. Your roommate must write a letter indicating that it is acceptable for you to be reimbursed for your half. When a friend pays for a hotel room in full and you pay your friend for your half, you will need to provide a copy of the canceled check you wrote to them and a copy of the lodging receipt in order to be reimbursed. Your roommate must write a letter indicating it is acceptable for you to be reimbursed for your half and that he/she will not be reimbursed from another institution or party for the portion you paid them. If your roommate is also being reimbursed from OSU, please also provide his/her T#.

How do I split a hotel room and still get refunded by the university?

This is the preferred way to split a hotel cost: When checking out of the hotel, request that the concierge desk separate the bill for the room to only show your portion of the room, your payment, and include your name at the top of the bill. If the number of occupants says more than 1, you will need to list who stayed in the room with you and indicate that the receipt is only for your portion.

The other option would be to use each of the occupants’ credit cards to split the payment, so the bill will show 2 or more credit cards for the form of payment. You will need to indicate which credit card is for your share of the payment.

Can I go on vacation as part of this conference trip?

If you add vacation days or additional vacation destinations in conjunction with business travel, you will be required to provide a detailed explanation for and a comparison showing any cost variance in expenses in advance of your trip departure. You will only be reimbursed for the business travel portion of your trip. 

How do I know how much travel money I have remaining?

To inquire about your current balance in your travel allowance, simply send an email to or stop by Denney 421 to see Sarah Beaumont-White (.1), Fiscal Associate, or Wayne Lovely (.9), Administrative Manager.

There aren’t enough lines on the reimbursement worksheets! What do I do?

Please feel free to attach a separate spreadsheet or word document to your travel reimbursement form that includes all of your expenses that will not fit on the worksheet.

Is there any additional conference travel funding I can apply for?

For additional conference funding, see the accordion below labeled "Fellowship, Grants and Graduate Associate Opportunities."


Travel and Research Grants and Awards

Department of English

New Students

  • Enrichment Travel Grants for admitted prospective graduate students: The Department of English awards deed-based grants (up to $400 each) to defray prospective students' travel costs to attend the Graduate Program Open House each spring.
  • First-Year Graduate Enrichment Grants: The Department of English awards grants of up to $1000 to incoming students who contribute to diversity (underrepresented groups, first-generation students, students with disabilities). Grants may be offered at any point of the recruitment and enrollment process, but applications submitted by April 15 are given priority. Applications are evaluated based on the student's rationale for financial need. Information about enrichment grants is available on the Resources for Current MA/PhD Students page.

Current Students

  • Conference Travel Funds: $500 in conference travel support for all graduate students in funding
  • Additional Travel Funds up to $400
  • Job Market Funding

Information about graduate student conference travel and job market funding available on the Resources for Current MA/PhD Students and EngSource Travel pages.

The Ohio State University

Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Funding

  • Graduate Research Small Grants Program
  • Chu Memorial Scholarship
  • G. Michael Riley International Academic Fund

Graduate School

Council of Graduate Students


Graduate Associate Opportunities

The opportunities listed below have been available in the past. Please check the respective program or department's website to see if any of these opportunities are currently available.

Department of English Opportunities

  • First-Year Writing Program Writing Program Administrator
  • Second-Year Writing Program Writing Program Administrator
  • Professional Writing Minor Program Writing Program Administrator
  • Writing, Rhetoric and Literacy Studies Program Associate
  • Poetics Today Editorial Associate
  • Inks Journal Editorial Associate
  • MOOC Associate
  • Project Narrative Program Associate
  • Narrative Editorial Associate
  • Digital Media Project Administrative Associates
  • Environmental Humanities Discovery Theme Program Associate
  • LASER Program Associate
  • Lord Denney's Players Production ASsociate
  • Graduate Studies Program Associate
  • Study Abroad Teaching Associate
  • Affordable Learning Administrative Associates
  • Conference Organizing Associates
  • Faculty Research Associates

Extra-Departmental Opportunities

  • Center for Folklore Studies
  • Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Kirwan Institute
  • Center for Language, Literature and Culture
  • Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing
  • English as a Second Language Program
  • Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning
  • OSU Library (Collection and Technical Services)
  • Wexner Center for the Arts
  • ADA Coordinator's Office
  • Office of Engineering Education
  • Humanities Centers

Who is this year’s Job Placement Officer?

The Placement Officers for the 2020-2021 academic year are Jacob Risinger (.13) and Angus Fletcher (.300).

Are there university resources that will help me prepare for the job market?

The Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning provides year-round support with creating many job search documents, including the teaching and research statement. 

Is there a dossier service for students on the job market?

Yes.  The dossier service is available through the Department of English Graduate Studies Office. (A dossier is a file that includes your letters of recommendation, so that when you asked to submit them, they can be sent on your behalf without your having to contact your recommenders individually.)  Please contact Kathleen Griffin (.328) for more information.  MFA students: contact

Where can I find career guidance for non-teaching jobs?

The Graduate School provides several career development resources, including a calendar of job fairs. Of special note is the graduate school's subscription to The Versatile Ph.D. This website, created by an OSU English Alumnus, includes information about the different markets available to humanities PhD, as well as sample cover letters, resumes and narratives from PhDs who successfully transferred their skills to a non-academic market. For additional resources, visit the Professional Development Resources page of EngSource.

How do I park on campus?

For information on parking on campus, visit the CampusParc website

How do I use CABS?

For information on CABS, visit the Campus Area Bus Service website.

How do I use COTA?

Your student activity fee covers your COTA use every semester you are enrolled. Just swipe your BuckID when you get on the bus. For more information, visit the COTA website.

What if I want to use a bike to get around?

For bike accessories, try Paradise Garage in the Short North. If you are looking to buy or replace a bike for a reasonable price, try Once Ridden Bikes in Clintonville for refurbished used bikes.

As far as bicycle rules and regulations: helmets, while good, are not legally required for riders over 18 in Columbus. Lights for riding at night are legally required and carry a pretty hefty fine if you get caught without them (about $500). COTA buses have space for up to two bikes. For more resources for Columbus-area cyclists, check out the City of Columbus biking website.

There are city-funded, free bike maintenance stations peppered about. For a list of locations, visit the City of Columbus Bike Parking website and download the map of bike shelter locations. On campus, there is an electric air pump specifically for bicycles on the campus-side entrance to the parking garage immediately north of the Union. It's great for a quick fill up (quick is the key word here; you only need to put it in for a second or two; otherwise you could damage your wheels from too much pressure). For those who really want to go all out, there is the Third Hand Bike Co-op on 5th Ave where you can learn to work on your own bike, volunteer, and possibly buy refurbished bikes.

What is CGS? And what can it do for me?

CGS (the Council of Graduate Students) is the official branch of student government that represents every graduate student at the main and branch campuses. It is their main purpose is to work towards continual improvement of the graduate student experience at The Ohio State University.

CGS Officers and Delegates serve as staunch advocates during university policy-making decisions. Their competitive funding programs and "graduate-only" social events support the personal and professional development of any graduate students.

What is the OUAB, and what can it do for me?

The Ohio Union Activities Board, and specifically the Graduate and Professional Committee, provides free academic and non-academic programming for OSU students. Activities range from professionalization seminars to concerts.

Are there student discounts I should know about?

The D-Tix counter in the Ohio Union provides discounts to a number of concerts and Columbus area attractions. 

Additionally, you are eligible for a number of employee discounts through Buckeye Nation Rewards.

Please visit the IRS’ Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) page to determine whether or not you need to file taxes.

Are fellowship stipends taxable?

Ohio State does not withhold taxes from fellowship stipends of domestic and some international students because fellowships are considered awards, not pay for service. The government, though, does consider stipends taxable income. Students should keep track of their annual stipend amount and may be required to pay federal, state and Columbus city taxes. The Graduate School encourages fellows to consult a tax professional. The Ohio State Office of Business and Finance offers information to help understand your taxes, but does not offer tax advice. Information about fellowships and taxes can be found on the following IRS website.

Do I need to file a tax return in order to be eligible for student financial aid?

The U.S. Department of Education does not require individuals to attach tax returns to FAFSA if the individual is not required by the IRS to file a tax return. For more information, please visit the FAFSA webpage or visit BuckeyeLink.


  • Fisher Tax Clinic
  • This section is updated as we learn of additional resources. If you know of any, please share!

State Residency

To update your residency to the State of Ohio:

W2 Access for Former Employees

W2s for former employees will be mailed and are not available electronically.

The W2 file has already been created for an automated printing and mailing process.  We cannot stop that process and it will be mailed to the address on file at the time the W2 file was created.   The mailing process will begin on January 27th

If your home address is not up to date:

  1. You can call Payroll Services at 614-292-2311, after answering questions regarding your personal information to confirm your identity, you may provide a new address to us.
  2. You can complete the Change of Address form [pdf] which must be signed and sent to Payroll Services via e-mail attachment to or fax it to 614-688-3640.

Then Payroll Services has to wait for one of two things to happen:

  1. If the W2 is returned to OSU by the U.S. Postal Service Payroll Services can re-mail the original to the new address.
  2. If the W2 is not returned to OSU by February 15th Payroll Services will begin the “Re-print” process on that day for all the employees that have notified the office of an address change after the W2 file was created.

For all W-2-related questions, please email

[pdf] - Some links on this page are to Adobe .pdf files requiring the use of Adobe Reader. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact