HRS PhD Admission Requirements

The HRS PhD program is a rigorous program of study based on biomedical and health related sciences which demand a full-time commitment to be successful. As such, special or conditional admission will be rare. Most if not all admissions will be in the regular classification.

To be admitted to the HRS PhD program, each applicant must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Graduate Program Application
  • Overall 3.0+ GPA (and TOEFL if applicable)
  • Note: International students whose native language is not English must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Official Transcripts
  • Send one set of official transcripts from each school attended to Ohio State Graduate and Professional Admissions (excludes Ohio State transcripts)
  • Hold a Professional or Master’s degree (or equivalent) at the time of matriculation
  • Identification of a PhD Advisor – Each applicant must submit a prospective advisor agreement form and indicate a clear commitment from a P-status graduate faculty member from HRS. Find a Faculty Advisor here. Submit to to have it added to your application.

Additionally, each applicant must submit the following required documentation:

  • Personal Statement – An applicant’s written personal statement should address the following:
    • What type of research do you want to pursue as a PhD student at Ohio State? Ideally, pose a question, define a problem, or indicate a theme you might like to address as part of your graduate training. Show depth of understanding in your chosen research area and a capacity for creative, original thought. Include how/why a chosen mentor is right for you and how you fit within their research program.
    • What is your motivation for pursuing a PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences? How is the program a strong fit for your career goals?
    • What is your preparation for the HRS PhD program? Discuss your background and training in the health and rehabilitation sciences field and/or related fields along with your relevant research experience in terms of class projects, fieldwork, laboratory research, etc. For research experience, discuss your specific role in the work, the scientific questions you asked, methods, results, and conclusions. Without duplicating responses from elsewhere on the application, briefly relate your past experience to the research you would like to conduct in graduate school and to your future goals.
    • What circumstances in your life have contributed to your development as an individual and a researcher? How will these experiences influence your success? Is there any other information you wish to share?
  • Three Recommendations – There are two components to each recommendation: 1) Prospective PhD Student Attributes Survey, and 2) Letter of Recommendation
    • The Prospective PhD Student Attributes Survey will be sent via Qualtrics by the HRS Graduate Program Office to each recommenders’ provided email address once their contact information is submitted by the applicant on their application.
    • Letters of Recommendation should be submitted to Graduate and Professional Admissions by the recommender after completing the Attributes Survey. It is crucial that letters reflect outcomes of the survey and address at least the following: 
    • Based on at least one example, provide your opinion of the applicant’s ability to think critically and problem solve.
    • Comment on the integrity and ethical standing of the applicant and provide supporting evidence.
    • Describe any other noteworthy attributes you feel speak to the likelihood of the success of the applicant in the HRS PhD program.
    • Applicants Note: It is crucial that recommenders NOT submit letters of recommendation until AFTER they complete the Attributes Survey. It is your responsibility to communicate with your recommenders that the letter must reflect the survey and address the required content above. 
  • Writing sample providing evidence of the highest standards of research the applicant has taken part in (e.g., a master’s or undergraduate honors thesis, published manuscript, etc.) 
  • Submission of Updated CV

Application Review and Interview

  • Only complete applications will be reviewed by the HRS Graduate Studies Committee. Candidates for admission may be invited to participate in a formal verbal interview (in person or virtual) which will include at least two HRS graduate faculty, and includes a brief writing exercise.