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Graduate Student Life

Two students in a field.

Build your physics community

Being a graduate student is about so much more than academics. In the Department of Physics, there are organizations where you can build a community of like-minded students while growing as a scientist and as a person. We also offer support services to ensure emotional and physical needs are being met throughout your time as a student.

Get involved in outreach!

Informing and educating the broader community about physics and science is an important part of a career in physics. Graduate students can be instructors in OSU's middle school TAG program Adventures in Learning and the SMILE science program for underrepresented students in grades 4-12. Each year, the physics department runs Beaver Open House to introduce prospective undergraduates to OSU physics and participates in Discovery Days, a pre-College outreach program. Many of these outreach activities are done in conjunction with the Society of Physics Students, the undergraduate student club.

Graduate orientation

The graduate student orientation program runs during the week and a half before fall classes begin. Faculty, staff and experienced graduate students introduce incoming students to graduate courses, research, advising, TA orientation and administrative matters. The orientation ends with the departmental Fall Picnic in Avery Park.

Graduate student handbook

The physics graduate student handbook is a great resource about the department and requirements for your degree program. It details registration policies, forming your committee, timelines for your meetings, financial support, travel policies and more. Under normal circumstances, these rules and regulations remain in effect until you leave the program.

Download: 2023-24 Physics Graduate Student Handbook.pdf (pdf)

Graduate awards and fellowships

Incoming students are automatically considered for a number of graduate fellowship/scholarship awards that support graduate student success. Many students also receive additional fellowships and awards offered by the department, College and from national organizations.

Learn more and apply 

Find your place at Oregon State

Mental and emotional health resources

Graduate School can be a deeply rewarding experience, but many people may also find it stressful. As such, it's important that graduate students are aware of the counseling options that they have at Oregon State University.

Disability Access Services

Disability Access Services provides accommodations like alternative testing and classroom access, as well as resources and coaching to enhance student success at Oregon State University.