Frequently Asked Questions
- Are all student who are offered admission also provided financial aid?
- Am I required to submit a separate application to be considered for a graduate assistantship?
- Do I need to contact and choose an advisor prior to applying to the graduate program?
- Do you admit in Fall and Spring semesters?
- As an international applicant, am I required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score?
- What are the minimum English proficiency scores that an applicant must have to apply to the program?
- For the GRE and TOEFL scores, what is your institution's code?
- What application materials are required?
- Do you need my official transcripts to consider me for admission?
- How do I submit my application materials?
- What test dates are acceptable?
- Must all my application materials arrive before the application deadline?
- Can I provide my GRE scores to the department or must they come to you directly from the educational testing service?
- How long does the program keep my file? May I request submitted information to be returned?
- Will I need to submit a new application and fee after one year?
- When is the application deadline for your program?
- How many credits are required to complete the doctoral program?
- What kind of exams are there and when do they take place?
- How long does it take to get a Ph.D.?
- What is your schedule for notifying applicants of acceptance or rejection?
- Is an acceptance by email sufficient to hold my place in your program?
- What should my goal statement contain?
Are all students who are offered admission also provided financial aid?
Only our PhD program comes with support. In recent years, students who are selected for admission and financial support receive a stipend (updated amount of $19,500 for the Academic Year ( Fall $9,750 & Spring $9,750) and Summer $6,500 with a full tuition waiver up to 16 credits. Students receiving financial support conduct either 20 hours per week of either assisted research or as a teaching assistant in either the Physics or Chemistry department.
In addition to the stipend and tuition remission for the academic year, students may receive a partial health insurance credit to be applied towards a health insurance plan for graduate students offered through Kent State University.
Our Master's program is a self-supporting program that does not come with any support in regards to a stipend, tuition waiver, or partial health insurance waiver. If you are needing support of any kind, it is suggested that you apply for the PhD program.
Am I required to submit a separate application to be considered for a graduate assistantship?
No. All applicants to our doctoral program are considered for financial support in the form of a graduate assistantship at the time they are considered for admission. Please note that students in the M.S. programs are not considered for assistantships, as our Master's program is a self-supported program.
Do I need to contact and choose an advisor prior to applying to the graduate program?
No, you do not need to reach out to faculty about joining their research group prior to being admitted into the program. Instead we suggest you look at our website at our faculty research and you can express your interest with whom you would like to work with and what research you are interested in or have done in your goal statement section of your application.
We highly encourage that once students are admitted into our program and arrive at the University that they meet with all of our faculty and research groups to determine whom they would like to work with.
Do you admit in Fall and Spring semesters?
We only admit graduate students into our program during Fall semesters. We recommend having all application materials submitted by January 15th for full consideration of Fall. Any application that is received after this deadline will have a decreasing chance the later they arrive for admission and full financial aid (stipend, tuition, partial health insurance).
As an international applicant, am I required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score?
All international applicants whose education has been primarily outside of the United States must provide objective evidence of proficiency in the English language. A list of exceptions to this can be found here.
What are the minimum English Proficiency scores that an applicant must have to apply to the program?
TOEFL – 525 (paper based); 71 (internet based)
MELAB – 77
IELTS – 6.0
Duolingo – 100
For the GRE and TOEFL scores, what is your institution's code?
What application materials are required?
- Completed Graduate Application for Admission
- Official transcripts of academic work and degree certificates from each college or university attended
- Goal Statement/Statement of Purpose
- Two confidential letters of recommendation
- Application Fee
- English proficiency examination scores (international applicants)
- Official score reports of the GRE (recommended, but not required)
Do you need my official transcripts to consider me for admission?
Kent State University requires applicants to submit either an official transcript or copy of an official transcript from each college or university in which the applicant completed 8 or more credit hours (undergraduate and graduate coursework as well as any coursework done while in high school). Applications will not be processed if official transcripts are not uploaded into the application portal.
How do I submit my application materials?
The online admissions portal allows applicants to upload their materials. After completing the online application form, applicants will receive notification via e-mail that it was received. Applicants can also view the status of their submitted application using the Login ID that they created to complete the application. The Division of Graduate Studies will send applicants periodic e-mail reminders regarding any required application materials that have yet to be received. You can upload all of these documents to your online application.
Once all required application materials are received, the completed application form and materials are electronically forwarded to the either Graduate Admissions or International Admissions for official review. If all materials are complete they will then forward to our program program for review. Once the application is reviewed in full. The program's review committee then forwards its recommendation for admission or denial to the academic college dean. The dean's final admission decision is sent to the Division of Graduate Studies where it is documented on the applicant's record. The official admission decision letter is sent by the dean of Graduate Studies. Once the applicant receives this letter, the Materials Science Graduate Program will follow up with their offer letter. If the applicant is an international student, once accepted for admission, the Office of Global Education will issue the I-20 or DS-2019 by using this link to request an Immigration Document: https://www.kent.edu/globaleducation/request-immigration-document
Domestic application are received and processed by the Division of Graduate Studies. All application materials must be uploaded into the application system.
International applications are received and processed by Kent State's Office of Global Education. Applicants who required an F-1 or J-1 student visa must:
- Meet the visa eligibility requirements.
- Verify that they have the financial resources to cover their expenses during graduate study at Kent State University. The Financial Information Worksheet for International Students is available through the Office of Global Education. If a governmental entity is funding the student, an official letter regarding the funding must be submitted along with the Financial Information Worksheet for International Students.
What test dates are acceptable?
Our Graduate School requires recent, official score reports. GRE scores more than 5 years old and TOEFL scores more than 2 years old are not acceptable.
Must all my application materials arrive before the application deadline?
Submission of all materials by the application deadline is strongly encouraged. We begin to evaluate applicants' materials immediately after the deadline. The earlier a file is complete, the earlier a formal decision can be made concerning admission. Materials that arrive after the deadline may hinder their file from being reviewed by the Admission Committee, as they only review complete files.
Can I provide my GRE scores to the program or must they come to you directly from the Educational Testing Service?
We invite students to send us early 'unofficial' copies of their GRE and TOEFL test scores. These can be used for internal program evaluation for admission. However, the University requires that 'official' results from the TOEFL or IELTS reach us from the testing agency before any admission offer can be extended.
How long does the program keep my file? May I request submitted information to be returned?
Your file will be kept for one year. Contact the program, via email, to obtain guidelines on how to update your file. Once documents are submitted to the program, they will not be returned.
Will I need to submit a new application and fee after one year?
Yes, together with updated versions of all documents needed.
When is the application deadline for your program?
Our application priority deadline for Fall semester enrollment is January 15 . In practice, this means we begin reviewing all completed applications in early February, or as soon thereafter as they are complete. We will continue to accept applications past the deadline, they simply have a decreasing chance, the later they arrive, for consideration for admission and for full financial aid. Our application process remains formally open until our class is full.
How many credits are required to complete the doctoral program?
Students with a bachelor's degree are required to complete 90 credit hours – 12 credit hours of core courses, 48 credit hours of elective courses with a maximum of 20 research credit hours, and 30 credit hours of dissertation.
Students with a master's degree are required to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours (depending on previous coursework) – 12 credit hours of core courses, 18 credit hours of elective courses with a maximum of 20 research credit hours, and 30 credit hours of dissertation. The exact number of credits required depend on the nature of the master's degree and will be specified in the admission letter. The choice of electives must be approved by the student's faculty advisor. If a required core course is not available, an equivalent course may be substituted with permission of the graduate coordinator.
What kind of exams are there and when do they take place?
- Ph.D. Candidacy Exam - Students are expected to take the Ph.D. Candidacy exam after completing one full year of graduate courses. This takes place in the first summer semester.
- Ph.D. Defense - Once all the program requirements for the Ph.D. degree are satisfied, including submission of a dissertation, the student defends the dissertation during an oral examination before a panel of faculty.
How long does it take to get a Ph.D.?
Typically up to 5 years for students with bachelor's degree, and about 4 years for students with masters' degree.
What is your schedule for notifying applicants of acceptance or rejection?
We usually begin to send offers of admission in mid-February, and continue to admit students until we believe sufficient offers have been made to fill our class for the coming year. Later offers may be made if space is available. Rejection notices are not usually sent until after June.
Is an acceptance by email sufficient to hold my place in your program?
Notifying us by email of your acceptance is strongly encouraged before the deadline. We also ask that you email us your signed program offer letter, as well as accept the University offer through the application system.
What should my goal statement contain?
A goal statement should indicate an applicant’s intended field of study, potential advisor with whom they could see themselves working with in the Materials Science Graduate Program, and likely career plans. Applicants are advised to be as specific as they can in describing their interests, though we do understand that specificity is not always possible. Please note you do not need to reach out to faculty prior to your admission as students do not need to find a research group/advisor to join prior to being admitted into the program.
Regarding your goal statement applicants often discuss topics and answer questions such as the following:
- Why are you interested in materials science?
- Why are you interested in a PhD from Kent State University?
- What areas of materials science research most attract you, and why?
- What exposure have you had to the areas of materials science research you prefer?
- What career direction do you plan to follow after completing your degree?
- If you have broad interests within materials science, and still have an open mind about which area of research you would like to pursue, this is often viewed by our Admission Committee as a positive attribute, and certainly does not put your application at a disadvantage.
- The above are just examples, and you may address somewhat different issues if you wish. There is no expectation about the minimum or maximum length of your CV or your goal statement.