Oregon State University offers admission to applicants whose records demonstrate the highest potential for graduate study and promise for substantial contribution to both their academic professions and to a diverse, global society. The university fosters an environment that welcomes inclusiveness.

Admission decisions are based on many factors, such as the quality of the applicant’s prior academic degree and record of accomplishment, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation from professors or others familiar with the applicant’s academic work, performance in aptitude and achievement tests, relevant work experience, preparation in the proposed field of study, and the connection of the applicant’s academic goals with the faculty’s research interests.

Application forms required for admission are available on the OSU Graduate School website.


  • A four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and a 45-quarter (equivalent) credit hour graduate degree from an accredited university.
  • A master level degree from an accredited university with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher. 
  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the GRE is now optional for applications.
  • Course transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • Three letters of recommendation and recent resume. Reference letters and resumes should be submitted through the Graduate School application system.
  • Statement of purpose concerning why the applicant would like to pursue the PhD in Public Policy at Oregon State University. The statement should include your reasons for applying to the program, academic and professional background information, policy interests, and any personal experiences or history that are related to your interests in public policy. 
  • A writing sample. 
  • Domestic students are strongly encouraged to submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Student Aid Report and to indicate if they are a veteran and/or a first generation college student.
  • Identification of at least three possible mentors from the PhD Public Policy Faculty.
  • Only applicants interested in a full-time resident PhD program should apply.

Satisfaction of minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission, since the number of qualified applicants may far exceed the number of places available. As a consequence, many well-qualified applicants may not be accommodated.

General graduate admission standards for international students are available at: Graduate School Admissions Information; for specific country requirements also see: Country Requirements

All international applicants must meet minimum requirements as detailed above.

For calculation of U.S. equivalent grades, see: 

Please note that the Public Policy PhD Program does not consider Conditional Admission for international students who do not meet the minimum OSU TOEFL scores or that is below a combined 90. IELTS scores must be 7.0 or higher for consideration of admission to the PhD. 

The Graduate School can grant application fee waivers only in limited circumstances for domestic applicants who meet specific criteria.

All applications for the PhD in Public Policy at Oregon State University must be complete by January 20 for full consideration for a Graduate Assistantship or a Provost's Fellowship or Scholarship (for Fall Quarter admission only).  Note that faculty will nominate students for these awards.

See Yourself Here. Take a virtual tour of the OSU campus and of the School of Public Policy (SPP) Graduate Program Spaces located in Bexell Hall.

Mike Terry, Graduate Program Assistant

Hilary Boudet, Graduate Program Director