Featured Departments

Arts and Sciences departments are home to some of the world’s top experts, who maintain dynamic collaborations with their peers across the globe. This allows us to maintain a competitive edge in research in these areas and provide our students with an exceptional educational experience. 


The Department of Anthropology is a national and international leader in discovery and research in evolution, ecology and health in peoples and primates around the world, past and present. The joint Ohio State-University of Pisa Field School in Medieval Archaeology and Bioarchaeology, places the department as an international leader in archaeological research and field work dedicated to understanding health, culture and population dynamics in Tuscany and Italy from the Middle Ages to modern times.


From the mountains of Chile to the glaciers of the South Pole, Ohio State astronomers travel the world to work at the cutting edge of astronomical research:  searching for planets around other stars, gravitational lensing, clues to the evolution of stars and galaxies, super-massive black holes, clusters of galaxies, large-scale structure of the universe, origin of chemical elements in stars, the Big Bang. Ohio State is member or partner in some of the world’s top facilities for observational research.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Leading-edge research by chemists and biochemists is addressing critical problems in energy, environment, health and defense. Some are working to develop energy-efficient batteries and electrocatalytic materials for chemical conversion and storage that has many potential applications. Others are identifying chemical pathways to interrupt pathogens; designing novel materials for better imaging, drug therapies and medical devices. Research is accelerated by access to advanced instrumentation and world-class facilities, including the new LEED-certified CBEC research laboratory.  


The School of Communication is home to several research labs: The Gaming Research Lab, for the study of video game uses and effects; the Media Integration Lab, for training in photojournalism, audio reportage and video journalism; and the New Media and Communication Technology Lab, employing quantitative and qualitative research techniques, and communication and design principles. 

Earth Sciences

Researchers study Earth History; Geodetic Science; Solid Earth Dynamics; Water, Climate, and the Environment; and Environmental Public Health, conducting both laboratory research and field work around the world. They look at natural processes and human impact on our planet such as climate and global change, polar science, water quality and availability, coral reef health and the impact of urbanization on the environment. Researchers have access to excellent resources:  Byrd Polar Center; Orton Geological Museum; Orton Geological Library. 


The Department of Economics is ranked 9th among public universities and 27th among all U.S. universities (U.S. News & World Report, 2013). Its top research areas include theoretical and applied microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. New areas of research focus include game theory; behavioral economics; mechanism design; gender and economics; and health economics. A new Sports and Society Initiative brings economics researchers together with other social scientists to examine issues around sports. 

Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology (EEOB)

EEOB researchers study animals, plants and microbes—their relationships among themselves and their environments—and their common ancestry. Faculty and students conduct field work locally and worldwide, questioning how nature works, from individual genes to entire ecosystems, at time scales of minutes to millennia; and have access to top research facilities and collections: the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory; Museum of Biological Diversity; advanced DNA sequencing facilities; Mathematical Biosciences Institute; Biological Sciences Greenhouses; Stone Laboratory Field Station.  


The Department of Geography is recognized as one of the top departments in the nation in the research fields of atmospheric and climate sciences; urban, regional and global studies; and management and analysis of geographic information. A new partnership with Ohio State’s Center for Aviation Studies and The Ohio State University Airport places the department in the forefront of research in security, management and the economic impact of the air transportation industry. 


From algebra to topology and every major area in between, mathematics faculty and students do leading-edge research in pure math and in topics important in modern technological and scientific endeavors. The mathematics department is a prominent national mathematical research center, home to the Mathematical Research Institute, which promotes research interactions in the mathematical sciences among Ohio State faculty and researchers worldwide. In partnership with the statistics department, it is home to the world-class NSF-sponsored Mathematical Biosciences Institute.   


Microbiology research can have important applications for human health care and environment. Faculty and students study all levels of interactions of microorganisms with humans, animals and the environmental issues. Research topics range from: the molecular basis of diseases and antibiotic resistance to production of commercial enzymes; immunobiology and cancer to pollutant biodegradation and environmental remediation; life at 100°C on the ocean bottom to photosynthesis; basic molecular mechanisms; to food protection and bioenergy. 

Molecular Genetics

Much of the basic research done in molecular genetics is closely tied to real-world problems. Looking at the way the cell cycle is regulated during mitosis can provide insights about how cancer develops and might be treated. Studies on oxidative stress response and oxidant-induced cell death provides clues to better understand the aging process in humans. And work on the structure of plant gene regulatory networks and mechanisms underlying combinatorial gene regulation holds potential to enhance crop production.


The School of Music has a preeminent worldwide reputation in research on music cognition. It is home to the Cognitive and Systematic Musicology Laboratory, supported by Ohio State’s Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences.


Physicists conduct world-class research in nearly every major area of modern physics, supported by outstanding facilities and centers: the Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; the Center for Exploration of Novel Complex Materials; and the Center for Emergent Materials, an NSF-funded MRSEC. Ohio State is the only university in the country whose physicists work on 3 (ATLAS, ALICE, CMS) of the 4 Large Hadron Collider (LHC) detectors at CERN; and who worked on the ATLAS, CMS experiments that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012.  

Political Science

The Department of Political Science is home to some of the nation's leading research programs in political psychology; political economy; formal theory and political theory; and a new research program in race, ethnicity and gender. The department is ranked as a world leader in the field of international relations (IR)—with scholars whose work has had the greatest influence on the IR field in the past 20 years. 


The Department of Psychology has 30,000 square feet of laboratory space dedicated to research in the areas of clinical and cognitive psychology, and social and developmental psychology. Labs include the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Clinic; Concepts and Learning Lab; Depression Treatment and Research Clinic, Psychology Services Center and Developmental Language & Cognition Lab.


The Department of Sociology is a leading department in research in stratification and inequality; community and urban sociology; criminology, population and health; education; family; occupations and work; and political sociology. Three of the premier interdisciplinary research centers at Ohio State, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies; the Criminal Justice Research Center; and the Institute for Population Research, are directed by sociology faculty members.

Speech and Hearing Science

The Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic is a nationally-recognized leader in clinical research and intervention in speech perception/production; language acquisition; auditory processing disorders; Aphasia; literacy; Tinnitus; and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). 


Statistics research encompasses areas ranging from the development of methodology for data acquisition and analysis to the science of decision making under uncertainty. The department emphasis is to maintain innovative excellence in research that is targeted to the development of statistical methodology motivated by providing solutions to a variety of real-world problems. One recent project is to develop a model pediatric traumatic brain injury data base to unlock critical information to expedite better care.