Admissions and Enrollment Policies
Effective Date: September 1, 2020
1 Eligibility for Admission to the Graduate Program
Graduate School Admission Policy can be found in PRP 5.1.1.
Successful candidates for the OIST Graduate Program will only be enrolled into a doctoral program, and only as full-time students. Students must intend to complete the program leading to a PhD. There is at present no provision for a student to undertake an MSc.
2 Application for Admission to the Graduate Program
An applicant who wishes to become a candidate for a PhD shall apply for admission via the Graduate School’s dedicated application system. The President may permit flexibility in time of entrance, for example when this would give an advantage in the recruitment of excellent students, or when this would be of benefit for the academic progress of the student.
Specific application period and closing dates are announced on the OIST public website. Prospective students are required to submit an application for admission online. All forms are to be completed in English.
The OIST Graduate School reserves the right to request an external evaluation of academic qualifications from any applicant.
The following documents are required:
i. Official academic transcript and authenticated copies of diploma (BSc, MSc, etc.) An English explanation is required for transcripts that are not written in English.
ii. Applicant’s statement. This should be not more than 400 words and should address the following points:
a. The applicant’s scientific interests and aspirations, and;
b. What the applicant hopes to gain from undertaking graduate studies at OIST.
iii. An applicant who is seeking admission on the basis of a qualification from a university for which the language of teaching and/or examination is not English is required to provide standard language test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) obtained within last 2 years. There is no minimum score required but the information is necessary in determining preparatory course requirements.
iv. A minimum of two letters of recommendation from appropriate academic sponsors.
The following documents may be submitted optionally, and will be taken into consideration by the selection committee if available:
i Additional evidence of academic ability such as GRE general test scores obtained within last 2 years.
ii Additional material such as copies of publications and abstracts of oral presentations, and other evidence of achievement.
3 Selection for Admission
For general admissions to the graduate program, the Admissions Committee makes the selection of students for admission, in accordance with the policies, rules and procedures of the Admissions Committee.
This Committee reviews all material submitted by each student and makes a shortlist of applicants. The short-listed applicants are invited to an Admissions Workshop.
3.1 Admissions Workshop (Onsite or Online)
Admissions Workshop will be held every year. The aims of the Admissions Workshop are to:
i Conduct interviews of candidates by the OIST faculty members. In the interview the Committee discusses with the student their aims and their motivation to undertake graduate studies at OIST. The panel will also discuss the student’s academic record and career aspirations. The student will have an opportunity to ask questions about the graduate program.
ii Provide tours or videos and information sessions of OIST research and teaching facilities, student support and accommodation, and the surrounding environments.
iii Provide a social program giving an opportunity for students to meet existing students and faculty members.
3.2 Travel Rules for Candidates Attending Onsite Admissions Workshop
For those invited to attend the onsite workshop, the travel costs will be paid by OIST. The workshop will comprise a minimum of two full days in Okinawa, with flexibility regarding additional time.
Meals and accommodation
OIST will cover the cost of accommodation and meals for candidates attending the Admissions Workshop at the OIST Graduate University. Breakfast, lunch & dinner and accommodation (OIST Seaside House and others) will be provided from the night one day before the workshop until the morning one day after the workshop.
1: OIST will provide a round trip flight based on the questionnaire candidates have submitted in economy class between Okinawa and the airport closest to the candidate’s address by the most direct economical route, including expenses for any layover (at any Japanese or foreign cities).
2: Candidates are not permitted to change or cancel their flight and accommodation made after OIST has booked the tickets. In case of any breach of this rule, flight and/or accommodation might be charged to the candidate.
3: OIST will arrange transportation between Naha (Okinawa) airport and OIST Seaside House or accommodation nearby, and transportation between OIST Seaside House or accommodation nearby and OIST campus. If a candidate does not arrive in and/or depart from Okinawa as
scheduled for personal reasons, they will be responsible for arranging and paying for their own transportation.
4: If candidates wish to purchase domestic travel insurance, they are asked to do so at their own expense. However, OIST will pay in principle, for international travel insurance for candidates who travel internationally.
5: Candidates are expected to arrive at OIST one day before the workshop. The workshop will comprise a minimum of two full days in Okinawa, with flexibility regarding additional time. A longer stay in Okinawa beyond the day after the workshop is permitted until 3 days after the workshop, provided that the Dean of the Graduate School approves the itinerary in advance. In case of an extended stay the candidate will assume any and all risk and responsibility for such extended stay and be responsible for arranging and paying for their own accommodation and expenses. Candidates shall comply with any and all instruction and OIST internal rules while on OIST premises as well as Japanese laws and regulations during his/her stay in Japan (before, during and after the workshop).
6: OIST shall not be responsible for any liabilities for damages suffered by candidates, unless such liability for damages results from the willful act or gross negligence of OIST officers and employees. OIST also shall not be responsible for any liabilities for damages suffered by candidates which is not during the workshop or which is not within the scope of the workshop.
3.3 Final Selection
The Admissions Committee will make a final selection of applicants who will be offered a place in the graduate program, and inform the Admissions and Registrar Section. The successful applicants will be sent an official letter offering admission to the graduate program.
4 Progression of Research Interns to the Graduate Program
OIST Graduate School permits the progression of suitable research interns to the graduate program via the following pathway:
i Nomination is submitted by OIST faculty, indicating the research intern’s suitability for the graduate program.
ii Nominated research intern applies for the graduate program via the Graduate School’s dedicated application system.
a Graduate School assess applicant’s suitability
b Graduate School forms an Admissions Sub-Committee with the following composition:
- Nominating faculty member
- Additional faculty member
- Admissions committee member
- Graduate School representative (facilitator)
iii Committee (minus the nominating faculty) interviews the applicant
iv The Admissions Sub-Committee will make a final selection of applicants, and the facilitator will
inform the Admissions Committee of the decision
5 Transfer Students
Students who have commenced studies at another university and wish to continue their students at OIST and obtain the OIST PhD degree may, under special circumstances, be admitted subject to meeting admission standards. Such cases may arise, for example, when newly appointed faculty members with existing graduate students are appointed at OIST before their students complete their studies. In such cases OIST wishes to ensure the best possible outcome for the students and their supervisors while preserving the high international standards of the graduate program.
Transfer students should complete the application process in the same way as other students but their folder should include a letter from the OIST faculty member explaining the situation and recommending the student for the OIST graduate program.
In addition to PRP 5.4.2, for graduate students registering for the doctoral program leading to a PhD, the following conditions apply:
i Registration is restricted to full-time candidates.
ii A full-time candidate may hold an external scholarship or receive financial support from OIST, or a combination of both, to enable him or her to study on a full-time basis, but may not otherwise hold employment.
iii The full-time status of the student must be confirmed by the student and the Dean of the Graduate School.
In order to register, the student, must submit all forms in complete form to the Admissions and Registrar Section.
If the student does not fulfill all the requirements for registration by the deadline announced by the Office of the Graduate School, the admission will be automatically cancelled.
7 Student ID Card
All students are required to carry a valid Student ID Card to access OIST facilities (doorways, classrooms, laboratories, administrative offices, libraries, etc.), and must present it when certificates are issued or when OIST staff asks for identification. Short-term students will be provided with a temporary Student ID card.
7.1 Card Issue and Return
When the student has been registered by the Graduate School, he or she will be issued with a Student ID Card. The card remains the property of the Graduate School, and must be returned upon completion of the period of study. The card becomes invalid once the student is no longer a registered student at OIST.
Entry to general laboratory areas is only permitted after the student has successfully completed the induction program during Enrollment Week, or similar. Additional access to specific more
restricted areas will only be made available after the appropriate safety and equipment training has been provided. Such access will only be provided while the student has a need to enter those particular restricted areas.
7.3 Loss and Replacement of Cards
In the event that a Student ID Card is lost or misplaced, the student must immediately inform the Admissions and Registrar Section. A replacement Student ID Card will be issued.
Student ID Cards may not under any circumstances be loaned out or used by other persons, whether or not those persons are themselves authorized to have access to OIST facilities. Cards may not be copied, reverse- engineered, distributed without permission, or cryptanalyzed. Cards remain the property of OIST even when invalidated. The Dean of the Graduate School may take disciplinary action in the event that these provisions are not followed.
8 Application Fees, Admission Fees and Tuition Fees
The Application Fee, Admission Fee and Tuition Fee (Article 42 of the University Rules) are set as follows.
Application Fee: 0 Yen
Admission Fee: 0 Yen
Tuition Fee: 540,000 Yen /Annual
Payment of the Tuition Fee is by deduction of one-twelfth of the Tuition Fee from the monthly Research Assistant payments, over 12 months.