Admissions and Enrollment Policies
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 documents, 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 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. Applicants from universities, where the language of teaching and/or examination is not English, are required to provide a standard language test score (TOEFL or IELTS). Non-native English-speaking applicants seeking admission on the basis of a qualification from a university where the language of teaching and/or examination is English, or applicants formerly enrolled in the OIST Research Internship Program are not required to provide a standard language test score.
iv. A minimum of two (and a maximum of five) 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 online event to select students for admission.
3.1 Online Event to Select Students for Admission
Online event to select students for admission will be held every year as below:
i Conduct interviews of candidates by the OIST faculty members. In the interview the faculty members discuss with the applicants their aims and their motivation to undertake graduate studies at OIST. The Admissions Committee will also discuss the applicants’ academic record and career aspirations. Applicants 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 applicants to meet existing students and faculty members.
3.2 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 final approval will be made by the President following Article 25 of the OIST University Rules. Successful applicants will be sent an official letter offering admission to the graduate program.
3.3 Enrollment Timing
Regular enrollment begins on September 1st. the beginning of Term 1. However, students may also enroll at the beginning of Term 2 (January 1st) or Term 3 (May 1st) with the approval of the President following Article 19 of the OIST University Rules. Applicants may choose early enrollment in May, or late enrollment in January. Applicants may also choose to defer to the next academic year but may not defer more than one academic year. Only one request will be accepted to change enrollment date in principle.
4 Research Internship (RI) to PhD Program Admission (also known as RI-PhD Pathway Admission)
OIST Graduate School facilitates progression of suitable research interns to the OIST graduate program via the following pathway:
- A recommendation letter (nomination) is submitted by OIST faculty, indicating the research intern’s suitability for the graduate program;
The nominated research intern applies to the graduate program via the Graduate School’s dedicated application system;
Graduate School assesses the applicant’s qualifications and suitability;
Graduate School invites at least 4 faculty members to interview the candidate;
The Graduate School representative informs the Admissions Committee of the interview evaluation results, and the Committee makes a final selection on the applicant’s acceptance to the OIST graduate program. Final approval will be made by the President following Article 25 of the OIST University Rules.
5 Transfer Students
Students who have commenced studies at another university and wish to continue their studies 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 and more- restricted areas is only available after the appropriate safety and equipment training has been completed. 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
Based on the provision of the Article 42 of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University University Rules, the Application Fee, Admission Fee and Tuition Fee are set as follows.
Application Fee: 0 Yen
Admission Fee: 0 Yen
Tuition Fee: 540,000 Yen /Annual
This Admissions and Enrollment Policies shall come into force from September 1, 2020.
This revised Admissions and Enrollment Policies shall come into force from May 1, 2021.
This revised Admissions and Enrollment Policies shall come into force from May 1, 2022.