Program Overview

The OIST Graduate University offers an individualized PhD program assembled with the support of an Academic Mentor appointed to each student. The program will be designed to provide a secure foundation in the fundamentals of your field of research. We recognize every student as a unique individual and take this into account in the design of each student’s program. Alongside established courses we offer independent study with world-class faculty members who provide teaching at the most advanced levels, special topics of current interest, and participation in world-renowned OIST international workshops as part of the program.

OIST provides unparalleled opportunities for cross-disciplinary research due to its non-departmental structure.  Students may of course also work in narrow areas of research if they prefer.  In the first year, students rotate through three different research units, of which one is from outside the applicant's field in the broad sense (life sciences or physical science).  In the second year, students develop their research question and presnt thsi for examination as a thesis proposal in their chosen research unit.  If the proposal is accepted, the student then conducts researrch and writes this up as a thesis, which is defended in a public presentation and a private examination, before the end of the fifth year.

Students entering with a BSc are required to complete 20 credits of coursework and 10 credits of laboratory work, and pass an examination for progression to candidacy in the field of their thesis research.  Students who have completed an MSc or similar higher degree may receive partial waiver of the course credit requirement for relevant previous work.

Financial support is available for up to five years from the date of admission. A student entering the program with a BSc may require five years to complete their thesis research and graduate. More advanced students can complete in less time provided they fulfill academic requirements and present a thesis meeting the requirements.