Student Information

Graduation and continuation to doctoral program

In this guidelines you will find:

  • General questions about graduation period and requirements
  • How thesis defense is organized
  • What should be submitted to e3 office
  • What is the procedure to continue to doctoral program
  • What is the procedure to extend the MEXT scholarship
  • How extension screening for MEXT e3 scholarship is done
  • MEXT return ticket application timing


Q1. How long does it take to earn a master's degree?

Normal period of enrollment is two years. So far majority of the students graduate in two years. 

Q2. Is it possible to graduate in less than two years?

A student normally spends his first year on coursework as he has to earn at least 30 credits, 20 from regular courses (each course carries 1 or 2 credits) and another 10 credits from seminars regularly held in his laboratory.  The second year is spent on research which in most cases, include experiments. It is possible to shorten the enrollment period if you complete all the course work and show excellent research results (requirements on the number/quality of the publications are set up by each division, please check out student manual for more details and consult your supervisor).

Q3. Where can I find division-specific graduation requirements?

Additionally to course work completion requirements, there are division-specific requirements, you should check the manual of the year of your enrollment for the graduation requirements.

Q4. When is my thesis defense?

Students enrolled in April will have their thesis defense together with graduating Japanese students in February.  Longer time of presentation is recommended to be allocated for e3 students (20 presentation + 10 discussion), but not always applied by each particular division. For those enrolled in October e3 thesis defense is usually scheduled during the 1st-2nd week of August. 

Q5. What should I prepare for my thesis defense?

Your supervisor will identify at least 3 professors as your examination committee members.  You will give each member a copy of your draft thesis at least one week before your defense.  Below is the calendar you should follow:

  • a copy of draft thesis to examination committee members - one week before the thesis defense
  • a certain number of copies of your PPT handout or abstract - for distribution at the defense
  • a final hard copy of your thesis and its 4-page abstract, list of publications/awards and plan after the graduation by March 5th (April intake students) or 5th September (October intake students) to e3 office - for publication and binding. Details are below at Q6.

Q7. What shall I submit to e3 office?

1) e3 is publishing the dates of your final defenses on-line for your colleagues to be able to attend. Please inform e3 office about the date&time, room and title of your public presentation before the deadline or as soon as fixed.

Deadlines: March graduation - by January 30, September graduation - by July 30;

2) e3 office publishes research achievements of our students, maintains alumni database, binds and keeps a copy of graduation thesis of Master's students. We also conduct a survey on students' academic experience during the program.
Please submit to e3 office the following before the deadline:

1. Final dissertation abstract, PDF (preparation guidelines:

2.Full text of the thesis (physical copy and PDF)

3. List of first-author publications in English (including conferences) and awards

4. Plan and contact information after the graduation.

5. Exit survey

Deadline: for September graduates is September 5, for March Graduates - March 5.

Q8. Where the achievements, abstracts, thesis manuscripts are published?

Thesis abstracts, awards and achievements, alumni profile are published on-line. Thesis manuscripts are not published on-line. One copy of thesis manuscript that you submit is kept at e3 office, a copy will be sent to you and to each member of your examination committee.

Thesis abstracts
Alumni database

Q8. Is there a format for thesis and abstract?

Guidelines for preparing thesis and abstract can be downloaded from e3 noticeboard. Guidelines for the thesis are tentative.

Q9. How do I proceed to the doctoral program?

You need to submit your application for the admission to the doctoral program and pay application fee within the official payment period (MEXT and CSC scholarship holders are exempted from the payment).

Application deadline: May 31 for students enrolled in October,  November 15 for students enrolled in April.

Please check more details of the application documents and deadlines at the admission page.

*If you have your own scholarship please make sure to check out the extension procedures with the scholarship authority well in advance.

Q10. I am a MEXT scholarship holder, what do I have to do if I want to continue to the doctoral program?

MEXT scholarship holders are required to apply for the extension of the scholarship nearly one year in advance. There are 3 types of MEXT scholarships which have slightly different extension procedures.

(1) awarded by the e3 program- if you are holding this type of scholarship, you have to compete for the doctoral scholarship with master's students who were awarded the scholarship at the same time with you and new applicants. The evaluation process is given below.

(2) awarded through the embassy in the student's country - if you are holding this type of scholarship your master's scholarship can be extended to cover the doctoral program, you don't need not compete for the doctoral scholarship directly. However you still have to be evaluated whether you qualify to proceed to the doctoral program and final approval of the extension is subject to the decision of MEXT. Evaluation includes your GPA during the master's course.

(3) awarded through the university (individual professor recommended you through the university) - if you are holding this type of scholarship, please refer to (1) above.

Q11. What kind of evaluation is used to select students for the MEXT doctoral scholarships offered by the program?

The following criteria are used:

  • coursework achievement - final grades, ranking in each class
  • Publications
  • Supervisor's recommendation
  • Oral presentation - (Years are added as example to make it easier to understand.)  Students who enrolled in October 2013 and intend to proceed to the doctoral program in 2015 will be required to make a presentation about their research (15 minutes presentation + 5 minutes discussion) in early December 2014.  The presentation is open and anyone interested can attend.  Professors attending will be asked to evaluate the students on the technical content, presentation and discussion.
  • Japanese lab mate's recommendation - this recommendation is only used when the final scores between two students are tied.  So far it has never been used.

*Please check more details of the application documents and deadlines at the admission page.

Q12. I am a self-support student can I apply for the MEXT doctoral scholarship offered by the program?

No you cannot apply for the scholarship offered by the program as it is meant only for overseas applicants. However every year MEXT provides a small number of scholarships for students already in Japan. Chances of getting the scholarship are slim, something like one successful applicant per graduate school.

Q13. When can I get an air ticket to return home (MEXT scholarship)?

If you graduate and leave Japan MEXT will provide you with return ticket. You will be informed of the application procedure and deadlines when time of your graduation approaches (around the end of July or early August).

Q14. If I go home after the graduation can I after some time return and reapply for the MEXT scholarship?

If you had a MEXT scholarship for your Master's study and then left Japan after your graduation, you are not eligible to receive MEXT scholarship for the next 3 years, so earliest you can try to re-apply is approximately 2 years after your graduation (given that selection process takes roughly a year).

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