Student Information

Master's course graduation and continuation to doctoral program

As of  April 11, 2019

In these 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
  • Other scholarship and support related questions
  • 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, show excellent research results and are planning to continue to Doctoral course (please check out student manual of your year of enrollment for more details and consult with your supervisor).

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

Additionally to the 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 min presentation + 10 min 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. e3 will request your supervisor to schedule the defense.

Q5. What should I prepare for my thesis defense?

Your supervisor will identify at least 3 professors as your examination committee members.  You shall 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 Q7.

Q6. How do I register my thesis defense?

Please input into your e3 alumni account as soon as it is fixed:

- the title of your thesis

- date, time and the venue for your public presentation

Log-in from:

Deadlines: March graduation - by January 20; September graduation - by July 20.

The announcement for your defense will be published on the e3 community noticeboard so it’s easier for you to share these information with your friends and colleagues. If you are doing some collaborative research etc. and will have a closed defense, please inform e3 in advance.

Q7. What and when shall I submit to e3 office?

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

1) English test score

Students who were accepted with TOEIC 670~725 are required to submit a score of 730 or above before the graduation. Please bring the original of score sheet to e3 office before the deadline.

*If you submitted TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC of 730 or above at the time of enrollment or were exempted you don’t need to submit any new score.

2) Full text of the thesis for binding and deposition (hard copy and soft copy)

How: Please bring a physical copy to e3 office directly. For the soft copy please bring PDF file on USB or send it by e-mail to e3 office. Please title your file and your email as: Thesis number_your full name_thesis.

How to prepare the thesis for submission:

You can find recommended format here:

If your laboratory follows another format, please feel free to use it. However please make sure to format the title page according to the guideline above for the submission to e3.

The thesis shall be printed on the both sides of the paper. Please do not stapler your copies. Use some removable clips instead.

3) Final dissertation abstract and achievements, contact information etc.
How: please upload directly to your e3 alumni account before the deadline.

Format: PDF

Please follow the preparation guidelines:

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

How: please upload directly to your e3 alumni account before the deadline.

5) Plan and contact information after the graduation.

How: please upload directly to your e3 alumni account before the deadline.

6) e3 Exit survey

How: Please follow the link provided by e3 office and fill the survey before the deadline.

Q8. Where do I find my thesis number?

You will be notified by e3 office. In July for September graduates and in January for March graduates.

Q9. 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

Q10. Do I have to follow e3 thesis format?

Guidelines for preparing thesis and abstract can be downloaded from e3 noticeboard. If your division or laboratory offer another format, you can follow it. However, for the submission to e3 please make sure to format your title page following the e3 format.

Q11. How do I proceed to the doctoral program?

You need to submit your application for the admission to the doctoral program following the official admission calendar. Documents required from from applicants already enrolled in Graduate School of Engineering are slightly different from those required from newly applying. Please check the admission page for details.

*If you have a scholarship other than MEXT please make sure to check out the extension procedure for Phd with the scholarship authority well in advance.

Q12. 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 in case of October enrollment. There are several types of MEXT scholarships, not all of them can be extended.

(1) awarded through the embassy in the student's country - if you are holding this type of scholarship your can apply for the extension of your scholarship to cover the doctoral program. The application for extensions is usually called around November-December of the year before your expected graduation respectively of your enrollment semester (April or October).  You have to have good academic performance and pass the university-level selection to be nominated for the extension of your scholarship. Evaluation includes your GPA during the master's course. Final approval of the extension is subject to the decision of MEXT.  Please note that you have to complete the application for enrollment into degree program separately (see Q9 above).

(2) Top Global Universities project scholarship - this scholarship cannot be extended for PHD.

(3) Awarded via e3 (students enrolled in October 2017) - this scholarship cannot be extended for PHD due to the program being finished.

(4) Awarded through the university other (general selection, study coordinator program etc) - if you are holding this type of scholarship, please refer to (1) above.

Q13. I am a self-supported student can I apply for the MEXT scholarship for Doctoral program?

No, most of the MEXT scholarships require applicants to apply from overseas. There is also a small number of MEXT scholarships for domestic students, however it's not called every year and chances of getting this scholarship even if announced are very slim, something like one or two successful applicants per university.

Q14. I am a self-supported student from China. Can I apply for CSC scholarship for Doctoral program?

No, currently enrolled in Hokkaido University students are not eligible to apply for an acceptance letter for CSC via Hokkaido University.

Q15. If I'm applying for Phd as a self-supported student what are the scholarships/support options available?

Currently available at e3 forms of support are Study Support for Doctoral students to cover the tuition fees and e3 grant for self-supported Phd sudents (JPY 100'000 once).

Private students can try to apply for scholarships offered by private organizations to Hokkaido University via the Scholarship Candidate Registration system or directly. Please refer to the university's web-page.

Q16. 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).

Q17. When can I leave the university?

Your studentship ends at the end of March if you enrolled in April and at the end of September if you enrolled in October.   If you have completed all the necessary requirements you can leave anytime. About one month or so before the graduation ceremony, you will be asked to verify your name that will appear on the diploma. You will be asked to apply for the additional copies of graduation certificate and transcript.  Kyomu will also check whether you plan to attend the graduation ceremony.  In case you do not, kyomu will send your diploma (and certificates) to your supervisor (or e3) to forward it to you.

Q18. 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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