Student Information

Graduation procedure - doctoral program FAQ

Procedure for Processing Application for the Degree of Doctor of Engineering 2022-2023 [PDF]

*for the most up-to-date and precise information please contact the Academic Affairs Office directly.

Last upd. November 19, 2021

In this FAQ you will find:

General questions about graduation period and requirements

Q1. How long does it take to earn a Ph.D. degree?

Normally it takes 3 years.  However for students with outstanding academic achievements it is possible to graduate in less than 3 years (but not less than two years).

Q2. What do I need to finish in less than 3 years?

Besides meeting all the usual requirements, you should demonstrate an "extra" competency in the subject by having publications more than the number required (please check out student manual for the year of your enrollment and consult your supervisor for the latest division requirements). 

*For what happens if you couldn't finish in 3 years, please refer to Q10~Q13

Q3. 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 laboratory to forward it to you. 

Q4 I will leave the university before the graduation ceremony, how can I receive my diploma and certificates?

If you have notified the academic affairs office (kyomu) that you will not be attending the graduation ceremony your diploma and certificates will be sent to your laboratory. Please make sure to leave your new address after the graduation and instructions for posting your certificates.

Q5. 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).

How and when to apply for a degree and how thesis defense is organized

Q6. Where and when can I obtain the application form needed for Ph.D. graduation?  

If you are ready to graduate, your supervisor shall request from Academic Affairs Office an ID and PW  to log in to the on-line application system.  After you key in and submit necessary information, Kyomu will check its accuracy and advise your supervisor which changes are necessary.   After everything is confirmed to be correct, kyomu will ask you to print out the forms and to bring them to the office.  You will also have to submit a copy of your temporary bound dissertation. The application deadline provided in the brochure is for temporary bound dissertation to be submitted to kyomu. You shall calculate the timing of the other nessesary steps backwards.
Since academic year 2013 Phd students are also required to publish full thesis through the HUSCAP system. Request for deferment of the publication shall be submitted if necessary.

Q7. What is the procedure after the application form is accepted?

Your supervisor will set up an examination committee consisting of himself and at least 3 more professors.  You will hand a copy of your temporary bound dissertation to each program committee member.  If your supervisor thinks that your dissertation is good enough, he will set a presentation date.  You will make a 45-minute presentation and answer questions from your examiners (45 minutes).  This is a closed room examination.

In the case that no major revision is necessary, your supervisor will fix another presentation date in which twelve professors who form your evaluation committee will attend.  This presentation (45+45) is open and anyone interested in your research can attend.

Finally, you will have to submit a pdf of the final dissertation text to kyomu.

Announcing open thesis defense date

Q8. How do I register my thesis defense with e3?

e3 is publishing the dates of your final defenses on-line for your colleagues to be able to attend. Please register via your e3 alumni account:

- the title of your thesis

- date, time and the venue for your public presentation

Deadline: March graduation - by January 20; September graduation - by July 20; June and December graduation - as soon as fixed.

If you are doing some collaborative research etc. and will have a closed defense, please inform e3 in advance.

What should be submitted to the e3 office

Q9. What do I have to submit to e3 office?

Deadlines: for September graduates is September 5, for March Graduates - March 5; for June graduates - June 5; for December graduates - December 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) Final dissertation abstract
How: please upload directly to your e3 alumni account before the deadline.

Format: PDF

Please follow the preparation guidelines: http://www.eng.hokudai.ac.jp/e3/community/student-information/abstract)

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

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

4) Plan and contact information after the graduation.

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

5) e3 Exit survey

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

What happens if it takes you longer than 3 years to graduate

Q10. What happens if I cannot finish in 3 years?

Application to have your dissertation examined is accepted 4 times a year (check dissertation application guideline for details).

Your studentship can be extended until you are able to submit your application for dissertation and graduate (but not longer than for 3 years).

Maximum period of enrollment for PhD student is 6 years (excluding the period of academic leave).

Q11. I was on MEXT e3 scholarship but couldn't graduate in 3 years, what will happen?

You will stop receiving your stipend at the end of your third year.  Your status will change to self-supporting student and you will be billed for tuition fee for the period you remain a full-time student.

You will not be able to use return ticket provided by MEXT if you are not finishing your program on time.

Q12. Can I apply for tuition fees waiver if I couldn't finish in 3 years?

You can apply for the waiver of tuition fees only during the first year of your extension (4th year of your Phd program). Applications for waivers only accepted if your extension is for a full semester. Waiver applications are not accepted for 3 month extensions.  The approval is not guaranteed and so far most students who are successful get half the tuition waived not a full waiver.  

Q13. What if I want to terminate or suspend my studentship after 3 years without graduating?

If you are not able to pay tuition fees or for another reason wish to terminate or suspend your studentship after 3 years of enrollment you have 3 options:

1. Withdrawal (taigaku) - if you don't intend to complete your Phd degree at HU.

2. Leave of absence (kyugaku) - if you intend to recover your studentship after a certain period of time and complete your degree. Maximum period of leave is 3 years.

3. "Leave school with the completion of coursework requirements"/"Withdrawal after the coursework completion" (tan-i shutoku taigaku). If you have completed your credits and other requirements you can leave the school with a possibility to submit an application for degree within one year after the witdrawal. You will not be charged tuition fee for this period. You will have to come back for your dissertation examination to the University.

You can obtain the application forms from the Academic Affair Office Window#2. Please check the student manual of your year of enrollment for the details of academic procedures.

If you leave the school in any of 3 ways described above, even though your student visa may still be valid, you must return home or change your visa status (for example, to working visa if you are granted employment in Japan).  Being on leave you are not eligible to stay in Japan with Student visa status.


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