FAQ


NOTE: IGPLS stands for the International Graduate Program in Language Sciences, and GSICS for the Graduate School of International Cultural Studies.

General

Q1
How does IGPLS differ from the other departments in GSICS?
A1
IGPLS accept students in October, whereas the other departments accept students in April in accordance with the general academic calendar in Japan. Also, the medium of instruction is English in IGPLS while it is Japanese in the other departments.
Q2
Does IGPLS accept students in April?
A2
No. IGPLS accepts new students only in October.
Q3
Do I need to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test to apply to IGPLS?
A3
No. Scores of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test are not required to apply to IGPLS. But we do require applicants to submit their scores of TOEFL, TOEIC, or IELTS.
Q4
How do I pay my application fee of 30,000 JPY?
A4
If you live outside Japan, we have an online payment service. You can pay your fee with your credit card. Contact the Academic Affairs Office for procedures. If you live in Japan, you may visit our Academic Affairs Office to pay your fee by cash.
Q5
Is there anything I need to do before sending you my application materials?
A5
If you meet the requirements for application given in our application brochure, you are eligible to apply to IGPLS. However, we strongly recommend prospective applicants to contact one (or more) of our faculty members in advance in order to confirm whether our program can accommodate your research interest or not. If you are not sure which faculty member to contact, send e-mail to the Academic Affairs Office, and we will forward it to the head of IGPLS, who will introduce you to a faculty member who may be interested in your research.
Q6
How can I find information about faculty members and their research?
A6
Visit here.

Also, the following website may be helpful in finding your prospective supervisor:
(1) Academic Research Staff at Tohoku University
Note: The website contains information about all the faculty members affiliated with Tohoku University. Make sure to select “Graduate School of International Cultural Studies” in the “Affiliation” section when searching by keywords.

About Application Documents

Q7
Should my graduation certificate and academic transcript be original?
A7
They must be original. Photocopies are not acceptable. If you need the original certificate returned to you for future use, submit the original to us first and we will make a copy by ourselves and return the original to you.
Q8
What is “a sample research paper written in English” mentioned in the application brochure?
A8
Sample research papers are papers written by you about the research you have been interested in. They include your BA (or MA) thesis, a term paper you wrote for a course/class you attended previously, a paper you published in an academic journal, and so on. They will help us examine your ability to conduct research in the field where you intend to work. Summaries or excerpts are not acceptable.
Q9
My native language is English. Do I need to submit TOEFL/TOEIC/IELTS scores?
A9
If you submit an official document certifying that the medium of instruction at your higher education is English, you may not need to submit scores of the English tests. For example, if you have grown up in the United States of America and graduated from a college there, we will deem you to have sufficient ability in English by inspecting your graduation certificate and transcripts. In any case, it is advisable for you to contact us well before preparing your application materials to check whether you can be exempt from English scores.
Q10
What is the minimum English test score requirement?
A10
Ideally, we would expect successful applicants to have around 100 in TOEFL-iBT or its equivalent in the other tests. Note, however, that we evaluate applicants on the basis of all the application materials. Even if an applicant’s score in TOEFL-iBT is lower than 100, we may admit him/her if we judge from his/her application materials that he/she has a sufficient ability to learn at our graduate school. Conversely, if an applicant has a score of 100 in TOEFL-iBT, we may not admit him/her if we judge him/her not to have an enough academic ability (for example, if his/her BA thesis is poor in quality).
Q11
What is “the Statement of Financial Basis”?
A11
Applicants are required to submit the Statement of Financial Basis, which we will use to confirm whether their study at IGPLS will be well supported financially. Any kind of document/form including a balance certificate from your bank would be acceptable if it officially shows that you will be able to spend at least your first semester at IGPLS without financial problems. Although we do not announce any particular figures in this regard, you may visit the following websites to check the costs of living at Tohoku University:

(1) http://www.tohoku.ac.jp/en/admissions/tutition_fees.html
(2) http://sup.bureau.tohoku.ac.jp/tips/cost_en.html

If your parents financially support you, documents such as balance certificates from their banks and income certificates issued by their workplace will be fine. If you have been selected as a scholarship recipient, a certificate from the organization will be acceptable.
Q12
Can I send my application documents via email?
A12
No. You need to send your documents by post.

About Financial Supports

Q13
If I am admitted, what will I need to pay to graduate school?
A13
You will need to pay your admission fee of JPY 282,000 at the time of your enrollment. Your tuition (JPY267,900 per semester) will be automatically withdrawn from your bank account in each semester.
Q14
Is there tuition waiver?
A14
Incoming students may apply for admission fee waiver/deferment at the time of enrollment. Tuition waiver is also available. Visit here for information.
Q15
Are there any other financial supports?
A15
Visit here and find information about scholarships for international students. GSICS itself does not offer a scholarship. Some graduate students work as teaching assistants (TAs) or research assistants (RAs) for their supervisors, though their pay is not enough to cover their living expenses.
Q16
What should I do to apply for a MEXT Scholarship?
A16
Visit here to obtain related information.

If you are interested in the University Recommendation for MEXT scholarship, applicants are not able to directly apply for this scholarship. Instead, you will need to ask your prospective supervisor, a faculty member at GSICS, to prepare application documents and submit them to the university. For this reason, if you wish to seek this scholarship, you will need to directly contact our faculty members, find your prospective supervisor, who will be able to supervise your graduate research if you are admitted into IGPLS, and tell him/her about your intention of applying for the scholarship. If you are not sure who to contact, send e-mail to the Academic Affairs Office, and we will forward it to the head of IGPLS, who will assist you in finding your prospective supervisor.