FAQ

General

About Financial Support

About a Prospective Supervisor

About Application Documents

General

Q1. What is the difference between the general graduate program and IELP?
The major differences are the language and the availability of financial support. Classes are offered mainly in Japanese in the general program, but classes for IELP students are offered mainly in English. If you don’t need to apply for the aforementioned financial support and are willing to take classes in Japanese, you may apply for the general program, which admits students in April and October every year.
Q2. Does IELP accept students in April?
No. IELP admits new students only in October.
Q3. Do I need to take a Japanese language test?
No. Language proficiency in Japanese is not required to apply for IELP.
Q4. Do I need to submit a medical examination report?
No. Applicants are not required to submit such a report, not even for the MEXT scholarship.
Q5. Do I need to come to Japan for the entrance exam?
No. Members of the IELP Committee will contact applicants via phone, fax, email, or IP videophone for screening based on the contact information provided on the application form.
Q6. What will the entrance examination be like?
The examination will be set independently by the committee members and it will be in the form of an examination and/or an interview. The IELP Academic Affairs Section is not in charge of the screening process and cannot provide detailed information about the examination.

About Financial Support

Q7. I’m applying for the doctoral program. Can I apply for the MEXT scholarship?
Yes. The MEXT scholarship will be offered to the top TWO of all successful candidates who pass the examination process for the IELP doctoral program.
Q8. I’m applying for the master’s program. Can I apply for the MEXT scholarship?
Yes. The MEXT scholarship will be offered to the top SIX of all successful candidates who pass the examination process for the IELP master’s program.
Q9. I’m applying for the MEXT scholarship. What if I don’t qualify for it?
Even if you are not qualified for the financial support programs, you may still pass the entrance examination for admission. You will receive a letter with the results of your application during the notification period and you may then inform the IELP Academic Affairs Section whether you intend to enter IELP as a privately financed student. For privately financed students, please refer to “Financial Support” for the entrance examination fee, admission fee, and tuition fee.
Q10. Does the MEXT scholarship cover travel expenses to Japan?
Yes. Air travel tickets between the applicant’s country of nationality and Japan will be supplied by MEXT.
Q11. Are there any financial support programs other than the MEXT scholarship?
No. The IELP Academic Affairs Section does not have or provide any information regarding financial support programs other than the MEXT scholarship. It should be noted that scholarship availability for students is very limited and, thus, highly competitive in Japan.

About a Prospective Supervisor

Q12. How can I find information about faculty members and their research?
Graduate School Websites
Academic Research Staff at Tohoku University
*The website contains information on faculty members affiliated with all schools at Tohoku University. Make sure to select “Graduate School of Environmental Studies” in the “Affiliation” section when searching by keyword.
Q13. I have contacted the faculty members but have not gotten a response. What should I do?
Faculty members of the Graduate School of Environmental Studies may not respond to emails from a stranger because of the amount of emails they receive every day. Try again using the points as shown in STEP2 of Application or ask someone who has connections with them, such as your current supervisor, to contact them for you so that you will have a better chance of getting a reply. The IELP Academic Affairs Section may contact the faculty member(s) of your choice on your behalf to verify the receipt of your email only if you have tried every means possible and still have not gotten a reply. Please note that the IELP Academic Affairs Section cannot help you obtain agreement from the faculty members to honor your request to supervise you.
Q14. I may not be able to find a prospective supervisor by the application deadline. Can I send the application documents first and find a supervisor afterwards?
Applications from those who have not obtained consent to study under their prospective supervisor will not be accepted. Please try your best to obtain consent to study from a faculty member before you send your application to the IELP Academic Affairs Section.

About Application Documents

Q15. I’m due to graduate by the 30th of September and my university will not issue a certificate of expected graduation. What should I do?
It does not have to be a certificate of expected graduation. We will accept any official documentation that certifies you will graduate by September 30. If your expected graduation date or month is stated in an academic transcript, you don’t have to submit a certificate of expected graduation. A letter from a responsible official of your university with your expected graduation date or month is also acceptable as a substitute for a certificate of expected graduation.
Q16. Should the academic transcripts be original copies?
Transcripts must be original copies. If you cannot submit the original by the deadline, attach a note that briefly explains the reason and the expected date of submission. If your university does not issue any more copies of certificates, an authorized photocopy is acceptable.
Q17. My university only issues cartificates which do not have English translation. What should I do?
Please ask your university to attach a translation with officilal seal/sign. If not, you can translate by yourself and ask your university to seal or sign after having attested the translation.
Q18. Do I need to submit a TOEFL score? What else is acceptable as proof of my proficiency in English?
TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS scores are all acceptable. Other official English tests may be referred to and considered to evaluate your English proficiency. If you have no official scores, please ask your prospective supervisor for advice.
Q19. What TOEFL or TOEIC score will meet the requirements?
We do not set a standard for such scores; rather, they serve as part of our evaluation. Your English proficiency will not be judged solely by these scores; rather, it will be determined from all the application documents submitted.

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