FAQ for Admissions

FAQ for Admissions

Preparation for Admission

Q1. I am interested in applying for ICU Graduate School, and I would like to conduct research in the field that is totally different from what I studied in college...

A1. Those who have a different desired field of study from their field in college can also apply to the ICU Graduate School. However, since all graduates students in master's program must take 30 units of related subjects and write a Master's thesis, the applicants in this case are expected to have already acquired basic knowledge in the desired field to a certain extent. To be successful at the document screening, it is also recommended that the applicants prepare a Research Plan (as instructed herein) in as much detail as possible, clearly showing why you changed your field.

Q2. I am interested in applying for the Master's course, but I am still thinking which program / area of concentration I should choose...

A2. It is recommended that you become familiar about each program / area of concentration through our website and Graduate School Guidebook. Also the following would be helpful:

Q3. I am interested in applying for the Doctoral Course. How should I contact a professor I would like to have research guidance from for my particular field of study?

A3. You may search at the list of faculty and ICU Researchers Information System. After you have decided on a faculty member you would like to receive instruction from, please send a message which includes a cover letter, your research history, your desired theme at the Doctoral Course, etc to the email address listed on Researchers Information System. If you cannot find email address, you can send the message addressed to the faculty member to Graduate School Group Office (gs-adm(at)icu.ac.jp) so that the Office can forward them to the desired faculty member. Please note that you will need to submit the form "Letter of Consent of a Faculty to be Research Advisor on Acceptance" (signed by a desired research advisor) when applying to the Doctoral Course. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss with your desired research advisor thoroughly.

Q4. Is it possible to graduate with the degree with either Japanese language or English language proficiency?


For Master's course students:
You may want to select courses only in either language but the course selection is limited and you may be required to take courses in both languages in some cases. In Public Policy and Social and Social Research Program, relatively many courses are offered in English so you may be able to select only courses in English and write Master's thesis in English only. It is also necessary to submit the English summary of Master's thesis even though the thesis is written in Japanese, so you will need to have English writing skill. It is recommended that you read curriculum and syllabi well in advance. Having said that, it is still recommended that you will be able to use both languages.

For Doctoral course students:
It is required to write a summary of Doctoral dissertation in both English and Japanese, so it is highly recommended that you will be able to use both languages.

Q5. What is Kenkyusei? / I would like to be admitted as a Kenkyusei...

A5. Kenkyusei are those who have already received a Master's degree and wish to take specified subjects or receive research instruction in the Master's Course of ICU Graduate School.
The period of attendance is one year in principle, and no degree is awarded. Transcripts for the courses are available upon request. Those who wish to be admitted as Kenkyusei must apply for Graduate School Admissions (document screening only). Please check "C. Master's Course, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences KENKYUSEI" on Admissions Handbook.
Those who have not received the Master's degree will be admitted as a Kenkyusei in the College of Liberal Arts (undergraduate program). For further information, please see CLA website.


Q6. Does ICU provide any scholarships?

A6. At the ICU Graduate School, we have various scholarships to enhance student life and research. "ICU Torch Relay Graduate School Scholarship for New Students" grants up to 1/3 of the annual tuition and facilities fees, and applicants have chance to apply for this scholarship when they apply for the graduate school admissions. Please see here for more information.

Q7. I'd like to apply for MEXT (Monbukagakusho) scholarships and what is the application procedure?

A7. There are three types of MEXT scholarships and they have different application procedures.
1) MEXT Scholarships/Embassy Recommendation: Contact the embassy or consulate general of Japan in the country of your residence
2) MEXT Scholarship/University Recommendation: Contact applicable office of the university you graduated from

ICU Graduate School Group can also support you with general inquiries you may have.

Application Eligibility

Q8. I received education outside Japan. Am I eligible to apply for ICU Graduate School?


For Master's Course:
Applicants who received education outside Japan should meet one of the following conditions. Please refer to Admissions Handbook for other conditions.
(3) Those who have completed or expect to complete by the designated dates 16 years of school education outside Japan.
(6)Those who have completed or expect to complete 3 years or more of program at universities or equivalent education institutions outside Japan and awarded an overseas degree equivalent to bachelor's degree by the designated dates.
(11) Those who have been recognized via individual screening at the ICU Graduate School to have the same or a higher level of academic ability than the average university graduate, and have reached the age of 22.
⇒ For us to see if applicants have "(3) completed 16 years of school education", applicants should submit the list of schools attended along with entrance/graduation dates to ICU Graduate School Group. If applicants' school education is under 16 years and we acknowledge applicants need to pass "(11) individual screening", we will notify the details. Applicants must reach the age of 22 by the designated dates.

For Doctoral Course:
Applicants who received education outside Japan should meet one of the following conditions. Please refer to Admissions Handbook for other conditions.
(2) Those granted or expect to be granted a degree equivalent to a Master's or professional degree outside Japan by the designated dates.
(7) Those who have recognized via individual screening at the ICU Graduate School to have the equivalent or higher level of academic ability than the average Master's or Professional Degree recipient, and have reached the age of 24.
⇒ When we check if applicants have "(2) Master's or Professional Degree" and acknowledge applicants need to pass "(7) individual screening", we will notify the details. Applicants must reach the age of 24 by the designated dates.


Q9. It seems I may not meet application requirements to apply for ICU Graduate School according to Admissions Handbook. Am I not be able to apply?

A9. Please consult with Graduate School Group with your academic background information well in advance. Depending on your academic background, ICU may offer individual screening opportunity when necessary ahead of the usual screenings. If you pass the individual screening, you will be considered as eligible applicant.
In case you are instructed about the individual screening, you will be required to submit the required documents by the deadline designated in the Admissions Handbook.

Q10. What is the schedule of admission selection?

A10. At ICU Graduate School, there are April Admission and September Admission and the selection is conducted in three times a year; "Autumn Selection" and "Spring Selection" for April Admission, and September Admission Selection. For application period of each selection, please check Admissions Handbook.

Q11. I would like to enter the Graduate School from April. Which application period, Autumn Selection or Spring Selection, is more advantageous over the other?

A11. There are no particular advantages or disadvantages in applying to either.
Screening at the ICU Graduate School is comprised of two steps: first screening (documents) and second screening (interview). At the first screening (documents), applicants information will be reviewed to see if applicants have basic academic preparation and competence required to conduct research activities in the Graduate School. At the second screening (interview), applicants' more in-depth information such as applicants adequacy and motivation towards research will be examined through an interview with faculty whose research area is closely related to those of the applicants. Selection is neither based on number of applicants applied nor made in comparison with other applicants.

Q12. Do you have entrance exam?

A12. Screening at the ICU Graduate School is comprised of two steps: first screening (documents) and second screening (interview), and there is no written test exam. Interview screening will be conducted only for those who passed the documentary screening, and final admission decision will be made after that.

Q13. Is interview carried out in English?

A13. There is a possibility that the interview is carried out in both English and Japanese. At the interview, applicants will meet several professors whose research area is closely related to the applicants' area of interest, and these professors may use both Japanese and English.
At ICU, students use both Japanese and English for study and research. Also students may not only take classes that are held in English but also receive instruction in languages other than Japanese. In principle, applicants need to have an average or above level of English upon graduation from college. Consequently, applicants are encouraged to increase their English skills to communicate effectively with professors.

Q14. I live outside of Japan. How can I arrange an interview?

A14. It is possible to use Skype for interviews. However, if it is not possible due to the interviewee's internet system, etc., we will contact each applicant living abroad to arrange the best way of carrying out interview.

Application Documents

Q15. What is the application process?

A15. Applications are accepted through the Online Application System. Please note the application documents are required to be submitted both through online and by postal mail, depending on the documents. During Online Application System Input Period, applicants are required to register/input information, upload the required documents, and pay the application fees. After that, applicants must send the required documents by postal mail by the designated deadline.

Q16. Am I required to submit the Official Score of English Proficiency Exam (TOEFL/IELTS/TOEIC)?

A16. It is required to all applicants except Kenkyusei applicants. However, it is not required if applicants fall under any of the following categories:

Q17. What is the minimum score requirement of English Proficiency Exam (TOEFL/IELTS/TOEIC)?

A17. The Graduate School does not set a minimum score requirement because the decision of selection is not based on the Official Scores for English Proficiency Exam alone. The screening committee may not eliminate applicants who have failed to reach a certain score. More precisely, the official score is examined to see the applicants' level of English that will be necessary to conduct research activities after matriculation (i.e. average level of English completed by the time of graduation from college). Official Scores are used as one of the criteria to evaluate applicants as a whole.

Q18. Can I submit the score of TOEFL ITP (Institutional Testing Program) or TOEIC IP (Institutional Program)?

A18. Scores of TOEFL ITP and TOEIC IP are not acceptable.

Q19. I don't know how to select score recipients on TOEFL My Page in order to request TOEFL Official Scores to be sent directly to ICU.

A19. Login to My Page on TOEFL Official Website and follow the steps below:

Q20. Why do I need to submit an English Transcript?

A20. To judge academic achievements of applicants who come from various colleges and graduate schools in Japan and abroad as fairly as possible, we ask all applicants to submit English Transcripts. (On that basis, we calculate GPA=Grade Point Average). If, due to your country's official language (or widely spoken language) or a system of your university or graduate school, there is a problem issuing English Transcript by the deadline, please let Graduate School Group know it before the start of application period.

Q21. "A copy of the senior thesis" is required as one of the application documents. What should I do when the university I graduated from did not require us to write a senior thesis?

A21. If a senior thesis was not required at your university, please submit a report written for a class or academic paper, etc. in its place. You may also write a new paper/thesis since it will be used as an important document at the document screening to evaluate your writing composition, logic, knowledge, etc. There is no requirement on word count, length, or page layout. However, please note that it must be accompanied by an English summary.

See also FAQ for Online Application System.