Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I have not taken the TOEFL/IELTS exam yet.

    If you are unable to meet the deadline to take the test, please follow the instructions below.

    1. Register for the nearest TOEFL / IELTS exam
    2. Create a text document that lists (a) the date you are going to take the test and (b) the date you expect to receive your results.
    3. Make a PDF of the note
    4. Upload the PDF to your application
    5. When you receive your scores, make sure to send a scanned copy of them by e-mail to
    6. Arrange for the official scores to be sent to OIST from ETS / IELTS by postal mail.
  2. Who is eligible to apply?

    To be eligible for the OIST Graduate Program, you must have completed a BSc, MSc or equivalent degree or expect to do so prior to the admission date.

  3. How long does it normally take to complete the PhD program if I have an MSc degree?

    An experienced MSc student may take less than 5 years to complete the program. However, the PhD is not awarded on the basis of duration of study. The important thing is to complete and defend a thesis that embodies original, independent research and makes a contribution to scientific knowledge and understanding. It may take 3-4 years for students with an MSc degree to complete the program depending on their level of preparation.

  4. When is the deadline for referees to submit recommendation letters?

    It is the same date as the application deadline. Please communicate with your referees to make sure the letters are submitted by then.

  5. I failed the admission for this year. Can I apply again?

    You may apply again in the following year given that your academic records have made some progress to reconsider. Please submit an updated transcript with other supplemental documents when you re-apply.

  6. Should I select a supervisor when I apply?

    Students are admitted into the program rather than into the laboratory of any particular professor. The broad nature of the training we provide in the first two years allows them to discover many different approaches to the problem they are interested in and may even introduce them to completely new questions. Students become based in their intended thesis lab at the end of the first year, and their thesis topic is finalised after a qualifying examination at the end of the second year.

  7. I received an education in English, should I still submit a TOEFL / IELTS score?

    You do not need to provide us with TOEFL/IELS score if the medium of your education is English and you upload documents to prove so.

  8. How competitive is OIST's admission?

    Admission to OIST is competitive against a standard that is similar to that of graduate programs of the leading universities the world over. The selection process for admissions takes into account all aspects of the OIST Graduate School application, including: academic record, applicant's statement, letters of recommendation, additional evidence of academic ability such as GRE general test scores, additional material such as copies of publications and abstracts of oral presentations, and any other evidence of achievement provided. For short-listed applicants, the selection process additionally takes into account face-to-face interviews with five faculty members. All of these aspects are considered together in the final decision for each candidate.

  9. When can I hear the result of 1st screening? Also, when can I have a final offer after Admissions Workshop?

    For the 1st screening, it usually takes 2-3 weeks after the each application deadline. For the final result after Admissions Workshop (interview), it takes about 2 weeks. Both results are announced via email.