Duration and diploma
The graduate schools of the university offer courses of specialized study for graduate students leading to Master's Degrees (修士/shūshi) and Doctorates (博士/hakushi). The Master's Degree courses normally extend over 2 consecutive university years, and the Doctoral courses usually require 3 years to complete (4 years for the Graduate School of Medicine). Master's Degrees and Doctorates involve both course work and the presentation of a thesis based on original research conducted by students working individually. Because lectures at Osaka City University (OCU) are primarily delivered in the national language, students wishing to enroll at the university are required to be reasonably proficient in spoken and written Japanese.
Necessary qualifications to apply for admission to OCU graduate schools
To apply for a master's or doctoral course, an international student is normally expected to hold a recognized bachelor's degree or a master's degree respectively in an appropriate subject. Students need to take the entrance exam of the graduate school they wish to enroll in.
OCU admits both international students on a Japanese Government Scholarship (Monbukagakusho - Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology [MEXT]) and privately financed international students (including those with scholarships other than a Japanese Government Scholarship). Please note that application procedures differ accordingly.
Admission of international students on a Japanese Government Scholarship
-on Embassy Recommendation
Japanese Embassies or Consulates General invite applications and conduct a preliminary screening (review of submitted documents, written examination and interview). After passing this phase of the selection process, you need to obtain informal consent for admission from the university.
To obtain informal consent you are required to select an advisor in the graduate school from whom you want to receive research guidance and then ask your chosen advisor whether or not you can be accepted by sending him/her a letter, fax or e-mail. Please contact your chosen advisor beforehand to consult about the field of study and the study plan. You can either make direct contact or send an e-mail to the administration office of the graduate school to which the advisor belongs. (Inquiries should be made in Japanese)
MEXT then carries out a second selection, based on the first selection by the Japanese Embassies and Consulate Generals and the decision of the university in which you wish to enroll. Depending on your Japanese ability, you may be required to attend a 6-month Japanese language course at a designated facility in Japan.
The academic year begins in either April or October. The selection process at the Japanese Embassies or Consulates General for both periods starts around March. Please contact them around that time, at least one year before you wish to begin studying.
-on University Recommendation
OCU admits international students from overseas universities that have student exchange agreements with OCU or research institutes that have exchanged people through joint research with OCU. The university recommends candidates to MEXT. MEXT will decide the government scholarship recipients in consultation with the selection committee. Applications are invited for each graduate course around January each year and recipients are decided around April. For details, please contact the relevant graduate school administration office by e-mail. (Inquiries should be made in Japanese)
After having been selected for the Japanese Government Scholarship you need to take the entrance exam of the graduate course you wish to enroll in. (See 'OCU entrance exam' below.)
Note: It is possible for students admitted under the Embassy Recommendation and necessary for students admitted under the University Recommendation procedures to start out as research students and conduct research activities before taking the entrance examination for a master's or doctoral course.
Admission of privately financed international students
Privately financed international students (including students on scholarships other than a Japanese Government Scholarship – Monbusho) who wish to enroll in a graduate school are required to take the entrance examination for the graduate course they wish to enroll in. (See 'OCU entrance exam' below.)
Admission as research student (in preparation to enter graduate school)
It is also possible for prospective graduate students to start out as research students and conduct research activities for six months to one year to prepare for the entrance examination for a Master's or Doctoral course.
Research students are accepted individually by each graduate school. Procedures and application requirements differ from course to course. Some courses have their own entrance examinations which must be taken by applicants and an interview can also be part of the selection process. Because the desired field of research must be nominated when filing an application, applicants are advised to contact their chosen advisors in advance to consult about the field of study.
OCU entrance exam
The detailed application guidelines for the entrance exams (学生募集要項) are available from around June and November each year (in Japanese only). The entrance exams take place in February and August/September. Results are communicated in March and September.
You can find the application guidelines and detailed information about the OCU entrance exams of each graduate school here(in Japanese)