Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Disability Sciences, University of Tsukuba
A manual for responding to inquiries from prospective overseas students
Concerning overseas students who hope to enter the University of Tsukuba’s Graduate School to study Disability Sciences (Q & A)
July 2022 (Revised)
- Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Disability Sciences
Q1: I hope to join a Master’s or Doctoral Program in Disability Sciences at the University of Tsukuba. How should I go about it?
A1: You should first visit the University of Tsukuba’s website (https://www.tsukuba.ac.jp/education/g-list-grad-by-discipline-jp/ [in Japanese] or https://www.tsukuba.ac.jp/en/academics/g-list-since-grad-by-discipline-en/search-programs-by-discipline.html [in English]) to see ‘Search Programs by Discipline page.’ Then, please check the Degree Programs in Comprehensive Human Sciences (in light blue) and click the panel that says “Disability Sciences (M/D)” (third from the top) to obtain the full details. You can find the information you need there.
Q2: What should I do next?
A2: You should find an instructor by whom you wish to be guided in your research on the University of Tsukuba’s website and then contact him/her directly.
You can find information on faculty members at the following URLs:
Find a suitable instructor and contact him/her via his/her email address posted on the website. Please communicate with him/her on necessary matters such as the research theme and the timing of the entrance examination. In some cases, in addition to communication by email, an online interview may be conducted. It is recommended that, when communicating with the instructor, you attach your resume (in Japanese or English), your reasons for the application (in Japanese or English), your research plan at graduate university, a Japanese proficiency certificate and an English proficiency certificate.
In addition, if you did not major in disability science or a related field at university, it is recommended that you enroll as a research student to gain basic knowledge about disability science before taking the graduate university entrance examination. Please also consult your chosen instructor on this matter.
URL for research students from overseas:
Q3: I hope to obtain a Master’s degree in Disability Sciences. How long does it take to complete the Program?
A3: The Master’s Program usually takes two years to complete. Students take classes in a range of subjects during the first year. Then, during the second year, they spend considerable time writing their Master’s thesis. Please ask your intended instructor about the specific details.
Q4: I plan to obtain a Doctoral degree in Disability Sciences. How long does it take to complete the Doctoral Program?
A4: The Doctoral Program usually takes three years to complete. Students present an outline of their dissertation during the first year, conduct their research and write their dissertation during the second year; make a midterm presentation at the beginning of the third year; and make a final presentation in Autumn. Please ask your intended instructor about the specific details.
Q5: After completing Graduate School, University of Tsukuba, can I go into a profession in Japan?
A5: Students need to go job hunting proactively while consulting with their instructor on their planned career path after they graduate. Unfortunately, they cannot always get into their intended profession. The University of Tsukuba’s Division of Career Services provides various types of programs to support foreign students in their job hunting in Japan. These programs are open to all students, and participation is encouraged.
Q6: Are all the classes in the Graduate School taught in Japanese?
A6: Although some classes in the Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Disability Sciences are taught in English, most are taught in Japanese. To take these classes, therefore, you need a suitable level of Japanese proficiency. The University of Tsukuba provides Japanese classes for foreign students, so you can sign up for one that matches your level of Japanese.
- Entrance examinations
Q7: Are the Graduate School entrance examinations held at the University of Tsukuba?
A7: Yes. The entrance examinations for the Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Disability Sciences are held at the Tsukuba campus of the University of Tsukuba.
Q8: Are the entrance examinations conducted in Japanese?
A8: The written examination for the Master’s Program is given in Japanese. You are allowed to answer in English on specialized subjects and in English proficiency tests. However, you must answer in Japanese in Japanese proficiency tests. The oral examination is conducted in Japanese. The oral presentation and oral questions and answers in the Doctoral Program’s oral examination are conducted in Japanese.
Q9: When will the admission guidelines be published on the website?
A9: The admission guidelines will be published in late April as usual.
- Tuition fees
Q10: How much does it cost to study in the Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Disability Sciences?
A10: You can obtain information about expenditures at the following URL:
- Student life
Q11: Are there many residences for students near the university?
A11: The University of Tsukuba has student dormitories. You can find information about the dormitories at the following URL:
If you don’t wish to live in student accommodation, you can also find apartments for rent near the university.
Q12: Can I work part time near the university after enrollment?
A12: Students are allowed to work part time up to 28 hours a week. To prevent any negative impact on your research, you need to do it in a planned way and in consultation with your instructor.
- Required level of language proficiency
Q13: What level of Japanese proficiency is required?
A13: Because most classes in the Master’s and Doctoral Programs are taught in Japanese, a minimum of the N1 level in the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test is required. Please ask your intended instructor about specific details.