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Graduate Schools
1. Qualifications
2. Application
3. Entrance examination
4. Courses taught in English / Short-term study programs
  5. Conditions for graduating / Completing courses
3. Entrance examination
(1) Regular master's or doctor's course
    A few graduate schools do accept students based on the documents they submit, but usually a student must sit for an entrance examinations in Japan. Graduate school entrance examinations usually consist of document screening, a short thesis and interview, mainly on their major, as well as written tests in Japanese, English, (or other languages) and special subjects.

  Though the date of the examination differs, most schools hold their entrance examinations from August to October. Some graduate schools hold their examinations from February to March.
(2) Research student (kenkyu-sei)
    Mostly they are selected based on the documents they submit.
* Academic adviser
  For regular and research students, please contact the graduate schools to which you intend to apply to ascertain whether you need to find an academic adviser beforehand and to obtain informal consent for admission prior to application.

  If this is the case, you should ask your instructor at home university to introduce you to a suitable academic adviser. You should look for an appropriate instructor from graduate school's prospectus, academic journal or from former students or researchers in Japan, etc. Besides those sources, you can also look up web sites of each graduate school and ReaD (Directory Database of Research and Development Activities) (http://read.jst.go.jp) or the "Comprehensive list of researchers' research themes" (published by Kinokuniya Co., Ltd.).

  Some professors may have web sites of their graduate courses but may not be disclosing their e-mail addresses, so in that case contact them by letter or fax. Some universities introduce supervising instructors to you upon request.

  When you write a letter, you are advised to specify your past research record, future research plan and reasons for selecting the supervising instructor and, if possible, enclose a letter of recommendation. As you are a stranger, the professor is only able to judge you from your writing. Therefore, it is unusual for an informal consent to be given immediately after only one written communication from you. You need to communicate with that professor several times to convey your enthusiasm about your studies.

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