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Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST)

1919-1, Tancha, Onna Okinawa 904-0495,
Japan View map


Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University – established in 2011 – is situated in Okinawa, Japan.

The university offers talented students full funding to study for a PhD in science, and as a student, you have access to modern laboratory facilities and the equipment you need to get you to the cutting edge in your research area. OIST has built a graduate program for students to grow highly competent in their core discipline, while also learning to communicate scientifically with people in completely different disciplines.

All teaching and research at OIST is done in English. Although Japanese isn’t required at OIST, there are extracurricular language courses to enrich life off campus. OIST's full-time professional Japanese as a foreign language instructors teach several levels of classes to accommodate the needs of OIST students, employees, and their family members, at no cost.

To find out more about OIST, visit its social media accounts: Twitter (English); Twitter (Japanese); Instagram; Facebook; LinkedIn.

OIST only has one campus in Okinawa. In addition to the main campus, OIST has a guest accommodation Seaside House as well as Marine Science Station.

Facilities and equipment include state-of-the-art gene sequencers, mass spectrometers, light and electron microscopy with confocal and two-photon microscopes, atomic force microscopy and other surface characterization equipment, and high-performance computing.

Facilities and equipment are maintained by the Research Support Division who provide you proper training to use the equipment and support your research with their specialized knowledge and skills.

Support systems available at OIST include:

    • Fully-funded for all admitted students– about US$28,000 per year provided as Research Assistantship
    • International relocation cost
    • Housing support (on-campus housing available around US$200 per month)
    • Family support
    • Childcare: Child Development Center (Bilingual nursery school available from two-months-old to 6-years-old). After School Program is also available from elementary school age.
    • Visa support
    • Conference and educational travel support
    • Career development
    • Wellbeing services (Counseling services by clinical psychologists both in Japanese and English)

    85 percent of students come from overseas, representing about 50 countries and regions.

    There are a number of club activities available.

    First year students are required to live on campus, and they can choose to live outside off-campus during their second year. On-campus housing is very well designed and provides comfortable living to students. Check out the housing images here

    Applicants to OIST Graduate School all follow the same process:

    • 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 shortlisted applicants, the selection process incorporates a face-to-face interview. All of these aspects are considered together in the final decision for each candidate.

    Financial support of 2.4 million yen per year (taxable) is provided for each academic year of full-time study. Course fees will also be covered. Students additionally receive support for relocation to Okinawa, a personal computer and financial support for educational travel and conference attendance. This financial package is provided all the full-time PhD students regardless of their nationality.

    Find out about OIST Alumni and the career paths taken by graduates.

    OIST provides students with a dedicated Career Development Coordinator to provide you with career guidance and training to launch your career.

    The professional development course during your degree covers basic principles of research conduct and ethics, science communication, and aspects of science in society; and providing practical experience to develop presentation and teaching skills important for maximizing career opportunities. As the hub of a highly international network, OIST provides many opportunities for individual students to achieve visibility and develop contacts with future employers.

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