Below is a list of responses to commonly asked questions. If you don’t find an answer to your question here, feel free to contact us by email.

Questions about the Program


Q1: What kind of degree will I earn?

A1: Students who complete the four-year program earn a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. The diploma will state that the recipient is a graduate of the Discovery Program, regardless of the department or faculty under which the Senior Project is completed.

Q2: What kind of courses can I take?

A2: The Discovery Program offers an open curriculum, which means that students can create a personalized course of study based on individual academic interests and career goals. An English-based personalized curriculum could draw primarily from one of the Discovery Program’s three clusters, or it could incorporate coursework from multiple clusters.

Q3: What kinds of courses are students recommended to take in the first year as part of the Discovery Program’s liberal arts focus?

A3: Courses often taken by first-year students include: (1) language training in English or Japanese as needed, (2) Discovery seminars which emphasize intercultural communication strategies and critical thinking skills in small class settings, and (3) introductory courses in a range of fields which expose students to perspectives across academic disciplines, and lay the foundation for later, in-depth coursework in specific fields.

Q4: Can I take courses in other departments or faculties?

A4: Yes, students with advanced language ability who possess the prerequisite knowledge may also take courses in Japanese offered across campus. Other departments and faculties may also offer occasional courses in English occasionally. However, please note that the Discovery Program is the only fully English-medium curriculum on campus.

Questions about The Application Process


Q1: Is there an entrance exam?

A1: No. The Discovery Program conducts interviews for international applicants in lieu of a traditional written exam. For students living overseas, interviews are conducted online.

Q2: Do you accept applications from transfer students?

A2: No, we do not currently have an application procedure for transfer students. All accepted applicants must be prepared to complete the four-year program from the beginning.

Q3: Can international students begin the program in the spring?

A3: April entry is possible, but students must have a high level of Japanese ability (JLPT N1 or equivalent) to complete first-year guidance courses in Japanese. Please note that international students who wish to apply for April entry must apply during the first application period.

Q4: I’m a Japanese citizen but I am currently going to school in a foreign country. Can I apply through International Admissions?

A4: Yes. International Admissions are open to applicants of all nationalities, including Japanese. Applicants for April may also apply through the Domestic Applications process, but the dates and procedures for this application are entirely different from International Applications. Japanese nationals should choose the admission process that is most appropriate for them.

Q5: Who is required to submit English proficiency test scores? Which test scores should I submit?

A5: International applicants who have not completed their last five years of formal education entirely in English are required to submit test scores.

Students must submit scores from at least one of the following tests: Cambridge English / The EIKEN Test in Practical English Proficiency (実用英語技能検定) / GTEC Advanced or GTEC Basic or GTEC Core or GTEC CBT / IELTS / TEAP / TEAP CBT / TOEFL iBT / TOEIC Listening & Reading Test and TOEIC Speaking & Writing Tests).

Q6: What are the minimum English Proficiency test scores necessary for admission?

A6: There are no set minimum score requirements, but students are expected to have sufficient ability to take courses taught in English. English language proficiency test scores will be considered in conjunction with other application material, including short essays and an interview.

Q7: Is Japanese ability required?

A7: No, Japanese language ability is not required for admission to the Discovery Program. However, non-native speakers of Japanese are highly encouraged to acquire at least basic language skills for daily life by taking classes in Okayama University’s Japanese language program after enrollment. All students who wish to enroll in Japanese language classes will write a placement test after enrollment and will be placed in Japanese classes appropriate to their levels.

Q8: Should I submit SAT, ACT, EJU, or other standardized test scores?

A8: If available, please submit as supplementary material. However, standardized test scores are not required.

Q9: I am graduating from an IB school. Can I apply for the program without an IB Full Diploma?

A9: The IB Full Diploma is not required of applicants graduating from IB schools. However, applicants who have not yet taken the IB exam but will do so by the time of enrollment can submit predicted test scores as supplementary material.

Q10: What is the difference between the Letter of Academic Evaluation and the Letter of Recommendation?

A10: The Letter of Academic Evaluation must be written by someone at your secondary school such as a school principal, counselor, or teacher, even if the evaluator does not know or remember you well. The evaluator should confirm your years of attendance and graduation date, and provide information about your academic performance while at the school.

The Letter of Recommendation should be written by someone who knows you well and has interacted directly with you in a supervisory position at school, work, or through extracurricular activities – a teacher, manager, boss, coach, or advisor. In addition to commenting on your ability to work independently, thinking creatively, communicate effectively, and maintain motivation, the recommender should also provide information about your personal interests, abilities, and accomplishments.

Q11: Does Okayama University offer application fee waivers?

A11: No, there are no application fee waivers available at this time.

Q12: If I have other questions about the application process or encounter trouble with the online application system, what should I do?

A12: For additional information or assistance, contact the Admissions Division of the Discovery Program at admission_discovery*adm.okayama-u.ac.jp(change*to@).

Questions about Study Abroad and Internships


Q1: Do I have to study abroad?

A1: Study abroad is not required.

Questions about Housing and Visa


Q1: Are there any dormitories available?

A1: Yes, first-year students who are selected through international admission and move directly from overseas have priority for dormitory admission. The maximum period of stay is 6 months (subject to change).

Q2: How do I get a student visa?

A2: Okayama University facilitates the visa process. A few months before arrival on campus, accepted students will be contacted via email to begin the application procedures.

Q3: I am currently living in Japan, but my visa will expire before I begin the Discovery Program. Can Okayama University sponsor me for an extension on my current visa?

A3: International students residing in Japan on a visa that will expire before enrollment at Okayama University are typically asked to return to their home country to reapply for a new student visa. Additional information about visa procedures is provided in the enrollment guide sent to accepted applicants.

Questions about Scholarships


Q1: What kind of scholarships are available for international students?

A1: Four full-tuition scholarships will be awarded to outstanding applicants accepted through international admissions. Applicants must be non-Japanese citizens or Japanese citizens with dual nationality. These scholarships will be awarded in conjunction with the announcement of application results.
JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) also offers scholarships for international students who are residing outside of Japan at the time of international admission to a Japanese university. Okayama University applies for this scholarship on behalf of enrolling students. Successful applicants receive a monthly stipend of 48,000 JPY for the first twelve months for April admission, and for the first six months for October admission after arrival. Most applications for eligible international students in 2019 and 2020 were successful.
Other scholarships and financial aid schemes which international students may apply for are listed on our website:

Questions about Employment Opportunities after Graduation


Q1: What kind of job can I get if I graduate from the Discovery Program?

A1: Unlike students who major in a specific discipline, graduates of the Discovery Program have a broad range of options, including careers in science, business, social work, health, and education, both in Japan and abroad. Students are encouraged to pursue internships, fieldwork, or study abroad opportunities to acquire the practical skills needed for their desired career path.

Still have questions? Contact us at info_discovery*adm.okayama-u.ac.jp (change*to@)