Graduate School Admission Information

Welcome to the Department of Earth and Space Science: A unique department heading for the future

At the Department of Earth and Space Science, Osaka University, we are pursuing research in diverse fields, including cosmology, astrophysics, earth and planetary science, material science, and biology. Our aim is to establish a new integrated science beyond the conventional framework of each field. We invite you to join the venture of our department as a graduate student.

The department is home to 8 departmental research groups and 1 cooperative research group from another department. We currently have approximately 30 faculty members dedicated to research and education activities.

Click on the following links for general information in English for international students thinking of enrolling at Osaka University:

General information about Admission
Graduate Admissions for the graduate programs at Graduate School of Science
General Information for International Students

Please note that our department is not a participating member of International Physics Course (IPC) nor Special Integrated Science Course (SISC).

Entrance Examination Details

The Department of Earth and Space Science holds two separate entrance examination rounds for our graduate programs, in order to attract students from diverse backgrounds. The first selection takes place between the end of August and the beginning of September. The examination is held in cooperation with the Department of Physics. Application forms and applicant handbooks are available at the Administrative Office of the Graduate School of Science. The second recruitment period takes place after the first one and the examination is held by the Department of Earth and Space Science only. Students from backgrounds in physics as well as other scientific disciplines including astronomy, planetary and earth science, geology, biology, and engineering are all welcome.

Master's Program

First recruitment period The examination consisting of written examinations in physics (3.5 hrs) and English (1 hr) are held on the first day and interviews on the second and third days. Only those who pass the written examinations are invited to interviews, which will be held on the basis of the courses indicated below. Each examinee can choose two courses and apply for up to four groups in each course. Some courses also include groups affiliated to the Department of Physics, and examinees are able to apply for these groups as well. The total enrollment quota is 28. All the examinations will be held in the Toyonaka Campus.

Course Fields Group name
A2 Earth and Space Science Experiment A Matsumoto, Sumi, Nakai
B2 Earth and Space Science Experiment B Kondo, Sasaki, Terada, Katsuragi
C1 Theory 1 Nagamine
C2 Theory 2 Hatano
Application period : July 8,9 and 12, 2021
Written examination : August 30, 2021
Written examination
results announcement :
September 1, 2021
Interviews : September 1 and 2, 2021
Final results announcement : September 10, 2021

Second recruitment period In the second recruitment period, we aim to recruit a limited number of students from diverse academic backgrounds. Applicants must take two written examinations, an English examination and an essay on earth and space science. Examinees are also required to attend an interview, held on the same day as the written examinations. Application forms and applicant handbooks will be ready in September and available from the Administrative Office of the Graduate School of Science at Osaka University's Toyonaka Campus. This is also where all examinations will be held.

Application period : October 6-7, 2021
Written examination : October 30, 2021
Interviews : October 30, 2021
(same day as written examinations)
Results announcement : November 10, 2021

Doctral course

For those students who have obtained (or plan to obtain) a Masterfs degree in other universities and wish to enter our Ph.D. degree program, please contact the professor of each group individually.

April Admission The entrance examination will be held in February. Enrollment quota is 13. Application forms will be ready in November and available from the Administrative Office of the Graduate School of Science at Osaka Universityfs Toyonaka Campus. This is also where all examinations will be held.

October Admission Application forms will be ready in June and available from the Administrative Office of the Graduate School of Science at the Toyonaka campus. This is also where all examinations will be held.

Application Guidelines

General application guidelines are available from the Graduate School of Science Admissions Site:Click here

Applicants who wish to receive any of our application documentation by post should send a stamped addressed envelope (24 x 33cm) to the Administrative Office at the Graduate School of Science. Please be sure to write your name, address and zip code clearly on the envelope, and do not forget to affix a 240 stamp. Applicants should also indicate, on the front of the envelope, whether you are applying for the first or second recruitment period, and write gMasterfs Programs, Department of Earth and Space Scienceh in red ink. Any other questions should also be directed to the Administrative Office.

Applicants who also wish to receive our introductory departmental pamphlet should affix a 390 stamp to the front of their stamped address envelope.

Please direct all post to:

Administrative Office, School and Graduate School of Science, Osaka University
1-1 Machikaneyama-cho, Toyonaka-shi, Osaka 560-0043, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)6-6850-5289



Admissions Schedule and GuidelinesbResearch Group Enrollment Quotas and AffiliationbAbout the examinationbAbout life at Graduate School

Admissions Schedule and Guidelines

When do you distribute application forms and guidelines? How can I get copies?
The application forms and guidelines for the first round of examinations will be available at the end of June. The department will announce when the application forms and guidelines for the second round of examinations will be available as and when the schedule is decided. Prospective graduate students can visit the Administrative Office at the Graduate School of Science to collect copies, or we can provide copies by post, including to international addresses.
How and when can I apply?
Please refer to the application guidelines. Applications can be taken directly to the Administrative Office at the Graduate School of Science, or can be sent in by post.
How much does the examination cost?
The examination fee will be 30,000 yen (subject to change). Payment is accepted by bank transfer only. Applicants must complete payment before submitting their application forms.
Will the entrance examination for the cooperative research group (based in the Suita campus) be held at the Toyonaka campus?
All examinations will be held at the Graduate School of Science, at the Toyonaka campus.
When do I find out where my written examination will be held?
Examination rooms will be posted the day before the written examinations. Please check where your examination will be held in advance.
Will all applicants be interviewed, regardless of the results of the written examination?
For the first entrance examination period, only those applicants who have passed the written examination will be invited to interview. The results of the written examination will be released at 9 a.m. on the day following the written examination.
For the second examination period, all applicants will be interviewed.
Do you have a recommendation-based entrance system?
No. Entrance will be based on the results of the written examination and interview only.
Who should I contact if I have questions about the entrance examination?
Please contact the Administrative Office at the Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, on +81-(0)6-6850-5289.

Research Group Enrollment Quotas and Affiliation

How many research groups can I apply for?
Interviews for applicants in the first round of examinations are divided into six courses. Interviewees can indicate first and second preferences for courses at interview. Once the course has been decided, interviewees can indicate up to four research group preferences, in order of priority.
This means that first round interviewees are able to indicate up to eight research group preferences.
Applicants in the second round of examinations can indicate up to three research group preferences, all of which must be directly affiliated to the Department of Earth and Space Science.
The Department of Earth and Space Science holds joint examinations with the Department of Physics; does this mean I can apply to research groups in both departments?
In the first round of examinations, applicants can indicate their interest in research groups in both the Department of Earth and Space Science and the Department of Physics. If you are clear what your preferences are, then you can apply for both. The second round of examinations is held by the Department of Earth and Space Science only; in this case, it is not possible to apply for research groups affiliated to the Department of Physics.
Does each research group have a limited enrollment quota?
There are no specific enrollment quotas for each research group. Enrollment is determined on an annual basis, based on applicant performance and the judgment of each research group. The number of students admitted into each research group varies from year to year.
How is research group affiliation decided?
You will be affiliated to a research group according to the preferences indicated on application and at interview. If your research group of first preference has reached enrollment capacity, you will be affiliated to your group of second preference. If that has reached capacity, you will be affiliated to your third choice, and so on.
Is it possible to join a research group other than those indicated on my application form?
As long as your make your new preference clear at interview, and as long as your new group of preference is within the same interview course, it is possible to change your research group. However, it is not possible to change research group affiliation once enrollment results have been announced.
Will research group affiliation already have been decided when final results are announced?
Yes. You will be informed of your research group affiliation when final enrollment results are announced.
Can I change my research group when the academic term begins?
No. No such changes are permitted.
Should I get in touch with my research group of preference before I apply to the University?
Whether or not you contacted or visited your research group of choice before examination and interview makes no difference to the outcome, which is entirely merit-based. Equally, for students who have studied at the Department of Physics, the laboratory to which they have been affiliated will have no influence on the result of their application. However, applicants are encouraged to give due consideration to their choice of research group; this is an important decision, as important as deciding where to work. There are very few students who agree to start working at a company without knowing anything about it; the same is true for your graduate school research group. All research groups at the University will be happy to help you reach the best decision for you.
I have read the introductory pamphlet, but I'm still not sure which research group is right for me. What should I do?
Please take a look at the information on each research group available on the homepage. You should then contact any and all research groups about which you have questions. You can visit the research groups, send an email to a faculty member, or give them a call.

About the examination

How long are the entrance examinations for the first examination period?
The physics paper is 3.5 hours, the English paper is 1 hour.
Can I get hold of past exams?
Questions from past exams are available on our homepage, but the answers are not made public.
Can I take dictionaries and/or calculators into the examinations?
Neither calculators nor dictionaries are permitted in the examination room.
What is the ratio of enrolling students from universities other than Osaka University? Are students from other universities at a disadvantage?
On average, around 40-50% of students who enroll in the Department of Earth and Space Science have not previously studied at Osaka University. No preference is shown to students who have previously studied at Osaka University; all applicants are treated equally.
What will I be asked at the interviews?
At previous interviews, applicants have been asked general questions about their motivation behind applying to the department and the research they would like to carry out at a graduate level, academic questions designed to ascertain their scientific knowledge and ability, particularly in physics, and application-related questions about any other graduate schools and departments to which they have applied, and their order of research group preference.
Can I bring reference material with me to the interview? Can I use a blackboard to explain my answers?
Applicants are not permitted to bring materials with them. In principle, answers should be given orally, but there may be cases when applicants are encouraged to use a blackboard.

About life at Graduate School

Tell me about the schedule of the two year Master's program.
Students must take lecture courses worth at least 12 credits over the two years of the program, and acquire at least that number of credits. Students must attend at least 15 lectures per lecture course in each half-year period, as is the case in any Undergraduate Program, and will be awarded 2 credits for each course successfully completed. Intensive lecture courses are also held, which will comprise of 7 or 8 lectures over 3 or 4 days; successful completion of an intensive course is worth 1 credit. Most of the lecture courses at the Department of Earth and Space Science are held biannually, in order to allow all students to attend lectures. Students are also encouraged to attend lecture courses at other departments, particularly the Department of Physics, and credits acquired from those courses are recognized in students' overall total. As well as lectures, students need to earn a total of 9 credits each year from seminars. Seminars are a crucial step in guiding students in the right direction to write their Master's theses; seminars, classes in scientific literature, and daily research activities will all form part of the seminars held by each research group. Students will then write a Master's thesis, supervised by an academic advisor, and finally must pass a thesis assessment, attended by at least 3 faculty members, and a final examination, before being awarded a Master's degree. The timing of when students decide upon the specific theme of their Master's thesis will vary according to field and person, but in some cases research themes will already have been set upon enrollment into M1 (first year of Master's program), with others waiting until the beginning of M2 to make a final decision.
Tell me about the schedule of the three year Doctoral program.
Doctoral students must acquire a stipulated number of credits: 2 credits from lectures and 9 credits from special seminars held by each research group. In theory, all credits can be acquired in one year. However, the main daily work of a doctoral student will be carrying out the research that will form the body of your doctoral thesis. As such, if students are able to acquire the required number of credits, complete a doctoral thesis, and pass an assessment in less than three years, then they will be awarded a Doctoral degree on successful completion of those prerequisite elements.
How many students are in each research group?
Usually, there are between 4 and 10 Master's students in each research group, and a handful of Doctoral students. Some groups include postdoctoral Research Associates, who function as excellent advisors to our graduate students.
When can I start writing papers meant for submission to academic journals?
Specific timing will depend on which research group you are affiliated to; however, submitting the findings of your Master's thesis to an English-language academic journal is a good objective to aim for.
Are there opportunities to present research at academic conferences?
Many students have presented their research at academic conferences including Master's students. Students (principally Doctoral students) are strongly encouraged to present at international symposia.
What kind of financial support (scholarships, loans etc.) is available?
Students can apply for scholarships available through the Japan Student Services Organization and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. We can also provide information on other sources of financial support. Please contact us for details.
Does the University offer any direct financial support?
The University has both Teaching Assistant (TA) and Research Assistant (RA) systems. Teaching Assistants provide support to faculty in holding lectures, while Research Assistants provide support to research projects; both types of assistants are compensated for their support with a fixed salary.
Who has better employment prospects a Master's program graduate or a Doctoral program graduate?
This entirely depends on the type of employment you are aiming for upon graduation. If you are hoping for an academic post, then acquiring a Doctoral degree upon completion of a Doctoral course is normally a prerequisite.
Can I look for a job and carry out research at the same time?
Our recommendation is to concentrate on one or the other; committing to your research is an important step to success.
What are post-graduation recruitment levels like?
We already have a number of graduates working in diverse fields. Please refer to this page (written in Japanese) for specific information on post-degree employment.