Application Deadline:9 April 2021
The PhD programme in Sustainability Science is a three-year programme that aims to produce scholars who will become key researchers in the field of sustainability science. The programme takes an innovative approach to sustainability, seeking to promote a better understanding of the issues by incorporating global change perspectives, specifically those related to climate change and biodiversity.
The programme will equip graduates with comprehensive, multidisciplinary knowledge of sustainability problems, and deepen their understanding of the role of environmental sustainability in addressing current issues related to global change. The programme provides students with unique opportunities to interact with leading scholars and policymakers through lectures, international conferences, and workshops. Students undertake problem-oriented research by playing an active role in UNU-IAS research projects, and acquire the quantitative and qualitative analytical skills necessary to understand the underlying principles of various systems involved in sustainability issues and debates. Through coursework and research, PhD students gain critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as the technical literacy required to address sustainability problems.
Applicants for the PhD in Sustainability Science are required to have met ALL of the following requirements by the application deadline in order to be considered:
1. A strong interest in sustainability studies;
2. A demonstrated commitment to study and understand global issues;
3. A completed Master’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognized university or institution of higher education and demonstrated ability to link course work and activities to principles of sustainability;
4. A minimum of 2 years of practical field experience related to UNU-IAS research themes which was acquired after obtaining a university degree (full time equivalent)
Two completed Master’s degrees, at least one of which must be in a discipline related to sustainability studies;
*Those who expect to receive a second Master’s degree before the entrance period – September 2021 – may also apply.
5. A GPA of 2.8 or above on a 4.0 scale (equivalent to 70% on a 100 % scale) for at least one of the Master’s degrees earned; and
6. English language proficiency
The minimum score requirements for English language qualifications required by UNU-IAS are:
- 600 on TOEFL – Paper-Based Testing (PBT) OR
- 100 on TOEFL – Internet-Based Testing (IBT) OR
- 7.0 on IELTS – Academic format
Applicants, except for the cases below, must submit original TOEFL or IELTS score reports (from a test taken within the last two years) to the Admissions Office once they are shortlisted for interviews. For the 2021 admissions, UNU-IAS accepts scores of TOEFL iBT Home Edition and IELTS Indicator in addition to TOEFL PBT, TOEFL iBT and IELTS. Please find more details on score reports in the application instruction:
- Applicants whose native language is English.
- Applicants who graduated from a university or a postgraduate school located in an English speaking country.
- Applicants who completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme where the language of instruction and examination was English. In this case, an official statement from the academic institution will be required, confirming the use of English as the language of instruction and examination.
UNU-IAS requires original TOEFL/IELTS score reports (no photocopies accepted).
- TOEFL: Please order an official score report using an institution code 6991.For more information on TOEFL, please visit http://www.ets.org/toefl/
- IELTS: Please request that an official report be sent directly to UNU-IAS.For more information on IELTS, please visit http://www.ielts.org/
- Application Processing Fee: None
- Tuition Fee: 10,000 USD per year
Estimated total expenses for studying in Tokyo for 3 years including tuition are approximately 84,000 USD. Applicants must show financial resources adequate to meet the full costs of educational and living expenses.
Scholarships provided through the Japan Foundation for UNU (JFUNU)
The JFUNU scholarship provides a monthly allowance of 120,000 JPY* for living expenses for a maximum of 36 months. However, travel costs to and from Japan, visa handling fees, and health/accident insurance costs must be covered by the student. The tuition fees are fully waived for the scholarship recipients.
*The amount of monthly allowance is 120,000 JPY for the academic year 2020.
II. Eligibility Requirements
- Applicants must be from developing countries* who can demonstrate a need for financial assistance.
- Applicants who are currently living in Japan under a working visa are NOT eligible for the scholarship.
- Applicants who want to pursue a second PhD degree at UNU-IAS are not eligible for the scholarship.
*Developing countries included in the latest OECD DAC list.
Selection and Announcement of Results
UNU-IAS may at any time require applicants to provide verification of the information and documents submitted as part of their application and/or additional information including, but not limited to, an interview.
- Successful applicants will be notified by email to the address provided on Application Form. Necessary documents for the admission procedure will be sent together with a letter of acceptance. Successful applicants must submit a medical certificate, sealed official transcript(s) and certified copy of degree certificate(s). Only successful applicants – except those accepted as JFUNU Scholarship recipients – who submit the necessary documents for the entrance procedure and transfer 50% of the tuition fees for the first academic year (5,000 USD, non-refundable) within 10 UNU working days after result announcement will be admitted to the programme. (Please refer to UNU Holidays on Academic Calendar page) The matriculation date (early September 2021) cannot be extended, regardless of any special circumstances on the part of the student.
- Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by e-mail to the address provided on Application Form. Admissions Office does not provide individual feedback on unsuccessful applications.
- E-mail will be the primary method of contact. Therefore, it is essential that applicants provide a valid e-mail address in the Application Form and that he/she regularly checks his/her e-mail. Please ensure that our e-mails are not filtered into spam or junk folder. UNU-IAS will not be held responsible for unread e-mail communication.
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