Application & How to take examination

Q1May I apply for more than one examination category at the same time?
A1 You may NOT apply for different examination categories at the same time.
However, you may apply for different examination categories at the different examinations. For example, applying for master's course (Spring Admission) of "Information Science" category at the 1st exam and "Biological Science" category at the 2nd exam is possible.
In case you pass the exams of both categories as in the example above, you're required to choose one category at the time of enrollment procedures. Since the 3rd exam is conducted after enrollment procedures, even if you apply for another examination category at that time, you will not qualify as a candidate.
Q2Do I have to take "Preliminary Screening of Applicant Suitability"?
A2 The "Preliminary Screening of Applicant Suitability" is the screening conducted prior to application for the entrance examination and examines whether applicants are qualified as candidates for the entrance examination. It is not for all applicants.
Please refer to the Application Guideline to determine which qualification you fall in. Then see if the qualification requires you to go through the "Preliminary Screening of Applicant Suitability".
Q3Do I have to travel to NAIST for the entrance examination?
A3 Yes. You must come to NAIST (located in Japan) for the examination. We do NOT conduct interviews or oral examinations online (ex: Skype).
*For those who apply for the "Screening of International Students by Special Recommendation", applicants are evaluated based on application documents. Oral examinations may be conducted if deemed necessary.
Q4Do I need a visa to take the entrance examination in Japan?
A4 This depends on your nationality.
Please refer to the webpage of "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan" and find out whether or not you must obtain a "Short-term Stay" visa.

*Visa (Short-term Stay) exemption information

In case you must obtain "Short-Term Stay" visa, please prepare the necessary documents by yourself. Some of the documents require support from the person who invites you to Japan. Please consult with the professor who issued you the "Letter of Acceptance" and begin preparations well in advance.
Q5May I take the entrance examination in English?
A5 Yes. You can use the English application format, or, in case of application using the master's course application format in Japanese, please specify your language of choice (Japanese or English) on the application form.
Please also note that you must write "Research Proposal" in English to take the entrance exam in English.
Q6Should I wear a suit for the entrance examination?
A6 You don't necessarily need to wear a suit.
Q7May I stay at Guesthouse Sentan?
A7 Please secure the accommodation by yourself. If you would like to stay at Guesthouse Sentan, please contact the Welfare Section, Personnel Division. For more details, please refer to the following website.

<Only for Master's Course Applicants>

Q8I prefer to take the exam in Tokyo. In cases when the number of candidates who prefer taking exam in Tokyo exceeds the limit, will I have to take the exam at NAIST (located in Nara)?
A8 In cases when we receive many requests, candidates may be allocated to the examination at NAIST (located in Nara).
Q9How may I find out my entrance examination score?
A9 You may request scores after the examination during the designated period.
(For spring enrollees: April - May) (For fall enrollees: October - November).

Application documents

Q10May I submit the handwritten "Application Form" and "Research Proposal"?
A10 Handwritten materials are acceptable, but typed materials using Microsoft Word, etc. are preferred when possible.
Q11I made a mistake on my application form. How can I fix it?
A11 Please cross out the mistake with two lines and sign your name next to it.
Q12Could you return the original certificates which I will submit for application?
A12 Basically we do NOT return materials except for the original document verifying English proficiency. In case you need to have the original returned, please consult with the Admissions Section (exam[at] at the time of application.
Q13My expected graduation certificate also includes my transcript. They are issued on a single piece of paper. Do I have to submit 2 of these certificates?
A13 Only 1 certificate is necessary.
Q14My Graduation Certificate is written in a language other than English or Japanese. Do I have to submit an official translation?"
A14 You may translate it by yourself.
Q15My university issues graduation certificates and certificated of bachelor's / master's degrees separately.
Do I have to submit both?
A15 Yes, you must submit both certificates.
Q16I'm living outside of Japan.
Do I have to submit a self-addressed envelope?
How can I receive the examination voucher?
A16 In case you're living outside of Japan, do NOT submit the self-addressed envelope.
You'll be informed of i) the examination applicant's ID, ii) examination guidelines by email. You will receive your voucher at the registration desk on the examination day.
Q17I'm worried about the arrival date of my application documents. Since I will send the application documents from outside of Japan, I can not designate the arrival date.
A17 We accept applications which arrive at NAIST postmarked by the end of application period. Please send the application documents by registered express mail such as DHL, FedEx, EMS etc.
Just to be safe, after you sent the application, please inform the Admissions Section (exam[at] of your name, examination category, time of enrollment and tracking information.

<Only for Master's Course Applicants>

Q18What kind of English scores are acceptable?
    Following English scores are acceptable.
  • TOEIC (Official Score certificate of "Listening & Reading" or "Speaking & Writing". Score Report of Institutional Program(IP))
  • TOEFL (Examinee Score Report or Test Taker Score Report*of TOEFL iBT or ITP)
  • Duolingo English Test(Please refer to the FAQ below about submitting the score.)

*Test Taker Score Report printed from "My Homepage" (personal account page) is not acceptable.

Original score report/certificate and a copy must be submitted. In case it's difficult to submit at the time of application, submitting on the day of examination is also accepted.

For the entrance examination 2021 Spring Admission (1st/2nd/3rd exam) and 2020 Fall Admission (2nd exam), only the results from April 2017 or later are acceptable.

Q19I'd like to send my TOEFL score directly from the ETS (TOEFL testing organization) to NAIST. Is this possible?
A19 No, this is not possible.
You must send your TOEFL score along with the other application documents.
Q20How should I submit the Duolingo English Test score?
A20 Please print out the webpage which shows your score and submit it along with the other application documents.
In addition, please send the URL of the above mentioned webpage by email to the Admissions Section (exam[at] by the date of your examination.
Q21I am an English native speaker.
Do I need to submit a document verifying English proficiency?
A21 Yes.
If you do not submit anything, your English score will be zero.
Q22How can I obtain the Letter of Acceptance?
A22 Please decide the laboratory you would like to join at NAIST, and contact the professor of that laboratory well in advance. Do not interact with more than one professor at the same time. When you contact the professor, it is strongly recommended you introduce yourself (ex: attaching your CV) and explain about your academic interests (why you'd like to join that laboratory).
Following the communication with the professor, please ask him/her to issue a Letter of Acceptance using the designated format*.

* You can download it from our Application Guidelines webpage.

Guidelines for Master's Course and Doctoral Course Applications
Q23I could not obtain a Letter of Acceptance. May I still apply for the entrance examination?
A23 For those without Japanese nationality, a Letter of Acceptance from a NAIST professor is necessary for application.


Q24Can I complete master's course and doctoral course by taking only the subjects conducted in English?
A24 For the doctoral course, you can take all the subjects in English.
For the master's course, many subjects are conducted in English and you can acquire a degree with credits earned only from the subjects conducted in English. As there are many international students who enroll in the autumn semester, there are many more subjects available in English in autumn semester than the spring semester.
The number and types of subjects conducted in English differ every year. Please refer to the syllabus below for more details.

For Inquiries:
Admissions Section
Educational Affairs Division
Nara Institute of Science and Technology
8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma Nara 630-0192 Japan
TEL: +81(743)72-5083
E-mail: exam[at]