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United Nations University
Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925
Tel: +81 3 5467 1212
Fax: +81 3 3499 2828
The PhD programme in Sustainability Science 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. Students undertake problem-oriented research, acquiring the quantitative and qualitative analytical research 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.
The PhD in Sustainability Science programme duration is three years; the programme starts in September. Students are required to obtain 14 credits and are expected to complete all degree requirements by July of their third year. Students must complete a PhD dissertation in one of several UNU-IAS research themes, focusing on global change and sustainability. Students are also encouraged to take a joint PhD diploma offered by the UNU-IAS and The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (UT-GSFS) on Sustainability. For the joint diploma programme, students are required to take 18 credits, four of which should be from the courses offered by UT-GSFS.
Application deadline: 28 April 2016
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. Strong interest in sustainability studies;
2. Demonstrated commitment to study and understand global issues;
3. A completed Master’s degree in disciplines related to sustainability studies and a minimum of 2 years of practical field experience related to UNU-IAS research themes
Two completed Master’s degrees, at least one of which must be in disciplines related to sustainability studies;
*Those who expect to receive a second Master’s degree before the entrance period – September 2016 – may also apply.
4. A GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale on at least one of the Master’s degrees earned; and
5. English language proficiency
The minimum score requirements for English language qualifications required by UNU-IAS are:
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 at the time of application:
UNU-IAS requires original TOEFL/IELTS score reports (no photocopies accepted).
Application can be done online only.
Estimated total expenses for the PhD degree programme for 3 years including tuition are approximately 83,500 USD. Applicants must show financial resources adequate to meet the full costs of educational and living expenses.
The Japan Foundation for UNU (JFUNU) Scholarship is available for outstanding applicants from developing countries* who can demonstrate a need for financial assistance, and they will be considered as candidates for the award of the scholarship.
*The developing countries listed in the latest OECD DAC list.
The scholarship provides a monthly allowance of 150,000 JPY* for living expenses for a maximum of 36 months. 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.
*150,000 JPY is the average monthly living cost for an international student without dependents in Tokyo, although this amount may vary depending on the lifestyle of the student