Graduate School

Characteristics of Graduate Education

   Slavic-Eurasian Research Center research staff have been involved in graduate education since 2000 to foster the development of experts and researchers specializing in studies on the Slavic Eurasian region. All staff engage in collaborative programs at Hokkaido University Graduate School of Letters to provide graduate education on History and Area Studies’ Slavic-Eurasian Studies course.
    The study of individual disciplines such as politics, economics, history and literature alone is not enough to understand today’s complex international society. In this regard, interdisciplinary regional study incorporating methods from individual disciplines while transcending their boundaries is essential. Graduate regional studies in Japan cover various areas of the world, but there are few experts on individual areas. This unique course targeting the Slavic Eurasian region was established to help students learn from diverse experts in this area. The term Slavic Eurasian region generally covers the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, which means students also have opportunities to study Hungary, Central Asia and other non-Slavic areas.
    Although the course is set within the framework of the Graduate School of Letters, students who have studied social science at the School of Law, the School of Economics and Business Administration and the like are also welcome. As the teaching involved is aimed at interdisciplinary education and research, these students must have an interest in human studies, too; however, at the same time they can attend classes at the Graduate School of Law and the Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration to cultivate their expertise in these disciplines. Credits earned at other graduate schools are also valid for the Graduate School of Letters.
    In regional studies, it is important to master the language of the target area. Hokkaido University allows students to learn Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian and other tongues at the Center for Language Learning, the Faculty of Letters and the Graduate School of Letters. Those advancing to the Slavic-Eurasian Studies course are required to actively master the language necessary for their research. This involves a period of study abroad and participation in language programs overseas.
    Most academic societies and research groups related to Slavic Eurasian studies are based in Tokyo, which may give the impression that Hokkaido is geographically disadvantageous for exchanges in such organizations. However, the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center is Japan’s only core research institute in Slavic Eurasian studies, providing a place for international research exchanges and joint studies. The Center holds international symposiums every summer and winter as well as various seminars, which are open to graduate students. Through these opportunities, students can learn from leading studies in Japan and elsewhere and interact with a variety of domestic and overseas researchers, some of whom are invited graduate students sponsored by the Suzukawa-Nakamura Fund. Several foreign and Japanese visiting scholars work on research at the Center every year, and students can learn from them both directly and indirectly. As such, the graduate course set by the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center is considered to provide unique opportunities for diverse studies and exchanges.
    Since academic 2011, we offer a grant program for Slavic-Eurasian Studies course graduate students who present a report at an academic conference and conduct domestic/overseas investigations.


Graduate School Entrance Examination

   The application guidelines for Hokkaido University Graduate School of Letters are available at the counter of the Academic Affairs Section at the Graduate School of Letters. These can also be viewed on the website at, which additionally provides past entrance papers for common languages and specialized subjects in master’s degree programs.
    This section outlines preparations to be made by Slavic-Eurasian Studies course applicants.
    Below is a supplement to the description of History and Area Studies’ Slavic-Eurasian Studies course in the application guidelines for the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Letters. Details such as the application period, examination date and documents to be submitted are not provided here. It is important to read the application guidelines before referring to this explanation. If any information provided here differs from that given in the Graduate School of Letters application guidelines, the content of the latter shall prevail.


Master’s Degree Program Special Entrance Examination for International Students

    This is an entrance exam exclusively for international students. See the application guidelines for information on eligibility. The documents to be submitted are the same as those for the general entrance examination.
    The examination is held twice a year in September and February. In the specialized subject exam, examinees are required to select two questions from multiple options as in the general entrance examination. However, the questions may be answered in Japanese, English or Russian.
    The course’s unique language exam (conducted in the category of oral and other exams) consists of a foreign language test in which students select translation pairs of English or Russian to Japanese, English to Russian or Russian to English and a Japanese test based on a themed essay (non-electronic dictionaries may be used in both tests). The oral exam (interview) is essentially conducted in Japanese.


Latter Period of Doctoral Program (General Entrance Examination)

   The entrance examination for the latter period of the doctoral program is held once a year in late February. Applications should include a copy of the applicant’s master’s thesis or an alternative academic article and a research plan (up to 4,000 letters in Japanese). Applicants who have written a master’s thesis in a field unrelated to Slavic Eurasian studies should submit an academic article on a subject in the field of the major to be studied in the latter period of the doctoral program. Copies of papers published in academic journals and the like may be submitted.
    A foreign language literature reading exam is conducted during the period of oral and other exams. Examinees are required to select two from among two English and two Russian articles and provide translations from English to Japanese or Russian and Russian to Japanese or English. The test time is 150 minutes, and non-electronic dictionaries may be used.
    Applicants for the latter period of the doctoral program are advised to contact an academic affairs supervisor or a relevant faculty member on the Slavic-Eurasian Studies course for advice as soon as possible before application.