Student Voices

Interviews with Those Who Completed the Program

Student A (Completed the Program in the Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering)

―What made you decide to pursue a doctoral degree?
I have wanted to get a doctoral degree for a long time, and it was around 10 years ago that I made a concrete decision. My motivation was partly the desire to complete my dissertation, but also the existence of the Early Completion Program.
―Why did you choose the Early Completion Program?
If my goal was only to obtain a PhD, a doctoral degree by dissertation would have been fine, but I chose the Early Completion Program because it allowed me to have discussions in the laboratory.
―Before and during your enrollment, how did you prepare the environment, such as coordinating with your employer and finding the money to pay for school?
Although my employer agreed, I did not receive any support or consideration from my employer because I was treated as a private student. I had to pay the tuition by myself. There was a system that exempted half of the admission fee, so I applied for it. I secured my study hours by using paid holidays. If the required lectures had been held in the evening on weekdays, I think it would have been difficult to enroll. Also, if it would have taken more than two years to complete the program, I would not have considered enrolling because it would have been difficult both in terms of time and money.
―How was your guidance prior to enrollment?
I had previously worked on research and projects with my academic advisor. I came into contact with my professor around November of the previous year, and since that time I have been participating in seminars and receiving individual guidance from him.
―How was your lecture attendance, research and dissertation writing during your time at the university?
During my time at the university, I went to the university two to three days a week to attend lectures and participate in seminars to receive research guidance. The seminars were held two to three times a month and each seminar lasted about two hours, but the students were very helpful in accommodating my schedule. Other than that, I was very satisfied with the research guidance, including individual guidance and consultation via e-mail. However, with regard to the administration, I still have some complaints, such as the fact that the university is not open on weekends, and I would like to see a uniform format for dissertation lists, etc.。
―How was your experience using the campus facilities and student ID card?
For campus facilities, I used the laboratory and the library. As for the student ID card, I used it to receive a boarding pass for the bus on campus.
―How did you feel about the Early Completion Program?
It had been several years since I had left my research position at work, and it was difficult because of the long absence.
―What would you like to say to working people who are considering enrolling?
If you have solid goals and the desire, I urge you to take advantage and get your dissertation together!

Student B (Completed the Program in the Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences)

―What made you decide to pursue a doctoral degree?
I had only a vague idea about obtaining a doctoral degree, but when I saw a newspaper article about the Early Completion Program, I decided to obtain a doctoral degree for self-fulfillment.
―Why did you choose the Early Completion Program?
I chose the Early Completion Program because I did not have any connections with professors who would accept a request for a doctoral degree based solely on my dissertation, and because the normal three-year program was too time-consuming.
―Before and during your enrollment, how did you prepare the environment, such as coordinating with your employer and finding the money to pay for school?
Although my employer agreed, I did not receive any support or consideration from my employer because I was treated as a private student. I also paid my own tuition. I did not feel any financial burden, but it was difficult to secure time, which made me hesitate to enroll. Therefore, if it had taken more than two years to complete the program, I would not have considered enrolling because of the time pressure.
―How was your guidance prior to enrollment??
I chose as my academic advisor a professor whose field of study was close to that of my department. I received direct guidance from April, but I would have liked to have received guidance earlier.
―How was your lecture attendance, research and dissertation writing during your time at the university?
During my time at the university, I went to the university once or twice a week to receive individual guidance. I was very satisfied with the research guidance I received. As I am a working, it is difficult for me to go to the university frequently, so if there were “intensive lectures” where I could gain “broad and shallow” insights into related fields, I would have attended them.
―How was your experience using the campus facilities and student ID card?
I rarely used the campus facilities. As for my student ID card, I used it to get on the bus on campus and to get a student discount.
―How did you feel about the Early Completion Program?
I am very satisfied with the Early Completion Program because I can obtain my doctoral degree in one year if I can clear the scheduling problems and balance with my work. In addition, I believe that the research guidance I received during the process of earning my degree will be useful in the future.
―Do you have any requests for the Early Completion Program?
I think it would have been better if we had information about the exact schedule and deliverables before enrollment. I also think that the administrative procedures and operations could be improved.
―What would you like to say to working people who are considering enrolling?
I think it is very good that you can get a doctoral degree in one year. However, I think you should consider contacting the professor beforehand to make sure of what you have to do and the schedule.

Student C (Completed the Program in the Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering)

―What made you decide to pursue a doctoral degree?
I had wanted to get a doctoral degree from the time I started working at the institute. It was around 10 years ago (1998) that I became more aware of it. A few years ago, when I had accumulated a lot of research, I started to think concretely about how to obtain a doctoral degree.
―Why did you choose the Early Completion Program?
A doctoral degree in as little as one year. If such a program had not been available, I might have been less likely to consider enrolling.
―Before and during your enrollment, how did you prepare the environment, such as coordinating with your employer and finding the money to pay for school?
I paid my own tuition, but I was able to get approval from my employer, and my employer paid for my transportation. Although I needed my family’s understanding, the burden of tuition was not a reason for me to hesitate to enter the school because the tuition was cheaper than private schools.
―How was your guidance prior to enrollment??
I chose this academic advisor because the University of Tsukuba was my alma mater and because of the connections I made at academic conferences, and I contacted him around 2004 and have participated in his seminars several times a year since that time.
―How was your lecture attendance, research and dissertation writing during your time at the university?
During my time at the university, I went to the Tsukuba campus at least once a month to attend lectures and participate in seminars and receive research guidance. However, if I had been required to go to the university regularly once a week, I think it would have been difficult to complete my program. In addition, I had individual guidance and consultations via e-mail.
―How was your experience using the campus facilities and student ID card?
I often used the library at the Otsuka Campus, which is geographically close to my workplace.
―How did you feel about the Early Completion Program?
Completing my degree program in one year was challenging in terms of busyness. In addition, there were times when the end of the academic year coincided with the peak of my workload. I was also concerned about the differences in understanding of the Early Completion Program among faculty members. In particular, what was required at the mid-term presentation stage differed completely from one faculty member to another, and I had a hard time dealing with this.
―Do you have any requests for the Early Completion Program?
For example, I would like to see more flexible enrollment periods, such as increasing the number of enrollment periods in addition to graduation periods. I would also like to request more effective use of the two campuses.
―What would you like to say to working people who are considering enrolling?
This is not an easy program. You need to be prepared for it. However, I think it is a good program that is flexible and meets the needs of many working people. Please take on the challenge.

Student D (Completed the Program in the Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering)

―What made you decide to pursue a doctoral degree?
I was working in technology development, and I wanted the results of my work to be objectively recognized, so I decided to obtain a Ph.D.
―Why did you choose the Early Completion Program?
I chose the Early Completion Program because it has a fixed schedule and I can get my Ph.D. in one year. I also thought that one year would be good even if it cost me tuition.
―How did you feel about the Early Completion Program?
I had to prepare a lot of research before I enrolled. I had to write my dissertation in six months after I entered the university. Therefore, I had to prepare in advance, get all the materials together, and have my academic advisor take a look at it. Also, while it is important for a work report to be intuitive and understandable, a dissertation needs to be theoretically rigorous, so I had a lot of trouble putting the materials I researched at work into the form of a dissertation.
―What would you like to say to working people who are considering enrolling?
It is great for working people to be able to obtain a doctoral degree in one year, but it does require a certain amount of preparation. Also, compared to a doctoral degree by thesis only, I think it is superior in that you can receive thorough guidance from multiple professors.

Messages from students who completed the Early Completion Program
(Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering)