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Graduate Schools

Qualifications for admission into Japanese graduate schools
Qualifications for admission differ with the program being applied. However, the main requirements are as follows. For admission, you will have to meet any one of these requirements.
 
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology - Japan
   

1.Master’s program ● Doctorate program (First phase)
  Japanese university graduates.
  Students that have been conferred their bachelor’s degree through the National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation.
  Students who have completed 16 years of school curriculum in foreign countries.
  Students who have completed 16 years of school education at educational institutions in Japan recognized as having overseas undergraduate programs.
  Students that have completed postsecondary course at specified specialized training colleges.  
  Students recognized as having academic abilities equivalent or better than university graduates in an individual entrance qualification examination conducted by the graduate school, and have reached 22 years of age.  
2.Doctorate program (Second phase)
  Students with a Japanese master’s degree or students with a Japanese professional graduate school degree.
  Students who have been awarded with an overseas degree equivalent to a master’s degree or professional graduate school degree.
  Students who have completed graduate programs at educational institutions in Japan recognized as having overseas graduate programs and have obtained a degree equivalent to a master’s degree or professional graduate school degree.
  Students who have graduated from universities and have been involved in research study at universities or research centers (including overseas universities and research centers) for more than 2 years, and recognized as having academic competency equivalent to persons with a master’s degree by the graduate school.
  Students recognized as having academic abilities equivalent or better than a master’s degree and professional graduate school in an individual entrance qualification examination conducted by the graduate school, and have reached 24 years of age.
3.Doctorate program (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary science)
  Students who have completed the Japanese undergraduate program (6 years) in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary science.
  Students with a Japanese master’s degree or students with a Japanese professional graduate school degree.
  Students who have completed 18 years of school curriculum in foreign countries.
  Students who have completed 18 years of school education at educational institutions in Japan recognized as having overseas undergraduate/graduate programs.
  Students recognized as having academic abilities equivalent or better than university graduates in an individual entrance qualification examination conducted by the graduate school, and have reached 24 years of age.

Reference : access websites to search for useful information
Universities, Colleges and Japanese Language Institutes (Information on Japanese graduate schools, JASSO) http://www.jasso.go.jp/en/study_j/search/index.html
Japan Study Support http://www.jpss.jp/ja/

Documents for submission
  Application form (graduate school-specific form)
  Curriculum vitae
  Certificate of bachelor’s degree (or anticipated degree)
  Certificate of master’s degree (or anticipated degree)
  Transcript of the last school attended
  Letter of recommendation from the originating university’s president, department head or academic advisor
  Graduation research thesis and summary
  Research plan
  Other required documents
  Documents for submission may vary according to graduate schools. For details, it is best that you inquire directly with the school.

Entrance exam
Exam is mostly conducted in August ~ October but there are also graduate schools
that conduct it in February ~ March.
Entrance exam is a combination of these several tests
  Application screening
  Test on academic ability (conducted by respective university)
  Interview
  Short essay
  Oral test on major field

Academic advisor

Academic advisor is a professor/lecturer who gives you advices on studies and course planning. Basically you have to look for an academic advisor on your own. Some graduate schools require the applicants to look for an academic advisor and obtain his/her informal consent prior to the submission of application.

< How to search for an academic adviser >
・Ask your academic advisor in your university to introduce a graduate school academic advisor.
・Obtain information from academic journals, recommendations from former international students or researchers in your country.
・Look for an academic advisor who is appropriate to your major from the website of each graduate school.
● researchmap
 
● J-GLOBAL (available on the website of Japan Science and Technology Agency)
 
< When contacting an academic advisor >
You should write in specific your research results, your future research plan and the reasons why you chose that particular academic advisor. It will be better if you attach a letter of recommendation from your academic advisor in your home country. As the academic advisor can judge you only from your letter, it may be difficult for him or her to immediately accept your request. So, what you need to do is to communicate over several letters to show your deep interest in the subject matter.

Research Plan
Research plan is a document that compiles the subject and approach of a research. Most of graduate schools require the submission of a research plan upon submission of application for enrollment. Research plan should include the theme, purpose, background, meaning as well as the method of the research, references and etc. The format and word count requirement vary with each graduate school. The word count for research plan is usually about 2,000 Japanese characters. When writing a research plan, it is important to refer to theses/articles in your research field to find out as to what extent research has already been conducted and what challenges remain in the field.
You can search Japanese thesis/articles on “CiNii”. For how to write a research plan and how to prepare for oral test, you can refer to the book titled "JISSEN KENKYUKEIKAKU SAKUSEIHOU” (you can access to this book at the STUDY in JAPAN Resources Facilities mentioned on P. 12 ~ P. 13).
● CiNii
 
● Article Search Qross
 

Qualifications for graduation and completion
Graduation and completion depends on the type of program you are enrolled in and is shown in the table below.
  Duration of study Total credits earned Others Title of degree
Master’s program 2 years or more 30 credits or more Appraisal on the master's graduate thesis
and has passed the exam
Master's
Professional graduate school
(Master's program)
2 ~ 3 years 30 credits or more  ※1 Master’s (Professional)
For law schools, the title of the degree is Juris Doctor (Professional)
Doctorate program 5 years or more ※2
(Including 2 years in the master’s program)
30 credits or more
(including credits earned in the master’s program)
Appraisal on the doctorate
graduate thesis and has passed the exam
Doctorate
※1   Total credits to be earned are different for graduate school of law and graduate school of education. For more details, please contact the graduate school.
※2   Some graduate schools separate their doctorate program between first term curriculum (2 years) and second term curriculum (3 years). The duration of the doctorate program for medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary science is 4 years upon the completion of the 6-year undergraduate program.



 

 



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