Admission Requirements for Graduate Schools in Japan

Graduate Schools focuses on developing the advanced skills in professionals so that they are capable to play an active role in various economic or social arenas.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary depending upon the type of programme you wish to attend. 

For Master Programme (First Phase)

Candidates must satisfy one of the following requisites-
  • Candidate must be passed from a Japanese University
  • Candidates must have received their bachelor’s degree from the National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation
  • 16 years of school education abroad must be completed by the Candidates
  • Candidates must have finished 16 years of school education at a Japanese educational institution recognized as having foreign country undergraduate program.
  • Candidates must have finished their post-secondary course at specialized training college in Japan
  • Candidates must possess academic abilities and skills equivalent or better than university graduates in an independent admission eligibility evaluation conducted by the graduate school, and must be 22 years old

For Doctorate Programme (Second Phase)

Candidates must satisfy one of the following requisites-
  • Candidates must hold a Japanese Master’s degree or professional graduate school degree.
  • Candidates must possess an overseas degree equivalent to a Master’s degree of Japan.
  • Candidates must be graduated from University (Japan or Overseas) and been involved in research study at the University or research centre for over two years.
  • Candidates must possess academic abilities and skills equivalent or better than Master’s degree in an independent admission eligibility evaluation conducted by the graduate School, and must be 24 years old

For Doctorate Programme- Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine

Candidates must fulfill one of the following requisites-
  • Candidates must have completed six years of an undergraduate program in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy or veterinary science.
  • Candidates must hold a Japanese Master’s degree
  • Candidates must have finished 18 years of schooling in abroad
  • Candidates must possess academic abilities and skills equivalent or better than Master’s degree in an individual entrance qualification examination conducted by the graduate School, and must be 24 years old

Application Procedure

Some graduate schools classify the application as- ‘domestic applications’ or ‘Overseas applications’. Check with the respective graduate school.
  • Domestic Application: This application is for those who live in Japan at the time of applying
  • Overseas Application: This application is for international students
Abide  by these steps-

Step 1: Request application form from the Graduate School you wish to go for.

Step 2: Fill in the application form and send it along with the necessary documentation to the respective Graduate School

Step 3: After the concerned Graduate School receives the application form and documents, screening is done based on the set criteria or entrance examination

Step 4: Results are declared after thorough processing of all the application. Results are made available on the respective graduate school website. Check the website! Also, successful candidates will receive an email indicating the same.

Step 5: Receive the Application Acceptance email. Fill in the necessary additional documents and send them back to the Graduate School before deadline. 

Step 6: After successful completion of the Step 5, you’ll get the ‘Admission Letter’.

Step 7: International Students will get a ‘Certificate of Eligibility’ from the Ministry of Justice for a residence status. Then pay the required amount of fee. Apply for visa and look out for accommodation.


Following documents are necessary for admittance to any Graduate School in Japan-
  • Application form and photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae: The CV should include your academic details, professional experience, skills, accomplishments and awards, and Extracurriculars. It should be clear and to the point.
  • Academic Transcripts: Certificates of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree
  • Letter of Recommendation: At least two letter of recommendation are required. Can be from University president, academic advisor or department head. Should include your skills, abilities and achievements, personal traits, and strengths and weakness.
  • Graduate Research Thesis and Summary: You are required to submit a brief about the research topic you've undertaken. 
  • Research Plan:  Should include the main subject, theme, objective, background, approach or method of research, and references. The word limit and format vary depending upon the graduate school. In general, it must be about 2000 Japanese characters.
  • Medical Certificate and Non-Japanese Registration Certificate (If you’re staying in Japan)
  • Statement of financial support: It can be bank statements or any other legitimate form.

Entrance Examination

Entrance exams test the academic abilities and skills of students- whether they are determined, in the field chosen, cope with the course chosen etc. It basically serves as a screening phase. 
  • Application screening: Application form along with the submitted documents is assessed.
  • Interview: The interview varies depending upon the graduate school.  Find out about the program/course and faculty. Brush up your interests, aims and goals, and qualification. Know the answer to questions like what can you bestow to the graduate course? Why should you be given admission? Be confident and calm!
  • Admission Essay: It should be all about you. A short anecdote about some episode/incident that exposed you to your selected area of study can be fruitful as long as it is enthralling.  The transitions must be smooth in your essay describing about your aims, targets etc by pursuing this particular course/degree program.
  • Oral test:  On a major subject area/field.

Tuition Fees

For Doctoral Program: The tuition fees for pursuing a doctoral program at Graduate Schools in Japan is 535,800 Japanese Yen per year, with an additional amount of 282,000 Japanese Yen, payable as entrance/admission fees at the time of admittance only. Tuition fees can also be paid semester wise, amounting to 267,900 Japanese Yen per semester.

For Master's Program: The tuition fees of pursuing a Master's program at Graduate Schools in Japan can vary from  535,800 Japanese yen per year for a national university to 1,249,304 per year for a private university. The break-up of tuition fees charged for different Master's programs at a private university in Japan is as follows:
  • Medicine: Yen 705,702 per year
  • Arts: Yen 1,249,304 per year
  • Health Care: Yen 864,022 per year
  • Science: Yen 851,263 per year
  • Engineering: Yen 965,589 per year
  • Agriculture & Veterinary Science: Yen 783,273 per year
  • Home Economics: Yen 733,726 per year
  • Liberal Arts: Yen 758,688 per year
  • Social Science: Yen 696,560 per year
  • Humanities: Yen 660,750 per year
Note: Exact amount of tuition fee may vary depending on year of admission and programme choice etc.
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