Higher Education Institutions in Japan

A Japan higher education is definitely an investment worth making.  Irrespective of the programme you go for, from Japanese-language training to graduate studies, you will get in touch with Japanese customs, culture and way of life that will turn out to be a unique and extremely helpful experience for you. Students can apply in one of five types of higher education institutions of Japan.

University (Daigaku)

University is placed at the apex of the structure of the higher education system. The Universities lays importance on theoretical research and education, and scientific principles. A university offers a regular undergraduate degree that lasts for four years, while there are certain courses, such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine that lasts for six years. 
A four-year university (Undergraduate) is split into two courses-In the first two years, pupils acquire a liberal range of knowledge in a general education, while in the third and fourth years, they get involved in a deep study of their main subject area in a speciality course. 

Graduation Requisite: The graduation requisite is a minimum of 4 years of study with at least 124 credits, and for veterinary medicine it calls for 6 years of study with 182 credits, medicine and dentistry requires 6 years of study with 188 credits, and pharmacy requires 186 credits from 6 years of study.

Eligibility Criteria: Students who have completed their upper secondary school or overseas equivalent are eligible to apply to University in Japan. 

Credential: A ‘Bachelor’s degree’ is conferred to students who have completed studies from university.

Programs/Courses Offered: Humanities, Social Science, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine/public health, home economics and domestic science, education, and interdisciplinary study.

Junior College (Tanki Daigaku or Tandai)

Junior colleges received their major spur from post-war Occupation policies concerned with promoting democracy through broadening educational opportunity. Junior Colleges offer two or three year programs. These colleges put emphasis on education that allows students to learn skills and ability useful to them after the completion of the course/program.

Graduation Requisite: The graduation requisite is a minimum of 62 credits for a two-year programme, while 93 credits for a three-year programme.

Eligibility: Students who have completed their upper secondary school or equivalent are eligible to apply to Junior College in Japan. 

Credential: An ‘Associate Degree’ is awarded to students who graduate from Junior College.

Programs/Courses Offered: Home economics, education, nursing, humanities, fine arts and design, and sociology.

College of Technology (‘Kosen’ or Koutou Senmon Gakko)

College of technology provides 5-year programmes (5 year and 6 months for mercantile marine course) that produce engineers with strong education base and adaptive skills, and also foster technical experts. College of Technology also provides 2-year advanced courses/programmes. Students who pass the examination laid down for a 2-year advanced course by the National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation (NIAD-UE), are awarded a ‘Bachelor’s degree’.

Graduation Requisite: At least 167 credits are needed for graduation and 147 credits for mercantile marine course.

Eligibility: Students who have completed lower secondary schools or equivalent are eligible for College of Technology. 

Credential: An ‘Associate degree’ is awarded to students who graduate from College of Technology. 

Subjects/Programmes Offered: Engineering- electrical and electronic, computers, chemical, civil, mechanical, and information systems.

Specialised Training College or Professional Training Colleges (Senmon Gakko)

A specialised training college or professional training colleges provide more than one year of practical or vocational higher education to students. Such Colleges provide training in specific skills and technology that will be helpful in future career. 

Eligibility: Students who have completed their upper secondary schools or equivalent are eligible for specialised training colleges.

Credential: Students are awarded a ‘diploma’ if they complete more than 2-years of study at a Specialised training College and they are eligible to apply to Universities. An ‘Advanced diploma’ is also awarded for completing more than 4-years of study and such students are eligible to apply to graduate schools.

Courses Offered: Health care, culture/general education, engineering, commercial business, hygienic, education and social welfare, home economics and agriculture.

Graduate Schools 

Graduate schools became a part of the formal higher education system of Japan only after World War II. Graduate schools offer educational programs that promote professionals having advanced specialised skills. The duration of studies in graduate schools in Japan depends on whether you are enrolled in a master's or a doctoral course of study. A Master's program lasts for two years and the doctoral course of study lasts for five years. 
Graduate schools of medicine, dental medicine, pharmacology, and veterinary sciences offer a four-year doctoral level course of study.
A few of the graduate schools refer to the course of study for gaining a Master's degree as the “first-stage doctoral degree programme,” and the program for gaining a doctoral degree as the “second-stage doctoral degree programme.” 

Eligibility: Students who have completed 16 years of education are eligible for Master’s course of study, and those who have completed 18 years of education can enrol in doctor's course in medicine, dentistry or veterinary science.

Credential: Students who complete a master’s course of study are awarded a ‘Master’s degree’, and students who complete doctoral course of studies are conferred with a ‘Doctoral degree’ 

Course/Programmes- The Graduate School programmes are split into professional graduate schools and research-oriented graduate schools.

Professional Graduate Schools
Programmes/Courses: Law and criminal justice, public administration, MBA and business, intellectual property, public affairs and policy, accounting, education and teaching, health and welfare, clinical psychology, Computer and technology, and so on.

Research-Oriented Graduate Schools
Programmes/Courses in science and engineering, literature, humanities and culture, anthropology, foreign languages, social and behavioural sciences, law, economic and business administration, physical and earth sciences, international relations, home economics, physical education, arts and architecture, biological and natural sciences, medicine, dentistry, agronomy, pharmacology, and veterinary sciences are offered.
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