Master Studies in Japan: The Complete Guide


Want to do a master’s degree in Japan? Excellent choice if you are a graduate student looking for quality education. It’s a fact, Japan is one of the most excellent developed countries when it comes to higher education. The country also has 13 universities ranked among the best in Asia and 3 that are among the top 100 universities in the world.

As the higher education system in Japan shows, the country is strongly invested in higher education and the quality of teaching and research. In addition, education plays a vital role in Japanese society and the country’s constitution protects individual rights to education.

According to annual global statistics, the number of international students choosing to do their master’s degree in Japan is steadily increasing. In fact, Japan is planning to welcome more students every year. For this, the country is making changes to improve the level of education. In addition, the country plans to focus especially on postgraduate studies and to provide opportunities for deserving students before and after they finish their studies.

Graduate schools in Japan

Graduate schools have been at the heart of Japan’s international engagement since the 1970s. In fact, personal and professional development has become a priority for universities. Moreover, you will not only be trained in research. You will also get the skills to lead the next generation. In addition, graduation will give you access to high-level positions.

The content and structure of master’s programs in Japan

You will need 24 months to complete your master’s degree in Japan. During this time, you will have to complete a number of modules. In addition, you will also maintain a number of credit hours for lectures, practical work, group work, research modules, and elective modules. The minimum number of credit hours is 30, which are spread over the first three semesters. You will also be required to prepare your master studies thesis under the supervision of one of your professors. You will be able to submit your thesis when you have successfully completed your final exams.

Requirements for a master’s degree in Japan

  • Maintain a Bachelor’s degree or its international equivalent.
  • Must pass an entrance exam in your field of study.
  • Must pass a TOEFL or IELTS test.
  • If you wish to study for a master’s degree in Japanese in Japan, you must pass a test to prove your proficiency in the Japanese language.
  • Maintain a valid passport.

Documents required to do a Master’s degree in Japan

  • A completed application form with the required information. You can get these application forms from your university or from its official website.
  • A personal essay on your desire to study for a master’s degree in Japan. You should also explain your choice of major. Then, you should describe your future goals and aspirations that you will be able to achieve once you have completed your master’s degree.
  • Your bachelor’s degree or equivalent and your transcripts.
  • Letters of recommendation from respected individuals in the field in which you plan to study.
  • Three letters of recommendation from your former university professors.
  • Results of English and Japanese language proficiency tests (if required).
  • Receipts for application fees.

Please note that Japanese universities have a selection process for applicants who must pass an interview. You must pass the interview in person if you are in the country or by Skype or other means.

Once your application is accepted, the university may request a certificate of eligibility on your behalf so that you can apply for a visa to live and study in Japan. The university will send you this certificate to present to the Japanese embassy or consulate in your country when you apply for your visa.

How much does it cost to study at a university in Japan?

To do master studies in Japan, you have to pay not only the tuition fees but also the admission fees. And the total cost of the first year of a master’s degree is approximately between 5,000 and 15,000 U.S. dollars, depending on the course you apply for and the university you enroll in.

National universities will charge you about 820,000 yen (about $5,750) in annual fees, while public universities will cost you 900,000 yen (about $6,500). At private universities, on the other hand, master’s programs will cost you between ¥780,000 and ¥1,500,000 ($5,000 to $11,000). However, this excludes medical, pharmaceutical, and dental programs.

In addition, foreign students in Japan must also enroll in the national health insurance system. This will cost them an annual fee of about 23,200 yen ($162 USD). The price depends on the city where you live, as well as what is included in the policy.

Finally, it is important to mention that Japanese universities and the Japanese government offer scholarships and loans to students.